Dog Sitting Rates: Average Cost + Factors

Prices for dog sitting can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the sitter’s experience, the dog’s needs, and your location.

Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from $15 to $40 per day for professional dog sitting services. For overnight services, the rates are higher, from $70 to $95. If you are looking for in-house dog sitting services, expect to pay anywhere between $15 and $40 per hour.

Be aware that prices can vary significantly depending on your location. In major cities, dog sitting services can be quite expensive.

Average Cost Of Dog Sitters In The United States

Image from

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 $15 to $40 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 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 our dog boarding page for recommendations on the best pet boarding services in your area.

Factors Affecting Dog Sitting Services

Image from Instagram:@tierisch_im_einsatz

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.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Direct VS Middleman-Facilitated Bookings

There are two ways to get a dog sitter.

One is through a direct means, in which 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.

4. Your Dog’s Health

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.

5. Duration Of The Sitting

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

6. 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?

Image from DogTV

For the most part, add-on services are requested during long stays at boarding facilities or when having your pooch dog sit 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:

1. Simple Walks And Other Outdoor Activities

Dogs require anywhere between 30 minutes and 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 needs 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 size, breed, number of pooches getting walked, and 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.

2. Baths

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.

3. Pickup Or Drop Off At 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.

What To Look Out For When Sourcing For Dog Sitters?

Image from Instagram:@petcloud

As a dog owner, you want to ensure that your home and, more importantly, your dog is 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 picking 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 get a 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 dogs are kept separately and cared for individually or if 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

Image from Instagram:@partnersdogs

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’s 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 to a meal or snacks while they take care of the pooch.

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 offer 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, 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 schedule. 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 Dogs Like They Were Your Own

When dog owners leave 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 four dogs at a time. Some allow up to six, while others set their caps lower at two 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 for 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 it will be watched by a professional.

Is Pet Sitting Dangerous? 

Pet sitting ideally is not dangerous, but it does have its dangers. Most of these are 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.

Avatar photo
Pete Decker