Dog Sitters: A Guide on How Much to Pay for Services (2023)

Whenever I go away and can’t take my dogs with, I pay a dog sitter to look after them. I first ask all my friends to see if anyone can help, otherwise I book a professional sitter through an agency. I have a friend who’s dog sitting next month and she asked me how much to charge. So, I took some time to do the research and here’s what I found out…

Most dog owners pay professional dog sitters $13 to visit their dog for 30 minutes. Dog walks with a sitter cost about $17, care visits for an hour or less cost $9 to $50, dog daycare is about $45 per day, and overnight visits run between $45 and $85 per night.

Some people just choose the cheapest dog sitters or don’t know how much to pay a friend to dog sit. There are actually a few simple things to think about before you talk about the money. Discussing these things with your dog sitter can make a huge difference in what you pay and the level of care your dog gets. The prize here is to negotiate so that you and the dog sitter are both happy with the price and services involved…

What dog sitting services you need

Dog sitters can offer many different services to help you out. Here’s a list of some common services that a dog sitter can offer:

List of Dog Sitting Services
VisitsFeed the dog, give fresh water, give medications, let the dog out, play with the dog
WalksTake the dog for a walk
Dog GroomingMay wash and/or brush your dog or be certified as a dog groomer for the works – dog wash and cut at your house
Training and Behavior ModificationSitter trains your dog, for example how to walk with pulling on the lead, how to sit, etc.
Dog DaycareYour dog spends the day with the sitter and maybe other dogs
Stay OvernightSitter spends the night in your home or hosts the dog in their home
Dog BoardingYour dog sleeps over at the dog sitter’s home
TransportThe dog sitter takes your dog to the vet, the groomer, or wherever you need your dog taken
Dog Fence InstallationA professional dog fence installation to stop your dog from getting out
Wedding ServiceThe dog sitter takes care of your dog during your wedding
Garden Cleaning ServicesThe dog sitter picks up the dog poop in your yard

Think about what services you need from the dog sitter and be clear from the beginning what the dog sitting job will involve. Don’t keep quiet and hope you can slip in some extra responsibilities along the way.

Are they just going to walk the dog for 30 minutes or do they need to give your dog medication, too?

(Video) Pricing for Pet Sitting Services Here's Help

The more services you ask for, the more you should be prepared to pay.

What other dog sitters get paid for their services

The charges for dog sitting services vary a lot, depending on which state you live in and how much experience the dog sitter has. Here’s a table of dog sitting services and what they typically cost:

Dog Sitting ServicePrice RangeAverage Price
30-minute dog visit$9 – $20$13
60-minute dog visit$25 – $50$30
30-minute dog walk$15 – $30$17
Dog grooming$35 – $60$60
Dog training$150 per private lesson$150 per private lesson
Dog daycare$25 – $50 per day$45 per day
Overnight stay at your home$45 – $85 per night$60 per night
Overnight boarding at sitter’s home$25 – $60 per night$40 per night
1-week boarding at sitter’s home$250 – $375 per week$300 per week

Many dog sitters create a profile for themselves and get work through an online agency. New dog sitters often charge much less than the going rate to get clients and reviews, before putting their prices up to the average rates for dog sitting services.

If you do decide to get a ‘fresh’ dog sitter, try them out for a short visit to see if they are reliable and look after your dog well. Then you can move on to bigger services, such as dog daycare and boarding.

Are they a professional dog sitter, hobby dog sitter, or your friend?

The longer the person has been a dog sitter, the more they can charge for their services.

Here is a guide on what to pay a dog sitter based on their experience and reviews:

(Video) How Much to Charge for Pet Sitting and Dog Walking

Experience with Dog SittingAverage Hourly Rate
Less than 1 year$10.87
1 – 4 years$12.86
5 – 9 years$15
10 – 19 years$15.21

Where you live does influence the average rate charged. But someone with 5 – 19 years of experience as a professional dog sitter and good references can earn 50% more than a beginner hobby dog sitter.

If you are asking a friend to dog sit, they may be kind enough to give you the friend rates of a hobby dog sitter or even less. Perhaps you can work something out, where you look after their pets or do something in return for free dog sitting.

What state do you live in?

The state you live in impacts the price you pay for dog sitting services due to differences in the cost of living. States that are more expensive to live in mean higher rates for dog sitters.

Live in Austin, Texas? Then you can expect to pay 17% less than the rate, which comes to $10.79 an hour.

Live in Columbus, Ohio? The going rate for dog sitting services is 108% higher than the average, making it $27 an hour.

Is the dog service needed over the holidays?

Dog sitters usually charge an extra fee to see your pet on a national holiday, like Thanksgiving. This fee is usually about $5 to $10 extra per day.

(Video) How Much to Tip a Dog Sitter?

Do you have more than one dog to look after?

If you have more than one dog, the dog sitter will probably charge you more.

Some charge an extra $5 per dog per service, but I’ve seen others charge just as much for the second dog as what they charge for the first dog.

Again, talk to the sitter and negotiate this cost as there is some leeway here.

Does your dog need any special assistance?

If your dog needs medication, especially at certain times of day, or any other special assistance, then you can speak to the dog sitter about care visits. These cost anything between $9 and $20 for visits that are less than half an hour.

You might be able to negotiate a better rate if you pay upfront and/or give the dog sitter a lot of work over a long period of time.

Where to find a dog sitter

Be sure to start looking for a dog sitter long before you need them, especially if you need help over the holidays when a lot of people are on vacation and sitters are busy or going away.

(Video) Complete beginners guide to pet sitting on Rover! & How much I make from Rover 💸

You can look for a dog sitter by:

  1. Asking friends if they are able to assist or know someone who is. Be wary of teenagers who charge very little but can be unreliable and unpredictable. House party, anyone?
  2. Booking someone through an online dog sitting agency, such as Trusted House Sitters, Rover, and Pet Sitter.

Do you have any other pets besides dogs?

You may have a dog and another pet, such as fish, birds, cats, etc.

If you do, then you will need to find a pet sitter, not just a dog sitter. Try to find someone with experience in taking care of these types of animals.

Most pet sitters are familiar with and happy to take care of dogs, cats, fish, small mammals, such as guinea pigs.

If you own exotic pets, such as spiders, farm animals, reptiles, birds, or horses, you may have a harder time finding a pet sitter and will need to give yourself time to find one or ask a friend to help you.


How much should you charge for dog sitting? ›

Average dog sitting rates

According to research completed by Thumbtack, the average dog sitter rate in the US is around $20 to $40 a day.

How much do I pay friend for dog sitting? ›

Well, just figure out how much you would pay a professional sitter and then pay your friend about 60%-70% of that. So, for instance, if you would pay a professional $100 per day to watch your dog, then you should pay your friend around $60-$70.

How much should I pay someone to let my dog out? ›

Pet sitters charge an average of $25 per 30-minute visit, $20 to $30 per day, $45 to $75 per night, or $250 to $375 per week. Rates depend on the services requested, if you need 24-hour pet care or service on holidays, and if you have additional pets.
Pet Sitting Rates.
National Average Cost$15 per hour
Average Range$10 to $25 per hour
2 more rows

Should I tip my dog sitter? ›

Dog sitting tips is optional. However, it shouldn't hurt to give a little tip to show your appreciation to the dog sitter who has taken good care of your canine companion while you're away. Though most people recommend giving at least 15% of the total service charge, you can also choose to pay whatever you can afford.

How much should I pay a friend to watch my dog? ›

If you decide to pay your friends to pet sit, a fair rate of pay is 40-50% of what you would pay a professional service. For example, a quick 15-minute drop-in visit would equal about $9 – $14 per visit.

How much does a house sitter charge per day? ›

As a starting point to keep in mind, typical house sitting rates are in the $25-30/day range, more (around $50) for overnight stays. But this is just a ballpark.

Should I charge my friend for dog sitting? ›

While you don't need to pay a friend or family member as much as you would someone hired from the outside, offering fair compensation is the right thing to do. After all, showing mutual respect is a huge part of maintaining long-lasting relationships, so do your part to treat your loved ones well.

What do you give someone to watch a dog? ›

Gift for Dog Sitter: Practical Gifts
  • Hand and foot warmers. ...
  • Snacks that transport easily in the car. ...
  • Coffee, tea or other drinks. ...
  • Nice refillable water bottles or travel coffee mugs for when she is on the go.
  • This little cooler has a car adapter and allows sitters to keep their food cool on long days.
4 Aug 2018

How much should I pay someone to watch my house? ›

Just as location influences senior care and babysitting rates, the same goes for house sitting rates. ERI notes that the national average for house sitting is $31,895 a year, which comes out to $15 an hour.

How many times a day should you let out a dog? ›

A dog bathroom schedule should include letting dogs outside to relieve themselves after each meal, and at least three to five times daily. Dogs should not be forced to wait longer than about eight hours before having a bathroom break.

Can I leave my dog home for 8 hrs? ›

Most experts agree you shouldn't leave your adult dog alone for more than eight to 10 hours, but some dogs (especially ones with small bladders) can't last that long. DO prepare your dog before you go.

Can you pay too much attention to your dog? ›

Just like humans, dogs are social creatures that don't like being alone. Giving them company all the time could spell trouble, since they might learn to be too dependent on you. At its worst, a dog that is too used to the constant company of its paw-rent could develop a case of separation anxiety.

How many times a day should a pet sitter come? ›

How many times a day should I have the pet sitter come? It's best to have a minimum of two visits per day for dogs; but three visits (or more) are recommended. One visit per day for cats is usually sufficient (and required). Other pets, such as birds, fish, and other small animals will vary.

What should you do before leaving your dog with a sitter? ›

Calling your vet in advance will streamline this process and ensure your pet gets the care they need.
  1. Leave Supplies. In preparation for your time away, make sure to leave the necessary supplies the sitter will require in order to best care for your dog. ...
  2. Spare Key. ...
  3. Contact Information. ...
  4. Food. ...
  5. Treats. ...
  6. Medications.
2 Sept 2021

How do I become a successful dog sitter? ›

Pet Sitting Tips Every Pet Sitter Must Know
  1. Be Knowledgeable. The truth is, you don't need a veterinary background to become a pet sitter. ...
  2. Meet the Pet Before the Actual Job. Take a practice visit before every job. ...
  3. Follow a Schedule. ...
  4. Be Compassionate. ...
  5. Pet Proof Your House. ...
  6. Communicate. ...
  7. Be Trustworthy.

How do I tell someone I don't want to pet sit? ›

How to politely say no to a pet sitting job
  1. Remain calm and polite at all times.
  2. Start with a positive; so thank the client for their interest in your services.
  3. Jot down some of the reasons why you are declining the job and plan what you are going to say to your client.
21 May 2021

How do you thank someone for watching a dog? ›

Thank you for pampering Poochy while we were away. Your loving, attentive care is just what he needs at his grand old age! We enjoyed our holiday all the more knowing that he was lovingly taken care of. We hope you enjoy the olive oil, knowing how much you love using it in your cooking.

Do you provide food for house sitter? ›

Generally a house sitter will take care of their own meals during their stay,” says Gottsman. “However, food may be left for the sitter that they are welcome to eat.”

What are the responsibilities of a house sitter? ›

House Sitter Job Responsibilities and Duties
  • Occupies the house and monitors surveillance.
  • Turns lights on and off from time to time.
  • Answers the telephone, takes notes, and relays important messages.
  • Vacuums and sweeps the floor.
  • Collects the mail.
  • Waters the plants.
12 Dec 2019

Is a house sitter a real job? ›

Housesitting is a job in which you take care of someone's property while they are away in return for payment, free accommodations or both. A housesitting job is a great way to make some extra cash or travel the world on a budget.

How do you tell a friend you don't want to watch their dog? ›

just say- Listen I love your Kids or pet but I no longer have the time to watch them or its too much for me to deal with watching them thank you for understanding.

What are the seven main dog commands? ›

When you get a new dog, whether it's a puppy or an adult rescue, she probably needs some obedience training. More specifically, a well-behaved pup should respond to seven directions in order to become a good canine citizen: Sit, Down, Stay, Come, Heel, Off, and No.

Is it rude to ask how much someone paid for their house? ›

“Unless the real estate is currently on the market or you are planning to timeshare together, to ask specifically about price is considered gauche,” she clarified. However, she said there are polite ways to inquire about the price of a person's home, without being too blunt.

Do house sitters pay bills? ›

The house sitter funds all their own day-to-day requirements while on assignment and generally agrees to replace everything of the home owner's that they consume. Before the house sitting assignment begins, both parties need to sit down and spell out who is responsible for which bills.

Are house sitters paid? ›

Can I get paid for house sitting? The most common form of house sitting is where the sitter looks after the house and pets in exchange for free accommodation and no money changes hands. There may be some occasions when a home owner will offer money to the house sitter.

How long a dog can hold pee? ›

A young dog can hold their pee for up to 10-12 hours if needed, but that doesn't mean that they should. The average adult dog should be allowed to relieve itself at least 3-5 times per day. That's at least once every 8 hours.

How Long Can dogs hold pee overnight? ›

Dogs can go for 8 to 10 hours without urinating overnight, while sleeping. However, all dogs need to be taken out after a meal or a drink, upon waking up and after a period of play. Health: Urinary frequency in dogs will vary due to factors such as age, sex, body size and overall health.

Can I leave my dog alone for 2 days? ›

Your dog will likely be just fine staying in your home while you're gone, so depending on how much of the two days you will spend away from home, you can always ask a friend, neighbor or family member to stay over or stop by a few times to spend time with, feed, and check on your dog.

What breed of dog does not mind being alone? ›

Pooches with this type of personality are eager learners and don't rely on their owner to keep them company throughout the day. Dog breeds that can be left alone for long periods include Labrador and Golden Retriever, Beagle, Peekapoo, or Shiba Inu.

What happens if I don't walk my dog for one day? ›

Most dogs love them and they can be a wonderful part of our day. That being said, it is not necessary to take a walk every single day. Many dog caretakers feel like they are failing their dogs if they skip a daily walk. In fact, it is usually nothing to worry about, and sometimes it's exactly what your dog needs!

What is the longest you can leave your dog home alone? ›

If possible, dogs older than 6 months should not be left alone for longer than 4 hours at a time. If this is difficult, the absolute maximum time for them to be alone is 8 hours, but this is only recommended if your dog has a way to get outside for a bathroom break.

What should you not say to a dog? ›

5 Things to Stop Saying to Your Dog, According to Trainers & Vets
  • “No!” Why it's problematic: Saying, “No,” to your dog is too vague. ...
  • Yelling (in general) ...
  • “Come!” (When it's bad news) ...
  • “Down” (When your dog learned “drop”) ...
  • Nothing.
12 Apr 2021

Should you cuddle your dog? ›

Cuddling your dog isn't just good for your pet, but for you too. Cuddling can have multiple psychological benefits for both you and your furry friend. It reduces levels of Cortisol, the hormone that is responsible for stress, anxiety, depression and, worst-case scenario, breakdown.

Why you should ignore your dog when you come home? ›

Being calm when you return home helps to reduce the tension. For these reasons, it is helpful to ignore dogs with separation anxiety for between 10 and 30 minutes before departures and after arrivals. Consciously avoid interacting with your dog for at least 10 minutes before you have to leave.

Do pet sitters spend the night? ›

The sitter can sleep in your bed, in a guest room or on a comfortable couch. Some animals do not mind where your sitter sleeps, but if you have a dog or a cat that has a specific routine, you should consider sticking with the normal bedroom. Some clients will wash the sheets before leaving, especially for longer trips.

Will my cat be okay with a sitter for a week? ›

Provide Your Cat with Attention without Returning Home

If you have a cat sitter supervising them for an hour or two per day, you can safely leave them for up to a week. Any longer than that and your kitty will surely miss your constant presence at home!

How often should pet sitter visit cat? ›

Twice-daily visits are ideal for cats who eat two separate meals in the morning and evening, cats who take medication, and for kittens and seniors who would benefit from being checked on more often. Again, they can be shorter or longer visits depending on your cat's needs.

Do dog sitters pick up poop? ›

Waste Removal

Carrying around a poop filled bag until you find a garbage is a job for true pet lovers. And discussing on client requests, it is not uncommon for an owner to ask the sitter to use baby wipes in the rear region to ensure a clean pet. Some pet sitters even are hired to clean yards.

Should I let my dog see me leave? ›

It is really important that you actually walk out the door, lock it, and walk or drive away. The dogs will know if you are just pretending to leave because they won't hear the familiar indicators, such as your footsteps fading away or the start of the car engine.

How do dogs know you're coming home? ›

It has learned that a specific sound is associated with you coming home (thus, associative learning). In other words, the sound of the car serves as a trigger, which sets the dog's ritual welcoming behavior in motion – sitting at the window, dancing around in a circle, etc.

How much do most dog sitters make? ›

How much does a Pet Sitter make? Pet sitters make $25,823 per year on average, or $12.41 per hour, in the United States. Pet sitters on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $10,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $62,000. Location impacts how much a pet sitter can expect to make.

Can you make a lot of money pet sitting? ›

How much can you earn from pet sitting? This can vary depending on where you live, the overall level of demand, your availability and your experience. I began charging $15 per visit, and have recently raised my rates for most of my clients to $20 per visit.

Is dog sitting a good way to make money? ›

Pet sitting generally starts around $10/hour and can go as high as $25/hour. I have seen higher rates than that but you generally have to work up to that. If you have any experience working with animals (like you're a vet, vet tech, or have any other animal certifications) then that's even better.

How much do pet sitters earn UK? ›

Summary: An hourly rate for dog sitting varies between £10 and £15 per hour. Overnight boarding costs approximately £25 per night. Whether you are traveling for work or pleasure, need to run errands during the weekend, or have an emergency, a dog sitter is a great option.

How much commission does a Tailster get? ›

As a Supplier, you may set the pricing of your quotes and the terms for your service within the parameters permitted by the Site. Tailster charges a Service Fee of 20% to the Supplier to cover costs that include, but are not limited to: payment processing, Site administration and marketing.

How much do dog walkers earn in the UK? ›

The average dog walker salary in the United Kingdom is £25,500 per year or £13.08 per hour. Entry level positions start at £21,500 per year while most experienced workers make up to £34,414 per year.

Do you need a licence to be a pet sitter? ›

Pet boarding and day care

The regulations do not require a licence for dog walking or house sitting in the dog's normal place of residence. Most independent pet sitters in England who offer only occasional pet boarding or day care services likely do not need a licence.

How much should I charge to dog sit for a week UK? ›

Pet sitting rates in the UK vary anywhere from £10 an hour to £15 an hour.

How do pet sitters make money? ›

How to Make Extra Money as a Pet Sitter
  1. 1.) Choose what services you'll offer.
  2. 2.) Decide how much you'll charge.
  3. 3.) Tell everyone you know.
  4. 4.) Meet pet owners in person.
  5. 5.) Show up on time and give their pets great care.
  6. 6.) Add a special touch.
5 Dec 2019

Which dog walking app pays the most? ›

The Best Dog Walking Apps to Make Money
  • Steady.
  • PetBacker.
  • Holidog.
  • Swifto.
  • Barkly Pets.
  • Pawshake.
  • Paway.
3 Nov 2022

Can you make a good living as a dog walker? ›

So in reality, a part-time dog walker would earn roughly $2,000 each month if they worked every week instead of just every other week. And full-time dog walkers, who work five days a week all month long, earn an average of $3,300 per month.

How much do self employed dog walkers make? ›

The average salary for dog walkers is £9.86 per hour.

How many dogs can you legally walk at once UK? ›

To be on the safe side and bypass the £100 fine imposed on lawbreakers, just walk no more than four dogs at any one time. Also, make sure that you have a lead for each dog.

How much should I get paid to walk a dog for an hour? ›

Dog walkers charge an average of $20 per 30-minute walk with prices ranging between $10 and $35. Hourly rates typically cost $30 to $60 depending on your location, but overall you'll pay $0.50 to $1 per minute to have your dog(s) walked, no matter how long the walk is.

How do I start my own dog sitting business? ›

How to Start a Pet Sitting Business
  1. Form Your Pet Sitting Business.
  2. Consider Getting Insurance.
  3. Get the Word Out.
  4. Keep Detailed Records.
  5. Pricing and Services.
  6. Obtain a Signed Contract.
  7. Start Working as a Pet Sitter.
17 Sept 2019

Does yelling at a dog work? ›

Yelling at your dog does not work because it will just get him more stressed or it will only increase his energy level and how excited he is about the situation. Instead, your Bark Busters dog trainer can teach you how to use a calm yet firm voice to refocus your dog and to teach the desired behavior.

Can I leave my dog for 8 hours while at work? ›

Most experts agree you shouldn't leave your adult dog alone for more than eight to 10 hours, but some dogs (especially ones with small bladders) can't last that long. DO prepare your dog before you go.

How many hours can a dog be left alone? ›

Once your dog reaches three months old, they can usually hold it for an hour for each month they've been alive. After six months, dogs can usually hold it for up to six hours. However, even adult dogs shouldn't be home alone for much longer than six to eight hours without a chance for a bathroom break.


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