We all know that a dog’s single most favorite activity is going on a walk. Seeing them get so overjoyed when their parent pops the question is just priceless. As you know, life gets pretty busy for us all; but dogs still want (and fully deserve) to be enjoying their biggest life pleasure- walkies!
This is when it’s time to consider hiring a dog walker, to help you navigate your busy life and still have your pup’s needs met. Some are concerned, though, with the potential cost of adding on a dog walker.
What is the average cost of a dog walker in Columbus, Ohio?
It tends to be about $20 per walk; but dog walkers come from many different experiences, backgrounds, and overall knowledge. There are significant factors to consider before you decide to take the plunge and hire someone to come care for your fur baby. After all, it’s important that you feel you’re making an informed decision in this regard first.
– Professional vs. Hobbyist
When looking at how much a dog walker costs, one aspect to consider is whether or not the person is a professional or a hobbyist dog walker. People in the former category walk dogs as their day-to-day job; while people in the latter one might walk dogs occasionally for some extra money.
With that said, however, there are some valid reasons why a professional dog walker might be the better choice for your beloved pets.
– Extended Availability
If you require dog walking at off-hours, or if you need someone who can walk your dog regularly, having a professional dog walker probably makes the most sense for you. At Hands N Paws, for example, their dog walkers are available in the field from 7AM to 7PM every day of the week. Most other professional walkers have wide-open hours as well. Since dog walking is their livelihood, they tend to be open more hours than hobbyist walkers, who may have a regular 9-5 job in addition to having a side job with dog walking.
Professional dog walkers also work as a team; whereas hobbyist dog walkers usually just have themselves to rely on in making sure every client is taken care of. Additionally, if your professional dog walker were to run into an emergency, get sick, and/or not be able to come walk your dog, the company would just send over a back-up walker to get the job done. A hobbyist dog walker does not often have this advantage of a back-up walker in place, because again, they are usually just a one-man show.
– Utilizes Software
Professional dog walkers usually have a company app they utilize for different purposes. At Hands N Paws, for example, their app stores all client information, does invoicing and billing, and much more. By working with a company that has a software, it’s guaranteed that no information gets lost and everything stays organized. Many dog walking apps also have GPS-tracking features that allow clients to see exactly where walkers take their dogs on walks during appointments. Talk about luxury and convenience!
– Regular Updates
Since professional dog walkers have clients regularly, they tend to develop excellent customer service skills. Professionals at Hands N Paws are required to take 3-5 photos (with their faces included in them) and provide status updates every time they come to provide a service. This lets owners feel at ease and connected with their pets while they’re away from them. Overall, professional companies train their walkers on how often they need to be in touch with clients. There are rules in place that they must follow at all times!
Given that professionals deal with many different dog breeds, they are able to cater to various behaviors and expectations while on dog walks. For example, a Border Collie is well-known for having high energy levels. On the other hand, a Great Dane may need to walk a little slower outdoors. Older dogs tend to be less active than younger ones too; so the walker needs to tailor the experience for each dog to ensure that each one is adequately stimulated and entertained.
Professional dog walkers have experience with all types of dogs and even if they don’t come from a diverse dog background, they are trained to be familiar with any breed to ensure each breed is content.
Professional walkers also know how to handle potential emergencies that might arise on walks. Dogs can sometimes, unfortunately, get into fights or have medical emergencies when they’re outside. Dog walkers who have broad experience and/or training in this domain will know what to do if something unexpected should arise.
The on-the-job experience that comes from this will ultimately result in a better walk for your dog and more peace of mind for you, the owner.
Other Factors That Can Change Cost
Whether or not a dog walker is a professional or a hobbyist will naturally adjust the price. Professional walkers do tend to cost a little more, but there are often very worthy additional benefits to the slightly extra expense.
However, when looking at the average cost of a dog walker in Columbus, Ohio, there are even more things for you to consider.
– Multiple Dogs
If you have multiple dogs in the same house needing walked, then this can often affect cost too. Dog walkers typically charge extra to walk more than one dog since it usually requires more time, effort, and attention. It also can require more skill on the part of the dog walker to make it enjoyable and pleasant for all dogs involved.
Walking multiple dogs usually doesn’t increase the cost significantly, but there’s a limit to how many dogs a dog walker can handle safely at any given time. Therefore, if you have numerous dogs, it may mean that the walker has to have multiple walks to give each one the proper time outdoors!
– Time For The Walk
The longer the walk, the more money it will cost. Dogs typically need at least 15-30 minutes of activity each day, and many dogs need to be outdoors multiple times per day to have sufficient exercise. Puppies, for example, often want many short bursts of activity to release all their energy.
The amount of time taken per walk will have a significant impact on the overall cost. You can experiment with different walking lengths to find one that works for you and your dog!
Some dog walkers offer extras like feeding, water refreshes, playtime with toys, medicine administration, and more. If you request some of these extras, then it may cost additional money. Of course, the cost of these extras will depend on the company and/or walker.
You Control Some Of The Cost For A Dog Walker In Columbus
Taking proper care of your perfect ‘lil pup isn’t always cheap. Those vet visits, food, pet insurance, flat lead leashes, harnesses, and all those unexpected extra expenses add up! It’s imPAWtent to know what you should be paying for a quality dog walker, so you don’t overpay for a service that doesn’t meet your needs.
While the cost of walking a dog in Columbus, Ohio tends to be around $20 to start, you can control much of that cost. If you want a longer walk (an hour, for example), it might rise to around $30. If you have multiple dogs that need to be walked independently, that could also cost more than if the dogs are walked all together.
As you know, dog walkers are largely popular nowadays; but if you can find the time to carve out of your schedule to administer your dog’s favorite activity for yourself, try these tips to make things easy on you.
Then, once you’re ready to take the plunge and hire a dog walker, you can feel equipped to make the right decision with the information provided.