On average, a 10 year old child gets $20 per week for walking a dog:
- Twice per week, 30 minutes each
- Daily Monday to Friday walks, 15 minutes per session
The price can vary between $10-$25 dollars depending on how often and long the walks are, child’s age, and location.
If you’ve already thought of asking a responsible kid to take on this role and you’re wondering about the thorny issue of cash payments, relax. I’ve researched numerous sites, read many owners’ experiences, and come up with some figures.
Everything you need to know to come up with that all-important figure is right here. There are several elements to think about, and I’ve covered them all.
The amount paid depends on the time taken to walk your dog
When I researched this topic online, a lot of sites gave rough payments for dog walks that clearly assumed an adult would provide the service. These ranged from $10-$35 per walk depending on length. The rule of thumb is for three prices to be given, for:
- 15 minutes
- 30 minutes
- An hour
Thirty-minute walks obviously cost less than hour-long walks across the board.
Fifteen-minute walks are cheaper still. Many people refer to these as pee break walks. However, shorter walks can be pricier pro rata, i.e. $20 for 30 minutes and $30 for an hour, for example.
Of course, a child is going to receive less than this because of their age. Ten dollars per walk cropped up regularly in many personal experiences I read about. However, it does depend on the time taken.
If you ask a child to walk your dog for 30 minutes a time twice a week, you’d probably be fine paying them around $20 per week for the service. Twenty dollars is a lot for a child to have each week.
Make sure you get prior approval from their parents too. Let them know your plans – how much you are paying, when the walks should occur, and how to reach you if need be.
The age of the child is relevant too
The consensus seems to be that the age of around nine or 10 is the best time for a child to start walking a dog on their own. If you choose a neighbor’s kid of this age, you’re likely going to pay them less than if your neighbor had a 15-year-old that wanted to do the job.
With age comes experience – even at a young age. That should be reflected in the payment made.
It also depends where you live
You may assume prices would be lower in cities, as there are more kids and dog walkers to choose from. That’s not always the case.
The more competition there is, the more competitive the prices will be. While a kid isn’t offering the same service as an adult who is licensed, bonded, and runs a professional business, it’s still worth thinking about the going rate in your area.
Ask around. Do you have neighbors who hire a local kid to walk their dog? If so, ask them how much they pay. At least it should give you a rough idea to go from.
Think about how long the dog walk would need to be
Small dogs would likely be fine with a 30-minute walk. A miniature Pomeranian may need no more than around 15 minutes per day.
That said, our Bichon Frise Freya has always been a walker. She loves walking, and regularly goes hiking with us in hilly areas too. Give her a mountain and she’ll head up that with no bother. You can see here that she loves it.
That means she’ll happily walk for an hour most days even when we are at home and not on holiday with her. I wouldn’t do anything less than around 45 minutes for a ‘quick’ walk. She’s walked for a couple of hours without any hassle, although obviously, she wouldn’t do that daily.
Point is, if I were going to hire a reliable neighborhood kid to take her out, I’d be looking at paying for 45-60 minutes a time. Your dog might be fine with a 30-minute walk.
Conversely, you might have a larger dog that would need at least an hour at a time – maybe longer. So, think about your dog’s needs first. You then need to make sure the child could handle taking out a larger dog though – which might mean hiring someone older, i.e. a teen rather than a tweenager.
Think about what you can do versus what you need the kid to do
Chances are you’re not going to want a neighbor’s kid to walk your dog every day. You’re going to be home and able to take on the dog walk sometimes too.
Think about your schedule and how best a kid could fit into it with some dog walks. For instance, you might be happy to take your dog for a morning walk every day before you head out to work.
You could then ask your neighbor’s kid to pop round after school each day to take your dog out for a quick 15-minute walk around the block to do their business. That would be a good fix – and cheaper for you too. You wouldn’t need to pay for a longer walk each day if you did that.
Make sure your budget fits with your expectations
You can see that maybe $10 per walk or $20 per week is a good starting point for figuring out how much to pay a kid to walk your dog. However, it should be just that – a starting point.
Don’t assume you’re going to pay $20 a week and then expect the kid to pop round for an hour every day. That’s not realistic. Maybe a couple of 30-minute walks per week would be fine for that amount. Alternatively, a daily 15-minute pee break from Monday to Friday would be cool too.
Top tip: Check with neighbor’s and friends in your area to see what they do
This is a good way to get some recommendations too, if you don’t know any kids that would be willing to take on a dog walk.
Make sure you have a clear agreement upfront
Both you and the kid you choose should have a clear understanding of what is required. If this isn’t the case, misunderstandings can easily occur.
For example, you might want a 30-minute dog walk twice a week. The child you choose might assume that means playing with your dog in your yard for 30 minutes twice weekly if you don’t clearly specify your pooch needs to be walked.
Conversely, if you have a small dog and a large yard, this might be fine. A kid who loves dogs and happily interacts and plays with them would be worth every cent in this respect.
Follow this advice to keep things clear and simple:
- Specify how many walks per week
- Let the child know how long each walk should be
- Make the payment clear upfront
- Specify payment per walk or per week
- Let them know when they will be paid (ideally after each walk)
Make sure this information is conveyed to the parents too, so there are no misunderstandings.
Make sure the kid you choose can handle the walk
Not just the distance but in terms of being a good match for your pooch. You need to know they are responsible enough to handle your dog on a walk. Could they manage if your dog saw a cat and tried to chase it, or had a set-to with another dog? You need your peace of mind that your dog will be fine when they come back, like here where Freya has brought back a souvenirs from her recent walk.
It’s best not to ask anyone under the age of nine or 10 to do this, even if you have a toy dog breed. Many teenagers are looking for ways to earn a few bucks, and if they have a natural affinity with animals, dog walking can be a good fit for them.
You might also offer to provide a reference for them. Dog walking shows responsibility, and getting a thumbs up would look good on a resume later, when they want to apply for other jobs. Worth thinking about!
Make sure you provide poop bags and anything else your dog might need
Leave your dog’s leash and/or harness in the same spot each time. Make sure there are poop bags there too, and that the child knows they are expected to clear up after your dog when it goes.
Consider an extra gift as a thank you at Christmas
Whatever you decide to pay your neighborhood kid for this task, you are trusting them with your fluffy bundle of joy. If you pick the right child, you’ll be thankful for their help.
Make sure you show that occasionally. You might tip them an extra buck or two or get them a gift card as a surprise – a way of saying thank you at Christmas, maybe.