How Much Does a Dog Walker Cost in Virginia Beach?

Updated: Mar 10



The beauty about the age we live in is that we have have so many options that we never had before in human history. We don't have to go to the local mom and pa shop if we get substandard service. We get to vote with our dollar and support the people who we perceive to give us the most value for our money.

As pet parents, we have never seen a better time or more variety than now when it comes to our pet care choices.


For instance:


You need your dog walked during the afternoon while you are at work.


You do a Google search from your smartphone for "Dog Walkers in Virginia Beach" and are overwhelmed to find 53,700,000 results. Rover, Care, and Wag pop up as well as a whole list of local dog walking companies and solo dog walkers in Virginia Beach. That is a whole LOT of choices. 😲

Where's a dog parent to start??


Don't worry, I've gathered the facts for you and put them into this handy informational resource so you can make an informed decision, based on areas that are most important to you. 🙌🙌

I'm going to break it down by a few types of costs- $-$$$ cost per 30 minute walk, whether they're insured, background checked, experienced, & peace of mind value.

Dog Walker Costs in Virginia Beach



Neighbor or Friend

Typical Cost: $-$$

Insured? Not usually

Background checked? No.

Trained in Pet Care & Safety? Not usually.

Uses IRS Compliant W2 Employees? No employees.


Many of us have head a friend or family member drop by to care for our dog. They like to spend time with pets and sometimes will do it for free or very little money because they just enjoy being around dogs. They have very little if any overhead expenses so they are very budget friendly.


The advantage of this is you actually know the walker personally so the trust is already there.


They'll let you know on occasion how you your pets are doing if you ask but typically just drop by and take your pup for a walk.


While some people are entirely responsible, others aren't and can result in doors being left open, dogs getting lost or hurt, sinks left running, the dog walker getting hurt on your property, or worse. This can add up to liability issues for you and can be quite costly.


They often have other jobs with limited availability and your dog's walks happen around their schedule at their convenience.


Always make sure you completely trust a neighbor or friend and that they are dependable before leaving your furbabies in their care.



On-demand Dog Walker Phone Apps or Hobbyists (Rover, Wag, etc)


Typical Cost: $$

Insured? Debatable. Always ask walker if they carry their own liability insurance (outside of phone app company).

Background checked? Sometimes. If they are, it's usually a minimum of social security number, name, terrorist watchlist search, sex offender list search, criminal database search, and previous address history.

Trained in Pet Care & Safety? Varies by walker.

Uses IRS Compliant W2 Employees? No, independent contractors* only.


These types of dog walkers are actually considered Independent Contractors* in the sense that they work for themselves and are not employed by the third party company (ie Rover or Wag) even though that is where they book or get their clients. This often means they do not carry their own liability insurance.


On Demand Dog Walker Phone apps typically have a user guarantee if something happens, but this is not the same as liability insurance. If you look closely at the terms, you'll find it is in the best interest of the company, with very little consideration for the walker or the client.


You usually get some kind of report to how your pet is doing via the phone app along with a photo of your pet and sometimes GPS data.


They too often have other jobs and walk dogs for extra money. That may mean they have limited availability and your dog's walks usually happen around their schedule at their convenience.


Professional Dog Walking Companies


Typical Cost: $$-$$$

Insured? Yes, and often bonded as well

Background checked? Yes, usually pros will run a more detailed check for social security number trace, name, previous address history, associated counties, national criminal record databases search, terrorist watchlist search, sex offender list search, and sometimes more.

Trained in Pet Care & Safety? Usually certified in Pet First Aid/CPR (but ask the company specifically), trained in pet care, and trained what to do in certain situations if they are a reputable company.

Uses IRS Compliant W2 Employees? Some use employees, and some use independent contractors*


Professional Dog Walkers are usually trained pet specialists that are fully licensed to conduct business in the city of Virginia Beach, carry liability insurance, are often bonded, and sometimes certified in Pet First Aid & CPR.


They provide your dog walks around yours and your dog's schedule. You provide them with a window of time you'd like them to come, and they show up consistently and dependably. Not only can you expect actual customer service from a pro, you can also look forward to timely report cards, if not sent in real time, that include photos of your dog and sometimes GPS data.


Professional companies vary across the board in price often depending on:

  • Experience

  • Amount of training, knowledge & skill (some do continuing education)

  • Demand

  • Availability

  • How long they've been in business

  • If they are a solo walker (meaning they work alone; may not have backup and no labor expenses)

  • If they are a company with a team of dog walkers to cover each other to ensure availability for customers (companies with teams have added expenses & labor costs) - Whether that company uses IC’s* (it’s cheaper for the company have IC’s than employees) - Whether that company uses W2 Employees (employees come with higher expenses associated with staff training, supplies, liability insurance, worker's comp insurance, unemployment taxes, payroll taxes, & payroll services).

  • Overhead costs (liability insurance, website, phone, taxes, CPA/Payroll/Tax services, etc)

Reputable professional companies will have positive reviews on Google and a long term social media presence.


Most importantly, they will be prepared to handle the worst of situations because they've been trained what to do and have policies in place for when such occasions should arise. They may have even experienced them before. They know what symptoms to look out for or if something is not right with your pet.


That peace of mind from locally trusted, skilled, and experienced professionals comes at a cost.


* A Note About Independent Contractors:


Rover, Wag, and some Professional Companies use what are called "Independent Contractors."


This means that while you are paying the initial company, the walker who has an agreement with the pet sitting company is not actually employed as the company's staff, and is in actuality its own business entity where that individual pays self employment tax. They should carry their own liability insurance.

Under this IRS classification, the company you're booking with has no control or say over how the dog walker carries out pet care services, how they conduct care, nor can they train or coach them.

This is not to say that the dog walker will not do a good job, but it is something you should know while informing yourself about your decision. (Paw Love Dog Services only hires W2 IRS complying employees- never ICs so that we can always train and do ongoing coaching with our staff to ensure a high level of quality care for our clients).

If this is important to you, ask the dog walking company you are considering whether they use IRS Compliant W2 employees or independent contractors. If they use IC’s, make sure the walker caring for your carries their own liability insurance.


So there you have it. I would suggest writing questions down to ask your prospective pet care provider.


Whomever you end up choosing to walk your beloved furbaby (though I do hope it's us! 🤞) the important thing is to make sure you trust them completely while also keeping in mind... you get what you pay for.



If you are looking to set up dog walking with us, please click here to create your account.

The Paw Love Barker- A Pet Parenting Blog

February 28, 2019

Nothing gets a pet parent's heart racing like the realization that their pet may be missing. Here are the steps to take if your pet is lost in Virginia Beach.

February 8, 2019

Yappy Valentine's Day! 

If you treat your pups like royalty like I do, you might have pup friendly Valentine's treats on your mind right now.


I am a huge fan of treating my dogs. Mostly because they're adorable, perfect, and their eyes demand it.

But I am not a fan of giving them treats with ingredients that I cannot pronounce. If I wouldn't feel comfortable eating it myself, I won't give it to my dogs. Penny is now what you mig...

January 17, 2019

It happens nearly every morning.

The morning light starts to trickle into my window. I try to keep my eyes shut tight. Just a few more minutes, please... That's all I need...

My alarm goes off.

Only it's my puppy dogs crawling all over my face, giving me kisses and rolling around on top of me. In the midst of craziness, I get showered with dog sneezes. 

"Mom, it's time to get up! Time for our morning walk." 

Or sometime...

December 6, 2018

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... Paw prints everywhere.... " 

I admit, I tend to go a little crazy buying gifts for my furbabes. They often have more stuff under the tree than we do! 


I know I'm not the only one. So while shopping for my pets, I've compiled a list of some of my top favorite pet gifts from interactive puzzle toys to engage your dog's mind to cool pet tech gadgets! There's something for everyone he...

November 15, 2018

To many Americans, the holidays mean time spent with family & friends, shopping, and food. It's that time of year where you feel so full and happy that you may want to give your pal a doggy feast of their own. 


But before you go too crazy showing your gratitude for your best friend, remember that many foods that we eat as humans can be toxic to our animal friends. 

See below for ways to give your pet their own holiday...

October 19, 2018

We've seen the bumblebee (Penny's rocked it), hot dog, superman, batman costumes. They're all great & absolutely adorable. 

But I wanted to see the most unique ones!

So I scoured the internet for the BEST pet costume ideas for Halloween (or should I say Howloweeen) 2018. 

Starting with our Virginia Beach dogs

Mermaid sighting in Virginia Beach!  

Crab... For us Virginia Beach locals

Shark aaahhhttack!

A Peackock for ou...

October 4, 2018

I'll be the first to admit it. 

I'm obsessed with my dogs. My heart feels full just because they exist in my life.

Do you ever just look over at your dogs and think, how did I get so lucky to have them in my life?

I do. All.the.time. 

How can you not? Dogs are basically life's way of making up for every crappy day ever. I mean, they love you unconditionally, more than themselves, in a way that no one else can. 

I don't know where I...

September 23, 2018


The FDA has issued an alert for the Isoxazoline class of flea and tick products (such as Bravecto, Credelio, Nexgard and Simparica).
 

Please talk to your veterinarian about whether your pets' medication is the appropriate one for them.


Thank you to team member Kayla for bringing this to my attention! 

Read More

FDA Fact Sheet
 

 

September 20, 2018

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this post is intended to be for informational use purposes only and does not constitute the providing of medical advice, judgment, diagnosis, or treatment. Please seek out and only take medical advice from your veterinarian.

We’ve all seen it. We’ve cried to it.

Marley & Me, the book and film featuring Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, and the wild dog named Marley who gets himself into h...

September 12, 2018

I've been receiving calls & messages from concerned pet parents and those in Zone A who need to evacuate but are not sure what to do with their pets so I thought I would answer some questions here. 

As of the time of this writing 9/12/18 at 2pm, it looks as though Virginia Beach is out of the direct path of Hurricane Florence, which is wonderful news for us ... Not so much for our neighbors in the south, unfortunately....

Please reload

Have questions? We've got answers. 

Follow

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon

Service Areas in Virginia Beach

23451         23455         23462

 23452         23454         23453
Parts of 23464         Parts of 23456