How Much to Pay a Teenage Dog Sitter

teenager with dog being paid to dog sit

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High school often comes with a major milestone: making your own money! Many teens and high schoolers love dogs and have been taking care of family pets for several years. because of this experience and passion, teens often offer pet-sitting services to their family friends, neighbors, and family members.

But how much should you pay a teenager for pet sitting your dogs?

Teenagers can afford to charge a lower amount for pet sitting, usually $10-15 per hour for drop-in visits or walks, or $25-$50 per night for overnight stays. Most high schoolers will have a school schedule to work around, so weekly and monthly rates can be difficult to determine.

As you can see, teenagers and high schoolers are much more cost-effective to hire. However, hiring someone young and in school comes with its own challenges. Let’s look into how much you should pay a teenager for each service, as well as the pros and cons of hiring a teenager for your pet-sitting job.

How Much To Pay A Teen: Quick Reference

We’ll explain exactly how we go to these numbers but if you just want a quick look you can check out this chart:

Type Of Visit One Time Per Week Per Month (1 visit/day)
Drop-In Visit $10-20 per hour $70-100 Per Week (1 visit/day) $250-400 Per Month (1 visit/day)
Walking Only $15-20 per 30-minute walk $100-$200 Weekly (1 dog/1 walk per day) $350-500 (1 dog/1 walk per day)
Overnight Sitting $5-15 per hour OR
$25-50 per night (overnight only)
$150-300 per week (overnight only) $600-$800 per month (overnight only)

 

How Much to Pay a Teenager for a Drop-In Visit

When looking for a teenage pet sitter, the best type of visit to choose is a drop-in visit. Drop-in visits mean that the teenager only has to come to your home to care for your dog, and this minimizes the chances of incidents.

When looking into how much you should pay your teenage pet sitter, there are a few factors to consider.

Drop-In Duties

Teenagers and high schoolers are capable, blossoming young adults, but they are still kids that need guidance and patience. When hiring a teenage dog sitter, keep in mind that they are not professionals, and may need simpler or fewer duties to be successful as your pet sitter.

The responsibilities of the drop-in sitter greatly affect how much they should get paid. A sitter that simply needs to let the dog out to potty and feed it dinner is going to earn a lower fee than a sitter that needs to walk the dog, feed them, scoop the litter box, give medication, etc. These duties will take more time and effort, and should be paid more, even for teens!

Multiple Pets

For almost every sitter, friend, teenager, or professional, the more pets you have, the more work your pet-sitting job will be. Though this is related to drop-in duties, multiple pet households require more time, more effort, and often have more risk involved.

Walking two dogs can be much more difficult than walking one dog, and takes a certain amount of skill to successfully do. I’ve seen people of all ages possess the skills needed to successfully handle one or multiple dogs, and they deserve a fair wage for that very special skill!

Number of Visits

How often your sitter needs to come to the home can greatly affect the cost of their services. If your pets need multiple visits per day, then the pet sitter has to account for that time, the travel to your home, and the interruption in their day. Because of these, they often charge per visit or a higher daily rate.

It can be hard to find a teenager that can commit to a schedule that has multiple drop-ins per day, especially during school months. Summer months may be much easier to schedule with high school pet sitters, but keep in mind that they are still kids and want to have plenty of fun! For dogs that need more specialized care, a teenage sitter may not be ideal. 

Summary:

  • $10-20 Per Hour
  • $70-100 Per Week (1 visit/day)
  • $250-400 Per Month (1 visit/day)

It can be hard to determine exactly what to pay your teenage friend for dropping in on your pets. Teenagers often are looking for extra cash to spend, so they can afford to take lower-paying jobs. However, they still deserve a fair price for the hard work and love they give your pets. On average, most teenagers are content to take $10-20 an hour, $25-50 per night, and $250-400 per month for one drop-in visit per day.

Extended stays may be difficult to schedule with a teenager. If they are in school for several hours a day, they likely cannot take jobs that require more than one visit per day. additionally,y many teenagers won’t want to commit to a month-long job, as their schedules tend to be very busy with sports, homework, and family activities.

How Much To Pay a Teenager For a Walk

While some pets have a backyard that allows them to be easily let out and exercised, some pet owners are apartment dwellers that need their dogs walked around their neighborhood or a local park. Walking the dog is a chore that many parents give to preteen and teenage family members, so many teens already have experience walking dogs.

There are a few questions you should ask yourself as you think about how much you should pay a high schooler to walk your dog.

How Easy is the Dog to Walk?

We’ve all seen or experienced the unpleasant experience of trying to walk a dog that is stronger than you and pulling you down the sidewalk. No one wants to be in that situation. It’s not only uncomfortable, but it’s also dangerous! Especially for a teenager that might not know what to do in emergency situations.

Unfortunately, not every dog is taught to walk well on a leash. Dogs that are used to walks tend to do much better than a dog that is not used to being on a leash. If you are planning on hiring a teenager as your dog walker, make sure that your dog is well-trained on a leash. If you cannot do that before hiring a walker, it may be worth looking into the pricier but safer option of a professional trainer that offers walks.

Multiple dogs can also make a walk more difficult to perform. Controlling one dog is easy enough, but controlling two dogs on the same walk can be a challenge even for professionals, let alone high schoolers! The difficulty of the walk you are asking the teenager to do should be discussed and factored into the payment.

How Often?

The number of walks needed throughout the day will heavily affect the price. High schoolers are in school for most of the year, so it can be difficult for them to arrange multiple daily visits during those months. Summer is easier, but not all teenagers can drive, adding another obstacle for them to perform as many visits as your pets may need.

If the teenager you are hiring has no issue getting to your home multiple times a day, they should be paid for that time and effort. Often, teenage pet sitting live close to their clients, so you may find a great pet sitter in your neighborhood that still rides the bus!

How Long Should the Walk Be?

Not every dog will need the same type of walk. Older or smaller dogs may be happy with a 15-minute lap around the block, but high-energy dogs may need a full hour of active exercise to fulfill their exercise needs.

Before you determine how much to pay your dog walker, first decide how long your dog will need to walk for. The longer the walk, the more the teenager deserves to be paid.

Summary:

  • $15-20 per 30-minute walk
  • $100-$200 Weekly (1 dog/1 walk per day)
  • $350-500 (1 dog/1 walk per day)

Teenagers are great to hire for easy walking jobs. They are ideal for pet owners that need their dog walked after school or live nearby. Teenagers should only be hired to walk dogs that are well-trained and safe to walk! Reactive dogs, dogs with poor leash manners, and aggressive dogs can be difficult for even experienced dog walkers, so expecting a teenager to care for them is dangerous.

A teen or high schooler that is perfect as a dog walker is one that is close to your family or easy to incorporate into your routine. A neighborhood teen, a friend of your kids, or even a child of a family friend is a trusted person that can be easy to add as a reliable dog walker. They will charge less than a professional, and a personal connection can be invaluable!

How Much To Pay a Teenager for Overnight Sitting

Many pet owners prefer that their dogs stay in their own homes while they are away. This often helps with dogs that have anxiety, need special care, or are easily stressed. This can get expensive if you are looking for a professional pet sitter, especially if your pet needs round-the-clock care.

That’s why many pet owners decide to hire a trusted teenager to watch their pets while they are away. Teenagers are often much cheaper, but let’s look at the factors you should consider when deciding how much cheaper.

Responsibilities

Every dog has their own routine, so every job will have different responsibilities to perform. It’s important to remember that hiring a teenage sitter will often mean that you will have to lower your expectations for responsibilities.

Teenagers are capable young humans, but will likely not be as professional as a pet-sitting company. That doesn’t mean that they can’t do a great job, just that important tasks should be prioritized during their stays to ensure your teenage sitter is set up for success.

How Long Do They Need to Stay?

The length of time needed to stay at the home is a huge factor when considering how much to pay a pet sitter, especially a high schooler. Most teenagers are in school, sports, or are still an integral part of their daily family activities. This can make it difficult for them to be away from home for multiple nights in a row. Parents may also be uncomfortable with their teens staying somewhere alone for extended periods of time.

Summary:

  • $5-15 per hour
  • $25-50 per night (overnight only)
  • $150-300 per week (overnight only)
  • $600-$800 per month (overnight only)

For the most part, you will be paying anywhere from $25 to $50 per night for a teenage pet sitter to stay in your home. Easier jobs with one or two pets will likely be much cheaper than jobs that have many pets or a lot of responsibilities. It;s unlikely that you will be able to find a teenager that can do a week or months of overnight stays.

Many teenagers are not able to stay at your home throughout the day during school season, but may not mind as much during summer months or weekend days. Though many professional pet sitters would charge an hourly fee for this type of service, most teenagers may only charge a few extra dollars.

Though a teenager is a much cheaper option than a professional or adult friend, they should be paid fairly to help them build confidence in their pet sitter services.

The Pros and Cons of a Teenage Pet Sitter

Pet sitting is not a job that should be taken lightly. Pets are not just our close companions, they’re also our best friends, fur babies, and loved members of the family. The person hired to take care of them while you are away should be reliable enough to treat the pets like their own.

Teenagers are common thought when we consider pet sitters or babysitters, though there are several pros and cons to using a teenage pet sitter that need to be considered when deciding on pet care.

Pros

Teenagers aren’t kids anymore, but they’re not exactly fully-functioning adults yet either. Despite their reputation, there are definite pros to hiring a teenagers instead of a professional or adult.

Overall Cost is Lower

Teenagers often still live with their parents and have few living expenses. This means that they are willing to work for lower pay than some adults or professionals that may use the money to help pay their bills. While a teenager should be paid fairly for their time and effort, they are likely to cost about half as much as a professional pet sitter.

A Close Connection is Priceless

Most pet owners that hire teenagers as pet sitter have some sort of personal connection to the teen in question, which could mean that the dog already has some sort of relationship with the potential pet sitter.

This is perfect for pets that are anxious around new people. Professional pet sitters always start new clients out with a meet and greet to establish a relationship with the dog. Hiring a pet sitter that has been around the dog several times is like having several meet and greets to build trust between your dog and the pet sitter.

Encourages a Young Entrepreneur

Teenagers are blossoming young adults that are the next generation of society, and they should be encouraged to pursue new passions. Every professional pet sitter, veterinarian, groomer, or trainer had to start somewhere. for many of us, pet sitting for friends and neighbors as teenagers was the logical first step.

A love of others pets and an obsession with giving them excellent care should be encouraged. It leads to a new generation of pet professionals that have spent years of their lives dedicated to your pets.

As a pet professional, I have always been appreciative of the people that gave me my first opportunities with dogs at any price!

Cons

Teenagers have a reputation of being careless and unreliable, but that certainly does not describe everyone. Passionate teenagers can be excellent caretakers, and can hold a vast skill set for pet sitting.

Still, due to their age and the nature of the pet sitting business, there are cons to hiring a teenager instead of a professional pet sitting service.

Inexperience Can Cost

Teenagers often begin caring for dogs through childhood chores like feeding and walking their family dog. This is great experience to start with, but is very limited to their dog. It doesn’t account for learning how to great the body language of different dogs, or how to handle situations outside of their usual routine.

Due to no fault of their own, most teenagers just do not have the experience that may be required for dogs with medical needs, dogs with behavioral problems, or even unforeseen emergencies. In the end, this can cost more in the long run for vet visits or worse.

No Guarantee

High schoolers are unlikely running a pet sitting business, so they almost certainly don’t have the backups that pet sitting businesses have. Insurance, backup sitters, and professional CPR of first aid training are just a few ways that pet sitters set themselves apart as professional in their field.

Teenagers, of course, do not have any of this but that doesn’t mean they are worse as pet sitters. However, if you opt for a teenage pet sitter, there is no guarantee involved that you can feel secure about if something happened to the pet sitter or your pets. In the long run, this can cost in more than just money.

Conclusion

Paying a teenager to watch your pets can be a great way to save some money and encourage a young dog lover’s passion for caring for pets. Those there are pros and cons, a trusted high schooler could be the perfect pet sitter for your dog. At an average of $25 to $50 a night, teenagers want a fair age but don’t require enough to help pay bills.  You love the savings and they love the opportunity and extra cash!