Skip to Content

Is it Cheaper to Hire a Pet Sitter or Bring Your Dog on the Trip?

A female staff member at a kennel supervises several large dogs playing together.

Hiring a pet sitter can offer peace of mind, knowing that your loyal companion is being cared for by a dedicated professional in the comfort of their own home. On the other hand, bringing your dog along on the trip means that you won’t have to worry about separation anxiety or feelings of guilt for leaving them behind.

The cost of a pet sitter might depend on the duration of the trip, the specific services provided, and the location. Meanwhile, bringing your dog on the trip entails expenses such as pet-friendly accommodations, potential boarding fees, and transportation costs. By analyzing these variables, pet owners can make an informed decision about which option is ultimately more cost-effective for their specific situation.

Comparing Costs

Pet Sitter Fees

Hiring a pet sitter has its advantages, such as allowing the dog to stay in its familiar environment and ensuring its routine is minimally disrupted. The cost of pet sitters varies based on factors such as location, experience, and the specific services offered. Here’s a general outline of pet sitter fees:

  • Standard pet sitting: Costs range from $15 to $45 per visit, with each visit lasting around 30 minutes. Multiple visits per day or overnight stays can increase the fee.
  • Additional services: Some pet sitters offer extra services like dog walking, grooming, and administering medication, which will come at an additional cost.

Travel Expenses for Dogs

happy kids sitting on backseats in car with dog

Bringing a dog along on a trip requires accounting for additional costs, such as transportation, accommodation, and food. Here’s a breakdown of common travel expenses:

  • Air travel: Fees for flying with a dog can range from $50 to $500, depending on the airline and whether the dog travels in the cabin or as checked baggage.
  • Car travel: Although there may not be any direct fees, longer car trips may require purchasing a crate or other restraint system to ensure the dog’s safety.
  • Pet-friendly accommodations: Hotels and vacation rentals can charge pet fees, which range from $10 to $150 per stay.
  • Food and supplies: Budget for extra food, treats, and possibly a portable water bowl or other travel essentials for the trip.

By carefully evaluating the expenses and considering the dog’s needs, pet owners can decide whether to hire a pet sitter or bring their furry friend along on their travels.

Pros and Cons of Each Option

Hiring a Pet Sitter

Young happy pet sitters walking large group of dogs on a leash in the park.

Hiring a pet sitter can be a convenient option for pet owners who wish to leave their furry friends behind while traveling. Some of the pros of hiring a pet sitter include:

  • Less stress for your dog: Being in a familiar environment can help reduce stress for your dog, which can be especially beneficial for those who are anxious or have trouble adapting to new surroundings.
  • Customized care: A pet sitter can provide personalized care tailored to your dog’s specific needs, such as administering medication, adhering to dietary restrictions, or providing extra playtime.
  • Home security: Having a trusted pet sitter checking on your home regularly can add an extra layer of security while you’re away.

However, there are also some cons to consider:

  • Cost: Depending on the pet sitter’s experience and qualifications, their fees can be higher than other dog care options.
  • Finding the right sitter: It can be challenging to find a reliable and trustworthy pet sitter who will take care of your dog properly.
  • Potential risks: There is always a risk when leaving your pet in someone else’s care, such as the potential for accidents or your dog not getting along with the sitter.

Taking Your Dog on the Trip

Two happy beautiful Corgi dog puppies are driving in the car.

Alternatively, bringing your dog along on the trip can be a fun and rewarding experience for both owner and pet. Some advantages of taking your dog on the trip are:

  • Bonding time: Traveling together can strengthen the bond between you and your dog, providing opportunities for new shared experiences and memories.
  • No separation anxiety: For dogs that suffer from separation anxiety, accompanying their owner can help reduce stress levels.
  • Flexibility: You can attend to your dog’s needs more effectively and make adjustments on-the-go compared to hiring a pet sitter.

However, there are cons to consider when bringing your dog on the trip:

  • Travel restrictions: Not all accommodations and transportation options are pet-friendly, limiting your choices and potentially adding extra costs.
  • Potential stress for your dog: Traveling can also be stressful for your dog, particularly if they require frequent stops or are not comfortable in new environments.
  • Additional planning: Taking your dog on the trip requires additional planning, such as securing pet-friendly accommodations, packing the necessary supplies, and ensuring their vaccines and documentation are up-to-date.

By considering the pros and cons of hiring a pet sitter and taking your dog on the trip, you can make an informed decision that best suits your individual needs and preferences.

Factors to Consider

When deciding between hiring a pet sitter or bringing your dog along on a trip, it’s essential to consider a few factors that can significantly impact the overall cost and convenience of each option.

Trip Duration

Young traveler sitting with his dog aboard the plane.

The length of your trip is an important factor. For shorter trips, bringing your dog along might be more cost-effective, as you won’t need to hire a pet sitter for multiple days. On the other hand, if you’re going away for an extended period, hiring a pet sitter might be the better option, as boarding fees and additional pet-related travel expenses could add up.


female guest with dog and baggage at hotel reception.

When considering accommodations, travelers with pets need to research pet-friendly hotels that may charge additional fees for pets. It’s essential to weigh these costs against the fees of hiring a pet sitter, as well as the comfort and preferences of your dog. Some dogs may struggle with adapting to unfamiliar environments, so their well-being should be taken into account when making this decision.


A couple and their dog jog down a trail in Phoenix, Arizona toward the iconic red sandstone buttes of Papago Park.

Bringing your dog along might limit your options, as some attractions and events may not welcome pets. On the other hand, if you plan on engaging in pet-friendly activities, such as hiking or spending time at dog parks, bringing your dog can enhance the experience. It’s essential to balance the feasibility of including your dog in your planned activities with the potential benefits and drawbacks of hiring a pet sitter.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.