Americans love their pets.
Almost half of all U.S. households have a dog, according to the American Pet Products Association.
More millennials — people roughly between the ages of 23 and 38 — own pets than anyone else, and are willing to spend more money on their furry friends than any previous generation. Pet owners pay out about $70 billion a year on their pets, according to the APPA, and that includes hiring dog walkers to take the animals for a stroll while their owners are at work, away, or otherwise occupied.
The dog walking industry brought in $1 billion dollars in 2018, according to market research firm IBISWorld.
Heather Rice runs her own dog-walking firm in Northern Virginia. VOA recently spent a day on the job with her.