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Thread: Advice on Pet/House Sitting Rates

  1. #1
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    Sep 2005
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    Advice on Pet/House Sitting Rates

    Hello all, I'm not sure how many will remember me as it's been nearly 3 years since I've last posted, but I had a question and figured this would be one of the best places to ask!

    I am currently doing some pet and house sitting jobs. The ones I have now are jobs I've "taken over" from co-workers who can no longer do them. Being new to this, I've charged them what my co-workers have been charging them for the same jobs. However, I've spoken with some people and they seem to think for my overnight stays I should be charging a lot more than I have been.

    So my question to you: how much do you think is a fair price to charge for house or pet sitting? Understand that I am an RVT with 3+ years experience (excluding school) currently working at a small animal clinic for 2+ years and I am experienced with dealing with sick, critical, injured animals; can administer any form of medication (even with difficult pets... try hitting an angry cat with an insulin needle... ), have a reliable form of transportation in case an emergency arises. I will keep the house tidy, bring in mail, water plants, bring in newspapers, etc. I am also familiar and comfortable with feeding/handling most small animals (reptiles, rodents [not hamsters, admittedly, I've never handled one that hasn't bit me ]).

    So what do you think a fair price would be for A) once a day visits, B) twice a day visits, C) overnight stays, D) once or twice a day visits with special instructions [taking the dog on a 30 minute walk twice a day, etc, anything above just feeding/watering/letting them outside to run around for a bit]. Also, would you factor distance in to the price you're willing to pay (I currently have a 44 mile round-trip to work every day...).

    Any advice, thoughts, suggestions would be fantastic. I figured I have such a broad group of people here from so many different backgrounds, you would be the best audience to ask

    Hope everyone is doing well!!!!!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Do you have a local Small Business Association? They might be able to help you find out. You could also check online and offline listings, on Craigslist and local newspapers for pet sitters and house sitters, and see what they charge. You can always call, and ask as if you are a potential client! I am sure it varies from region to region. Do ask some of your clients for written recommendations, and just keep a folder of those.
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
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    I posted this in another thread recently. An American girl I know started her own cat-sitting business here. It's in English, also.

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    Randi



    "I don't know which weapons will be used in the third World war, but in the fourth, it will be sticks and stones" --- Albert Einstein.


  4. #4
    I pay $15.00 a day for someone to come to the house, feed, clean the litter box and paly for a bit with Edwina and Eddie once a day. Now Edwina needs daily medicine I do not know what she will charge.

    She has a fee structure. I recall it is $30 for overnight.

    As for distance - I would only consider paying more for distance if I am the one at distance - that is if I lived far out in the country or the like. Otherwise, the sitter's commute is not soemthing I should pay for.

  5. #5
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    I had to convert a couple of prices on that page to USD, but those prices are generally what I've been told I should be charging. Currently the 3 jobs I've had has been staying overnight with 2 dogs for $30/night; swinging by 2x daily to feed/play with/clean litter box for 4 cats and give insulin to 2 cats for $30 a day, and another client paid $25/day to swing by and care for her 9 cats once (that was a LOT of litter to scoop, lol). So I guess those prices are on-par. I'm considering leaving my prices the same for the daily visits ($15/visit I'm thinking up to a certain number of animals) but upping my overnight prices (the one overnight I did, he left me no food, nothing, the bed was even broken and I had to sleep on the couch... but the dogs were angels!).

    So here's another thought -- if you wanted someone to stay overnight, do you think it is your responsibility to supply them with food, snacks, beverages, etc, or do you feel that is the sitter's responsibility? Would you consider paying more if they provided their own food?

    Another thought I was dealing with is that any job I do has to be convenient for me because I do have a full-time job I need to be at as well.

    Thanks for your input so far

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  6. #6
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    With anyone staying overnight, I would expect them to provide their own food - as I wouldn't know what other people want to eat, or could eat, and tell them they are welcome to the beverages in the fridge door, or whatever.
    I've Been Frosted

  7. #7
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    Feb 2005
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    Illinois
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    I have several dog/pet sitting clients and I do not set prices at all, they pay me whatever they feel like is a good price, which turns out to be about $100 a week for the two up in Wisconsin, and $80 or so for the weekend back home in Illinois. The two in Wisconsin are two dogs each, one house also has bearded dragons, tortoises, and fish. The one in Illinois is a dog aggressive fox terrier and it's a neighbor so I don't sleep there but I do spend quite a lot of the time during the day there.

    Niņo & Eliza



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suki Wingy View Post
    I have several dog/pet sitting clients and I do not set prices at all, they pay me whatever they feel like is a good price, which turns out to be about $100 a week for the two up in Wisconsin, and $80 or so for the weekend back home in Illinois. The two in Wisconsin are two dogs each, one house also has bearded dragons, tortoises, and fish. The one in Illinois is a dog aggressive fox terrier and it's a neighbor so I don't sleep there but I do spend quite a lot of the time during the day there.
    Some of the clients I deal with probably wouldn't pay me a "fair" price if I didn't have some sort of baseline. I got $200/week for one cat-sitting job (I asked for $30/day and they just rounded up to $200!!) so there are some that are more generous, but I have to look out for myself too and know my worth and what a fair price for my time is.

    Thank you everyone for your input!

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  9. #9
    One reason professional pet sitters charge more than someone just doing it for a friend is because they have and need liability insurance. Anyone pet sitting for anyone besides close family and close friends should have that. You never know what might go wrong that they might blame you for. Having a contract helps a lot too that outlines what you will do if something unforseen happens, say like a vet is suddenly needed.

  10. #10
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    I run Fur-Nanny 911, and have been pet sitting professionally for about 4 years now. I have a client base of 11 clients. I charge $50/day for overnight (I buy my own food). My clients are mostly dog people. Clients with cats have two options. Since cats are much less work, I charge $25/visit. They have the option for daily visits or every other day. Insurance can be expensive. I'm already bonded (fingerprints on file with the FBI) since I was an Auxiliary State Trooper. I sign a waiver holding my clients harmless should I be injured on their premises.

    Vistaprint is an awesome place to get business cards printed. They're cheap.

    Suggestion: I put my business cards everywhere pet people are. Good way to market yourself!!

    Rest In Peace Casey (Bubba Dude) Your paw print will remain on my heart forever. 12/02
    Mollie Rose, you were there for me through good times and in bad, from the beginning.Your passing will leave a hole in my heart.We will be together "One Fine Day". 1994-2009
    MooShoo,you left me too soon.I wasn't ready.Know that you were my soulmate and have left me broken hearted.I loved you like no other. 1999 - 2010See you again "ONE FINE DAY"
    Maya Linn, my heart is broken. The day your beautiful blue eyes went blind was the worst day of my life.I only wish I could've done something.I'll miss your "premium" purr and our little "conversations". 1997-2013 See you again "ONE FINE DAY"

    DO NOT BUY WHILE SHELTER ANIMALS DIE!!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by moosmom View Post
    I run Fur-Nanny 911, and have been pet sitting professionally for about 4 years now. I have a client base of 11 clients. I charge $50/day for overnight (I buy my own food). My clients are mostly dog people. Clients with cats have two options. Since cats are much less work, I charge $25/visit. They have the option for daily visits or every other day. Insurance can be expensive. I'm already bonded (fingerprints on file with the FBI) since I was an Auxiliary State Trooper. I sign a waiver holding my clients harmless should I be injured on their premises.

    Vistaprint is an awesome place to get business cards printed. They're cheap.

    Suggestion: I put my business cards everywhere pet people are. Good way to market yourself!!
    Thank you, some things to think about

    Quote Originally Posted by TamanduaGirl View Post
    One reason professional pet sitters charge more than someone just doing it for a friend is because they have and need liability insurance. Anyone pet sitting for anyone besides close family and close friends should have that. You never know what might go wrong that they might blame you for. Having a contract helps a lot too that outlines what you will do if something unforseen happens, say like a vet is suddenly needed.
    Most of the ones I am house sitting for are clients from my work (I am an RVT working at a vet clinic) and they will call the clinic before hand giving permission to treat pets while they are away. I don't have a "personal" contract for myself, but many (if not all) of the clients I have sat for have made their own that they have signed giving me permission to bring to the clinic to have their pets treated, permission to be on the property, etc.

    I am not looking into doing this full-time or professionally, but it is a nice way to bring in some extra money when I am living paycheck to paycheck.

    Thank you so much everyone for your suggestions, advice, and input. I appreciate it!

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  12. #12
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    I'd probably start with a base charge of $10-15 per visit if it's a home not far from you and the pet is easy. I'd adjust the rate depending on the number and difficultly of the pets. Obviously, even though the number of pets is the same, a home with 3 guinea pigs is less work than a home with 3 dogs who are all on medication and need to be leash walked around the block with each visit.

    I'd probably charge 3x your per visit rate for staying over night. So if your per visit rate for a client would work out to $15/visit I'd charge $45 for staying over night. During an over night stay you'd be doing the work of 2 visits, at least (an evening visit and a morning visit) plus you'd be staying there all night.
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  13. #13
    I'm late to this thread, but here goes: I charge $20/visit and I don't do overnights. I have in the past added on a $5 charge for giving subQ fluids during my visits, but lately I haven't because most animals are so cooperative for their fluids that it's really no extra work.

    Most of my clients are from when I was an RVT, so I have a lot of diabetic and renal failure pet sitting clients.

  14. #14
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    After some thought, I think I've decided to go with $15/visit, an extra $5 per visit for special things (dog walking, difficult pets needing medication, etc), and $50 for overnights. Compared to other techs, and in response to the clients when I've asked for that, they think it seems fair and on-par with other sitters in the area with my experience and education (actually I've had someone say that $50/night is "very affordable" versus taking your pet to the kennel).

    Thank you all so much for your input, advice, and suggestions

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  15. #15
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    I'm also trained in animal CPR and can give sub-Q fluids and insulin injections. Most of my clients have no problem paying my prices. If they ask me to go lower, generally I'll work with them, as ANY kind of fee they pay, is extra money for me and my cats.

    I have offered to do a dry run (freebie) sometimes to allow them to see how I work. That has also paid off.

    I wish you LOTS of luck. My clients are all by word-of-mouth. My cousin's wife is a realtor and will leave my business cards and fridge magnets with new buyers who have pets. I put them ANYWHERE I can. It's paid off.

    Rest In Peace Casey (Bubba Dude) Your paw print will remain on my heart forever. 12/02
    Mollie Rose, you were there for me through good times and in bad, from the beginning.Your passing will leave a hole in my heart.We will be together "One Fine Day". 1994-2009
    MooShoo,you left me too soon.I wasn't ready.Know that you were my soulmate and have left me broken hearted.I loved you like no other. 1999 - 2010See you again "ONE FINE DAY"
    Maya Linn, my heart is broken. The day your beautiful blue eyes went blind was the worst day of my life.I only wish I could've done something.I'll miss your "premium" purr and our little "conversations". 1997-2013 See you again "ONE FINE DAY"

    DO NOT BUY WHILE SHELTER ANIMALS DIE!!

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