If you’re a dog parent down under or are planning to emigrate there sometime soon with your canine companions, one of the most important things to know —especially if you travel from time to time—is how much dog sitting and dog boarding costs in Australia.
Costs vary greatly depending on your location and the service provided, but, on average, dog sitting costs around $35 AUD (around $25 USD). Dog boarding can cost anywhere from $25 to upwards of $120 AUD ($17–80 USD), with an average cost of around $45 AUD ($30 USD).
In this post, we’ll explore in more depth how much these services cost based on different factors such as the type of dog sitter/boarder you’re hiring and the type of service you’re looking for.
The Importance of Dog Sitting & Dog Boarding
Finding a trustworthy dog sitter or boarding service is essential for any responsible dog parent. Even if you’re only going to be away for a short time, a dog should never be left at home alone without someone to check in on them, feed them, change their water, and make sure they’re getting their daily walks.
Leaving your dog alone for extended periods of time can be incredibly distressing for them, which can lead to boredom and destructive behaviors like chewing, going to the bathroom inside the house, scratching, barking, and whining. For this reason, it’s strongly recommended that you leave your dog in a safe pair of hands while you’re away for both your peace of mind and theirs.
How Much Does Dog Sitting & Dog Boarding in Australia Cost?
When it comes to dog sitting, it depends on whether you’re hiring a dog sitter on an hourly basis (i.e. for walks, feeding, general checkup, etc.) or someone who house sits for you. Costs for boarding also vary greatly depending on if your dog goes into kennels or stays in a dog hotel or sitter’s home.
The below table shows the standard costs based on our research, but, again, expect this to vary depending on your dog’s needs and other factors. We’ve included approximate USD prices in parenthesis.
|Service||Average Cost Per Dog|
|At-home visit & walk||$15–35 AUD ($10–25 USD)|
|Overnight stay at a sitter’s home||$38–65 AUD ($25–45 USD)|
|House sitting (per day)||$35–90 AUD ($25–60 USD)|
|Kennels (per day)||$25–50 AUD ($17–35 USD)|
|Dog hotel (per day)||$46–90 AUD ($30–60 USD)|
|Luxury dog hotel (per day)||$60–120 AUD ($40–80 USD)|
|Doggy daycare (per day)||$20–65 AUD ($15–45 USD)|
Additional Costs to Anticipate
The cost of dog sitting and dog boarding varies so much because every situation is unique. If you’re thinking of using these services, you may need to anticipate extra costs for certain situations.
Level of Experience
If you’re hiring someone who dog sits for a living, has lots of experience, and/or a pet care certification or you use a professional pet sitting/boarding company, it’s highly likely that they’ll charge a higher price than a beginner or someone just doing it for a bit of pocket money.
Cost Per Dog
Most dog sitters will charge depending on how many dogs you have. Some may charge a full price per dog while others may just add a surcharge per dog.
Dog’s Age and Size
Dog sitters often take into account your dog’s age and size when determining a fair price. For example, small–medium dogs are likely to cost less, whereas if your dog is a large or giant breed, you may have to pay more. Puppies also typically cost more because their needs are greater.
If your dog has some sort of special requirement like needing to have medication administered, your dog sitter may charge extra.
If your dog sitter has to commute to get to your home, they may include the travel costs in their price.
Emergency Vet Visits
If your dog requires an unexpected, urgent vet visit while you’re away, your pet sitter is likely to charge extra for their time and the cost of transport.
The dog parent is always responsible for providing food while they’re away. If the dog runs out of food and the sitter has to pick up more, expect that to be included in the bill.
Some pet sitters offer general house care (e.g. plant watering, tidying up, bringing in the mail, etc.) as an additional service.
How Often Should I Hire a Dog Sitter?
Whenever you need to be away from home for an extended period of time. This could be when you’re going to be away for the entire day, are staying overnight somewhere, or going on vacation. As a rule of thumb, it’s not a good idea to leave adult dogs alone for more than four to six hours, and for puppies, no more than two hours.
If you’re out of the house all day for work or other reasons, you might want to consider hiring a dog walker on a regular basis.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Dog Sitting & Boarding?
Pet insurance is for accidents and illnesses, so it doesn’t cover the costs of hiring a dog sitter or sending your dog to boarding while you’re on vacation, though some plans may cover the cost of medical boarding. However, accident and illness coverage will cover your dog as normal if they happen to get sick or injured while being cared for by a sitter.
If you are considering becoming a self-employed dog sitter yourself, it’s strongly recommended that you get yourself covered by liability insurance. No matter how careful you are with the dogs in your care, sometimes, accidents or things outside of your control happen. For this reason, it’s massively important to protect yourself, just in case.
How Do I Choose a Dog Sitter?
When choosing a dog sitter, there are a fair few things to bear in mind. Ideally, you’ll want to:
To sum up, dog sitting and boarding costs in Australia depends on how experienced your dog sitter is and the kind of service you’re looking for. The most basic services like dog walking can be as cheap as $15, whereas luxury dog hotel stays can cost upwards of $100! Though quality dog sitting services can be pricey, it’s totally worth it for you to have peace of mind while you’re away.
Featured Image Credit: atyana Vyc, Shutterstock