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The Mass Media

How To Make Money As A Dog Walker

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How To Make Money As A Dog Walker

Working while also being a full time college student can be overwhelming, but we have to pay our tuition some way.

Freshman year I decided to try out dog walking, as I had worked with animals prior. I had heard good things about the app “Wag,” and downloaded it to try to make some extra cash. First, I had to apply and go through many videos, questionnaires, and give multiple references. Once I had finished my application, I heard back fairly soon. The longest part of it all was waiting for a background check, which took a bit over a week. After this, I was ready to begin work! I had the option to walk dogs, sit for them (stay overnight in their home), or board them (host the owners’ dog overnight in your own home). 

There are many dogs in Boston that need care as their owners are typically working long days in the city. Wag will notify you of a new walk near you, what time it’s requested for, and how much you will be paid. If you use public transit, shorter walks (20 minutes) may not be worth your time or money, as they typically pay only $8.40. A deluxe walk, or an hour walk, is around $18 so it will be worth swiping your Charlie Card for! The prices of walks fluctuate, depending on how many dogs there are, or how long the walk has been posted for. If no walkers are taking a certain shift, they will increase the price to up the incentive.

Working through bigger companies like Wag and Rover is good for those who are just looking for some extra cash. If you’re looking to make a full time job (or just some actual flow-steady cash), you should consider creating your own business. These apps can be very useful for finding clientele as they introduce you to the right people. The problem with working for large companies is the percentage they keep of the profit they are making. A problem I have encountered with Wag is that they keep 60 percent typically. So, if an owner is charged $20 you will receive $8, even though you have done all the work. For this reason, it can be discouraging to work for a company rather than on your own. So, if you’re looking to make serious money with this gig, I suggest going on your own.

However, if you’re simply considering it, you should just apply! There are no mandated hours, so whenever you feel like working you can, but if you don’t, there is no need! You can book walks or sittings out months in advance or on the same day, whatever works better for your schedule. It can be fun, easy work that brings in money that could pay for your books or even a morning coffee. This is also a big plus for working for a company like Wag, you never have to feel like you’re really going to “work.” You’re just spending time with a dog!

About the Contributor
Grace Smith, Editor-in-Chief