Hiring someone to look after our beloved dogs is a cost of pet ownership we don’t always think about when bringing home a new fur child — but it’s an important one. It’s also not an expense you want to skimp on, because you can’t put a price on the peace of mind you’ll have knowing your pooch is in good hands.
The amount you’ll pay will vary, but how much a dog sitter costs generally depends on the business demands of your professional, the services you book, the area where you live, and your online booking service.
- If your dog sitter has great experience backed up by pages of stellar client reviews, you’re going to pay more than you would for someone who is just getting their business going.
- Your sitter will likely have different prices based on the services they provide and even your individual pet. For example, some professionals charge less for cat sitting than for dog walking, and some ask more for puppy sitting, watching large breeds like pitbulls, or caring for dogs with medical issues, like older pets and dogs with special needs.
- If your home is in an area that’s hard to reach — such as in rural farmland or a traffic-congested metropolis — you’ll be charged more for the extra time and hassle it takes to get to where you live.
- Finding a dog sitter online through a company like Care or Rover is a reliable way to find an experienced and trusted professional, but they come with a price. Rover charges about a 7-percent service fee of your total booking cost. Care does offer a free membership option that allows you to work with canine caregivers, but many users recommend signing up for a premium membership — which costs $13 to $39 per month — if you plan to make regular bookings, because it simplifies communicating with pet sitters.
With the above factors in mind, the following rates are what you can expect to pay for a dog sitter based on national averages.
How Much Does a Dog Sitter Cost?
- Average price per drop-in visit (30 minutes): $23
- Average price for doggy daycare in sitter’s home: $26
- Average price for overnight visit at pet’s home: $70
- Average price for overnight boarding in sitter’s home: $54
- Average price for each additional pet: $8
How can I save money on the cost of a dog sitter?
Remember, it’s important to hire a dog sitter you’re sure will take the best care of your pet. Going with the cheapest candidate you find generally isn’t a good idea unless it’s someone you know personally and they have a valid reason behind their discounted pricing.
Still, there are ways you can find a reputable sitter at a bargain price. If you’ve found a candidate with ample experience and glowing references, you may be able to save some money by using one of these approaches:
- Book a recurring job. Many sitters are willing to offer their regular clients a discount.
- Book early. Last-minute hiring — especially on weekends and holidays — often hikes up rates due to increased demand and the inconvenience of suddenly changing your sitter’s schedule.
- Book with a buddy. If you and a friend book services together, you can ask for a second-pet discounted rate and split the cost. For example, having your friend’s dog stay at your house with your pup during an evening out and hiring a sitter for a drop-in dog-walking service could cost $31 instead of $46 overall, according to the prices above.
- Negotiate. You shouldn’t steeply undercut the price of a dog sitter. However, the worst thing that can happen if you try to bargain for a price more in line with your budget is to be told no. For example, some booking sites automatically charge you double a sitter’s rate if you’re booking for two pets, but it’s completely reasonable to ask for a second-dog discount. No matter the case, be sure to start and end negotiations before confirming your booking.