smart spending

5 great pet jobs for animal lovers

Dog walker
3 of 7
Dog Walker

Dog walkers typically work -- and walk -- six to eight hours per day, with one or more dogs. Some also offer obedience training. All walkers pick up poop en route.

Income potential: Dog walkers earn $30,000 to six-figure annual incomes in these pet jobs, with averages around $40,000 to $60,000, estimates Veronica Boutelle, founder of, which offers several resources in running dog-related businesses. Dog walkers charge an average hourly fee from $15 to $25, depending on whether the dog is walked in a pack or alone.

Startup costs: Startup costs for these pet jobs are extremely low, says Boutelle. It includes "a vehicle, if needed, some marketing, some education," she says. Aside from a business license, some park districts and city governments are beginning to require local permits for dog walkers, Boutelle says. DogTec's four-day Dog Walking Academy and certification program costs $550 and is offered in locations nationwide.

Check out:, an online directory of dog walkers around the country, offers educational resources for those starting out.




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