Do you tip your dog walker?
January 16, 2013 8:51 AM   Subscribe

I just hired a dog walker this week... and it just occurred to me today: am I supposed to be tipping? And if so, how? The weekly bill is $60; am I supposed to leave a couple of bucks a day, or could I leave $10 or $12 at the end of the week or something? Or is it more of a holiday bonus thing (in which case I feel kind of bad, because the holidays are a year away). Some days, the owner of the business will walk my dog. Is it like a salon where you're not supposed to tip the owner, just employees? Or am I totally over thinking this, and is dog walking not a tipping sort of service?
posted by Kriesa to Pets & Animals (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I tip my dog walker at Christmas with one week's pay.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:55 AM on January 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

I have used a dogwalker twice a week (sometimes more) for 2 years and she charges a flat rate. It never occurred to me to tip her, although the dogs (Rex & Molly) did give her a gift card at Christmas.
posted by Minos888 at 8:57 AM on January 16, 2013

A note with a treat for the dog and a treat (cupcake or candy) for the dog walker are the usual thing.
posted by Brent Parker at 9:01 AM on January 16, 2013

My two week bill is around $120 and I add on $15 maybe.

Basically because she's fantastic and I'd be screw if she ever decided to stop being my dog walker.
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:01 AM on January 16, 2013

Ditto DarlingBri. Week at Christmas.
posted by supercres at 9:09 AM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I see this as more of a holiday bonus situation, not a tip-as-you-go situation.
posted by elizardbits at 9:14 AM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

I use a service where my dog hikes three times a week with one of their pool of staff (walkers/routes vary day to day and week to week). I tip at Christmas about a week's cost of hiking, which goes into a pool that is shared among all employees (I think the owner somehow addresses fairness for people who worked the whole year vs. people who worked part of the year). In the past I've also sent a box of baked treats with whoever hiked my dog that day to share with the rest of the crew - although I wasn't organized enough to do that this year. I've also sent unsolicited email to the owner a few times when I felt like someone was doing an outstanding job.
posted by handful of rain at 9:16 AM on January 16, 2013

Best answer: For recurring services, Christmas Bonus is appropriate. See previous questions relating to house cleaners, yard services, gutter cleaners, etc...
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:22 AM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Christmas only.

Please don't start a tipping culture with dog-walking - it's expensive enough as it is!

I always make sure to leave positive yelp reviews whenever I can, though.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 9:42 AM on January 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Professional dog walker, here. I do not normally receive tips from clients, other than year-end holiday money or gift cards. A couple of my weekly clients add a little something ($5) to their check to me, which they certainly don't need to do, and which I certainly appreciate, and I tell them so.

On previewing ablazingsaddle's response, I agree...the tipping culture has gotten utterly out of hand. And if I say so, it must be true!
posted by BostonTerrier at 9:44 AM on January 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

I do $50 at Christmas - my weekly bill is $30 but $30 didn't quite seem like enough to me.
posted by magnetsphere at 10:05 AM on January 16, 2013

I had a dog walker that I used every once in a while (maybe 2-3 times a month?) and i would add a couple dollars ($3 on a $12 walk if I remember right) as tip to her- but I was never a regular enough to consider a Christmas gift so that was my trade off.

I think a tip really depends on if you are using them infrequently and they are getting you out of a jam (my situation), or so regularly that you have a schedule (then Christmas gift instead).
posted by zara at 11:17 AM on January 16, 2013

My wife is a dog walker. Good clients who are regulars (book every week, or almost) give her a tip at the holidays, usually $50 or so. Clients who book every once in a while, for vacations and such, tip her at time of service, usually $20 for a weekend or $50 for a week.
posted by ohsnapdragon at 2:09 PM on January 16, 2013

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