Do You Tip Dog Walkers and How Much?

Written by Jim Belt in Pets

When you hire a dog walker to ensure your furry friend gets their needed exercise and companionship, you might wonder about the etiquette behind tipping. This guide covers tipping etiquette for dog walkers.

Tipping dog walkers is not mandatory, but it is appreciated for good service. A tip of 10-20% per walk or a regular sum such as $5 per walk can be offered, or a larger tip or bonus during the holidays.

Tipping Customs

Tipping not customary


  • Tipping dog walkers is a personal choice, influenced by the quality of service and individual preferences.
  • Exceptional service or additional care might encourage tipping your dog walker.
  • Alternative forms of appreciation can also be meaningful, such as gifts or referrals.

Tipping Etiquette for Dog Walkers

When hiring a dog walker, understanding tipping etiquette can ensure you're showing appreciation appropriately. Let's explore the norms surrounding tips for these pet care professionals.

When to Tip

Tipping a dog walker is not required but is often seen as a gesture of appreciation for their service. It's common to offer a tip during the holiday season or after your walker has gone above and beyond during their service. Whether it's managing a challenging pet with care or accommodating last-minute schedule changes, a tip can show your gratitude.

How Much to Tip

Service Type Suggested Tip Amount
Dog Walker (Regular Service) 15-20% of the service charge
Dog Walker (Holiday Season) Consider a larger tip for extra appreciation
Dog Walker (Year-End) Substantial tip reflecting annual gratitude
General Pet Services Refer to a tipping guide for guidance

The tip amount for a dog walker can vary. A customary tip is typically between 15-20% of the service charge. During the holiday season or after a major holiday, you might consider a larger tip to express extra appreciation. For consistent service throughout the year, a more substantial year-end tip reflecting your gratitude may be appropriate. If you're booking services like dog walking, pet sitting, or boarding, reviewing a tipping guide can help you make an informed decision on how much to give. Remember, cash is often the preferred method of tipping, as it ensures the full amount goes directly to your walker.

Going Above and Beyond

When you encounter exceptional service from your dog walker, showing extra appreciation through tipping can be a considerate gesture.

Situation Reason for Extra Tip
Difficult to Walk Acknowledges the walker's effort in managing behavior
Special Care Compensation for administering medication or comfort
Transportation Arrangements Value added for arranging vet or groomer visits
Positive Impact on Pet's Well-being Reflects the level of service and care provided

Special Situations Warranting Extra Tips

Sometimes, a dog walker may face challenging circumstances or accommodate special requests that significantly exceed ordinary care. For instance, if your dog is particularly difficult to walk, and the walker successfully manages their behavior, a larger tip acknowledges their effort. Providing special care, such as administering medication or providing extra comfort during storms, also justifies extra compensation.

If they've arranged transportation to a vet or groomer when you couldn't, they've added considerable value. A dog walker who keeps your pet happy and healthy, resulting in a glowing positive review from you, has surely gone above and beyond. In such cases, you might consider tipping beyond the typical 10-20% range, reflecting the level of extra services rendered.

Understanding Dog Walking Services

When entrusting the care of your furry friend to a professional, it's important to understand both the scope of what they do and the usual practices around their services.

Dog Walker Responsibilities

Your dog walker is more than just a pet chauffeur. They are responsible for keeping your pup safe during walks, which means adhering to local leash laws and being attentive to your dog's behavior and needs. Pet sitters and dog sitters might perform similar duties, often extending to the care of your pet while you're away. Companies offering these services might also ensure that their staff are trained to handle emergencies and provide updates, which can often be reflected in reviews you read about the company.

Service Industry Norms

In the service industry, particularly for personal and pet care services, tipping is a gesture of appreciation for a job well done. Regarding dog walking services, customary gratuities align with the quality and extent of the service provided. If your walker goes above and beyond, perhaps managing more than just a walk, or ensuring your dog is well-tended in inclement weather, showing your appreciation with a tip becomes a meaningful expression of gratitude.

Alternatives to Tipping

When it comes to showing gratitude to your dog walker, you might seek ways to express your appreciation beyond monetary tips. Explore some thoughtful gestures that can be equally meaningful.

Non-Monetary Ways to Show Appreciation

Gift Cards: Occasionally, a gift card to a favorite coffee shop or pet store can feel more personal than cash. It shows you acknowledge their interests or needs.

Handwritten Note: Taking the time to write a thank you note can have a lasting impact. A heartfelt message expressing your gratitude for their dedication to your furry friend's wellbeing is always cherished.

Thank You: Simply saying a sincere "thank you" can go a long way. Verbal recognition of their hard work helps in cementing a positive and appreciative relationship.

As you explore these alternatives to tipping, remember that any gesture of thanks, whether big or small, can be significant to your dog walker.

Additional Considerations for Dog Walker Gratuities

When considering a tip for your dog walker, there are moments outside of regular services that may prompt an added show of gratitude. These tokens of appreciation can vary depending on the circumstance and your relationship with the service provider.

Holiday and Special Occasion Tipping

Major Holidays: During festive seasons such as Christmas or New Year’s, tipping can be seen as a way to express your gratitude for a year of service. An extra week's pay or a gift equivalent to a week's service might be considered generous.

Appreciation for Additional Services: If your dog walker also handles special tasks like administering medication, additional tips might be appropriate. Acknowledging their extra effort maintains a positive relationship, particularly if your pet requires more attention.

Groomers and Trainers: When your dog walker doubles as a groomer or trainer, tipping for superb grooming or training results is a thoughtful way to say thank you. This is especially true if you see significant improvements in your dog's behavior or appearance.

Veterinarian Services: In some cases, dog walkers also perform vet visits. Although not customary, you may want to consider tipping if they go beyond their usual duties to assist with your dog's veterinarian care.

Remember, these are not hard and fast rules, but considerations to keep in mind when you feel a gesture of appreciation is deserved for going above and beyond in their care for your pup.

Recognizing Exceptional Dog Walking Service

When you notice your dog walker going the extra mile, it can be a bright spot in your day. Acknowledging this can reinforce their effort and dedication.

Acknowledging Outstanding Care

If your dog walker consistently exhibits attention to detail and care that surpasses expectations, a positive review can go a long way. These reviews not only offer a much-deserved pat on the back but also help their business flourish. By publicly sharing how they've gone above and beyond, you're providing a reward that can open doors to new clients for them.

Remember, dog walking is part of the service industry, where recognition for a good job is always appreciated. You don't always have to reward with cash. Demonstrating gratitude through a heartfelt thank you note or a small token of appreciation can also convey your recognition of a job well done.

Managing Dog Walking Costs

When considering dog walking services, it's important to factor in not only the base cost of the service but also the customary tips. This ensures you're prepared for the total expense while acknowledging the dog walker's efforts.

Tipping Within Your Budget

Creating a tipping strategy that works for your finances is key. Here’s how you can do that:

  1. Assess Your Financial Situation: Take a look at your monthly budget to determine what you can comfortably afford for dog walking services, including tips.

  2. Understand Tipping Norms: Learning from Pet Educate, while tipping dog walkers isn't mandatory, it is appreciated, and the standard tip is around 10-20% of the service cost.

  3. Plan for Regular Tipping: Decide if you’ll tip per walk, weekly, or monthly. For example, for a $20 dog walk, you might add $2-$4 as a tip.

  4. Adjust for Service Frequency: If your dog walker visits multiple times a week, consider tipping on the higher end of the scale to save money overall, as consistent quality service provides peace of mind.

Applying these tips will help you manage your expenses while acknowledging the valuable service dog walkers provide for your pet.

Published: 23-01-2024

Do You Tip Dog Sitters and How Much?

You just used a dog sitter and want to know if you should tip them. This quick guide will tell you if tipping is standard and how much is typical to give a dog …

Jim Belt in Pets
Do You Tip Dog Trainers and How Much?