The Cost of a Dog Sitter in Cities Around the U.S.

By: Kathryn Anderson Updated: April 21, 2023

title graphic the cost of a dog sitter in cities around the U.S.

Fido is not just a pet––he’s family. Of course, we want our canine companions to join the fam on every vacation, but more often than not, there are cases where our furry family member(s) simply can’t come. Alas, not every trip is pet-friendly. As a result, one of the most common questions for vacation-bound pet parents remains: who on earth is going to watch my dog? 

At CertaPet, we know how stressful it can be to leave your pup behind. We also know that it’s no easy feat, finding the best possible care for them without breaking the bank. Many turn to platforms like in order to book trusted, vetted pet sitters, but these costs can vary quite a bit depending on your location. Thus, CertaPet dove into the costs of boarding your dog at a sitter’s home vs. hiring a dog sitter to come to your own home in the 50 most populous cities around the U.S.



We used to collect data on the cost of boarding vs. hiring a dog sitter. defines boarding and sitting as follows:

Boarding: Your dog stays overnight in a dog sitter’s home

Sitting: A dog sitter stays overnight with your dog in your home

On, we searched the costs of boarding vs. sitting for one medium-sized dog (16-40lbs) in 50 of the largest U.S. cities and collected the average cost of the first 20 listings. We used the nightly cost of boarding vs. sitting on to calculate an overall annual cost, based on a standard two weeks of paid vacation time.

Read on to find out how much boarding and dog sitting costs in your area!


Where Do You Save the Most by Boarding Your Dog? 

a U.S. map plotting the 10 cities where you save the most and least by boarding your dog

Out of 50 of the largest cities, 10 came out on top for saving the most annually from boarding vs. sitting, based on a two-week vacation. Two cities claimed the top two spots by having an annual savings of over $300 each! Philadelphia landed the number one spot for saving $336.70 per year by boarding vs. sitting, and Los Angeles came in second place for saving $335.30 per year. Atlanta, San Francisco, Tampa, and St. Louis are all in the $200 club, and Denver, Detroit, Houston, and Providence all have annual savings between $180-$200. 

Overall, every city shows some amount of savings for boarding over sitting except for one, Minneapolis. In Minneapolis, the average cost to board your furry friend in a sitter’s home matches the cost of a pet sitter watching your pup at your house; so, Minneapolis folks should take advantage of Rover’s “sitting” option, where your dog can be cared for in a familiar environment.


a bar chart showing the average nightly cost of boarding and a dog sitter in 20 U.S. cities


Averaging $30.45 per night, Oklahoma City has the cheapest rate for boarding your pooch at a sitter’s house. St. Louis, Jacksonville, and Memphis also offer low rates, all under $32 per night. New York has the highest cost per night for boarding your canine pal at $61 per night. Averaging $59.25 per night, boarding is pretty steep in both San Jose and San Francisco as well. 

Let’s face it though, sometimes comfort is worth paying a little extra. If you would prefer that your dog stays in the comfort of your own home with a sitter, there are a few cities where your pup can do so cost-efficiently. Indianapolis is the cheapest city in the U.S. for hiring a pet sitter at $36.45 per night on average. 

Other cities where you can hire a sitter for under $40 per night include Louisville, Memphis, Kansas City, and Virginia Beach. San Francisco, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and New York hold the highest nightly costs for a pet sitter, with each averaging anywhere from $70-$80 per night. 


a bar chart showing the average annual cost of boarding and a dog sitter in 20 U.S. cities

When considering the annual cost of boarding your furry family member, again, Oklahoma City has the cheapest rate. In Oklahoma City, boarding your dog for two weeks out of the year would cost $426.30. NYC is a different story. The average annual cost of boarding your pup in New York City is $847. San Jose and San Francisco tie with the second most expensive cities to board your dog at $829.50 each year. 

San Francisco also has the heftiest average annual cost of hiring a dog sitter into your home with a price tag of $1,108 each year. Los Angeles is the second most expensive city, setting dog parents back $1,005 each year.


Full Data

Interested in diving deeper into the numbers? We’ve compiled the nightly cost of boarding vs. pet sitting for all 50 U.S. cities analyzed into the interactive data table below. Search for the city you call home or click on the heading of each column to sort by that category! 


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