Running a pet care business can be an exciting endeavor.
One of the most important aspects of a successful business is charging a fair price.
You could have many happy clients, but it’ll only be stressful if you struggle to cover your expenses.
At the same time, charging too high might be unreasonable for some clients, especially if competitors are charging less.
In this article, we’ll cover how to charge for your pet care services and the different factors that affect your standard rate. Let’s begin!
Average Pet Sitting Rates
The average rate for a dog sitter is;
$19 per 15-minute visit
$25 per 30-minute visit,
$32 per 60-minute visit.
For overnight pet sitting, the average is between $30 to $85.
Some clients may ask for additional services such as taking the garbage out, watering outdoor plants, or bringing in the mail.
What Does a Pet Sitter Do?
A sitter provides pet care while the pet parent is away.
Depending on the animal’s needs or the owner’s preference, the level of care varies.
The sitter might come once a day, several times per day, or even stay for overnight services.
The standard visit of a dog sitter may include:
- Taking the dog out for a walk
- Giving them food and water
- Administer medications
- Clean out the cage
- Play with them
Price Factors for Dog Sitting
When calculating your daily rate or hourly rate for house sitting, it’s important to consider these various factors:
Urban cities with an expensive cost of living generally have higher pet sitter costs than small towns.
Consider adding extra travel costs into the fee if you’re expected to commute far or have to travel in high-traffic areas.
Each pet will differ in the level of care that is needed.
Some relatively low-maintenance pets may only require a quick 15-minute visit for a potty break. Other pets may need more exercise, meaning they’ll need a full 60-minute visit.
Furthermore, take into account the number of visits per day.
If you’re only needed for a drop-in visit while the owner is at work, the cost is generally lower. However, if the owner is traveling, they may need overnight care or multiple visits per day.
Some elderly dogs, sick dogs, or puppies may need 24-hour pet care. Generally, this requires overnight services with the pup to ensure they can be properly cared for.
Make sure to discuss with the owner whether you’ll stay in their home or you’re expected to bring the dog to your place.
Doing tasks that are outside the norm should also be accounted for.
Some owners may ask you to perform tasks such as taking their pet to scheduled, water plants, vet appointments, grooming sessions, or even giving them a bath.
Furthermore, if you’re dealing with a dog with behavioral issues or a nightmare on the leash, you should charge more than the average cost.
Number of Pets
Having to care for more than one pet will take extra time and effort.
As a result, you should be charging more. Most dog sitters will charge an extra $5 per visit for each additional pet.
It’s common to charge a holiday fee for your services during holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving.
That’s because the demand for house sitting services increases, and you’re more likely to receive more requests on these days.
The more experience and house-sitting references you have as a professional pet sitter, the higher you can charge. You immediately stand out from cheaper options by demonstrating your expertise.
For example, if you are CPR trained or have experience in dog training, you’ll immediately stand out from your competitors.
Every pet sitting business should have a cancellation policy. Canceling last minute means you’ve lost on opportunities with other clients who could have used your services.
Cancellation with advanced notice should be okay.
However, you may want to include a cancellation policy that discourages last-minute canceling. For example, if a client cancels on the same day or one day before the sitting, they may not receive a refund.
It’s Okay to Say No
Not all clients will be a great fit for your pet sitting services. Some clients will look to haggle on price, while others may be difficult to work with.
Consider saying no to the client under the following circumstances:
- The client is unwilling to pay full price for your pet sitting services
- The client lives over an hour away from you
- Upon meeting the pet, they seem overly aggressive
Turning down business can be difficult. But remember, one bad client can hurt your reputation. Bad reviews stick around for a long time, and word can spread quickly.
Always set up a meet and greet to determine whether the client is a good fit or not. It’s a good way to familiarize yourself with your client, pet, and home.
Before providing the owner with cost estimates, make sure to have an initial consultation with them to go over their needs.
This way, you can get an accurate assessment of what’s required of you and how much to charge.
Dog sitting is a fun and rewarding gig. Whether you’re a passionate dog lover or need a gig that generates extra cash, pet sitting is a profession in high demand.
Make sure to charge what you’re worth, so you can get paid fairly for your services.
Brittnay is one of the Travelling House Sitters. She has cared for 25 dogs, 35 cats 1 turtle, and 1 rabbit over 40+ houses in 15 countries over 5 years.
She is ready to teach you exactly how to become a house sitter! She wants everyone to enjoy this incredible lifestyle as well!
You can read more about Brittnay and Jay on their about page.
Or connect with Brittnay on Facebook or in their house sitting community on Facebook