This Is the Most Expensive City for Dog-Sitters

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 48.3 million households have a dog. That compares to 76.8 million total households in the United States. The annual cost of owning a dog is between $1,400 and $4,300, depending on toys, grooming, food, veterinary visits and training. In short, owning a dog is expensive, given that the Census Bureau claims median household income in America was $67,521 last year.

Some Americans are not with their dogs 24 hours a day and need to have their dogs walked by other people. Others have people stay in their homes to care for their dogs when they are away. Still others board their dogs when they have to be absent.

Data for CertaPet’s recently released “The Cost of a Dog Sitter in Cities Around the U.S.” study came from It included America’s 50 largest cities and compared the cost of boarding to the cost of dog-sitting. The data were for medium-sized dogs, which were described as being 14 pounds to 40 pounds. The period measured was when owners are away for two weeks.

The survey is meant to answer this question: “Where do owners save the most by boarding their dogs?” The definition of boarding was “a dog stays overnight in a dog sitter’s home” versus “a dog sitter stays overnight in the dog owner’s home.”

The most expensive city for dog-sitters was Minneapolis, where the difference between the two numbers was zero. In other words, Minneapolis is the most expensive city for dog-sitters. The city where people saved the most by boarding their dogs was Philadelphia, where the figure was $336.70.

There appears to be no geographic pattern to the cities where dog-sitting is most expensive. After Minneapolis, these were the most expensive cities (and the annual cost savings in each):

  • Minneapolis ($0.00)
  • Indianapolis ($4.20)
  • San Diego ($21.00)
  • Salt Lake City ($32.90)
  • Nashville ($35.00)
  • Chicago ($35.70)
  • San Antonio ($38.50)
  • Washington ($47.60)
  • Virginia Beach ($49.70)
  • Louisville ($58.10)

Click here to see which are the smartest dog breeds in America.

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