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    • MSE Sarah
    • By MSE Sarah 2nd Jul 19, 3:35 PM
    • 214Posts
    • 96Thanks
    MSE Sarah
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should we start charging our friends for looking after their dog?
    • #1
    • 2nd Jul 19, 3:35 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should we start charging our friends for looking after their dog? 2nd Jul 19 at 3:35 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    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?

    Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be enjoyed as a point of debate and discussed at face value.

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Page 1
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 2nd Jul 19, 3:50 PM
    • 31,706 Posts
    • 81,265 Thanks
    Mojisola
    • #2
    • 2nd Jul 19, 3:50 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Jul 19, 3:50 PM
    Is it worth having to get a licence just to look after a friend's dog?

    www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/business/licensing/animal-licensing/dog-day-care/ - your council's rules may be slightly different.

    If you don't want to look after the dog any more, just tell your friends.
    • Mrsn
    • By Mrsn 2nd Jul 19, 5:02 PM
    • 214 Posts
    • 190 Thanks
    Mrsn
    • #3
    • 2nd Jul 19, 5:02 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Jul 19, 5:02 PM
    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)
    • Brynsam
    • By Brynsam 2nd Jul 19, 10:15 PM
    • 2,402 Posts
    • 1,816 Thanks
    Brynsam
    • #4
    • 2nd Jul 19, 10:15 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Jul 19, 10:15 PM
    Have you tried that strange route of actually talking to your friends to tell them how you feel? They aren't mind readers.
    • Bellaflowe
    • By Bellaflowe 2nd Jul 19, 10:55 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Bellaflowe
    • #5
    • 2nd Jul 19, 10:55 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Jul 19, 10:55 PM
    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.
    • canadabob
    • By canadabob 2nd Jul 19, 11:11 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    canadabob
    • #6
    • 2nd Jul 19, 11:11 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Jul 19, 11:11 PM
    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.

    Bob.
    Last edited by canadabob; 02-07-2019 at 11:57 PM.
    • sweetiepiedave
    • By sweetiepiedave 2nd Jul 19, 11:19 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    sweetiepiedave
    • #7
    • 2nd Jul 19, 11:19 PM
    Of course you shouldn't charge.
    • #7
    • 2nd Jul 19, 11:19 PM
    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.
    • REJP
    • By REJP 3rd Jul 19, 12:08 AM
    • 129 Posts
    • 162 Thanks
    REJP
    • #8
    • 3rd Jul 19, 12:08 AM
    • #8
    • 3rd Jul 19, 12:08 AM
    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.
    • snootybutnice
    • By snootybutnice 3rd Jul 19, 12:39 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    snootybutnice
    • #9
    • 3rd Jul 19, 12:39 AM
    • #9
    • 3rd Jul 19, 12:39 AM
    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.
    • HHNN
    • By HHNN 3rd Jul 19, 6:06 AM
    • 15 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    HHNN
    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.
    • thegrifter
    • By thegrifter 3rd Jul 19, 6:12 AM
    • 21 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    thegrifter
    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.
    • colinlyne
    • By colinlyne 3rd Jul 19, 7:46 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    colinlyne
    Why
    If they are your friends, why should you charge them for a pleasurable act? Looking after a dog should be good for your soul. They obviously recognise your good deed, why speak money?
    • Markie76
    • By Markie76 3rd Jul 19, 8:01 AM
    • 22 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Markie76
    .....she probably costs us around £3 a day, about the same price as a pint,....
    Originally posted by canadabob
    I can't remember when you could buy a pint (not water) for £3 in London...!!!

    As for looking after the dog it's simple and I don't see where 'morals' come into it;

    1. If you enjoy doing it then enjoy the dog's company and your 'occasional gift'
    2. If you no longer enjoy doing it then tell your friends! - text/message them if you're one of those people permanently glued to your device.
    3. If the dog has started tearing up the sofa and messing up the place then just refuse.

    Being 'friends' with someone requires trust and honesty and it is a two way deal.
    You be honest with them and they should be honest with you.

    1. If you no longer want to look after the dog - tell them.
    2. If you want to make money looking after the dog - tell them.
    3. If you think they are using you - tell them.

    The worse thing you can do is make something up like others have suggested and then get found out.
    Your trust & honesty has been destroyed and your friends probably won't want you to look after their dog anymore.
    If your friends take issue you no longer want to look after their dog then you have to question if they were your friends in the first place.

    If you just want to make money looking after anybodies dog then open a kennels.

    Simples.
    Last edited by Markie76; 03-07-2019 at 8:15 AM.
    • kazwookie
    • By kazwookie 3rd Jul 19, 8:04 AM
    • 11,106 Posts
    • 131,292 Thanks
    kazwookie
    Talk to your friends

    And learn to say NO if you dont want to do it
    Sun, Sea

    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 3rd Jul 19, 8:08 AM
    • 12,341 Posts
    • 32,910 Thanks
    suki1964
    Why charge a friend????? And what are you charging for?

    If they are supplying the food, paying vet bills etc etc and giving you thank you gifts, how are you out of pocket?

    How much looking after does the dog require during working hours?
    A walk mid day and company.

    Id say you were getting the better end of the deal tbh, a bit of company, an excuse to get out of the house and exercise

    But hey, go register as professional dog sitters, register as self employed, charge the going rate and lose a friendship
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • Bellisima
    • By Bellisima 3rd Jul 19, 8:22 AM
    • 130 Posts
    • 176 Thanks
    Bellisima
    It’s lovely that you look after your friend’s dog sometimes. Yes dog sitters do charge, but that is because they are running a business. Putting the dog in kennels is cheaper, but horrible. Any dog would be happier at home than stuck in a prison. I worked at a Shelter for many years and saw how depressed dogs can get in kennels. As so many have suggested, if you no longer wish to have the dog a couple of days a week, then speak to your friends and tell them you are too busy, but to expect them to pay you seems rather harsh.
    • Newly retired
    • By Newly retired 3rd Jul 19, 8:40 AM
    • 2,442 Posts
    • 2,847 Thanks
    Newly retired
    If you are providing the food and are struggling financially, then that is a different matter. Either tell them frankly that you can no longer afford to do so, and ask if they could provide dog food.
    If money is not the real issue but you just feel put upon and resent the tie, it is time to tell them you donít want to do it anymore.

    On the other hand, if you still enjoy having the dog, just think of the positives. I would not want to own a dog but I often wish I had one to go for wAlks with, and no vets bills. You have all the pleasures and none of the drawbacks.
    • newpuppy
    • By newpuppy 3rd Jul 19, 8:43 AM
    • 29 Posts
    • 47 Thanks
    newpuppy
    No charge, just talk to your friends
    Professionals do charge for dog care, but you're not a professional, you're a friend. Look again at how this commitment evolved and do your friends actually need you to care for the dog twice a week? Perhaps they feel they are doing you a favour, enriching your life, filling your time or whatever, and would prefer to employ a professional, but don't like to tell you. Just saying ... If you can't face raising the issue with them, try crying off once in a while and see what happens. Perhaps you just need to reset the balance.
    • Candyflossnan
    • By Candyflossnan 3rd Jul 19, 8:56 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Candyflossnan
    I think asking for money would be the end of your friendship but at the same time its very unfair that an occasional favour has grown into a responsibility or even a chore.

    Maybe if you can have a word with your friends along the lines of

    "Whilst we enjoy looking after "our furry friends" we're finding it harder nowadays and would like to go back to occasionally helping out as before.
    • pixiebel81
    • By pixiebel81 3rd Jul 19, 9:13 AM
    • 27 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    pixiebel81
    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.

    Bob.
    Originally posted by canadabob
    You might not feel comfortable taking money from them but they really should be providing food for the dog, expecting you to pay to feed it is a bit cheeky
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