Dog walking is becoming an increasingly lucrative business to be in due to the increase in dog ownership that occurred during the pandemic.
For animal lovers, dog walking can be an extremely lucrative career. This has long been especially true for those who happen to live in major metropolitan areas like New York City. However, thanks to a surge in dog adoption that occurred following pandemic-related lockdowns and an increase in the number of people working from home, dog walkers are increasingly pulling in six-figure profits.
Bethany Lane is one individual who has been making a decent living from dog walking for about a decade. The Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based dog walker got her start after she answered a Craigslist ad while looking for a way to pay her bills after college. Lane told the New York Times that she could have never imagined her decision to answer that ad would turn into her full-fledged career.
By 2014, dog walking had become profitable enough for Lane to officially open her own business, Whistle & Wag. However, what really allowed her to level up her income was the puppy boom that happened during the pandemic. “Prepandemic I used to get a call maybe one or two times a month from a potential new client. I get multiple calls a week now,” said Lane to the New York Times.
Demand for Lane’s services has been exponentially increasing, and Lane admitted that her salary had eclipsed six figures. Lane declined to give the exact amount she brings in as profit after paying her employees and business needs. However, she did say that dog walking has allowed her to purchase a second home lakeside in Tuckerton, New Jersey.
Lane is not an anomaly, so many others have taken notice of the burgeoning opportunities that dog walking presents. Dog walker Michael Josephs started Parkside Pups in 2019 after dog owners started coming up to him in the park he frequented with his labrador commenting on how well-trained his dog was. This prompted Josephs to take a risk and leave his teaching career to give dog walking a chance.
Josephs said his first year he made a modest $30,000, but after the pandemic, his business scaled up quickly and now rakes in profits above six figures. Josephs, who primarily works out of neighborhoods in New York City’s boroughs, has been able to grow Parkside Pups beyond just dog walking and training services. Josephs’ wife runs the company daycare center, and they now have a location in Connecticut, too.
Josephs’ and Lane’s stories are just two examples out of multitudes of dog walker success stories to happen in the wake of the pandemic. And while Josephs and Lane run their business based in and around the New York City metro area, dog walkers in cities nationwide are experiencing similar rates of growth that are amounting to six-figure profits.
Clearly, it’s a great time to be a dog walker and even to perhaps embark on it as a potential career. However, it should be noted that dog walking is not an easy job by any means. It’s not simply playing with adorable dogs all day.
Walkers have to contend with the stressors of caring for other individuals’ animals. Then of course there is the physicality that goes along with actually walking dogs. And not everyone has a well-trained pup that will walk nicely on a leash. That can be especially problematic the larger the dog is. And don’t forget, the more dogs that you walk, the more poop you’ll have to pick up.
Overall, becoming a dog walker isn’t for everyone. But for the right person, it can be an exceedingly rewarding and fulfilling career. And out of that fulfillment just may come a six-figure payday.