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What Is the Cost of Dog Sitting & Dog Boarding in Australia? (2024 Update)

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By Kerry-Ann Kerr

dogs playing at a dog boarding kennel

A dog sitter or dog boarding can be costly, but sometimes it’s a necessity, especially if you travel a lot. Dog sitting costs can vary depending on a few factors, like where you’re based, what service you require, and how long you need it. So, let’s look at how much you might have to pay so you have a better idea of what to expect.

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The Importance of Dog Sitting & Dog Boarding

Finding a dog sitter or a boarding service that you can trust is essential for your peace of mind and your dog’s wellbeing. Healthy adult dogs can be left in the house alone for around 6 to 8 hours at most because that is generally how long they can hold their bladder.

This changes when the dog in question has health conditions or is a puppy or senior dog. Some owners consider getting someone to pop in to check on their dogs, feed them, take them for a walk, change their water, and let them out to use the bathroom. While some people use friends and family, others turn to professionals.

Leaving your dog alone for an extended period can be highly stressful for them, which then results in boredom and undesirable behaviors, such as going to the bathroom inside the house, biting furniture, scratching walls, barking, or whining.

large and small dogs in a pet boarding facility
Image by: Jayme Burrows, Shutterstock

How Much Does Dog Sitting & Dog Boarding in Australia Cost?

The cost of dog sitting can vary depending on the services you require. You could hire a dog sitter on an hourly basis, which works well if you need a sitter at different times during the week. Hourly sitting services typically include feeding your dog, walking them, and generally checking up on their welfare. However, some people can house-sit for you, in which case they would charge much more. Alternatively, you could turn to boarding facilities, and the costs will differ between kennels, a dog hotel, or a sitter’s home.

Below, we’ve gathered estimates of how much these options might set you back.

Service Average Cost Per Dog (AUD)
At-home visits and walks $10–$50
Overnight stay at the sitter’s house $35–$70
House sitting per day $35–$90
Kennels $25–$50
Dog hotel $40–$55
Luxury hotel $60–$160
Doggy daycare $20–$65

Additional Costs to Anticipate

Some of these prices vary significantly, but the price you pay will be affected by a few factors, which we will look at now.

a person walking several dogs outdoors
Image by: Blue Bird, Pexels

Dog’s Size, Age, and Health

A small dog will cost less than a large dog, which probably isn’t very surprising. Your dog’s age will also affect the cost, as puppies have much higher needs than adults. Health problems could also affect the price, and some sitters may not care for unhealthy canines.

Level of Experience

If you hire a certified professional, you’ll pay much more than you would for a self-employed sitter without certification.

a staff member with several dogs at a doggy daycare kennel
Image by: Jayme Burrows, Shutterstock


If your dog requires a vet visit or runs out of food that the pet sitter has to replace, you will likely incur more costs, especially if you live in a remote area and they have to travel far. This will also drive up your price, as traveling to your home every day might factor into their price in general.

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How Often Should I Hire a Dog Sitter?

We recommend hiring someone if you are thinking of being out of the house for an extended period, like overnight or when on vacation. While adult dogs can be alone for 6 to 8 hours, we recommend not leaving them alone for longer than 4 to 6 if possible; a puppy can’t usually be alone for more than 2 hours.

You might also consider a sitter for a short-term solution. For example, if you work and your dog has some additional needs that require someone to be in the house more often than usual. You might find a sitter useful if your dog has a health problem that requires them to take medication at certain times or if they need to use the bathroom more than usual. It’s also an option you might consider as your dog ages and needs to use the bathroom more than it once did.

two dog sitters walking the dogs
Image by: JumpStory

Does Pet Insurance Cover Dog Sitting & Boarding?

Unfortunately, pet insurance is for accidents and illnesses and won’t cover your dog- sitting or boarding costs. Some plans cover medical boarding costs, and it is worth looking into. Your insurance will cover your pet if they have an accident or are injured while with a sitter or boarding.

Liability insurance is worth taking out if you are thinking of becoming a dog sitter. No matter how careful you are, accidents happen, especially around something as unpredictable as an animal.

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How Do I Choose a Dog Sitter?

Image Credit: liaoxh1981, Pixabay

When picking the perfect sitter, figuring out where to start can be a little daunting. So, we’ve found these helpful tips to give you an idea of what to look out for:

  • Do your research: Go online and utilize social media and community websites. This is an excellent way to seek recommendations if you don’t know anyone who has used a service in the past. Your veterinarian might also recommend a reliable sitter.
  • Do your due diligence: Meet the dog sitter in person and ensure they’re qualified to deal with your dog’s needs. Request information about upfront costs and find out how your sitter will commute to your home.
  • Accept it might not work: If you leave treats or food out for the sitter to give your dog and they haven’t, or if you ask for a detailed report and pictures about your dog’s day and don’t receive them, it might be an indication the relationship won’t work.

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The cost of dog sitting and dog boarding in Australia can vary depending on a few factors, like the age and size of your dog, their health, the experience of your dog sitter, and the type of care you require. Although these services can be expensive, they’re worth it for your peace of mind and your dog’s health and happiness.

Featured Image Credit: Jayme Burrows, Shutterstock

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