Do You Tip Dog Boarders and How Much?

Written by Jim Belt in Pets

When it comes to thanking your dog boarder for their dedicated service, you might wonder if giving a tip is appropriate. This guide covers tipping etiquette for dog boarders. It explains if and how much gratuity is typical.

Tipping dog boarders is not standard practice, but it is a kind gesture for exceptional care. If you choose to tip, an amount of $15-$20 per staff member or 10-20% of the boarding fee is generous.

Tipping Customs

Tipping not customary $ 15 $ 15 - $ 20


  • Tipping dog boarders is a kind gesture that is appreciated but not mandatory.
  • Consider the length of stay and quality of service when deciding to tip.
  • An alternative to cash tips can be thoughtful gestures like gifts or recommendations.

The Basics of Tipping Etiquette

When you utilize services in the pet care industry, understanding when and how much to tip can be a way to express your satisfaction with the service provided.

Tipping in the Service Industry

In the pet care sector, tipping is not mandatory but is a kind gesture acknowledging the care and attention your pet has received. When you tip dog boarders, you're offering a monetary reward for their effort, going beyond a simple thank you.

General Tipping Standards and Practices

The standard tip for dog boarders can vary, but a general guideline is to consider giving a cash gratuity of 10-20% of the boarding cost. This rate may fluctuate based on the quality of service and the duration of your dog's stay.

How Tipping Reflects on Service and Gratitude

Your tips represent gratitude for the boarder's hard work. It shows you recognize the care they've provided for your furry friend. Some pet owners may choose to show their appreciation through tipping, especially when they feel their pet has been given exceptional attention.

When to Tip Dog Boarders

Deciding when to tip your dog boarders can enhance your pet’s care experience and show appreciation for exceptional service. Here's when it's often seen as suitable to give a little extra.

Understanding Suitable Tipping Occasions

Tipping is a personal choice, but certain occasions may warrant an added gratuity for your dog boarder's hard work. If you notice that your dog has received extra attention, above-standard care, or if the staff has gone out of their way to accommodate special requests, consider offering a tip. A good rule of thumb is to provide a tip that reflects the level of service and care your pet received.

Tipping During Holidays and Special Occasions

The holiday season is a bustling time for pet sitters and dog boarders, often involving longer hours and extra care. During these busy periods, such as Christmas or New Year’s, a tip can be a generous way to express gratitude for taking good care of your furry friend. A 10-20% tip based on the boarding cost can be a kind gesture during these special times.

Assessing the Need for Tipping With Regular Services

For those who frequently utilize dog boarding services, regular tipping might not be feasible or necessary each time. However, if you’re particularly pleased with the service, or if your dog boarder has been exceptionally accommodating over time, an occasional tip can be a meaningful way to communicate your thanks. You might consider a tip for every few visits, or perhaps a larger tip to celebrate a particular occasion or milestone.

Understanding Dog Boarding Services

When considering boarding services for your dog, it's essential to understand the types of facilities available, the role of dog boarders, and the services they typically provide. This ensures your furry friend gets the best care while you're away.

Types of Dog Boarding Facilities

Dog boarding facilities come in various forms, each with different amenities and levels of care. The boarding kennel is the most common type, offering basic services like feeding and housing. For more personalized attention, pet boarding services may include playtime and socialization. Some facilities offer extra care, such as administering medication or providing specialized exercise routines.

Role of Dog Boarders in Pet Care

Dog boarders are the dedicated professionals who look after your pet at the boarding facility. They are responsible for the overall well-being of your dog, which includes feeding, cleaning, and ensuring that any special care requirements are met. Their role is critical in making sure your dog is healthy, happy, and secure in your absence.

What Services Do Dog Boarders Typically Offer?

Dog boarders typically offer a range of services to cater to the needs of your pet. Standard offerings include:

Some may also offer additional services such as grooming or training for an additional fee. When it comes to tipping dog boarders, while not mandatory, it is a kind gesture to show appreciation for the care provided to your pet.

Factors Influencing Tipping Decisions

When considering whether to tip your dog boarder, various aspects come into play, such as the level of care your furry friend receives and the boarder's commitment to meeting specific needs.

Quality of Care and Extra Services

If your dog receives exceptional care, with added services like grooming or one-on-one playtime, you may feel compelled to acknowledge these efforts. Search results indicate that the level of service provided can be a significant factor in whether you decide to tip, reflecting the value you place on the care given.

Handling Special Dog Needs

Does your dog have special requirements? Perhaps they need medication or are difficult to handle due to aggressive behavior. If the boarder successfully manages these challenges, you might consider tipping as a gesture of gratitude for their diligence and expertise in handling your dog's specific needs.

Dog Boarder's Time and Effort

Think about the time and effort your boarder invests in looking after your pet. This is especially true if they go beyond what is expected or if your dog stays with them for an extended period. A tip can be a direct reflection of your appreciation for their steadfast dedication to ensuring your dog's wellbeing.

How Much to Tip Dog Boarders

Deciding on how much to tip your dog boarder can be puzzling. It's important to know that while tipping is appreciated, it's not mandatory. However, recognizing good service with a tip is a kind gesture that many choose to do.

Calculating Tip Amounts

To calculate your tip, consider the duration of the stay and the quality of care provided. A common tip is around 15% of the total boarding cost. If your dog's stay was long and the costs are high, you might opt for a daily flat rate, like $10 per night, to keep it within your budget.

Percentage-Based Vs. Flat-Rate Tipping

You have two main options when deciding on a tip: a percentage-based or a flat-rate amount. A percentage-based tip is typically in the range of 10% to 20% of the total boarding fee, reflecting the quality of the service given. A flat-rate tip might be easier to figure out and works well for any budget, ensuring you can show your appreciation regardless of the total boarding cost.

Tipping for Different Levels of Service

If your dog sitter went above and beyond, providing extra services or exceptional care, you may consider tipping towards the higher end of 20%. Conversely, for a job done well but without additional services, tipping on the lower end at 10% would be suitable. The level of tipping should align with your satisfaction with the boarder's service.

Alternatives to Monetary Tipping

When you’re pleased with the boarding and care your dog receives, but you prefer a non-cash method of showing gratitude, consider these thoughtful alternatives.

Gift Cards and Other Non-Cash Tips

Gift cards can be an excellent way to express your thanks without using cash. Consider a card from a favorite coffee shop or restaurant, or perhaps something more specific to their interests. Non-cash tips could also include items like a high-quality bag of coffee or gourmet treats to enjoy during breaks. These tokens of appreciation are a tangible way to say "thank you" for their dedication.

Offering Referrals and Positive Reviews

A powerful way to support a dog boarder is by giving them referrals and writing positive reviews. Spreading the word about their great service can help increase their clientele. You might also consider leaving a glowing review on social media or pet service websites. This public acknowledgment acts as a bonus for the boarder's business and reputation.

Creative Ways to Show Appreciation

Sometimes, a creative approach can make a lasting impression. Perhaps you can craft a personalized thank you note or assemble a care package with items like hand creams, lip balms, and snacks. Custom gifts that cater to the boarder’s personality show that you’ve noticed their hard work and value them as an individual. Remember, a thoughtful gesture often speaks volumes.

When it comes to showing appreciation through tips, understanding the norms for various pet care professionals can help you make informed decisions.

Tipping Dog Walkers and Other Pet Sitters

It's common courtesy to consider tipping your dog walker or pet sitter if you’re satisfied with their service. For dog walkers, a tip ranging from 15-20% for regular service is appreciated, as they ensure your dog's well-being with every walk. When it comes to overnight pet sitting, a single gratuity at the end of their service can show your appreciation for their dedicated care of your furry friend.

Considerations for Tipping Veterinarians and Groomers

Unlike dog walkers, your veterinarian typically does not expect a tip, as they are medical professionals. However, for groomers, tipping is more customary. If your dog emerges looking well-coiffed and happy, a tip between 15-20% is a generous way to express your gratitude for their skillful attention to detail.

Understanding Gratuities for Trainers and Other Specialists

For trainers and behavior specialists who provide one-on-one services, a tip can be a way to thank them for personalized advice and training that benefits your dog's development. While not mandatory, offering a gratuity for exceptional service from these specialists can be a kind gesture that reflects the value of their expertise.

Communicating With Your Dog Boarder About Tips

When arranging your dog's stay at a boarding facility, knowing the appropriate way to handle tipping can ensure a smooth experience for both you and the boarder. Transparency and discretion are key.

When and How to Bring Up Tipping

You may wonder when the best time to discuss a tip with your dog boarder is. It's typically acceptable to inquire during the initial meeting or when you're finalizing service details. Ask if they have a tipping policy or if gratuities are commonly accepted. Providing a tip can be a way to show appreciation for exceptional care, but it's important to confirm what's customary. When discussing, be forthright but not pushy, as tipping is not mandatory but often appreciated.

How to approach the topic: Keep it casual yet direct. You might say, "I want to ensure I'm following proper etiquette. Is it customary to provide a tip for your services?" This opens the door for a frank conversation about their preferences concerning tips.

Handling Tipping Discreetly and Respectfully

If you decide to tip, doing so discreetly is a sign of respect. A direct hand-off of the cash tip at the end of your dog's stay is a common method. Alternatively, you could include the tip with the final payment, attaching a note of thanks to personalize the gesture.

Discretion tips: Place the cash in an envelope marked with the boarder's name—or "Thank You"—to maintain privacy. If you're satisfied with the service and feel a tip is warranted, 15-20% of the total boarding fee is a general guideline, reflecting your appreciation for their commitment to your dog's well-being.

Best Practices and Tipping Advice

Tipping dog boarders is a personal choice and varies by individual preferences. We'll look at some methods to help you decide how to tip for your dog's care.

Gathering Recommendations From Friends and Family

Ask around: Your friends and family who own pets can be a wealth of knowledge. Inquire about their practices for tipping dog boarders and if they have any specific recommendations. Compile the advice to gauge what's common within your circle.

Utilizing Social Media and Online Forums for Advice

Get insights online: Social media platforms and online forums provide an avenue where pet owners discuss their experiences. Search for discussions on tipping practices and take note of any prevailing trends amongst dog boarders.

Creating a Personal Practice Based on Past Experiences

Reflect on past experiences: Your own history with a dog boarder can influence your tipping. If you've received exceptional service in the past, consider tipping as a gesture of appreciation. Align your tipping amounts with the level of service and care your dog received.

Published: 23-01-2024

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