Career Profile: Dog Walker and Pet...

Career Profile: Dog Walker and Pet Sitter

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

If you have a pet, you know that taking care of an animal is a lot of work. Did you know that you can get paid for looking after animals?  Becoming a dog walker and pet sitter is a good way to earn a living for people who like animals.

Many people own animals like dogs, cats, birds, or fish. If the owners have busy jobs, they might not be able to take their dogs out as often as they need to go. When they go on trips, even for a day or two, they might need someone to look after their pets. That’s where dog walkers and pet sitters can help.

Basically, people in this type of work look after animals for their owners. Dogs and cats are the most common animals that need care, but pet sitting could include birds, turtles, fish, or even snakes. Some pet sitters accept any kind of animal, but others might choose not to work with certain animals which are too dangerous or for other reasons.

Dog walkers usually go to the client’s home and take the dog out for half an hour to an hour. They walk the dog and pick up after it before taking it back home. The amount that dog walkers charge varies from one area to another, but they generally charge about $20 to $30 for a half-hour walk. Frequent dog walkers can earn between $400 and $1500 per month.

Pet sitters can earn quite good salaries if they have regular work. For pet sitters who live in houses, one possibility is to bring the animals to stay in their own homes. Pet sitters who live in apartments likely need to go to the animal’s house since many apartments don’t allow pets. Some pet sitters charge by the hour, but many charge by the day, often between about $30 and $50 per day. The fees might depend on any extra work that the pet sitters have to do, such as giving the animal medication or even grooming the animal.

Becoming a dog walker or pet sitter normally doesn’t require any particular education, but it is a good idea to practice reading skills in case you need to read medication labels or instructions from the pet’s owners. Many people choose to buy insurance to cover the cost of injuries, lost keys, or other problems that can occur. Getting a kind of insurance called bonding is also an option.

Working with animals takes a lot of patience and understanding. Sometimes pets can be difficult, and they might bite or scratch the pet sitter if they get upset. Being reliable is very important, since animals need their food and walks at regular times. Good physical fitness is important for dog walkers, especially if they look after energetic animals.

People in this job might go to several places in one day or stay with an animal overnight or even for a month. Normally, they can continue to do other activities like going to school or another job while looking after animals. If you love animals and can be flexible, this might be the right job for you.


Angie’s List. “How Much Do Dog Walkers Charge?” https://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-much-do-dog-walkers-charge.htm.

The Balance Small Business. “Pet Sitter Insurance in Canada.” https://www.thebalancesmb.com/pet-sitting-insurance-canada-2948238.

Indeed. “Pet Sitter Salaries.” https://ca.indeed.com/salaries/pet-sitter-Salaries.

Pet Sitter.com. “Pet Sitting Near Me.” https://petsitter.com/pet-sitters/everywhere/pet-sitting

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