Last Updated: February 14, 2023

Compare Costs to Hire a Pet Sitter vs Boarding Your Pet

Pet Sitter Overview

Hiring a pet sitter is a great option for keeping your pets happy and cared for when you’re traveling. Most animals feel more comfortable in their own homes, and you won’t have to burden friends, neighbors or family members with the task.

A pet sitter will feed your animals and exercise them. Some offer services such as grooming or nail clipping. Others will take care of light tasks around the house such as collecting the mail, watering plants and alternating lights.

Most pet sitters require a minimum number of visits per day or week. For dogs, most require at least two visits per day. For cats, the minimum is at least one visit every other day. Each visit lasts about 20 to 30 minutes.

Hiring a Pet Sitter Cost

Most 20- to 30-minute visits cost about $10 to $20 for one or two pets. Multi-hour visits tend to run about $30 per hour. Extra tasks such as administering medication, cleaning up pet accidents or nail clipping usually run $5 to $10 each.

Hiring a Pet Sitter Pros

  • More comfortable for pets - Most pets are more comfortable in their own homes than at a kennel. A pet sitter is a particularly great option if you have pets that don’t get along with other animals.
  • Personal attention - With a pet sitter, your cats or dogs will get one-on-one attention while you’re gone.

Hiring a Pet Sitter Cons

  • Strangers in your house - If you don’t like the idea of a stranger being in your house while you’re gone, hiring a pet sitter is probably not for you.
  • More expensive - Hiring a pet sitter tends to cost more than boarding your pet.

Boarding Your Pet Overview

A boarding kennel is a facility that specializes in caring for pets while their owners are traveling. Your pet will be fed and exercised at the facility, as well as have the opportunity to socialize with other animals. Most boarding kennels also offer services such as grooming and training classes.

Boarding Your Pet Cost

Standard kennels usually charge anywhere from about $15 to $30 per night. The larger the animal, the more you will pay. Fancier pet spas or pet resorts can charge $50 per night or more, but the price includes extras like treats, special food, one-on-one attention and human-worthy sleeping accommodations.

Boarding Your Pet Pros

  • Less expensive - Boarding your pets usually costs less than hiring a pet sitter, unless you opt for a pet spa. The boarding process creates efficiencies because multiple pets can be cared for at once.
  • Social setting - Boarding your pets gives them an opportunity to socialize with other pets, which is good for some animals. And when you board your pets, they are never left alone.

Boarding Your Pet Cons

  • Not as comfortable for pets - Some pets suffer from stress and anxiety when they’re removed from their homes. Staying at home is more comfortable for most pets, particularly those that aren’t very social.
  • Less personal attention - When you board your pets, they don’t get a lot of one-on-one attention, as they would with a pet sitter.