If you prefer being in the company of your four-legged friends over humans, you’ll be thrilled to learn there’s a way to make money with dogs. Yes, you can earn some serious cash just for hanging out with some friendly pooches. The pet industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that only keeps growing, and that means there are plenty of opportunities for you to make money beyond just walking dogs.
1. Bake homemade dog treats.
Before we get into activities to make money with dogs, let’s begin with something you can do right at home: Homemade dog treats are a great way to spoil not only your own pup but other people’s pooches, too. And if you have a dog with food allergies, being able to customize their treats ensures you can let them know what a good boy he is without risking a possible allergic reaction.
The next step then is knowing how to sell homemade dog treats. Offering your pet-friendly baked goods to family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers is a good place to start. You should also try selling your homemade goodies at neighborhood bake sales, farmers’ markets, and Facebook groups. If all goes well, you could turn your side hustle into your main job.
2. DIY dog clothes.
Even dogs need to update their wardrobes every once in awhile! T-shirts and sweaters that you haven’t worn in awhile are perfect materials for homemade dog clothes, as are socks and old baby clothes. Many DIY dog clothes projects can be completed in less than 10 minutes and don’t require sewing, which makes this the perfect craft to do in front of the TV. You can enjoy your favorite murder mystery show while still being productive.
We all know how cute dogs look in clothes — especially dogs in Halloween costumes — but many pups need their little sweaters to keep them warm or calm their anxieties. When winter eventually rolls around, smaller dogs with shorter fur may need help an extra layer to help retain heat. And dogs with anxiety who would benefit from a ThunderShirt ($44.95, Amazon) can also find comfort with a cheaper, DIY version.
3. Become a doggie chauffeur.
Dog moms and dads with disabilities or who are elderly may not always be able to take their pups to a veterinarian appointment or to the groomer. Fortunately, you can lend a helping hand by driving their pets to doggie check-ups. You could even offer your services to busy friends and neighbors who have pets. This would come in handy for those midweek appointments that require people to take off of work early. By stepping in and acting as a proxy, you can save your friends from having to burn a vacation day while also pocketing some cash for your trouble.
4. Earn money as a doggie photographer.
If you’re always the one behind the camera at family functions or parties, put your creative eye to good use as a dog photographer. Offer your photography skills at dog parties and, you can charge even more for your services. We recommend starting small, photographing pups belong to you, your friends, your neighbors, and your loved ones. Then, once you’ve built up your portfolio, you can start charging big bucks for professional dog photography.
5. Paint doggie portraits.
Another creative way to earn a little cash is to sell your own paintings. Dog moms and dads love to show off photos of their fur babies, so why not give them a stunning piece of artwork they’ll have to stop and admire every time they see it? First you can start off by gifting your creations to friends and family (this would be the perfect Christmas or birthday gift!) to gain exposure. Then, if all goes well, people will start commissioning paintings from you and you can decide on your rates.
6. Dog sit.
This is a no-brainer when it comes to easy ways to make money with dogs. If you know someone who is going out of town, offer to look after their pets for a small fee. You can post on your neighborhood forum, at work, or on Facebook or ask among your friends for leads. There are also websites like Rover and K9 of Mine where you can become part of a registry for dog-sitters. To really set yourself above and beyond other candidates, you can get certified, too.
7. Walk dogs.
The health benefits of walking are well documented, so why not bump your heart rate and burn a few calories by going for a walk with Fido and friends. We’ve all seen those hilarious videos of dog walkers with 50 dog leashes strapped to their waist, getting pulled along the sidewalk by dozens of very excited pooches — but don’t worry, you don’t have to walk that many dogs! Chances are walking your dog was something you were planning on doing already, so why not earn some money, too?
8. Learn to be a dog trainer.
Becoming a dog trainer will require a bit more effort on your part, but if you’re sure that this is something you want to do, sign up for classes to get certified. Stores like PetSmart and PetCo are good places to start to get an introduction to becoming a dog trainer. You can also ask to intern with a local trainer and learn in a more hands-on, one-on-one setting. That said, many people find it easiest to get take a dog training course online to get certified.
Once you’ve earned your certificate, you can offer in-home training sessions to new dog moms and dads or those who are struggling with their dogs’ behavior problems. Over time, you’ll build up your network enough to consider opening an actual brick-and-mortar location.
9. Scoop poop.
Yes, you read that right: You can get paid for scooping dog poop. The going rate for being a professional pooper scooper is about $45/hour, according to Tim Stone, who is the founder of the Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists in Santa Clarita, California. Apparently, scoopers can earn an astounding $100,000 per year in their fields. (Honestly, if you think about how many people dread scooping their dog’s poop or don’t even bother with it because they hate it, it makes sense that people who are willing to do it can earn the big bucks.)
If you’re ready to go all in, you can buy one of the many franchises that already exist. This will require a lot more money up front and franchises will take a portion of your earnings, but it may be beneficial to essentially buy name recognition rather than start from scratch on your own. The last thing you need to know about becoming a professional scooper is to please, please, please buy a scooping tool ($14.99, Amazon) — it will make your life so much easier.
10. Become a foster mom.
Have you ever dreamed about being a foster mom for dogs? After that you’ve probably asked yourself whether you could get paid for it. (The costs of dog food and vet bills can certainly add up, especially if you’re fostering a dog with special needs who requires a lot of medical attention.)
When it comes to the possibility of getting paid to foster dogs, the bad news is that most of the time you’re not compensated for your work (although you’ll be “paid” plenty in snuggles and doggie kisses). That said, some shelters will supply food for the animal and may have on-site vet services you can use. However, if you drive the foster dog to and from vet appointments or incur costs other ways, you may be eligible for a tax deduction.