3 min read

Can Dog Walking Be a Full-Time Job? Pros & Cons


Written by Adam Lee-Smith

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 01/21/2022, edited: 01/21/2022

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are ditching their 9–5 jobs to pursue alternative career paths in pet care. Jobs aren't as safe as they used to be, so many budding dog walkers don't see changing careers as much of a risk.

But is spending your days caring for canines really a walk in the park? Dog walking and other pet care services are easier to access than ever, leading many dog lovers to wonder whether they can make a career out of walking dogs. Can dog walking be a full-time job? Let's take a look!

golden dog wearing a green bandana that says "Wag!"

Is it possible to be a full-time dog walker?

Yes, it's totally possible to be a full-time dog walker. Over 48 million US households have pet dogs — that's a lot of walkies! 

There are more options than ever for finding new canine clients, including the Wag! app, which is available on iOS and Android. Whether you live in a major metro area or a quaint community, you won't have any trouble finding dogs to walk.

Want to learn more about a day in the life of a Pet Caregiver on the Wag! app? Check out Vincent's story to see how his life changed during the pandemic when he became a dog walker!

Pros and cons of being a full-time dog walker

Pros of walking dogs full-time

  • Work your own hours. No getting called into work at the last minute, and no more overtime!

  • Be your own boss. No office politics or performance reviews. Canines are much better colleagues than people!

  • Spend all day with dogs. If you're not allowed pets where you live or just love playing with pups, dog walking is a great way to spend more time with fur-babies! 

  • Meet new people. Most clients will be in your local area, meaning you can get to know your neighborhood and make a few new friends. 

  • Great exercise. Dog walking improves heart health, lowers blood pressure, and much more. Dog walking keeps you healthy while you work!

  • Ideal for retirees or students. Thanks to its flexibility, dog walking is the ideal job for retirees, students, or anyone looking for a new challenge. For example, Kevin from Columbus, OH, worked for 30 years in an office setting before switching to dog walking. 

  • Learn while on the job. Most dog walkers have tons of experience with doggos, but there's always room to improve. Dog walking will teach Pet Caregivers lots of new training techniques.

Cons of walking dogs full-time

  • Inconsistent wage. Dog walkers aren't on fixed salaries, so they'll need to manage their income and savings more efficiently. 

  • Difficult clients. Pet Parents can be very particular about their fur-babies, sometimes leading to disagreements between the walker and client.

  • Unexpected issues with dogs. All dogs are different and can be unpredictable. Dog walkers are at risk of being scratched and bitten. A canine could also get injured accidentally in your care.

  • Not the "pawfect" career if you don't love dogs. Someone who isn't keen on canines may get bored walking dogs all day. 

  • Picking up poop! Even if you love dogs, you won't enjoy having to pick up after them during a walk.

person in green shirt holding leash of golden retriever dog - can you be a dog walker full time

Other careers for Pet Caregivers

Many dog walkers also pick up secondary pet care careers to boost their earnings. Through the Wag! app, Pet Caregivers can sign up for several different services. 

Dog sitting and boarding 

Combine your dog walking job with caring for a dog overnight. Dog sitting and boarding sessions are a "grrreat" way to expand your pet care portfolio. 


Drop-ins involve stopping by a client's house for 20 minutes to give their dog food and water, let them out for a bathroom break, and more. These services are popular with Pet Caregivers as they're brief and straightforward. 


If you're an experienced dog trainer, you could make big bucks working freelance. Training can be done in person or online from the comfort of your own home through Wag!.

Interested in a career change? Sign up to become a dog walker with Wag! today!

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