4 min read

How Much Should I Tip My Pet Caregiver?


Written by Adam Lee-Smith

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 11/21/2022, edited: 03/13/2023

If you've never booked a dog walk or overnight pet care before, you might be wondering, "Am I supposed to tip my dog walker or sitter?" The answer is yes — no matter which type of pet care service you book, you should tip your Pet Caregiver. But how much should you tip? And what factors might affect the amount of your tip? Scroll on to find out!

Why should I tip my dog walker, boarder, or sitter?

Tipping the person caring for your pet is important for several reasons. Pet care is a service job, just like waiting tables and cutting hair — it's considered standard practice to tip your Pet Caregiver.

Apart from a 5-star review, a tip is the best way to show appreciation for a job well done. If your Pet Caregiver went above and beyond for your fur-baby, a decent tip is the best way to show you like their work.

It's also a "grrreat" way to ensure your Pet Caregiver requests your bookings in the future. Some of the best Pet Caregivers are in high demand. If you have a preferred dog walker, sitter, or boarder, a good tip will encourage them to look after your pet in the future. 

How much should I tip my dog walker, sitter, or boarder?

You should always tip your Pet Caregiver, but how much should you tip? You should tip your Pet Caregiver anywhere from 10% to 25% of the overall cost of a service, just as you would with any other service job. 

You could even tip more than 25% if your dog walker, sitter, or boarder has gone above and beyond. The amount you tip should depend on several factors other than just general kindness or appreciation for a service.

Factors that affect your tip amount

No two pet care services are the same. The amount you should tip the person caring for your pet will depend on various things, from the time of year to your dog's personality. Let's take a closer look.

Special pet care needs

Some dogs require extra care, which can affect the amount your should tip your Pet Caregiver. Your dog might need to take medication during a dog sitting service, or they might have allergies that need to be closely monitored. 

You should also consider your dog's age. Puppies tend to be a handful, while elderly dogs might have specific dietary requirements and health issues. 

Consider your dog's health, age, and breed when tipping your Pet Caregiver. The more special care your dog needs, the more you should tip, ideally.

Holiday bookings

It's no secret that pet care is more expensive during peak holiday periods due to increased demand and limited availability. However, you should still tip during the holidays, even if your Pet Caregiver's base rates are higher than usual.

If you're not able to splash out on a tip, consider doing something else to show your appreciation, like leaving them a handmade card, a custom hamper, or even a gift card.

Weather conditions

Pet parents may not "paws" to consider weather conditions when booking a dog walker, but the weather can make a big difference to the ideal tip amount for a service.

Walking a dog is considerably more difficult if it's 90 degrees outside or there's a foot of snow. Tip your walker more if weather conditions aren't ideal for a stroll around the block.

(Speaking of, here's a friendly reminder to avoid booking walks for the hottest or coldest parts of the day altogether, especially if your pup doesn't have dog booties or another form of protection from the elements.)

Behavioral issues

If your dog pulls on their leash, barks at strangers, or doesn't come when called, they'll be more difficult to walk than a pup with perfect behavior. Similarly, dogs with separation anxiety might cause trouble for a new dog sitter, while dogs that don't play well with other pups could prove bothersome during a boarding service.

If you know your pup might be a handful during a pet care service, be honest about any behavioral problems when booking, and plan to tip your Pet Caregiver well. (Especially if your Pet Caregiver has special qualifications or experience dealing with those issues!)

Last-minute bookings

Taking on last-minute bookings is often more demanding and requires flexibility, so reward your Pet Caregiver with a generous tip. While some pet care providers offer on-demand availability, many dog sitters and boarders will typically need to be booked in advance.

If you need someone to help out in a pinch to watch your woofer in case of emergency, factor this into your tip amount, especially if the Pet Caregiver will need to drop what they're doing and travel to take care of your dog.

Related: How Early Should I Book a Pet Boarder?

person holding a smartphone with the wag! app open to the tip screen

How to tip your Pet Caregiver in the Wag! app

Tipping your Pet Caregiver through the Wag! app is simple. You can add a tip before a service or once it's completed.

To add a tip before your service:

  1. From the home screen of the Wag! app, tap the type of service you'd like to book (Walk, Drop-In, Overnight Care, or Training).
  2. Enter the details of your booking, including the time and date, your home access info, and any notes you'd like to leave your Pet Caregiver.
  3. Tap "Confirm details", then scroll down to "Caregiver tip".
  4. Choose the tip percentage, or tap "Custom" to leave a different amount.

After a service is completed, you'll see a prompt asking whether you'd like to add a tip for a service. If you don't see the prompt or would like to add a tip after it expires:

  1. Tap the menu icon in the upper left corner of the Wag! app.
  2. Tap "Past Services".
  3. Tap the service for which you'd like to leave a tip.
  4. Tap "+Add tip".

For more info on navigating the Wag! app and communicating with Pet Caregivers, check out Wag!'s Support Center.

Comments (1)

Jennifer O'Neill


I can't sign up saids invalid. I work for Rover I want to work for wag also. Thanks

Leave a comment

Your name




Add photo(s) of your petoptional