Whether you're leaving your furry family member alone for the night or going on vacation without them, a good pet sitter is a no-brainer. However, figuring out what to pay for overnight pet sitting is another story.
"There are so many things to consider when you're looking for someone to take care of your pets," says Collin Funkhouser, a professional pet sitter and host of the podcast.Pet sitter confessional. "One caveat, however, is that even if you figure out all the factors involved, you'll always be able to find exceptions, which is why it's important to talk to them and get to know them."Tiersitterbefore you hire them."
Need care for your favorite furry friend(s) but not sure what to pay for? Experts and pet parents offer insights into pet sitting prices.
How much is pet sitting?
In the top 20 pet sitting cities, average prices range from $12.50 per hour to $17.25 per hourcurrent Care.com data. However, Funkhouser notes that considering a variety of factors, such as: B. the number of pets and the grooming required (more on that in a bit), can be as low as "$80 for a 30-minute walk or drop-in grooming" in some places.
"These prices are unfamiliar to a lot of people who typically have a friend or family member who takes care of their pets," explains Funkhouser. “But remember, you are paying for a professional groomer, someone you can trust with your pet and your home. When it comes to the cost of caring for pets, there really isn't one "industry standard," so it's a good idea to figure out the level of care you need and become familiar with severalsitters near you. This way you can find the pet sitter that suits you best.”
Looking for a starting point? Look at the average pricesPet sitting rate calculator.
Current prices for pet sitting in top cities*
|city-state||Hourly rate for pet sitter|
|Seattle, Washington||17,25 $/Std|
|Los Angeles, California||16,75 $/Std|
|Brooklyn, New York||15,50 $/Std|
|Denver, Colorado||15,50 $/Std|
|Phoenix, Arizona||14,75 $/Std|
|Minneapolis, Minnesota||14,75 $/Std|
|Portland, Oregon||14,75 $/Std|
|Chicago, Illinois||13,75 $/Std|
|San Antonio, Texas||13,50 $/Std|
|From Vegas, Nevada||13,50 $/Std|
|Charlotte, North Carolina||12,50 $/Std|
|Philadelphia, Pennsylvanien||12,50 $/Std|
Should pet sitters be paid by the hour or a flat rate?
According to Funkhouser, the vast majority of pet sitters and dog walkers charge a flat fee. “An hourly rate can only come into play if you have multiple pets and need extensive care for each — think hobby farms, horses, multiple cages for snakes, aquariums, or five dogs that need medication and specialty foods,” he says. "If your needs don't match the pet sitter's current service offering, ask if they can accommodate you or make you an offer."
What is the common price for house sitting with a pet?
If you're going out of town for a few days or more, you might be looking for someone to take care of your pet and your home. If this is the case (and especially if you ask the babysitter to stay with you), the rate should be higher than if he just comes over for walks or feedings.
"We've always had our babysitter at our house with our dog when we've been out of town," says Cockapoo owner Mary Ragazzo Reilly of Cranford, New Jersey. “Apart from getting our mail, the main focus was on walking and feeding the dog. We previously negotiated a daily rate, which was takenkennel costand takes their normal babysitting rate into account. We both agreed on $30 a day.”
Jen McConnell, a Doberman Pinscher owner in Aberdeen, New Jersey, paid her pet sitter a higher price because both her home and her dog needed more care. "Our pet sitter didn't stay, but she came by more than once a day to feed and walk the dog, tend to packages, plants, our trash and recycling, and our pool," she says. "We paid her $50 a day."
What should I include in my pet sitter's plan?
When it comes to determining the cost of pet care, there are a number of things to consider. Here are some of the most common factors that can affect pet sit rate:
- Your location and the average prices in your area.
- Time spent caring for pets.
- number of animals.
- Type and size of animal(s).
- duties and responsibilities.
- Pet sitter experience.
1. Your location and the average prices in your area
“In general, if you live in an area with a higher cost of living, you can expect to pay more for your dog walker orTiersitterthan in an area with a lower cost of living,” explains Funkhouser. "It sounds pretty simple, but it's easy to miss, especially if you've recently moved or a friend [who lives in another city] is telling you how much they're paying."
2. Time spent caring for pets
according to dr Stacy Choczynski Johnson, veterinarian and expert onPumpkin Pet Insurance, pet sitting costs should also correlate to the care required, which is generally directly related to the time a sitter spends with your pet.
“Prices should be set based on care requirements, including the number of walks or play sessions, the need for yard orlitter boxWaste cleaning, medication administration, enrichment activities, training, transportation and if the pet sitter needs to stay at home,” says Choczynski Johnson. “For example, short term fish sitting gigs may require less care and therefore a lower price. However, maintaining a saltwater tank or long-term aquarium care may require the skills of an aquarist. There are times when a pet sitter will simply feed the fish and there are circumstances where the water quality needs to be tested and 50% of the water changed, so the rate should be determined on a case-by-case basis.”
In addition to the amount of time a sitter spends with your pet each day, you should also consider how long a sitter watches your pet.
"Pet owners sometimes ask if the length of time they care affects the price, and the answer is, it varies," says Funkhouser. “Some sitters give a small discount for longer care, but most charge the same rate for the entire duration. You can always ask if they offer flat rate walks or have a weekly walk price versus a one time walk but your pet sitter ordog walkerhas yet to run his business and pay his bills, which means discounts may not be an option. They are still providing the same care on day 14 as they did on day one.”
3. Number of animals
Do you think the tariff should change if you have more than one pet to care for? It depends.
"When pets have the same diet and exercise needs, it's usually easier to care for more than one animal at a time. When pets get along, the more, the merrier!” says Choczynski Johnson. “For example, if a trio of dogs eat the same food, are behaviorally compatible, and walk well in tandem on a leash, it should be a good time. However, if each pet is on a special prescription diet, one is anxious aggressive or not neutered, and they cannot walk them at the same time, a pet sitter has extra work to do.”
If you have a variety of animals in your home that require care, pet care costs are likely to increase. "Three dogs, two cats, and 10 chickens cost more than one dog and one goldfish," says Funkhouser.
4. Type and size of the animal(s).
"Pet sitters typically charge a higher price for dogs than for cats because dogs are typically provided with walks and playtime like fetch that cats don't necessarily need," explains Dr. Heather Venkat, a vet atVIP Cubsin phoenix. "Pet sitters shouldn't necessarily have to charge a higher price for exotic animals like fish or reptiles because the time it takes to care for them shouldn't be any longer than for a dog or cat."
dr Theresa Fossum, a registered veterinarian and owner ofdr Fossum's pet care, adds that for dogs, breed can affect seating rates. "Prices for dogs vary widely based on the demographics in your area and the size of your pet, with larger dogs typically being more expensive than smaller dogs," she says.
5. Duties and Responsibilities
Funkhouser notes that while many sitters "charge a single rate, regardless of the type of pet or their needs," some charge for the following additional services:
- Give medicine.
- Special food preparation.
"Also, if you have a pet in palliative care, expect to pay more than a pet in their prime without medication or special needs," he says.
6. Pet Sitter Experience
While it may be tempting to cut costs by going with the pet sitter offering the best price, don't do it. "Unless you personally know and trust the pet sitter, don't go for the cheapest option," says Fossum. "And if you don't know the sitter, be sure to meet them in advance to make sure you and your pet are comfortable with them. There's usually a reason some sitters are more expensive than others."
"The experience that the pet sitter or dog walker brings is invaluable," says Funkhouser. "Someone who has been in business 10 years, has insurance, liability coverage, is trained in first aid and CPR, and continues to seek additional educational opportunities is going to be more expensive, but you're paying for their experience and knowledge."