How Much to Pay a Teenage Dog Sitter in 2023

how much to pay a teenage dog sitter?

About the Author: Emma loves to have dogs as her pets and with so much knowledge about dogs, she started to share it with other dog lovers and parents. She is a Pet Specialist and Pet Behavior Analyst, who studied at the University of South Dakota.

All dog parents want what’s best for their dogs but sometimes they aren’t available to spend time with them or take proper care of them. This can be due to many reasons like busy schedules and inexperience in proper care.

While doing so, you might also want to be fair to the teenagers who actually can take care of our dogs a bit better than us. Well, don’t worry! Still confused about how much to pay a teenage dog sitter? Well, it depends on many factors like their experience, their age, and also their capabilities. It also depends on whether they’re doing an overnight shift duty or just a quick little visit.

Actually, teenagers in the United States often engage in dog sitting primarily for the opportunity to earn money, thanks to the flexible nature of the job, which allows them to balance it with their school and extracurricular commitments.

Additionally, their genuine affection for animals can be a motivating factor in choosing dog sitting as a part-time gig, providing a fulfilling and enjoyable experience while making some income on the side.

Now, I’ll also talk about some common mistakes people make when hiring teenage dog sitters so you can avoid them. So without further ado, let’s begin with how much to pay a teenage dog sitter.

What Does a Dog Sitter Actually Do

Before we discuss the fair rate to actually pay a teenage dog sitter, it’s important for you to first know what they actually do.

a dog sleeping on a couch with a

A Dog Sitter basically does everything possible to make your dog happy and healthy. The things they do include feeding, playing, and taking care of your dog. 

They are like a friend to your dog when you are not available. The most common misconception about dog sitting is that it’s a simple job but it’s completely false! It’s more than a job. It’s a responsibility they take upon themselves to make sure that your pup is safe, healthy, and happy.

This overview of their responsibilities will help you decide what’s a fair price for their hard work and dedication. 

Key Takeaway:

  • Expect to pay a teenage dog sitter about $10-$15 per hour
  • Expect to pay a teenage dog sitter about $5-$10 for a quick little drop-in visit
  • Expect to pay a teenage dog sitter about $10-$15 for 30 minutes walk
  • For overnight sitting, $25-$30 per hour is reasonable

How Much To Pay A Teenage Dog Sitter Per Hour?

In the US, you can expect to pay a teenage dog sitter about $10-$15 per hour if you have one dog. However, this pay rate is just an estimate, it depends on many factors like their responsibility, their experience, and how good they are in a job.

How Much to Pay A Teenage Dog Sitter for a Drop-in Visit

Sometimes you do not want to hire a full-time dog sitter. In these cases, you can pay a teenage dog sitter for a drop-in visit instead. These drop-in visits are generally cheaper than the whole full-time thing too.

How Much to Pay A Teenage Dog Sitter for a Drop-in Visit
A dog lying on his owner’s legs

If you need someone to quickly do a checkup on your dog then you can pay a teenage dog sitter for a quick little drop-in visit which will cost you around $5-$10 for a half-hour visit depending on the dog sitter.

Well, what do these quick visits include you may ask? Well, good question! In these short visits, the teenage dog sitter will make sure that your dog gets fresh air with maybe a small walk, a bathroom break, a snack refill, and also a little human interaction if you’re planning on being out for a while. A little human interaction makes a lot of difference actually.

How Much to Pay a Teenage Dog Sitter For a Walk

Walks are a little confusing topic when it comes to paying though walking itself is extremely essential for your dog. Walking improves your dog’s mental and physical health and keeps him more active.

When it comes to paying for walks, the rate lies between $10 to $15 per walk. Walks commonly lie between 30 minutes to even an hour. If your dog has extra needs then you should pay more for extra care.

Paying extra to add extra care for your pup is also a good option as it is going to keep him extra happy and healthy.

How Much To Pay a Teenage Dog Sitter for Overnight Sitting

Overnight duty is a tough one, to say the least! It’s a commitment and not just a few hours of work. Overnight duties are especially difficult for teenagers due to curfew and other restrictions. That’s why if someone agrees to do a night shift, pay them accordingly because it’s not an easy thing to do overnight.

The average rate of an overnight sitting is between $25 to $30 per hour which may seem a lot but it’s only fair for the amount of dedication and work being put into the shift. The high price not only covers the care they did but also the responsibilities of being away from their own home.

The Pros and Cons of a Teenage Pet Sitter

Now that we have talked about how much to pay a teenage dog sitter, it is time for us to discuss why it’s a good idea to hire one. While discussing all the good stuff, we are also going to discuss the drawbacks when it comes to hiring one.

The Pros and Cons of a Teenage P
A cat and dog sitting on a one-frame

So let’s begin! Starting with:


Let’s start with the good stuff first, There are many good things that come with hiring a teenage pet sitter like:


Taking care of a pet is also a huge responsibility and hiring a pet sitter can basically divide that responsibility. Teenage Pet Sitters develop a sense of responsibility during all of this and become more aware of how to take care of one. 

You also get a sense of responsibility for making sure that your pet is always healthy and happy.

Time Management

Time Management is the number one concern of pet owners when it comes to owning a pet. You need to invest both your time and energy to make sure that your pet is both happy and healthy.

Unfortunately due to some schedule problems, you aren’t able to fully give your time to your pets and that’s where teenage pet sitters come into play. They take care of your pet while you’re away so you can be efficient with your time while also making sure that your pet is as healthy and happy as ever.

Earn Money

Hiring a teenage pet sitter can be a great side hustle for them and open them up to multiple opportunities in the future. They get paid for the amount of dedication they put into their care and work and you get a healthy lifestyle for your dog. In my personal opinion, it’s a win-win situation for both sides.

Bonding with Animals

Teenage pet sitters get to spend extra time with their pets taking care of them. As a result, they develop a bond with your pets and be their little friends. Your pet also gets happy to finally have another friend and engage in a bit of human interaction.


Now is a benefit for the pet sitters. Teenage pet sitters can build up a pet-loving network and a whole community on how they are taking care of various different pets. This can especially be useful if they want to pursue this in the future and act like a great portfolio for them.

Skill Development

Do you think pet sitting just includes cuddling with cute animals? Wrong! Pet Sitting is a way more complex job than you think. You need intense problem-solving skills, the ability to tackle any hurdle, and also great communication skills. These things can get better and better over time and help you throughout all of your life.

That’s why pet sitting is a great skill development job that not only improves your physical health but also your mental capabilities.


Now that we have talked about all the good stuff, let’s talk about some hurdles that come with hiring a teenage pet sitter and the problems they face too.

Time Commitment

Pet Sitting is not an easy job. It requires pure commitment. You can expect teenage pet sitters to put their time and effort into taking care of your pets. The shift requires extra effort if they are there for multiple shifts and even some overnight stays. It’s not short-term work like some of you expect it but is a long-time dedication.

Unpredictable Schedule

Teenage Pet Sitters need to adapt to the constantly changing schedule of the owners. This can result in them feeling extra tired and confused due to the schedule. This is very challenging for the teens who are doing it as part-time work and are stuck between their school and their work.

Responsibility and Stress

Pet Care isn’t an easy job. It requires immense hard work and responsibility. All this can lead to stress. That’s why you should look for a pet sitter who has experience handling tough situations. This is because if they do, they won’t panic in case of any emergencies.

Limited Social Life

Pet Sitters sacrifice many things to do what they actually love and that’s pet sitting. Pet sitting is a whole other responsibility which means they need to sacrifice their social life in order to take care of various pets and that’s dedication, my friends!

Parental Involvement

Parental Involvement is necessary if the teen is young. In this case, parents provide the transport, guidance, and also support for their child.

Emotional Attachment

Saying goodbye to a pet they took care of for so long is extremely hard for them. During care, they develop an emotional bond with them but when it’s time to say goodbye it’s hard for them but they understand that it is just a part of their job.

How to Choose a Dog Sitter

Now that we have discussed both the pros and cons of hiring a teenage pet sitter and also how much to pay a teenage dog sitter, it’s time for us to discuss how to choose one.

How to Choose a Dog Sitter
A dog owner tries to go outside for a walk together

To make sure that you choose the right dog sitter for both the safety of your pet and even you, you need to keep in mind the following steps:

Experience and Reference

If you want to hire a teenage dog sitter, you need to make sure to hire a teen with some experience in dog sitting. For extra good measures, you can also look for a teen who has experienced a dog sitting in the exact same breed of dog as yours. 

Another thing you need to make sure is that the person has genuine references and is reputable, to do so, you can read online reviews from their previous clients.


Compatibility is the most important when it comes to sitting with any pet. Make sure to ask them about their experience with other pets, especially about the experience of handling dogs of the same exact breed. This can be useful if your dog has special needs or requires special attention.


Make sure that their schedule lines up with yours. Scheduling for availability is the most important step which makes sure that they’re always available when you need them.


Discuss the cost of the services beforehand to get a better idea about your budget. Also, be sure to discuss payment methods to avoid any other issues after dog sitting. Keep in mind that additional services and care costs are extra too so also, make sure to clarify the charges for the extra care to avoid further confusion.


Another good measure is to also check whether your dog sitter has a proper way of communicating with you as well. Make sure that the dog sitter provides regular updates about the condition of the dog and whether everything’s under control or not. 

Background Check

Conducting a Background Check for your pet sitter is the most important step when it comes to hiring a pet sitter. Be sure to do your own research on whether the sitter is even legit or not.

Trial Period

An important thing that you need to keep in mind is to never directly do a long-term contract. Always do a trial period before actually hiring them full-time. This allows you to inspect whether they’re actually taking good care of your dog or not.

Emergency Plans

Make sure that your sitter has experience handling emergency situations like giving CPR and others. Discuss the things the sitter needs to do in case of emergency like vet care and contacting you immediately.

Offered Services

A good practice to make sure that you hire a suitable dog sitter is to first look at the services they are offering. Make sure that they offer the service that you’re looking for to avoid further complexities.


For extra good measures, make sure that if you’re hiring a dog sitter, he has liability insurance. Liability insurance can come into use in case of accidents or different emergencies.


Now the most important thing you need to make sure of is that the dog sitter you’re about to hire is located in a place where it is convenient for you and them too.


An extra good measure is to check whether your dog sitter has a certificate or any other qualification in pet care or not. This can include anything related to pet First Aid and CPR. This can give you a sigh of relief knowing that your dog sitter knows exactly what to do in case of an emergency.

Factors Affecting How Much to Pay a Teenage Dog Sitter

Now that we have discussed many topics like how much to pay a teenage dog sitter the pros and cons of hiring one and even how you can hire one. Now it’s time for us to discuss factors that affect how much to pay a teenage dog sitter. These factors include:


The average rates that dog sitters take vary from place to place. If you’re from an urban area, you can expect to pay a little more. If you’re from a more rural area, you can expect to pay a little bit less as compared to the ones in the urban areas.


Dog Sitters with higher experience may charge more. This is due to them taking care of dogs for a long time and having relevant certificates and experience which makes them more valuable. This is why they charge a bit more as compared to others.


Dog Sitters will charge more for more responsibilities like special care, taking care of the dog’s medication and many more things so expect to pay a bit more if you have extra responsibilities to give them.

Number of Dogs

This one’s pretty obvious, if you have multiple dogs then you can expect to pay a bit more too. This is due to the extra work and responsibility that comes with taking care of multiple dogs.

Duration of Care

As we discussed above, extra time means extra pay. You can expect to pay a little less for quick drop-in check-ups but if you want your dog sitter to stay a bit longer or even do an overnight stay, you can definitely expect to pay more.

Additional Tasks

If you also want the dog sitter to perform some extra tasks like grooming, cleaning, etc… You can expect to pay extra for that too as they’re not as easy as we suppose them to be.

Age and Maturity

Older and more mature teens tend to charge a bit more for their services because they can be more responsible and capable when compared to less mature ones. That’s why you should expect to pay them extra for that too.

Market Rates

Do some research to find out what the average rate of hiring a teenage dog sitter these days. This can act as a base for what you can actually expect to pay.

Teenager’s Expectations

It’s important to discuss teenager’s expectations too. Sometimes, many experienced teens work for a lower pay just to make ends meet. Discussing this earlier can make it easier for you to negotiate but remember to always pay fair!

Trial Period

Offer a lower rate at the starting stage (trial period) just to make sure that the dog sitter is doing their job correctly and is taking good care of the dog.


If the schedule of the dog sitter is flexible and is available at even the toughest of schedules, they may expect a bit more pay for their flexible schedule. That’s why you should also expect them to pay a little bit extra for their availability during their tough schedule.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Teenage Dog Sitter

Now that we have discussed how much to pay a teenage dog sitter and even tips on how to hire them, it’s time for us to discuss some common mistakes dog owners make while hiring a teenage dog sitter. Starting with:

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Hi
A teenage dog shows his funny expression

Lack of Experience

Don’t hire an inexperienced teenage dog sitter just to save a few pennies. Especially if your dog needs extra care. Be sure to choose teenagers with an actual record of dog sitting, they’ll be much better at what they’re doing.

Insufficient Knowledge

Make sure that they actually know what to do. This will make sure that your dog gets the care he needs and not just some random crap being fed to him all the time.

Poor Communication

Communication is the key! And if they can’t provide that, then I’m sorry you have the wrong teen as a dog sitter. Make sure that the communication is always clear and the sitter is providing frequent updates about the dog’s being every once in a while.

Ignoring Safety Precautions

Compromising on safety just isn’t worth it. Make sure to hire a properly trained teenage dog sitter who knows what to do in case of an emergency.

Not Setting Clear Boundaries

The most common mistake dog owners make when it comes to hiring a teenage dog sitter is not setting clear boundaries. Set your boundaries and give clear instructions on what they actually need to do.

Inadequate Supervision

If your pet needs more supervision, make it clear to the pet sitter so that they act accordingly with your pet. This step is important especially when your pet is still young and energetic.

Ignoring Liability and Insurance

Make sure that they are covered under insurance in case any accidents happen during their dog sitting.

Not Having a Trial Period

Directly hiring a full-time dog sitter is the biggest mistake that dog owners make. Hire a dog sitter on short notice and observe whether they’re taking good care of your dog or not. If yes, then hire them!

Failing to Provide Resources

Dog Sitters don’t bring their own resources like leash, food, medicine, etc. You will have to provide them on your own and not doing so is the biggest mistake many dog owners make.

Not Having a Contingency Plan

Always have a backup! Having backup plans just in case the dog sitter doesn’t make it due to some emergency is always a good plan and not doing so will cause many problems if they back out at the last second.

Do You Tip Pet Sitters?

Tipping isn’t necessary but is considered a good gesture if your dog sitter goes above and beyond to do their job exceptionally.

The average tip is around 10-20% of the original cost but of course, you can tip how much you like based on how much you’re impressed by their work.

End Note

And that’s it! In this article, we discussed how much to pay a teenage dog sitter. We talked about many aspects of teenage dog sitters like what are the pros and cons of hiring one.

The whole hiring process of how you can hire one was also discussed in this article. Some common mistakes that dog owners make while hiring a teenage dog sitter and which factors affect how much to pay a teenage dog sitter were also discussed. We also talked about whether it’s okay for you to tip your dog sitter or not.

We hope you liked this article and found it informative. Be sure to check out some of our other content too. Thanks for staying with us!

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