Canine Cash: 5 Ways to Make Money With 4-Legged Friends

Photo (cc) by jackiembarr

The economy has gone to the dogs. Maybe you should, too.

Of all the luxuries and necessities we’re willing to sacrifice when times get tough, our beloved pets are rarely among them. Sure, there have been some isolated, breathless stories during the recession about “pet dumping.” But there’s been just as much research the other way, including this study from the American Pet Products Association that shows more than 80 percent of pet owners haven’t changed their spending habits at all.

“This information further demonstrates that pet owners will continue to cut back in their personal lives before scaling back on their four-legged friends,” said APPA President Bob Vetere. “This is the primary reason that the pet industry continues to remain strong.”

Strong enough, in fact, that jobs to take care of them are actually increasing. At least, that’s the prediction from the federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s right – the government has studied the issue. Here’s what it found…

In 2008, there were 220,400 Americans working in the animal-care field, ranging from dog groomers to pet sitters. (Those stats also include animal trainers like those at Sea World, but those numbers are tiny by comparison.) By 2018, the bureau estimates a 21-percent increase, to 265,900.

“The need to replace pet sitters, dog walkers, kennel attendants, and animal control and shelter workers leaving the field will create the overwhelming majority of job openings,” the bureau said in a recent report. “Prospective groomers also will face excellent opportunities as the companion dog population is expected to grow and services such as mobile grooming continue to grow in popularity.”

Best of all, “Many animal caretaker jobs require little or no training and have flexible work schedules, making them suitable for people seeking a first job or for temporary or part-time work.” Sadly, the pay isn’t so great. In May 2008, the median annual wage was only $19,360, and the top 10 percent earned just over $31,590.

Still, you can make decent to excellent money per hour in these jobs…

1. Pet sitter

The pay may not be stellar but the overhead is low because you’re caring for these animals in their own home. Here are what some pet sitter say they make, with $600 a week being quite possible for part-time work. For more details, check out the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS).

2. Dog walker

According to Professional Dog Walkers, you can earn up to $3,600 a month. But the biggest challenge is networking to drum up the business. You can use websites like DogWalker.com to help you there.

3. Pet groomer

Some groomers can make six figures a year, but it takes money to make that much – because you have to invest in the equipment. The fastest-growing part of the field are mobile groomers, and that adds gas, insurance, and maintenance to the expenses. The National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA) has the details.

4. Pet masseuse

You can make money, but it’ll take not only money but time – you need to be trained. You’ll help pets, especially older ones, ease their chronic pain or recuperate from surgery and injury. Learn more from the International Association of Animal Massage & Bodywork (IAAMB).

5. Pooper scooper

Yup, you’re picking up dog poop. And yup, there’s even an organization for that. It’s called aPaws – the Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists. Some members boast they make $100,000 a year for this unpleasant task.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
9 Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Look Expensive
9 Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Look Expensive

These products from Amazon add elegance to your home without the expense.

5 Cheap and Easy Ways to Make Your Car Smell Delightful
5 Cheap and Easy Ways to Make Your Car Smell Delightful

These tips will leave your ride smelling delightful for next to nothing. Some options are also chemical-free.

9 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal for Less Than $50
9 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal for Less Than $50

These products will instantly improve your home’s curb appeal without breaking the bank.

10 Things That Can Ding Your Social Security Payments
10 Things That Can Ding Your Social Security Payments

Here are 10 things that could mean less money in your pocket during retirement.

New Ways to Save Money on Insurance of Every Kind
New Ways to Save Money on Insurance of Every Kind

Tech startups are making it easy to find the best rates for all kinds of insurance policies — and get covered fast.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone
8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone

It’s never too early to start learning how to live well while living on less.

The Next 5 Groups Who Will Get the COVID-19 Vaccine
The Next 5 Groups Who Will Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

The CDC has unveiled a schedule that likely will determine who gets the next doses.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco
11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco

Not all generics are worthwhile, but these are among the best from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?
Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?

The rules are complicated when it comes to eligibility for survivors benefits.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked
11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked

Does your retirement budget account for all of these costs?

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.