Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

What Is the Cost of Dog Sitting & Dog Boarding in Canada? (2023 Price Guide)

Kathryn Copeland

By Kathryn Copeland

two dog sitters walking the dogsGoing on vacation is one of life’s greatest pleasures, but it can also be highly stressful, especially when you can’t bring your dog with you, and you must ensure that they are cared for while you’re gone. Generally, the average price for a dog sitter can be approximately $25-$50, while dog boarding can cost $15-$60.

If you don’t have any friends or family members who can look after your dog, you’re likely considering hiring a dog sitter or boarding your dog.

Here, we discuss the pros and cons of each option and the kinds of costs that you can expect as a Canadian dog owner.

Divider 8

The Difference Between Dog Sitting and Dog Boarding

Both dog sitting and dog boarding have their advantages and disadvantages. Both are helpful when you need to be away from home, whether it’s just for a weekend or a whole week.

Dog Sitting

Cute hungry Welsh corgi dogs waiting for food from dog sitter in dog cafe
Image Credit: Verin, Shutterstock

Dog sitting is a great option that enables your dog to stay home and be taken care of by someone with experience looking after pets. This means your dog will receive one-on-one attention and can stick to most of their usual routines.

There’s also the advantage that your home will be looked after too. But pet sitters typically cost more than boarding facilities, and you’ll want to ensure that you’re hiring someone trustworthy and experienced. You’ll definitely need to double-check references.

Pet sitting works well for most dogs and is typically a better option than boarding for nervous dogs that suffer from anxiety or are aggressive around other dogs.

  • Your dog gets one-on-one attention
  • They can stay at home where they are most comfortable
  • You can choose the level of care that you want: 24 hours, several hours a day, etc.
  • The pet sitter can update you as often as you want
  • You need to find someone you trust; consider only someone with pet first aid qualifications
  • You’ll have a stranger in your home, and a territorial dog might not be okay with this

Dog Boarding

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

Dog boarding will mean bringing your dog to a boarding facility where they will stay until you pick them up. It’s less expensive than a pet sitter and trained staff will provide care.

But your dog won’t get the same individual and personalized attention that they would with a pet sitter. You’ll also need to have your dog’s vaccinations up to date and provide proof of that, which helps protect your dog and the other dogs in the facility.

Boarding should work quite well for social and friendly dogs that enjoy playing with other dogs.

  • Less expensive than a pet sitter
  • Great socialization for your dog
  • Qualified staff can take excellent care of your dog
  • Stressful for most dogs
  • Higher chance of accident or illness
  • Care isn’t as personalized; your dog’s usual routines won’t be in place unless you pay extra

Divider 4

How Much Does Dog Sitting & Dog Boarding Cost?

How much you pay for either a dog sitter or dog boarding will depend on how long you’ll be gone, your location, and of course, the individual sitter or facility.

The average price for a dog sitter can start at about $25 a day. But if you live in a major city and require overnight stays or have any special requests (like if your dog needs medication), you might pay about $40 to $50 or more for each day.

Dog boarding can range from $15 to $60, including overnight.

Cost of a Standard Overnight Stay for One Dog in Canada

Service Ontario Quebec Calgary
Dog Boarding $59/day $30/day $49/day
Dog Sitting $15/hour or $75/overnight $23/30 min. $50/1 visit or $135/day

Sources: Dog Sense Day Care & Grooming, North York, Possumplace Kennels, Pointe-Fortune, Springbank Pet Resort, Calgary, Toronto Dog Walks, Walks & Wags, Montreal, D.H. Petcare and Service, Calgary

The prices can vary dramatically, but dog boarding is definitely less expensive. Some pet sitters can drop in periodically but not stay all night, which will be more affordable.

When you’ve decided on one method, do your research so you know that you’ll be getting what you want and what works for your budget.

Additional Costs to Anticipate

Beyond the initial price that you pay the sitter or boarding facility, unexpected expenses might arise.

Boarding facilities include walks, food, and other supplies, but with a pet sitter, you’ll need to purchase the supplies yourself. The pet sitter will also cost extra if they give your dog multiple walks throughout the day and of course, if they stay overnight.

At a boarding facility, there might be extra fees for grooming, walks, and treats. If any medical issues arise, that will be a charge too.

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

Divider 4Does Pet Insurance Cover Dog Sitting & Dog Boarding?

If you already have pet insurance, you’ll need to check with them on what they cover. But if you’re considering pet insurance, shop around. Some pet insurance providers cover boarding, but others only cover it when you are hospitalized for at least 3 days. If having boarding or sitter fees covered is important to you, do your research to find a company that will cover these expenses.

How to Find a Good Dog Sitter

There are a few ways that you can find a dog sitter. Some insurance companies hire pet sitters whose profiles can be found on their websites. The advantage here is that the company has already evaluated these pet sitters.

Otherwise, you can speak to other dog owners you know or do research online and hire one privately. Look for sitters with excellent online reviews, and when you’ve settled on one or more, have them come meet your dog.

Allowing your dog to meet the sitter in advance will make things more comfortable for them when you leave, and you can see how they interact with each other. Move on to the next candidate if it just doesn’t seem like the best fit.

Good pet sitters should be insured, great with dogs, friendly, trustworthy, and reliable.

man and dog walking
Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

Finding a Good Dog-Boarding Facility

Start by doing an online search for dog boarding in your area. You can speak to other dog owners you know for recommendations, but otherwise, check out the facility’s website.

Look for online reviews and read through what is provided. You can also request to visit the facility before you book so you can see firsthand what they offer. Have the staff give you a tour, as this can give you the opportunity to ask questions.

Try to speak to other dog owners who also use the boarding facility. This way, you can be assured that your dog will be well taken care of.

Divider 5


Whether you opt for a sitter or a boarding facility, you will need to pay a fair amount. But this is necessary if you want your dog to be as comfortable and happy as possible.

There are definite advantages and disadvantages to both methods, so you’ll need to weigh the temperament and needs of your dog.

In Canada, you can expect to pay $15 to $50 or more for a pet sitter, depending on how long you want them to stay at your home. Boarding can run about $30 to $60 or more for each day that they spend there.

Remember to check credentials and recommendations before you put your best friend into a stranger’s hands.

Featured Image Credit: Jumpstory

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database