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Old 07-08-2012, 05:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How much would you pay for an in home pet sitter (not live in, just come by as often as you ask, let dogs out, feed animals, exercise dogs, scoop litter boxes, etc.)?

I have always watched for a couple of my neighbors dogs and always just let them give what they want. But I'm thinking of putting up some signs around the neighborhood since I don't have a job and it would be good to make some money. I'm watching an elderly Golden right now and am getting $25 a day (that's what the owner offered). I come over in the morning for bathroom, feeding, and medications, then the afternoon to bring her to the lake for an hour, then in the evening to let her in (she is kept on the deck after going to the lack so she can dry off) and I spend some time with her, and finally before bed. Does that sound like a good price, I'd be sort of embarrassed to put up a sign saying I'd sit for less after they are paying me $25, they'd feel sort of scammed I guess. They'll definitely see the signs. Then I'd charge less for cats of course, but not sure how much.

Also, would it be a flat rate for any number of dogs/cats or should it go up a little bit as the number of dogs increases?

Then I'd also be offering to sit for small animals (rodents, reptiles, birds) and I'm not sure what to charge for them either. Obviously they are less work than most dogs, require fewer visits. And I have no idea what I'd do for a combo of species.

Soooo, I'm just clueless when it comes to pricing stuff, I don't think I could handle doing a yard sale because I wouldn't know how much to charge for anything lol. Just looking for opinions and experience with sitters you've used, though it might vary by area a bit.

Keep in mind this is super small scale, I can't drive so it's strictly neighborhood people.
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I pay $28 for my cat sitter to come once a day. She's there for about 45 minutes. She cleans the litter boxes, feeds and plays with the girls. She also feeds my fish and tops up the water in the tank (simply pours in a jug of water to cover evaporation). She also sends me a daily email letting me know how the girls are and what they were up to.

As for charging more depending on the number of animals...my former cat sitter did that, but I wasn't crazy about that practice. In my view, it makes sense to charge more depending on how long you're there or how often you come. But, if you're there for a half hour, what does it matter whether you're feeding/playing with one cat or two. (I suppose I might feel differently if the person had a zoo!) In any event, I'm happy to pay more if the sitter is willing to come twice a day, but I wasn't happy to pay more for a half hour just because I had two cats.
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I pet sit and it depends on how many animals, how many times I have to visit per day, how far it is, and what I have to do.

I feel like I undercharged for my pet sitting last week. I charged $150 for Monday to Friday visiting 4 times a day. I visited 4 times a day. There were 4 dogs inside and 4 dogs outside. I had to feed all of them once a day and let the inside dogs out 4 times a day. The distance was minimal though.

I had to clean up soiling pads and wipe up the floor as the inside dogs apparently weren't potty trained. I also had to go shopping and buy food for them which they left money for. I let their maid in on Friday as well. On Friday, the outside dogs escaped via a hole under a fence and I had to catch them and put them back in in 110F degree weather for an hour

I feel like $20 a day for 3 visits per day plus $5 for each additional pet (up to 3, then no cost) is a good rate. If I just had to visit once a day for 4 cats, I probably would just charge $25 as cats a lot easier to care for than dogs.

I think I might start doing more pet sitting now that I have a few references.

For me it's a good way to get extra income. I work from home with no set hours so I can leave whenever I want. I also feel better knowing people aren't leaving their pets home alone for a week at a time.

Last edited by scottd; 07-08-2012 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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When I went home for Thanksgiving last year, my girls' groomer cat-sat for me. We agreed on $35/day to stop by two times (3 miles away). Much to her surprise, I gave her $50/day. I mean, it was Thanksgiving after all. Plus, when I was out of work, she took care of my girls at little or no charge. Karma.

Where I just moved, one of my best friends lives next door and we'll pet-sit for each other. I'll sleep at her place when she and her hubby go on vacation, though - her older dog (English Bulldog) needs more attention and people contact than my girls.

$35/day is about the average that pet-sitting companies charge around here. You should check them out and let that help determine what you charge where you live.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I usually pay $35 per visit for 4 cats to be fed, litter boxes scooped, and some play time, and then bowls washed. There have been a few occasions when we needed more than 1 visit per day.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My petsitter charges $32.00 an hour to come to my house and take care of my
six cats. That includes feeding, litter boxes, meds, and playtime, as well as bringing
in my mail and turning lights on and off.

I usually contract for two sessions per day (first visit one hour and second visit a half-hour)
and since I'm gone for a month at a time she gives me a decent discount on multiple visits.

I've been fortunate in having the same company since moving here to Florida five
years ago and my cats have always been taken care of with no problems.

I also stock up on sodas and snacks for my petsitter to enjoy just like some people do
for babysitters of human children. If my petsitter is comfortable then my cats will
be comfortable, too!
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I shall never be in the position again of looking for a cat to adopt (my age), but if I were, not only would I go for an older adult, but as with Zenobi (OTB) and Missy, I would tend towards the cat that seemed the least likely to be adopted. Right now, if I could handle it, I'd look to getting Missy a kitten. I'm sure she'd love one.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Pricing page from my cat sitter's website:

The price scale runs by the amount of time spent with the animals. There are no additional charges for travel, multiple pets, etc. as long as the services requested are able to be accomplished in the agreed upon amount of time.

Peak hours are Monday through Friday 10 am to 3 pm, and Holidays.

Off peak prices Peak prices
30 minutes $16 30 minutes $18
45 minutes $20 45 minutes $22
60 minutes $24 60 minutes $26
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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There's a lot of things to consider when setting prices for pet sitting...amount of time to be spent, what type of work you have to do (e.g. pilling a nasty cat is worth more), the condition of the animals (I'd charge more for a pet that requires me to clean up poop or puke every day).

You also need to take your qualifications into account...a vet tech will get more than someone with no formal training. And your location...large cities will demand higher pricing than the boonies.

I see your lack of transportation as a potential problem. What happens if you go into someone's house and their pet is having a medical emergency? The time it takes you to find a ride to the vet may be life threatening to the animal.

All of that said...$25 a day for the work you're doing with the Golden is extremely cheap. Just the hour at the lake is worth that.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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That's a good point, Doodlebug. Companies charge more than individuals, but you get the added security of the company having screened people beforehand.

I was debating asking one of the people in my building to look after Io next weekend while we're away, but thankfully my sister offered to do it for 2 boxes of k-cups! Family pricing!

Because of Stampede, all my friends were unavailable/working, and the caretakers all charge almost twice as much as usual - $40/visit was the cheapest I was finding, up from $25 a few weeks ago, playtime and plants extra.

But I agree that $150 for a week with 8 dogs is much too little! To be honest, someone charging too little would make me nervous, because if someone's too far below to 'going rate' it seems like they're inexperienced and/or sketchy. (Are you charging $15 to feed my cat or rob me? lol)
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