Leaving your pet dog alone for an extended period of time isn’t easy. Whether you are away on holiday or in the office for a full day, it can be tough to leave your furry friend at home by themselves. This is an issue many dog owners face, but thankfully, there is a solution – hiring a dog sitter.
Dog sitters are good options as the dog stays in its own environment instead of being cared for in an unfamiliar dog kennel. However, as the number of dog sitting services has increased recently, dog owners might be a little overwhelmed by all of the competition. One area that can cause confusion and stress is understanding how much dog sitters charge.
If you have found yourself searching for an answer to “How much does dog sitting cost in the UK?” then Household Pets has the answer for you in this article.
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Average Dog Sitting Rates in the UK by Region
With more dogs in UK homes, many people have been searching for reliable dog sitters to check their pooches during the working day or while the owners are on holiday. This has become increasingly more common after the pandemic’s lockdowns caused puppies and dogs to become used to the constant company at home.
As the cost of dog sitting services can vary depending on location, it is essential to research the prices of experienced pet sitters advertised in your area. To help with this, this article lists the average cost of dog sitting for each region in the UK, which has been found by using a popular pet sitter site, Rover.com.
The prices discussed in this article are the average basic rates for drop-in visits; Rover.com describes drop-in visits as “sitters stop by your home for 30 minutes to feed and play with your pet.” If additional services are required, this can increase the price. Some dog sitters charge extra for longer visits, visits during peak times, additional dogs, etc.
The estimated flat rates for 30-minute dog sitting visits in each UK region are listed below:
- East of England: £8 to £25
- East Midlands: £10 to £25
- Greater London: £5 to £100
- North East: £8 to £30
- North West: £7 to £25
- South East: £6 to £69
- South West: £8 to £25
- West Midlands: £6 to £40
- Yorkshire & Humberside: £7 to £30
- Northern Ireland: £10 to £30
- Scotland: £6 to £30
- Wales: £9 to £80
What to Expect from Dog Sitting Services
If you have never used a dog sitting service before, it can be difficult to know what to expect. Before booking, an experienced dog sitter will usually explain the tasks they will carry out and ask if there are any other duties the pet owner would like completed.
Unlike cats, which can be checked on once or twice a day by a cat sitter, dogs might require more frequent visits throughout the day. During each visit, a number of the following tasks will be carried out:
- Feeding the dog a specified amount of food
- Walking and playing with the dog to ensure sufficient exercise
- Grooming the dog’s coat
- Administering medication, if required
What Additional Services Do Dog Sitters Offer?
Sometimes, a dog sitter will be required to carry out additional services; these should be mentioned when first hiring the pet sitting company as it can affect the overall price. Some common extra services a pet sitter might be asked for include caring for other pets, collecting the post, house sitting, and watering the plants.
More time-consuming tasks, like those shown below, might also cause the cost to increase.
In-Home Dog Sitting
If a pet owner is away for an extended period of time, such as away on business or holiday, they might hire an in-home dog sitter. This means the dog sitter will stay in the client’s own home with the dog and provide pet care around the clock. Due to the length of time that the sitter is hired, this can be an expensive choice.
This might include looking after the dog overnight. If a pet sitter does have to watch the animal overnight, the owner might have to stock the fridge with food or pay the sitter for extra supplies.
Although dog walking falls into the standard duties carried out by pet sitters, it can also be a separate service. This is an excellent option for dogs that have high energy needs. It will require booking a longer dog sitting visit.
Many sitters also provide dog walking services as they already have experience with dogs and have built relationships with potential clients.
Factors Affecting Dog Sitter Costs
It has previously been mentioned that pet sitting rates can change for several reasons. This is mainly linked to the amount of time a dog sitter will have to spend with the animal, and the below factors are likely to extend the visit.
Age, Breed, and Temperament of the Dog(s)
There is no one way to look after dogs; they all require individual care. This can often be determined by the age, breed, and temperament of the dog. These three factors can increase the time a pet sitter spends at a client’s home and, therefore, increase the cost.
- Age: Puppies and senior dogs will often need more time with an experienced pet sitter. A puppy will have more energy to burn and might make more mess, which the dog sitter will have to clean up, while an older dog might be slower on walks and need medication.
- Breed: Certain dog breeds have specific care needs. For example, working breeds, like Border Collies and Spaniels, will need more exercise and longer walks. Also, long-coated dogs might require regular brushing.
- Temperament: If a dog is hyperactive, this will sometimes cause a dog sitter to spend more time in the client’s house to tire the dog out. On the other hand, a slightly more nervous dog will need more time to warm up to the sitter.
Number of Dogs
If you own more than one dog, extra costs might apply. This is to be expected as extra dogs require more time for adequate care and exercise. Dog sitting professionals will want to ensure all pets receive good care and attention, which might mean spending more time with them.
A pet sitting company will usually increase the price per each additional dog; this can quickly add up if you own two or more dogs.
Not only does the region you live in affect the cost, but your specific location does, too. If a pet sitter needs to travel to your home, you could have to pay their travel costs. You can save money by choosing dog sitters that stay closer to you.
Additional Care Required
In some cases, a dog’s individual requirements will include administering medication or vitamins. This will often require a more experienced pet sitter who is confident in this type of pet care.
How Much Does Dog Sitting Cost UK: FAQs
Although knowing dog sitting prices is an essential part of hiring a dog sitter, it isn’t the only question pet owners ask, especially if this is a new experience. The questions below will hopefully shed more light on hiring a professional dog sitter.
Should I leave the dog sitter money?
Leaving money out for the dog sitter isn’t always necessary; you might want to leave money out if the sitter needs to stay overnight in the pet owner’s home. However, there are other items that can be left out for the sitter, such as poo bags and dog treats. The pet sitter might have their own supplies, but this can be a thoughtful and helpful thing to do.
Do I tip my dog sitter?
Tipping the dog sitter is not a requirement, but you can give them a tip if you are happy with the dog sitting service they provide. Pet sitting services can be run by companies, so the sitter receives a yearly salary, or freelancers, who might benefit from receiving a tip.
If you are unable to tip but were happy with the service, be sure to leave a review and spread the word about the excellent service you received.
Should I pay the dog sitter’s travel costs?
If your dog sitter has to travel to your location, paying these costs should be discussed beforehand. Most of the time, dog sitters will include travel costs in their overall price.
Are there other options than a pet sitter?
If hiring a dog sitter is not what you want to do, there are other options to think about. Dog boarding options, such as dog kennels, can house dogs for extended stays when their owners are away from home.
For owners who want their dogs watched during the working day, there are dog daycare centres, which run similarly to children’s nurseries; the dogs are dropped off by the owners, cared for by staff, and collected at the end of the day.
To Sum Up
With the average dog sitter rate varying across the UK, it can be difficult to know what is a fair price for dog sitting services to charge per visit. There are a variety of other aspects that can affect the cost of dog sitting, such as the age and type of dog, the number of dogs, and the additional care that might be required.
However, it is vital to research which sitter will provide the best service for you and your furry friend. Hiring a pet sitter to care for your dog is not an easy task; you are putting the care of a beloved pet into the hands of someone who might be a stranger. For this reason, spend time looking at who is best reviewed in your area, ask for referrals from dog grooming parlors and doggy daycares, and do not rush this decision.