Is it ok to tip your dog walker? Yes! Is it expected? Well ... that depends on the dog walker. I have a friend who pet sits part time and she won't take a repeat client if they didn't tip. As a full timer, I don't have that luxury and I've learned never to expect a tip. I can't help it, tip anticipation builds around the holidays or if a known tipper is back on my calendar. (You might want to jot down somewhere how much you gave the dog walker last Christmas. I remember.)
You would think that the really difficult client with the dog that tries to bite you and the cat that pukes on a daily basis would kick in a few extra bucks. That's usually not the case. Rather, I have found that the uber easy, just-let-the-dog-out-and-leave-the-poop-in-the-yard, laid back people with equally laid back pets tend to be the most generous.
Is there such a thing as a bad tip? My dog walker friends say no. I would argue, however, that some rewards I have received could have used a little more thought. Below, please find some of the memorable tips I've received and suggestions for modification.
$10 "if you would please vacuum the floor on Sunday. But if you don't want to just leave the money and we'll vacuum when we get home."
$10 no strings attached. I'll prolly do a better job anyway to live up to the gift.
A coupon for a $49 massage for the holidays.
A gift card for a $49 massage for the holidays.
Food kinda sorta left by where I leave my notes. Wait, is that for me? Did I just eat your snack?
Clearly marked snack, taking into account any food sensitivities your pet sitter may have. It's ok to ask.
A 6 pack of Shock Top
Can't think of one. How totally awesome to give your dog walker a 6 pack on a sunny Friday afternoon.
You get where I'm going with this. At the end of the day, it truly is the thought that counts. It's so touching when my little old lady clients get out the billfold and hand me a dollar or two extra. If you can't afford to tip and aren't an adorable little old lady, a simple handwritten thank you note goes a long way. I actually keep a collection of them. Bonus points if your kid writes it. Or your dog.