How Much Do Animal Actors Get Paid? Uncovering The Surprising Reality

By Steve Dez •  Updated: 01/07/23 •  4 min read

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How Much Do Animal Actors Get Paid? Uncovering The Surprising Reality

Do you ever wonder how much animal actors get paid for their work in movies and television?

From Lassie to Scooby Doo, animals have been stealing the show for years.

But what is the truth behind these furry stars’ paychecks?

Uncovering the surprising reality of animal actor salaries may surprise you!

how much do animal actors get paid

 Agency Representation: The Basics

Much like humans, animals who are employed as actors must have representation in order to get jobs and negotiate payouts.

Largely working through agencies that specialize in representing animals—typically cats and dogs—these furry stars can command fees ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars per day (plus all expenses).

Depending on their level of experience and training, some professional animals may even be able to make up to five figures for one job!

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Union Status: Not Just For Humans Anymore

As you might expect most larger production companies require that all performers – human or otherwise – adhere strictly to union guidelines when shooting on set.

This includes making sure there is an AFRA/SAG agreement in place before any filming takes place; if not then the production company will need to hire a representative from either agency so everyone involved gets compensated fairly according to the relevant industry standards.

Furthermore, depending on where your shoot takes place additional rules regarding health & safety regulations may also need adhering too; this could include providing adequate shelter/housing for any four-legged cast members during breaks between scenes etcetera…

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Payment Structure & Expectations

Payments vary wildly from project-to-project with factors such as location and duration playing into it heavily; however typically speaking most agencies take a percentage commission off each job meaning whatever fee is negotiated upfront will end up lower after deductions are made at source (this tends not apply if you book directly with owners though).

Additionally common expectations such us feeding/watering equipment provided by producers should always be discussed prior agreeing terms so no surprises occur further down line!

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Training Regime & Behavioral Patterns

The majority of ‘working’ pets used within film productions are highly trained professionals who can perform complex commands with ease (or at least appear too!).

Therefore it stands reason that these skills don’t come cheap – top trainers can charge upwards $500 per hour which means any successful candidate needs have gone through extensive preparation beforehand – something which again shoots prices skywards but worth expense once quality seen screen side!

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Insurance Requirements & Paperwork

When hiring an animal actor its imperative both parties understand fully whats expected them – insurance wise especially…

As standard most productions carry liability coverage against potential damages caused by their talent whether intentional or accidental but extra paperwork does sometimes required ensure everything runs smoothly future incidents avoided altogether…

This usually comes form owner direct rather than through intermediaries making process painless efficient possible!

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Behind The Scenes Care Team

Getting paw print perfect results requires dedicated caretakers looking out best interests cast members every step way…

From make sure they’re well fed groomed enough rest between shots right providing playtime socialization activities help keep spirits high morale levels optimal ensuring happy healthy results throughout entire shoot….

Specialists employed monitor wellbeing provide support guidance needed ensure smooth running operation completion successful wrap party afterwards!

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Before you go…

Now you know how much do animal actors get paid , but that’s only the beginning of your acting journey. If you found this post useful there’s more to learn to get you to the next step of your acting career. If you read our next articles you’ll be a step further than most actors.

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Steve Dez

I am the founder of Dezperate Actor® and I have been in the acting and entertainment industry since 2011. Since then, my mission is to make acting and breaking into Hollywood easy for everyone. And each year, I continue to help more people with acting tips, resources, coaching and online courses.

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