How Much You Should Pay a Friend to Dog Sit

To pay a friend to dog sit, consider how much a professional will charge and pay an agreed percentage of that amount.

The average professional hourly rate is $15.00, the daily rate is up to $60.00 and the weekly rate is up to $375.00.

Consider how much work your friend has to do to dog sit for you.

Sometimes you need help to look after your dog. You ask a friend to dog sit, and you want to pay them, but you’re unsure how much to offer them. You don’t want to under-pay for their time and effort, but you don’t want to pay more than what it’s worth. If you want to know how much to pay a friend to dog sit, we’ll help you work it out.

There will be a number of reasons why you choose your friend over a professional dog sitter, but knowing what professional charges will help you to decide on a benchmark.

Looking after your pooch can be a lot of work for someone who doesn’t look after dogs all the time,  or who has their own dog and has to factor in yours to their day. They will have to dedicate a lot of their time to the task of dog sitting, and you must let them know your expectations before you agree on a price.

Consider the hours they will walk and play with your dog. Also, let them know if your dog likes playtime in addition to walks and if they are likely to have zoomies at any point.


The Cost to Dog Sit Will Vary With Circumstances

The national average charge for dog sitting is $15.00 per hour. This is if the dog sitting is for a short time during a day or night, not for days or weeks. Those timings are different charges. This hourly rate doesn’t take into account the many variables you will need to consider. They include:

  • The age of your dog – older or very young dogs take more hands-on care.
  • The health of your dog – giving medications to a dog that belongs to someone else is tricky.
  • The location to dog sit – sitting in your house takes much more effort than sitting in their home. It may also cost them to get to your place.
  • The length of time you need your dog looked after –more time equals more inconvenience.
  • Time of year – Looking after your dog during the holidays may hinder their ability to enjoy their time, and winter may mean spending most of the time inside.

Consider how much more than $15.00 per hour any of the above circumstances are worth if relevant. Make sure your dog sitter friend is in agreement before the time, and they know the full extent of your dog’s requirements and needs. They may be happy with a flat fee, or it may suit you both to pay depending on what your friend is required to do as the time goes on.

Most people agree that the circumstances vary so much that good communication between you and your friend is required.  

Some people offer an hourly rate, and others offer money to walk the dog a number of times in the day when they are away. Others swap services instead of money. They will dog sit each other’s dogs when they need it.


Daily Professional Dog Sitting Costs up to $60.00 per Day

A professional dog sitter can charge up to $60.00 per day. Of course this varies by company and area. Although your friend may consider they are doing you a favor, looking after a dog all day when you’re not a professional is an inconvenience and hard work.

You might not want to pay them what you’d pay a professional, but anywhere up to $60.00 is fair.

You must take into account if your friend will incur any costs dog sitting for you, such as travel, time off work,school, or additional travel if they stay at your place and travel elsewhere.

Considerations for what you pay your friend for the day include:

  • More than one dog means more work
  • If your dog is a high energy breed it will need more attention
  • If your dog is a puppy, it will need constant attention, especially if it’s not toilet trained
  • Your dog has any behavioral issues


Professional Weekly Costs to Dog Sit Vary Between $250.00 to $375.00

If your friend looks after your dog while you’re on vacation, they really are putting in a lot of effort and time. Dog sitting for this length of time will include:

  • Walking your dog
  • Feeding multiple times a day
  • Toileting
  • Bathing
  • Brushing
  • Keeping company
  • Administering medication if necessary
  • Keeping any pre-organzed appointments


The More Your Dog Sitter Friend Does, the More You Should Consider Offering

Professional dog sitters offer multiple services within their work for you. They keep your dog happy and content, which gives you peace of mind. Many dog sitters come to your house and live-in. This may be something for your friend to consider. Of course, this is more disruptive to their lives, but better for your dog.  

Allowing your dog to stay in their own home with your friend offers a number of benefits including:

  • Your dog is in familiar territory. Some dogs are nervous or frightened in foreign environments. This can be worse when you’re not there with them.
  • No risk of your dog coming to harm from other unfamiliar animals.
  • No risk of your dog wandering off trying to find you or their home.
  • The ability to maintain your dog’s schedule and eating patterns.
  • Any continued training requirements can be taken care of by your friend.
  • Less disruption when you get home because your dog never left their familiar, comfortable environment.
  • Your dog sitter can complete other jobs like watering plants, feeding fish, bringing in the mail, or any other things you agree to.


Ensure Your Dog Sitting Friend Is Capable of Providing All of Your Dog’s Needs

There are many benefits of having a friend dog sit for you, either in your home or at theirs, but you must be satisfied your friend has all the skills to look after your dog. This is especially so if you’re going to be out of contact while away.

You need to ensure your dog is in the best hands and that all the basics of care are covered.  Your friend needs to be familiar with:

  • Feeding
  • Grooming
  • Exercising
  • Medicine
  • Picking up poop
  • Disciplining

Friends want to help, but you should ensure you have a backup plan if your friend dog sitter becomes overwhelmed, your dog becomes sick or there are any other unforeseen circumstances. So, even though you’re paying your friend to dog sit, set plans in place for them should they need to seek help from a professional dog sitter, vet, or any other person.


Budget for Extra Costs

If your friend is dog sitting for a few hours, or even a day or two, you probably don’t need to think about extras. If you’re going away for more than a few days, you will need to budget for your friend to take your dog on some sort of adventure.

This may be as basic as a drive to the beach or park, or a full-on day trip. Either way, there will be some costs associated with the day out. You should budget for this, so your friend isn’t paying for it out of the money you’re paying them to dog sit.


Consider Bartering or Trading

Friends are often happy to help without any sort of payment, but it’s important to show appreciation for them dog sitting. It takes a lot of work and will affect their normal schedule, especially if you’re going away for a reasonable period of time.

You could agree to look after their dog or other animals for them in return. You could also house-sit for them if they don’t have animals.

Bartering or trading is a great idea if you or they are uncomfortable exchanging money due to friendship. Many people are happy to help as long as they’re not out-of-pocket, and you are doing something in return for them.


Only Pay a Friend You Know Well

It’s important your dog is comfortable with your friend when you’re not there. A benefit of using a friend over a professional the dog doesn’t know is they will be happier with a familiar person and less inclined to misbehave.

Your friend will be more confident if they know what your dog likes, how they react in various situations, and how your dog behaves when you’re not there.

You will have a better time away knowing your dog is with someone you know and trust. Paying your friend is important so decide in advance how much based on what you would pay a professional for the same service. It’s a good benchmark.

Pets love routine and if your friend visits regularly and your dog is familiar with them, the likelihood of anything going wrong is far less than with a stranger.

It makes sense to pay a friend to dog sit. Your time away from your precious pooch will go well, and your dog won’t be stressed. Use a professional’s pay scale as a benchmark.


Writer: Craig Taylor

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