Dog-walking lucrative in luxury markets

- Dog walking has become a billion-dollar business, but becoming one is not as easy as you think.

There are strict rules and plenty of tests. Some have said it's almost as hard as getting into some universities.

In fact, online services like Rover and Wag only accept an average of 10 percent of the people who apply as dog walkers and sitters.

Sasha Kelly owns Luxury Walks, a professional dog care and walking service in Tampa.

Sasha says you can make money being a dog walker, but you have to be willing to work hard.

"It's being there even after hours for your clients and I do dog walks, dog park visits, supply pickups for those who can't get off of work on time. Also, vet transportation for those who can't make appointments in the middle of the day." Kelly explained.

According to DogWalker.com, The average annual salary for a dog walker is around $39,000, but Sasha says it can be much higher.

"I ran into someone who did taxes one year and said there was a company in Channelside that made $160,000 last year," Sasha told us.

Today she has nearly 200 clients but says it took time and passion. "It was so new trying to build clientele but it didn't matter to me because it was something I truly loved doing," Sasha said.

But she also warns that on some days, walking dogs is no walk in the park.

"It's not all laughs and giggles and snuggles. It's sad to see them get old and it takes a toll on your heartstrings," she said.

And if you're thinking about pursuing dog walking as a career Sasha has some advice.

"I did a lot of planning. I had someone who helped guide me a little bit who owned their own business. But to just get up and say 'Hey today I'm just going to start walking dogs' I don't think it would work that way."

When it comes to creating a pooch paradise Sasha Kelly is one of Tampa's top dogs.

To learn more about Sash Kelly and Luxury Walks, visit https://luxwalks.com/

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