Dog Walking Statistics UK (2023)

Whether you’re a new professional dog walker, an expanding dog walking business or drawing up your business plan, knowing a few solid statistics about our industry is key to showing that your business is likely to be viable and successful.

For everyone else, the following statistics may surprise you!

How many dogs are there in the UK?

Out of the 900 million dogs in the world, 10.2 million of them are in the UK.

That’s one dog for every 6.6 people.

34% of UK households have at least one dog in it. 

silhouette of a family playing with thier dog on a blue background
Dog Walking Statistics UK (2022)

How does knowing this help my business?

Now you can work out how many dogs there are in your local area, and every dog is a potential client.

i.e. Find out how many people live in your town, and divide that number by 6.6 to tell you roughly how many dogs there are.

e.g. 100,000/6.6 = 15,151 dogs

So if you live in a town of 100k people (Worthing, Rochdale, Solihull etc.), there are over 15 thousand potential clients for you. 

45% of owners are concerned about walking their own dogs. 

Whether it’s because the dog is too strong for them, or they worry about letting them off lead, there might be restrictions on where they can walk in their local area or they might be concerned for their own safety walking alone with a dog.

These concerns can be solved by you and the dog’s life enriched at the same time.

The average time for a dog walk is 34 minutes. 

Being an average figure, that means that half the dogs are walked for less than 34 minutes.

Most dogs are walked along the same route every day with very few variations.

50% of owners use poor weather as an excuse to skip a dog walk.

How do these statistics help my business?

Solving a person’s problem is key to running a successful business. 

Providing a solution to an issue, or relieving a client of stress has a huge amount of value.

Presenting yourself in a way that shows you can resolve these problems will gain you more business.

Concerned owners? 

Show them that you can handle their strong dog, or have training certificates to show you know how to help their dogs stop pulling.

Show that you have clients already who regularly go off the lead with you and have fun.

Let them know that you travel to places where the dogs might not have been before for extra enrichment and different experiences.

Walking time.

Let potential clients know that their dogs will get a full hour of walking time instead of the UK average of 34 minutes.

Poor Weather.

Let the owners know that you go out in all weathers and only ever cancel in extreme circumstances, such as high temperatures or snow too deep to drive in.

Your potential client’s concerns are opportunities for your business.

Are there too many dog walkers in my area?

During the pandemic, many walkers gave up self-employment as they were initially unable to work during lockdowns, their clients cancelled walks and never returned and more people started working from home.

In many areas, this has left a gap in the market where these walkers gained employment elsewhere and stayed in their new roles once the UK started to return to normal.

The office of national statistics (ONS) is the organisation that administers the census and maintains statistics on all aspects of life in the UK.

How many dog walkers are there in the UK? (2023)

So what industry is dog walking? The ONS (office of national statistics) categorise occupations into groups and dog walkers are in a group known as 6139 – Animal care services occupations not elsewhere classified. 

In the period from July 2020 to July 2021, there were a total of 79,200 people employed in this category in the UK (85% of which are female).

Unfortunately, this category isn’t broken down further and includes not only dog walkers but also groomers, stable hands, zoo keepers etc.

Because it’s difficult to use statistics to answer this question, networking with other local walkers who will be able to tell you first-hand how the market looks is your best bet. We outline this, and other steps to take, in this guide; starting a dog walking business.

What about people working from home now?

The cultural shift the UK has had regarding working from home might be less than first thought.

Many jobs simply cannot be done from home, and the figures surrounding those that can may be lower than you expect.

At its peak, people working from home increased from pre-pandemic levels in 2019 of 27% to a mid-pandemic level of 37% in 2020, a figure which is now in decline again.

Even if your clients, or potential clients, do work from home and provide the dog with company, they’re still working so may well still need someone to take their dog for a long walk.

This also serves to break up the day both for the dog, and owner who may be distracted by an overly needy pet.

Dog Walking Rates 2023

Prices vary wildly across the UK so it’s better to do some local research and price yourself accordingly but with that said, the UK average is £14 for a one hour walk.


Hopefully, these statistics will come in useful when evaluating your business, whatever stage you’re at, and show how diving into these stats can be beneficial and show you opportunities for growth in your local area.


Click to read our full guide on How to Start a Successful Dog Walking Business in 2022


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