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

How Much Does Dog Sitting & Dog Boarding Cost in the UK? 2024 Update

Written by: Keri-Beth Clur

Last Updated on April 28, 2024 by Dogster Team

dogs supervised by female staff at daycare

How Much Does Dog Sitting & Dog Boarding Cost in the UK? 2024 Update

It’d be wonderful to take our dogs with us wherever we go, but sometimes, it’s not possible due to work commitments or hotels that aren’t pet-friendly. These circumstances can lead you to consider alternative options because your dog cannot be left alone while you’re away. Pet sitters and dog boarding kennels are designed to step in for you and give your pup the love, attention, and care that they need while you’re out of town.

Unfortunately, nothing is free, and you’ll need to budget for these services. On average, you can expect to pay between £30 and £70 per night. We have all the information here that you need to leave town feeling confident, along with the prices to consider before making a booking.


The Difference Between Dog Sitting and Dog Boarding

In truth, there are benefits to both pet sitting and dog boarding. Regardless of the one you choose, their goal is the same: to care for your dog while you’re away. This can be during the day when you’re at work or when you’re traveling on holiday. However, as much as they have the same goal in common, they are two very different services.

Pet sitting services give your dog the benefit of staying in their own home while you’re away. They’ll be looked after, and you can feel comfortable knowing that someone trustworthy is also looking after your home. Your dog will be given personalized care and attention as opposed to being one of many dogs.

However, pet sitters typically cost more, and you’ll have to do a bit of research to find one who is highly recommended. If you’ve got an anxious or unvaccinated dog, you should consider a dog sitter.

Pet boarding requires you to drop your dog off at the facility while you’re away. It’s often cheaper than a pet sitter, but the employees are professionally trained, so your dog will be in good hands.

However, your dog will be one of many and won’t receive the individual attention that they’d get from a dog sitter. Dog boarding is great for social dogs, but they’ll only be welcomed in if you’re up to date with their vaccinations, to prevent the potential spread of disease among the animals.

The Importance of Dog Sitting and Dog Boarding

Without dog sitters and boarding facilities, dog owners wouldn’t be able to travel for work or take a break and enjoy a holiday. They would have to rely solely on family and friends to look after their pets when they’re away, which aren’t reliable guardians because they’re not professionally trained and have responsibilities of their own that could take them away from the dog for hours.

Dog sitters are important because they provide your dog with security and familiarity, as they can stay in their own home. It’s often stressful for pets when their owners go away for periods of time, but remaining in their own environment can reduce some of their anxiety. If your dog has special needs, a dog sitter will also maintain their usual routine and give them the medication that they need when they need it.

Dog boarding is a great solution for dogs that need connection with other people and pets because they’ll be exposed to many of them in a safe environment. These facilities will also often have an open spot when you have to leave quickly due to an emergency. It’s likely that your favorite dog sitters won’t be available when the unexpected strikes, as you’ll have to book them well in advance.

Image Credit: Verin, Shutterstock


How Much Do Dog Sitters and Dog Boarding Facilities Cost?

To keep one dog overnight at a dog boarding facility, you’ll have to pay around £30. However, it can be as high as £60 or as low as £20, depending on a few different factors. Pet sitters often charge £10 per hour that they’re with your dog during the day. However, you can expect to pay between £30 and £70 for an overnight stay.

Dog sitting and boarding services will have slightly different costs depending on where you live in the UK. If you live in a city area, you’re going to be charged a higher price than someone who lives in a rural area.

You’ll also be charged according to how long you want the pet sitter to stay with your dog or how long you need your dog to stay at the dog boarding facility. The type of facility you choose and any extra requirements will also push up your cost.

Cost of a Standard Overnight Stay for One Dog Throughout the UK

London England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland
Dog Sitting £70 £50 £42 £25 £30
Dog Boarding £60 £32 £15 £20–£23 £12–£18

Additional Costs to Anticipate

There are additional costs to factor in when you use pet-sitting or boarding services. Here are a few points to consider.

Dog sitters come over to your house to make sure your dog is okay, gets entertainment, has water, and is fed. Anything above that may come at an additional cost, depending on the pet-sitting company or person you’re dealing with.

You’re likely to pay additional costs if you want your dog walked or want the pet sitter with your dog longer than the hour they charge for. You’ll also pay more if you want them to stay overnight with your dog or for as long as you’re away on holiday. You may be expected to pay for the pet sitter’s travel to get to your house.

You can choose to buy additions with dog boarding, such as treats, grooming, training, and walks. They’re not always necessary, but if you’re going away on a long trip, your dog will benefit from these things.

woman and dog sitting on sofa at home
Image Credit: Megan Betteridge, Shutterstock

divider-dog paw

Does Pet Insurance Cover Dog Sitting and Dog Boarding?

Depending on the type of policy you have, your pet insurance may cover the cost of placing your dog into someone else’s care during a medical emergency, including hospital admittance. Although many people don’t know about this benefit, most pet insurances offer dog boarding coverage, which can be a financial help when you need it most.

However, pet insurances typically only pay out when you have a medical emergency and not when you want to place your dog in a boarding facility because you’re going away on holiday.

You should also be aware of the conditions your pet insurance may have regarding dog boarding. Many policies will only cover it if you have been admitted to the hospital for a minimum of 3 days. If you were hospitalized for 2 days or less, they might not cover the boarding fees.

If your hospital admission was pre-planned, such as during pregnancy, they could refuse to pay because you had time to budget for the boarding costs beforehand. The type of facility that you go to may also not fall under your policy’s definition of a hospital and may not meet their guidelines for coverage.

pet insurance policy
Image Credit:, Shutterstock


How Often Should I Use a Dog Sitter or Dog Boarding Facility?

How often you get a pet sitter or take your dog to a boarding facility is up to you and your lifestyle. You could book a pet sitter to pop into your home to check on your dog every day while you’re at work, or you could only book one when you’re working late or going away. You may decide to take your dog to a boarding facility a weekend a month to socialize with the other pets, when you have guests coming over, or when you have to move into a new home.

Make sure your dog doesn’t feel fearful or uncomfortable at the dog boarding facilities or with your pet sitter. If you notice them acting strangely whenever your sitter comes over, consider trying out a new sitter with your dog. If your dog doesn’t respond well at boarding facilities, try a pet sitter instead.

How to Find a Good Dog Sitter

You can choose to use a dog sitter through a pet-sitting company or privately. The advantage of going through a pet-sitting company is that the individuals will have already been vetted. If you find a private dog sitter, you’ll have to do a lot more research into them yourself.

You can find a dog sitter through recommendations from your friends, family, and community. It’s safer to choose a dog sitter who has many online reviews because you’ll read about other people’s experiences with them, which will give you truthful insight.

Before booking a dog sitter, meet up with the ones whose profiles stood out to you. Introduce your dog to them and watch how they interact. If your dog looks uncomfortable around them, you can move on to the next candidate.

Good dog sitters will be obvious animal lovers who are comfortable around dogs. They’ll be experienced, friendly, trustworthy, reliable, fully insured, and CRB checked.

Woman on computer doing research
Image Credit: StockSnap, Pixabay

Finding a Good Dog Boarding Facility

Good dog boarding kennels will have plenty of recommendations and good reviews on their website. They’ll be licensed, have insurance coverage, have many staff members, and be happy to answer your questions and willingly show you around their facility. For their safety, they’ll require all dogs to be fully vaccinated before arriving at the kennel.

Before sending your dog off for an overnight stay at a dog boarding facility, check it out in person. Request for the employees to show you around, and ask important questions. Although most dog boarding facilities are run by dog-loving people, the sad reality is that not all of them are. Avoid a bad experience for your dog, and make sure the facility is everything that it’s claimed to be.

divider-dog paw


The cost of a pet sitter in the UK for one dog is between £30 and £70, while the cost of an overnight stay at dog boarding is £30. Your pet insurance may cover the boarding cost if you’ve been admitted to the hospital for more than 3 days, but it depends on the type of policy that you have.

When looking for a pet sitter or boarding facility, ask for recommendations from people you trust, such as your vet, and be sure that they have all the documentation that is required from them.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Jayme Burrows, Shutterstock

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Dogster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.