Raising dog walking rate for potential client?

So I stopped sitting and have only been doing dog walking outside of Rover. I hadn't gotten any clients through the site, and apparently set my walking rate at $18. I'm not sure why I set it so low.

So a potential new client contacted me. She lives 22 minutes away roundtrip without traffic, and would just need me to walk her Shih Tzu to the end of her drive way or around her cul de sac until she pees--- a very short walk, probably only a few minutes.

Would you accept the $18 you set (even though with Rover's cut it would only be like $14.50) or would you explain that you set the rate too low and try to raise the price by a few dollars? The walk itself is super short but the travel time, although I'm willing to do it, is longer than I"ve done and could potentially be a little below 30ish minutes total with traffic on the highway.

I'm so bad at rates and rate negotiation so I'm wondering what you would do in this situation and if it's terribly unprofessional to explain that because you haven't been using the site much for your business you set the rate too low. I charge $20 a walk for my clients outside of Rover.

3 Answers

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I have stated in my profile that I will only accept walking and drop in client visits within my zip code. Because of that, I have no problem in asking for a higher rate if a client lives farther away. However, in your case it sounds like you will be spending more time driving to and from the client than you will actually walking. You need to look at your time as valuable as well. If it were me, in this circumstance I would decline the request. Tell them something like 'you live outside my service area and I feel that you would get more personalized service for Rover by finding a sitter closer to you. If you are unable to find another sitter, please contact me again and we can negotiate a price for my services.'


Thank you!!!! This is very useful. The only problem is that I responded somewhat enthusiastically toward her request and mentioning my 'service area' now might seem a little strange. Just curious, if she agreed right away to a higher price without looking elsewhere what price would you give her?

Also worth mentioning that I am by far the Rover sitter closest in distance to her. I guess she can always find walker information at her vet's and whatnot

My walking rate (Dallas, TX area) is $20 for a 30-minute visit, which is average to a little higher for sitters near me. You might want to check other sitters in your area to see what the going rate is and maybe price your service $1-2 higher because of the distance.

Thanks. I actually just declined because I don't really want to travel that far. Thank you for your help though :)

I would've accepted the first one at $18 and then locked in rates for her in the future if she wants you to travel.


Either accept the job AS IS or decline it. Trying to renegotiate for whatever reason would be highly unprofessional.


Don't you think it depends on how it's approached? I'm not haggling for her money or trying to get the highest price, I just haven't used Rover for dog walking and so the rate, with Rover's cut, isn't close what I am paid per walk. Surely there is potential middle ground?

No, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and accept a loss situation.

As an example, you go into a store and buy something with a posted price of $5.99. At checkout, it rings up as $8.99. You tell them and the store manager will always give it to you for the posted price. They won't open negotiations with you. That is how it is done.

Except the person I'm referring to didn't reject negotiations... I'm not sure how your example is relevant. Anyway, I think it depends very much on the personality and approach of the dog walker and client--some will be more easygoing than others

In this instance, unless distance was also discussed and the client lives within the parameter set, I would negotiate the rate and explain that with the travel time and all you would have to charge a little more.


Do you get a lot of clients for $20 a walk? I work professionally with a dog walking company and get 6-8 walks a day in Los Angeles. Even then the company gives discounts all the time and also offers discounts buying multiple walks beforehand that totals ~$16 before I get my cut. Making $12 per walk without the tip is full time already in Los Angeles. At my current rates in Atlanta, since I am here for the summer, I get a ton of recurring clients and have decline people who are too far. One potential client asked if I had a discount for multiple walks being a little further when my rates for Atlanta are already extremely reasonable. But I'm glad she found someone else and she is also from CA and had a dog walker there. She should have some idea my rates are good.


There is also a value for your travel time. I live in a more suburban/rural setting and set a 10mile radius for my service area. Generally 20-30 minutes driving between clients. Outside of 10 mile limit costs me money - & time. U learn as you go..:)