Money Moral Dilemma: Should we start charging our friends for looking after their dog?

in Pets & Pet Care
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Twice a week, my wife and I look after the dog of a couple we're friends with while they're at work. It started off as an occasional favour, but has become regular. They give us a small thank-you gift now and then, but a professional dog sitter would charge £20-£30 a day. Should we start charging them and, if so, how should we approach the subject?

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  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
    34.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Is it worth having to get a licence just to look after a friend's dog? - your council's rules may be slightly different.

    If you don't want to look after the dog any more, just tell your friends.
  • MrsnMrsn Forumite
    1.4K Posts
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    If I have to place my dog in kennels whilst we are away it’s £16 per night so not quiet a much as you might think. For such regular contact if it’s becoming an issue then yes I would raise it, I certainly wouldn’t expect my friends to take care of my dog on such a basis without at least having checked they were happy with the arrangement (tbh I wouldn’t ask my friends to do it in the first place but that’s just me I guess)
  • BrynsamBrynsam Forumite
    3.6K Posts
    Fifth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Have you tried that strange route of actually talking to your friends to tell them how you feel? They aren't mind readers.
  • No, I wouldn’t. I would tell them instead that you are just too busy and have other commitments to be able to look after their dog each week. Obviously you must have been fine with this at first for your friends to happily leave the dog in your care so often, but if it is becoming a problem then you should tell them. Asking for money would just be insulting and would risk ruining your friendship. Either you have happily taken this dog each week for some time and only now are you regretting it OR your friends are chancers. It sounds more like the first since they acknowledge what you do by giving you little gifts to say thanks. Being honest about how you feel is the best way to deal with this situation, though I would stay well away from talking about money and asking for it.
  • edited 2 July 2019 at 10:57PM
    canadabobcanadabob Forumite
    14 Posts
    edited 2 July 2019 at 10:57PM
    I guess it cuts both ways, we are a retired couple and we look after next doors dog most days for most of the day for the last 6 years. If we didn't look after the dog we would miss our little buddie, and she would miss us.

    We are both in our 70's too old to get a dog of our own, chances are a dog would outlive us and who knows what happens to a dog then, they miss us when we die and much as we miss them when they die.

    As for the cost of feeding our little buddy she probably costs us around £3 a day, about the same price as a pint, but I'd much sooner have the dog than the pint, luckily I can afford both.

    I appreciate and respect what the OP says, to each his own, but our little buddie is worth every penny we spend on her. I guess the neighbours could well afford to pay us for looking after their dog but we wouldn't feel comfortable being paid to look after her, in fact if money was offered we'd turn it down, the dog brings more into our lives than she takes out.

  • What kind of a world are we living in? Of course you shouldn't charge your friends for looking after your dog. You may need a favour/ favours from them one day and they can reciprocate. Human beings are social animals and it does us good to help others.
  • REJPREJP Forumite
    268 Posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    I like the reply saying have you talked to your friends. Possibly they also read this thread so that might solve your "problem". If it is becoming a burden, be honest with them. Personally I don't have anything else to do , being retired, and might enjoy looking after a neighbours dog. The bonus would be the dog would not be barking all day and annoying neighbours if it is being looked after.
    In the end I suppose it comes down to how much you value your friendship and the companionship of the dog.
    Talk to your friends openly, not behind their backs.
  • snootybutnicesnootybutnice Forumite
    14 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Clearly you feel slightly put upon and no-one likes to feel they are being taken for granted. It's a tricky issue.

    Sometimes it's easier to create a natural break forcing friends to take a different route e.g. call them and say sorry but it hurts to walk at the moment - so can you please arrange for someone else to look after the dog as I want to rest up. They will say 'of course'. Then, after a few weeks, go away on holiday for a week or two - and when you come back say 'to be honest, it's been a nice break not to be tied by the dog although we enjoy having him/her but we want to do more things and it ties us. If you're stuck we'll look after the dog of course, but maybe just a few weeks a year when you go on holiday. It keeps it all nice and light and friends will know you have a life outside of caring for a dog that they wanted and decided to have. Problem averted.
  • HHNNHHNN Forumite
    15 Posts
    Question is, do you enjoy having the dog? Does it enhance your life? Does it get you out in the fresh air for a bit of exercise? I've got a part-share in my neighbours' dog and the answer is YES every time.
  • thegrifterthegrifter Forumite
    21 Posts
    Personally, from time to time I would just say that I'm busy, and gradually increase the amount of times I was unable to look after the dog. Or, you could just try saying that it's becoming a bit of a tie and that you would like to do other things but you can't because looking after their dog has become somewhat of a commitment.
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