New dog owners might get confused at times about dog walking vs. pet sitting. Maybe you're looking to hire one?

Well, we'll discuss everything you need to know about the difference between the two.

Are they the same but with different names? But the most crucial question is, what's the best choice for your pup?

There are times when we have to leave our pets at home for work, a business trip, or a short vacation.

And we can't leave them for a long time without supervision. They have to go on a potty break sometimes.

Fortunately, in this day in age, there are now plenty of options that can help and ensure that your pup is in safe hands. For instance, there are now dog walking, pet sitting, doggy daycare, or dog boarding services.

All of these will vary depending on what you and your dog need at the time.

Now without further ado, let's get right into it. First, let's discuss what dog walking is and what professional dog walkers do.

Become A Dog Walker

Dog Walking vs. Pet Sitting: But First, What is a Dog Walking?

Before we discuss the difference between dog walking vs. pet sitting, let's first tackle their meanings first.

Dog walking is the best choice if your dog only needs to go on potty breaks or long walks for daily exercise.

Always remember that exercise is crucial to dogs. It helps them maintain their health and keeps them happy.

The dog walker will come to your house to pick up your dog. Then, depending on your agreement, the dog walker will take your pup for a certain amount of time for walks.

Usually, dog walking sessions last about 30 minutes to 1 hour. You can schedule them for multiple visits throughout the day or week, depending on your arrangement.

However, when it comes to hiring dog walkers, it's best to work with professionals. Why?

Because professional dog workers have lots of experience and have a dog walker certification.

Pros of Hiring a Dog Walker

There are a lot of advantages when it comes to hiring a professional dog walker. One great example is your budget.

If you're on a limited budget, we recommend hiring a dog walker instead since getting a pet sitter or taking your dog to daycare is much more expensive.

Another huge benefit of hiring a dog walker is your dog will get the required amount of exercise per day.

Dog obesity is one of the main health concerns in dogs all over the world. If left unmanaged, obesity can lead to major health issues in the future.

For instance, dogs can develop many types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and more.

Dogs that go on regular walks and exercise can also benefit their health tremendously. Their daily walks are one example of a healthy outlet for their energy. With this, they tend to be more relaxed at home.

You don't need to worry about them being aggressive or destructive since they are tired from all the training and exercise that they did all day. Remember that a tired dog is a happy dog.

Also, hiring a dog walker relieves some stress for pet parents. That's one less thing they have to worry about.

Other benefits of hiring a dog walker are:

  • Dogs can go to potty break
  • Dog walkers can update you throughout their session
  • They stick to the schedule so that you know that Fido is getting their required exercise

Dog Walking vs Pet Sitting

Cons of Hiring a Dog Walker

Unfortunately, there are also some downsides to dog walking.

Some dogs have high energy, especially puppies, and need more than one hour of exercise. The more amount of time your dogs need,

Another example would be some dogs suffer from separation anxiety.

Puppies that are suffering from separation anxiety tend to become more destructive when left alone.

That means they require longer periods of supervision. In this situation, it would be best to hire a pet sitter instead.

How much will it cost?

The cost of a dog walker varies. Typically, dog walkers cost between $15 to $30 for a 30-minute walk. Some charge an hourly rate that is roughly $30 to $60.

If you have two dogs, you usually only have to add $5 or $10, depending on the walker. You can also add multiple walks during the day, but that will count as an additional cost as well.

Look for dog walkers that offer discounts or bundles for daily walking schedules. That can save you a lot of cash.

One tip that I can give you is to ask around fellow pet parents in the area which dog walkers they can recommend.

How to choose the right dog walker

When it comes to choosing the right dog walker, you should look and search for reviews. It's even better if a family member or close friend can recommend you some.

Check for their qualifications! Professional dog walkers have plenty of experience and have a dog walker certification.

They have to be qualified in animal care, dog training, and, most importantly, canine first aid.

Besides checking for your dog's insurance, you should also check if the professional dog walker you're trying to hire is also covered by relevant insurance.

Another tip would be to interview the dog walker first. A few questions that you can ask them are:

  • What is your experience with dogs?
  • How much time do you guarantee on the walk?
  • Are you certified to provide canine first aid, and what are your emergency protocols?
  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • Will you be walking my dog with other dogs?
  • Will you update me on the walk?
  • What is your cancellation policy?
  • What will my dog be transported in?

RELATED: 13 Ways to Prepare Before You Hire a Dog Walker

pet sitter instead of dog kennels

What is Pet Sitting?

Generally, pet-sitting services are more of personal or individual care for pets while the owner is away from home.

Trust is essential when it comes to pet sitting. It would be best if you found someone that will come over to your home while you're away, and they'll be taking care of your dogs until you return home.

But that's not always the case. Depending on your arrangement, you can drop off your pup at their house instead.

However, it's best recommended to let the pet sitter stay at your house so that they be in a familiar environment. They will feel safer and more comfortable when at home.

You can give the sitter specific instructions to do. You can give them a guide on your training or exercising routines, their favorite dog parks, their favorite treats and when to give them, and more.

During the pet-sitting session, the pet sitters will perform different kinds of activities such as feeding the pets, replacing their water bowls, taking them out for potty breaks, providing medications (if needed), and other pet necessities.

They are responsible for the safety and security of the pets and residence (depending on your discussion) while the owners are away.

Pet sitters also assist with training and keep them company to avoid boredom or destructive behaviors.

They also have tasks around the house, such as bringing in the mail, watering the plants, and removing the trash. These tasks will all depend on your and the sitter's discussion.

Some great pet sitters even take it to the next level by staying up all night to keep an eye out for pets to make them feel comfortable since their parents are away.

That's why a lot of pet sitters develop a bond with the pets they care for during sessions.

Pros of Hiring a Pet Sitter

If you have found the perfect and top-notch pet sitter for your pup, you can gain a lot of benefits.

\For example, since you have your private sitter, all of your dog's care will be individualized and specific. And that's one of the best benefits you can gain with a pet sitter.

Top-level pet sitters are well-prepared for any speedbumps along the road. Whether it may be a power outage, a sick animal, or anything else you need to be dealt with while you're away.

Another advantage would that your dog won't get lonely or bored as the sitter will be around all day. Pet sitters are great for those dogs that are suffering from separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety can happen for dogs who don't like to be left alone. It causes stress and frantic, and they may take out their fear of certain objects or furniture in the house.

Pet sitters will also carry on your pet's familiar daily routine. Dogs thrive on their routines, and they love to stick to their schedule.

Hiring a pet sitter can also keep your dog healthier. Not only can they monitor your pet for injuries or illnesses.

But it can also help prevent your pup from coming in contact with different animals in boarding facilities which can transmit infectious diseases such as kennel cough, fleas, or worms.

Other advantages of hiring a pet sitter are:

  • Helps socialize reactive, overly shy, or aggressive dogs
  • Teach them about trust
  • Train them how to approach a stranger
  • Teach them how to give and receive affection from other people

Pros of Hiring a Pet Sitter

Cons of Hiring a Pet Sitter

One possible disadvantage in hiring a pet sitter that you don't completely trust is that pet sitters will need to enter your home while you're away.

That's why it's important to interview your pet sitter first. Or hire from a pet-sitting company that thoroughly screens their employees.

Other drawbacks of hiring a pet sitter:

  • Difficulty of booking
  • Having a stranger in your house
  • Pet gets anxious while you're away

Probably the biggest con of hiring a pet sitter is the possibility that the sitter and pet will not get along. When the pet doesn't bond with the sitter, all hell can break loose!

Your pup will feel stressed and anxious and can try to escape at times. Unfortunately, it can also lead to destructive or aggressive behaviors.

How Much Will It Cost?

In this day in age, current pet sitter rates average around:

  • $25 per 30-minute visit
  • $20 to $30 per day
  • $45 to $75 per night
  • $250 to $375 per week

How to Choose the Right Pet Sitter

Finding the right pet sitter is not an easy task. You'll need to find someone who you can fully trust inside your home and who will be taking care of your pup.

If the sitter is employed by a company, check out the company's references or reviews. Also, make sure that the company is fully bonded and insured.

Ensure that the sitter has undergone a criminal background check. You can schedule a pre-interview with the sitter, and this can be a good way to observe if the sitter and your dog can get along.

The Differences Between Dog Walking vs. Pet Sitting

The main difference between hiring a dog walker vs. a pet sitter is their services. Yes, they both take care of your pet, but pet sitting is more hands-on than the other.

For instance, dog-walking services have:

  • Walking or exercising your dog
  • Regular updates on your dog
  • Training your dog (loose leash manners, basic obedience, or confidence-boosting games)
  • Administering medications

Pet sitting services include everything that a dog walker does but including:

  • Cleaning litter boxes
  • Watering the plants
  • Taking out the trash
  • Checking over the house
  • Feed your pets

Dog walking focuses more on your dog's physical needs. They'll cater to your dog's training, exercise, and socialization.

In pet sitting, services are more comprehensive. For example, pet sitters can and will do the feeding, grooming, playtime, and more.

It's like a dog boarding facility, but it's in your house, and the only one being taken care of is your pup.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is walking enough exercise for a dog?

Most dogs need at least 1-2 walks per day unless your dog has a certain health problem.

If your dog is active and healthy, you can go for an hour of walk per day or split it into two 30-minute walks.

Brisk walks are a great way to burn excess energy, and slow walks can let your pup explore and sniff the environment, which is great for their mental health.

Are dog walkers a good idea?

If you're always at work and you're struggling to find time to exercise your pup, it's best advised to hire a dog walker.

Exercise is a crucial part of a dog's routine. Daily walks from dog walkers can maintain their physical and mental health.

It can also help burn energy so that your pup will be more relaxed once you get home.

What skills do pet sitters have?

An excellent pet sitter is knowledgeable of animal behavior and animal CPR. They need to have great communication and problem-solving skills.

Pet sitters should have patience and reliability and would be able to make good-sounding decisions anytime.

Dog walkers

Dog Walking vs. Pet Sitting: Summary

If you're having a hard time balancing time for your work and your pet, there are now a lot of things you can do to keep them safe, fed, and healthy.

In this day in age, there are dog walking and pet sitting services that you can hire and take care of Fido. However, if you're a new pet owner, you might get confused at first.

Above, we have discussed the difference between dog walking vs. pet sitting.

Dog walkers' main tasks are only for the dog's physical health, while pet sitting covers a lot more.

Of course, pet sitting will cost more, but if you're planning to leave town for a few days, it is best advised to hire a pet sitter rather than a dog walker.

If you only need someone that can take your pup for potty breaks and provide exercises through walks, you should hire a dog walker.

But if you need more individual or more hands-on care for your pet, you should hire a pet sitter.

Overall, it's a great sign that you're trying hard to provide the best option for your dog. It shows that you truly love them.


Toby loves spending time with his dog and two cats. They are the best stress reliever and affectionate pets, especially his Belgian Malinois, Shawie. Shawie's favorite activity is running or jogging. But their go-to spot is to chill and swim around a nearby river.