Side-hustles are all the rage these days, but it can be easier said than done to find the right hustle for you. This past week I entered into the world of paid dog walking. I started a work from home job a few months ago, which has opened up some possible side-hustles.
I signed up with Rover about a month ago (f you’re interested in joining as well you can use my link and we each get $50 after you book your first visit: here’s the link). I figured this could be a good way for me to get out of the house and a good source of a little extra income during my lunch break.
I will also add, that while I like dogs, I am definitely not the biggest dog lover out there. My wife and I don’t own a pet currently, and neither of us had ever had an inside pet before. Despite those facts, I haven’t had any issues getting started, and I’ve really enjoyed the pets I’ve interacted with so far.
The sign-up process is simple and free, the steps are:
- Create an account, either by using an email or linking your Facebook account.
- Upload a Profile photo along with other photos of you with dogs. I don’t own a dog and don’t have many pictures with dogs, so I posted as many pictures with animals as I had, about 5 in total.
- Request reviews to build credibility. I sent a review link to my wife and siblings and I received 3 reviews. That was a good enough baseline for people to trust my profile.
- Agree to a background check. Since you’re going to be going into people’s houses while they’re away it makes sense that they want to vet you a little. There is an option to pay for a detailed report, I didn’t do this because it seemed gimmicky, so I opted for the free option
- Watch a few training videos, this step wasn’t bad, probably about 5 minutes total.
- Set your rates, the services you want to be available for, and your travel radius. When I set my rates, I just went $1 lower than people in my area because I knew it would be important to land a few clients to build credibility. Here’s a picture of the rates I’m charging. As I get more reviews I can obviously reevaluate. If you are okay with dogs in your house, then the big money-makers are Doggy Daycare and Dog Boarding. Because we don’t love the idea of lots of pets in our house, we ruled out these options.
As I mentioned, I haven’t been doing this for long. It took a few weeks for my background check to go through and then a few weeks to get my first booking. But my first dog walk came through with Riley.
Riley’s owner couldn’t come home for a few days during the week, so I got two days of walks booked. During my lunch break, I drove over (about 1.5 miles from my house) and took Riley out for a walk. The Rover app is easy to use, essentially you just start your walk, mark where your pooch takes potty breaks, and then end your walk. Rover tracks your route, distance, and time. Riley was a fast walker, so we covered about 1.8 miles on both of our 30-minute walks. It felt good to get $30 deposited in my account, basically getting paid to exercise and get out of the house on my lunch break.
My first regular clients!
The same day I completed my 2nd walk with Riley, I had another person reach out who is interested in a long-term arrangement. She has two Maltese dogs, Bentley and Zoe. They should be much easier to walk since they’re much smaller than Riley, and I’ll also double my rate, right about $30 per 30-minute walk, twice a week.
Then, within a few days, a couple who lives 3 minutes away from me asked if we could set up a recurring agreement to do a home visit with their English Mastiff, Bailey, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of each week, which pays $12 for about 10 minutes of work.
That means, between these two arrangements, I will earn ~$100 per week as long as this goes on. $400 per month to go outside and get some exercise with some furry friends isn’t half bad. I’m sure that I will also have other visits spring up as well, this is turning into a nice little side-hustle.
A great flexible side-hustle
You aren’t going to get rich off of Rover, but it’s a flexible way to bring in a little more money each month. If you’re struggling to save as much money as you’d like or your just looking to build some confidence that you can make money outside your 9-5, then Rover is great.
My goal is to use the money that I make from Rover to create an income source of my own. I don’t want to recklessly blow the money, but I like knowing that this will be money that I can use to experiment with a business idea to see what works. I’m hoping that Rover will be the first step to me building and scaling my own side-hustle, putting me another step closer to financial independence.
If this article was interesting to you, use my referral link to join Rover and give it a try for yourself: Referral Link