Dog-sitters are charging more than £100 a night after surge in pandemic puppies has driven up demand

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Barking mad! Dog-sitters are charging more than £100 a night for their services after surge in pandemic puppies has driven up demand

  • Dog-sitting website Rover.com has seen a 246% rise in demand since 2020
  • The site said most of its enquiries are coming from metropolitan areas
  • One dog-sitter listed on Rover.com charges £115 a night for her services

By Jessica Taylor For Mailonline

Published: 06:09 EDT, 8 August 2022 | Updated: 08:10 EDT, 8 August 2022

Dog-sitters in the UK are charging more than £100 a night to look after one dog after a huge rise in demand caused prices to soar.

A combination of 3.2 million new pets bought during the pandemic and a shortage of dog walkers and sitters has led to the enormous price rise as dog owners are desperate to find people to watch their pooches.

Another factor contributing to the squeeze is that lots of kennels were forced to close down during the Covid lockdowns.

Dog-sitting website Rover.com told FEMAIL they had seen a 246% global rise in bookings since the beginning of the pandemic.

Dog-sitting website Rover.com said there has been an increase in demand of 246% since the pandemic began in 2020

Between 2021 and 2022 alone the service saw an 81% increase in new and repeat bookings.

In particular, the rise has most commonly stemmed from metropolitan areas.

One dog-sitter based in south London, who lists her services on Rover.com, charges £115 minimum per night to dog-sit.

She charges significantly less for house-sitting (where she looks after the pooch in their own home). 

However, another woman on the site, based in the same area, charges £104 for a night of dog-sitting both in her own home and in the pooch's home.

Claiming to have 10 years' experience looking after pets, she describes herself as an animal lover and has two stellar reviews singing her praises. 

In March 2021, just before the third Covid lockdown came to an end, UK supermarkets warned of a potential shortage in supplies of cat and dog food due to a rise in demand as the number of pandemic pets soared.

Figures released by the Pet Food Manufacturers Association revealed that 56% of new animal owners were under the age of 35, while 59% of the new owners had children at home.

Nicole Paley, deputy chief executive of the PFMA, said: 'With millions working from home or furloughed from their jobs, many have clearly considered the numerous benefits of pet ownership. 

'Now, more than ever, we know that the companionship and joy pets can bring to people’s lives shouldn’t be under-estimated.'

She added that, amid the huge increase in dog ownership, people should think about the 'long-term responsibilities' of bringing a pet into your life and how your working situation may change in the future, meaning you're not working from home as much. 

MailOnline previously reported that one in five people who had bought a new pooch during lockdown were considering rehoming their new pets after Covid restrictions began to ease.

Research from The Kennel Club said 17% of new dog owners were concerned that offices, restaurants and pubs, which were all beginning to reopen to people, would not be dog-friendly.

Spokesperson for The Kennel Club, Bill Lambert, said: 'If dogs can't go to places with their owners, and fit their lifestyle post-pandemic, some will be left home alone for too long, or even sadly rehomed or abandoned.

'These consequences could be quite devastating for the nation's dogs, who frankly don't deserve to be left behind after being a lifeline for so many during lockdown.'

It is thought that summer holiday season has spiked the demand for dog-sitting services even more, as many pet owners are planning to jet off abroad for weeks at a time.

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