What Does a Dog Sitter Do? Detailed Responsibilities

Ryan O'Connell

By Ryan O'Connell

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Parting ways with your beloved pet can be challenging, especially when work commitments, vacations, or errands take precedence. In such unavoidable instances, what emerges as the ideal solution for your pet’s well-being and your peace of mind? A dog-sitting service!

What a Dog Sitter Do

No wonder it’s become a rising career now. Let’s delve into a pet sitter’s mission!

What Is A Pet-Sitting Service?

Pet sitting service is a specialized care option for pets, primarily dogs, where a trained caregiver, known as a dog sitter or pet sitter, takes care of the pet in the owner’s absence. This service involves various responsibilities, such as feeding, exercising, providing companionship, and ensuring the well-being and happiness of the furry friend.

Types of Pet Sitting 

Daytime Visits

  • What it Involves: Pet sitters make multiple daily drop-in visits to clients’ homes, ensuring a continuous and personalized level of care.
  • Services Provided: From essential tasks like feeding, water refreshing, and potty breaks to engaging activities such as playtime, cuddles, and invigorating walks.
  • Additional Services: Some service providers go above and beyond by managing household tasks — bringing in mail, newspapers, and packages, watering plants, and creating a “lived-in look” by turning on lights upon request.

Overnight Care

  • What it Involves: A dedicated pet sitter stays overnight for a minimum of 12 hours (8:00 pm to 8:00 am).
  • Added Value: Many caring sitters willingly extend their stay at no additional cost, ensuring heightened care during crucial nighttime hours. This is also an effective way to build trust among clients if you’ve just dipped your toes into this career sector.

In-Home Pet Care

  • What it Involves: A committed pet sitter resides in customers’ houses around the clock, providing uninterrupted care.
  • Ideal for: Pets with special needs, those experiencing separation anxiety, or those who thrive on constant companionship.

What Are Dog-Sitting Duties?

Dog-Sitting Duties

As a pet sitter, you need to treat those furry friends like part of your family, delivering personalized care in the comfort of their own home. It’s more than just the basics; it’s about ensuring customers’ pets are happy and healthy. 

Filling Dog Bowl

Regular feeding and fresh water top the list! A professional sitter ensures meals are served at your pet’s usual times, minimizing stress. Clean food dishes and brimming water bowls are essential for your pet’s health.

Exercise & Playtime

Whether it’s a brisk walk, a playful tumble, or gentle cuddles for any furry friend, pet sitters provide much-needed exercise and mental stimulation. If you want to pursue this career, you might have to go the extra mile by brushing or combing the pet’s coat for extra shine and comfort.

Medication (if needed)

dog health care

If the canine requires medication, pet sitters are trained to administer it, even to the most reluctant furball. You need to ensure the pet’s health needs are met, even in the customer’s absence.

Medical Emergencies

A professional pet sitter can recognize and respond to potential medical emergencies. This is especially crucial for pets with compromised health. Give your clients peace of mind knowing their pets are in good hands.

Cleaning Up

Dog sitters even tackle food spills, messy play times, and any unexpected “surprises” the pet might leave behind. Customers will come home to a tidy haven, just like they left it.

Beyond the Basics

Professional pet sitters go the extra mile! You might need to bring in clients’ mail, keep an eye on their homes by turning lights on and off, water their plants, and even personalize your services to cater to customers’ unique needs.

See more: Pet Sitter License

Is It Worth Becoming A Pet Sitter?

Becoming A Pet Sitter

Whether it’s worth becoming a dog sitter boils down to your personal preferences. Weigh the pros and cons before making the final career decision:


  • Flexible schedule: As a pet sitter, you’re your own boss, setting your own hours, choosing your clients, and taking time off when you want.
  • Easy to get started: No formal qualifications needed. Only unconditional love for dogs counts. Establishing an online business is also within your reach.
  • Good income: Pet sitting is a booming sector, making it a lucrative job for some.
  • A lot of fun: Playing and caring for those adorable furballs can be rewarding and joyful.


  • Unstable income: The early days of any business can be slow. Expect the first few months to be a time for building your network and reputation.
  • Physical demands: This service can be physically taxing when getting involved in many activities throughout the day (even working around the clock).
  • Picky dogs: Let’s face it—not every canine is as lovely as it looks. Dealing with a bad-tempered dog can drive you crazy.


Do dogs experience sadness when left with a sitter?

Yes, dogs can certainly miss their owners, but with a good pet sitter, the sadness doesn’t have to stay! As a reliable sitter, you should provide regular attention, exercise, and playtime, helping the dog adapt and remain happy. 

What is the average salary of a dog sitter?

Expect to earn anywhere from $25-75 daily for basic dog sitting. Factors like overnight stays, medication administration, or emergency pet taxi services can influence pay rates. Always request quotes and compare options to find the best fit for your budget.

Do dogs remember their dog sitters?

Certainly! Dogs have excellent memories, especially for positive experiences. Try to be a friendly and attentive pet sitter who provides fun activities and plenty of love. You will undoubtedly be remembered with happy tail wags and excited greetings upon your return.


In essence, a professional pet sitter emerges as the optimal solution for ensuring dogs’ happiness and well-being during the owner’s absence. This might be a future-proof career, so you can start your own business. Just ensure you understand all the duties of a pet sitter and go the extra mile!

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Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell is the owner of PetSitUSA - a directory of professional pet sitters, dog walkers, and dog daycares. He has been helping pet owners and pet care professionals find each other since 2012.

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