James Livingood has been a dog sitter for several years. He has written
numerous articles and a book about the topic because he loves dogs.

How much should you pay dog sitters?

How much should you pay dog sitters?

Vacations are exciting times, but not always the best time to have your dog
around. That’s why many dog owners chose to pay a dog house sitter. These
individuals come into your home on a regular basis to take care of your canine

So, what is a fair price for dog sitters?

Factors to Take Into Consideration

Here are some important things to consider when you arrange for a sitter:

Number of Dogs

The difference between one dog and four is quite substantial. One dog might be
fine hanging out all day. However, four dogs could get into mutual trouble and
cause massive messes. In addition, some of those dogs (if not all) may have a
lot of pent-up energy. This can make dog sitting more difficult as you need to
attend to each dog’s needs.

Medication or Special Treatment

Dogs may need a regular dose of medication or require additional exercise.
Each layer of complexity adds to the cost of a potential dog sitter. In
addition, many dog sitters may not feel comfortable giving dogs injections.
Many dogs bark and bite when being given a shot. This problem is exaggerated
when the person giving the shot is a stranger. Expect to pay an additional
$5–15 per day per dog to administer medication.

Time of Stay and Number of Stays

A quick stop twice a day is very different than an overnight visit. An
overnight visit can allow an older dog to be let out during the night, but it
does require more commitment and time. In addition, adding walking or dog
parks to the visits may require more time. Each case requires estimating the
number of visits it will take to take care of your dog.

Demand for dog sitters increases during the

Demand for dog sitters increases during the holidays.

Holiday Demand

Just like the seasons, there is fluctuating demand for dog sitting. Major
holidays, like Christmas or Thanksgiving, generally cause higher demand. This
allows dog sitters to cherry-pick their clients and charge higher rates than

Age of Dog

While most mature and fully grown dogs command a regular rate, puppies
normally cost more. That’s because puppies need to be watched more closely and
need to have additional behavior training. In addition, puppies may not have
the essential commands down yet (sit, stay, come here). They may also start to
try out bad behaviors, such as digging, that need immediate correction.

Bulk Discount

Leaving for a weekend requires far less commitment than leaving for two weeks.
Dog sitters will often provide discount pricing for bulk amounts of time
because that means less getting to know individual dogs. The most difficult
part of dog sitting, beyond taking the time, is getting to know each
individual dog. Knowing a dog’s quirks is the best way to have a successful
dog visit.

Keep these things in mind when you’re thinking about getting a dog sitter.

  • Rural areas may see dog sitting as cheap as $25–35 per dog per night.
  • However, most typical dog house sitters charge between $40–60 per dog per night.
  • Pricing may go upwards of $75–100 per dog per night if it’s during the holidays.

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There are several additional benefits of having a dog sitter care for your

There are several additional benefits of having a dog sitter care for your

Additional Benefits of Dog Sitters

These are some of the helpful benefits of having a sitter:

Regular Updates

Dogs have trouble taking their own selfies, but dog sitters have no problem
snapping a few extra photos. While you are out having fun on your own
adventure, you can rest assured that your dog is having fun at home. That can
be done through photos and a regular adventure log. Many dog sitters provide
regular updates so that you know when they arrive, what’s going on, and how
your dog is doing.


Many dog sitters have additional backgrounds in dog training or in the
veterinary field. That means that your dog is under extra good care. In
addition, many dog sitters have a strong passion for dogs. That means you’ll
receive someone excited to play with your doggie, potentially for hours on
end. These people may even be able to provide additional tips and tricks
outside of the normal dog car area. For example, where to find the best price
on dog food, flea medication, or poop bags.

Free First “Meet and Greet”

Most dog sitters prefer to complete a free meet and greet before they agree on
dog sitting. This allows them to begin to understand the dog’s
temperament/quirks. In addition, meet and greets can be an excellent
opportunity to learn the “rules of the house.” Great dog sitters adhere to the
set of rules already established by the owner. That means if the dog is not
allowed on furniture, the dog sitter will remind the canine. This meet and
greet also allows any shyness or aggression to show, which can greatly cause
complications further on.

Trial Runs

Dog sitters love to have small trial runs before big vacations. While this may
seem extravagant, it’s nice for a dog sitter to learn a particular dog. This
also allows for questions to be asked and answered while you’re still readily

Words of Warning

Cheaper isn’t always better. You are allowing a stranger to take care of your
dog, and that involves a lot of trust.

If possible, have a background check completed and learn about how they handle
dogs. Some dog sitters prefer positive reinforcement while others have learned
yelling works. Getting a good dog sitter is essential to your dog being
comfortable in future visits.

A good sitter will create a happy experience for your

A good sitter will create a happy experience for your dog.

Questions Every Dog Sitter Should Ask

  • Rules of the house: On or off furniture? When is the dog being fed? When do walks happen? Other daily routines?
  • Allergies: Foods or substances the dog is allergic to?
  • Vaccines: Up to date on vaccines?
  • Aggressions: Food aggressions? Cat or small animal aggression? Good with young people and infants? Toy aggression? Other dog aggression?
  • Behavior on walks: Leash pulling? Super excited when getting ready to go?
  • Current training: Knows basics (sit, stay, come here)? Knows more complicated commands? Are any commands being trained and need reinforcement?
  • Shy around strangers?
  • Hates going out in rain/snow/wind?
  • The preferred vet that has your dog’s information?
  • Any medications needed?
  • Property destruction? (Extra important if they are a puppy. Puppies need a lot of help determining what is and isn’t a toy.)

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It
is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription,
or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional.
Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a
veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

Question: How much should I pay a house / pet sitter to walk my two
medium sized dogs two times a day but at seperate times, as well as feed my

Answer: This depends on your region / country and if it’s near a holiday.
If it were me (Seattle region of USA) I would probably charge $60 – $100 per
day, assuming house sitting is just “walk in and make sure nothing is going
massively wrong”. To break this down: $25 for first dog, $20 second dog, $10
gas, $5 to feed the cat, plus any extras desired (longer walks, playing fetch,
etc.). That’s a bit on the cheap side, with the hope that it would be made up
in bulk. (7+ days) If it were during a holiday, I would simply double the

© 2018 James Livingood