Dog Sitting Rates: Prices & Rates Explained

Our furry best buddies have grown accustomed to a really good life. They love our company more than anything else which is what makes leaving a dog alone so gut-wrenching. Maybe it is for a day trip where you cannot tag your pooch along. It could be a long vacation in which case leaving them alone for too long is not going to work. That is where pet sitting services.

On average, dog sitting services cost about $25 to $35 per dog or per day depending on the sitter. Other services that could come in handy if you want some help watching your pooch are dog walking for $10 to $20 or dog boarding for up to $40 or more.

A lot of factors go into determining exactly how much you end up paying and we will get into all of that shortly. That way, whether you are a dog owner looking for a sitter or a sitter new to the business. you will know exactly what to expect.

How Much Do Dog Sitters Make Per Hour?

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As we shall see shortly, the price of dog sitting depends on a variety of factors.

On average, most dog sitters charge about $25 to $35 per day.

There are those that charge on an hourly basis in which case you may find rates ranging from $10 to $15 per hour. Overnight dog sitting is also often more expensive with sitters charging from $50 to $75 for the whole night.

If you are not comfortable having a stranger in your home, you could also opt for dog boarding services instead. These offer the security of having your dog watched elsewhere. You just have to make sure that your dog is ready for the change in scenery.

You also have to do your research to find the very best boarding services near you to ensure that your dog will be just as comfortable and safe as if they were at home. For this, do check out The Goody Pet page for recommendations on the best pet boarding services in your area.

If you are interested in a career as a dog sitter, there is a lot to look forward to if you play your cards right. The mean annual income for a dog sitter in the USA is about $29,870. It can be as high as $93,200 for professionals working for higher end clientele or those offering additional services.

For some perspective, we shall take a closer look at some of these add-on services and how they affect the final rates.

Factors Affecting Dog Sitting Rates

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Clearly, there is a lot of variation in terms of prices you may have to pay to have your dog cared for by a professional while you are away. Several factors are usually at play in this case.

To help you better understand and anticipate sitting rates, here are the key determinants of your final bill from the pooch sitter.

The Location

Your location plays a huge role in determining just how much you end up paying.

More often than not, cities and affluent neighborhoods have higher sitting rates than small towns and middle-class neighborhoods. If your location is known for being unsafe, you may also end up paying a lot more than the average.

The Breed Of The Dog

The dog breed determines a lot about the dog sitting experience with factors like size, temperament, and care needs. Larger, livelier, and more playful dogs usually require more attention and care and therefore cost more to have looked after.

Direct VS Middleman-Facilitated Bookings

There are 2 ways to get a dog sitter.

One is directly in which case you have the flexibility to negotiate the price. The second is through third party platforms like

These middlemen usually take a cut which may sometimes affect how much you have to pay so that the sitter can get a fair wage.

Health Status Of Dog

This, again, boils down to whether or not the pooch has special care needs. Maybe they need medicine administered at certain times of the day or they have to be handled with care to avoid discomfort. Whatever it is, a sickly dog with a lot of needs may cost more to take care of.

Duration Of The Sitting

This matters mainly with dog sitters who use hourly rates. If you are working on a per diem basis, you will end up saving a lot of money.

Add-On Services

These are additional services you may want the dog sitter or boarding facility to do as a part of caring for your furry best friend. We will go through what some of these services are and how they affect the price next.

What Add-On Services Do Dog Sitters Provide?

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For the most part, add-on services are requested during long stays at boarding facilities or when having your pooch dog sat for long periods of time. This also gives the sitter something to do while also getting them actively involved in the dog’s routine care while you are away.

However, some of these add-ons, as you will see, can be offered even with dog sitting for a few hours.

Here are some of the main services:

Simple Walks And Other Outdoor Activities

Dogs require anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours of exercise every day. One of the best ways to get this is through walks. You could get your dog sitter to take your pooch out on a walk as a way to satisfy this exercise need while also offering them a chance to bond with the sitter.

Typically, this add-on service will cost about $10 to $35 per walk depending on the dog sizebreednumber of pooches getting walked, and the location.

You could also pay for additional outdoor activities including agility games, a trip to the park, or special game training. Again, it is best to go with an experienced dog sitter in this case.


Baths are specialized services and are best left for experienced dog sitters or boarding services with professional groomers. As something you only get to do every 6 to 8 weeks or so, you cannot afford to have it done the wrong way. If you are having it done at your home, it is also best to set out everything the sitter will need to get that extra job done well.

Pickup Or Drop Off To Different Sites

You could also get pick-up and drop-off services for your dog with a dog sitter. You could have the dog picked up from your place of work in the morning after sharing a run with your bestie. You could have them dropped off at the vet. Wherever it is you want your dog taken or picked up from, there is no denying the convenience of these services.

What To Look Out For When Sourcing For Dog Sitters?

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As a dog owner, you want to ensure that your home and more importantly, your dog, are in the safest possible hands when you are looking for a dog sitter. With so much on the line, it is not a decision that you can afford to take lightly. To help you out, here are some of the most important factors that you need to consider when sourcing for a dog sitter.

Are They Professionals?

Anyone can dog sit from your neighbor’s kid to your friend from work. However, not everyone is cut out for it. Professionals may cost more but if you make your choice properly, they are often worthy of the investment.

This is because they usually know what they are doing in terms of routine care as well as what to do in case of emergencies. So if you can, just go with the professional dog sitter route.


This is especially important if you are leaving your dog with the sitter for long periods of time exceeding one day. However, it is worth considering even when hiring someone for a 30 minute walk.

Taking care of dogs is not as easy as many people assume especially if it is dogs that aren’t familiar with the person. Experienced sitters know exactly how to earn the pooch’s trust and take care of them with as much love and intention as you if not more.

Reputation Or Reviews

If you got the dog sitter from a third-party platform, you may have access to ratings and reviews from other dog owners that have used the sitter’s services. This information will prove invaluable when it comes to preparing you for what to expect.

If, on the other hand, you went the word-of-mouth route for a direct booking, ask around for the sitter’s reputation before handing over the leash and your house keys.

Individualized VS Group Care

This applies mainly to dog boarding services. Before leaving your pooch, find out whether the doggies are kept separately and cared for individually or everything is done in group settings. This is important to know as not all dogs get along especially when mixed in terms of size and breed.

Dog Sitter Etiquette

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There is such a thing as dog sitting etiquette both for the dog owner and for the sitter.

This ensures that the highest levels of professionalism are maintained for a great experience on everyone’ part. Here are a few rules to live by on both ends.

For The Dog Owner

To Pay Or Not To Pay

If you decide to skip the professionals and go with a friend to watch your dog, you may not necessarily have to pay. However, it is always nice to make them feel comfortable by facilitating their transport if they don’t have their own means. It also doesn’t hurt to treat them a meal or snacks while they take care of the doggie.

Tipping Etiquette

Whether or not to tip the dog sitter is entirely up to you. This depends on a lot of things including their initial rates as well as the quality of services that they offered you.

Don’t Sugarcoat Your Dog’s Quirks

Your dog sitter needs to know exactly what they are getting themselves into. Don’t call your stubborn, and destructive pooch a sweetheart only for the sitter to get a rude shock when you leave. Call it as it is.

Respect Of Time And Personal Schedules

It is also important to respect the sitter’s time and schedules. Don’t keep him or her waiting for hours for you to get back from your errands. It is not only rude but also incredibly inconsiderate.

For The Dog-Sitter

Love Those Dog’s Like They Were Your Own

When a dog owner leaves their beloved pooch in your care, they are entrusting you with one of the things they love most. So love those dogs and treat them with as much patience and gentleness as you can master.

Respect The Owner’s Personal Property And Space

They are also trusting you with their personal space and private property. So don’t go snooping or touching anything you shouldn’t.

How Many Dogs Can You Legally Walk At Once? The number of dogs that you can walk at once as an individual varies from city to city. The average with most is 4 dogs at a time. Some allow up to six while others set their caps lower at 2 dogs per person for dog walks in public places.

What Is The Difference Between Dog Sitting And Boarding? Dog sitting means having someone watch your dog from the comfort of your own home. This is often more comfortable to the pooch as they get to stay in an environment that they are fully familiar with. On the other hand, dog boarding involves leaving your dog at a pet boarding facility where they will be watched by the professional.

Is Pet Sitting Dangerous? Pet sitting ideally is not dangerous but it does have its dangers. Most of these are as a result of aggression from the dog towards the dog sitter or other unfamiliar dogs. The best way to avoid such issues is to first get the pooch familiar and comfortable with the sitter while you or the owner is present. This allows them to build trust and a bond to avoid any unfortunate incidents.

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Pete Decker