Going on a vacation or away on a business trip? You’ll need to find a pet sitter to take care of your fur baby. But you may be unsure about the appropriate amount to pay for house sitter services.
In this guide, we’ll share the biggest factors to consider when determining cost estimates and the average rates based on location.
As well as the average night cost of a house sitter.
Table of Contents
Average Nightly Cost for a House Sitter
We have found the average and reasonable cost for a house sitter is $30-$55 per night.
However you need to take the factors below into consideration to work average cost of a house sitter in your area, as well as the tasks and responsibilities.
Before we jump into the factors, I have included our personal instructions templates. These templates ensure your house sitter has all the information they need to perform the service to the highest degree.
Below that I have also included the questions you should be asking a house sitter in the interview.
Note: We recommend using a trusted house sitting platform to find and hire house sitters. This ensures they have background checks and you are covered by insurance.
Pet/ House Sitter Instruction Templates
Want our comprehensive checklist and instruction template for your next housesitter/ pet sitter?
These templates will ensure your home and pets are cared for exactly how you want them to be.
They have everything from feeding, sleeping, and walking schedules, vet contacts, bin days, part of the home the animals are/ aren’t allowed, and dozens more questions.
House/PetSitter Instructions Template – For Home Owners – click here to download
Pre House Sit Interview
It is important to have an interview with potential house sitter before you commit. It may be in-person or via video chat.
We have created questionnaire for both homeowners and house sitter to use.
These questions ensure you gather all the essential information you need to make an informed decision.
Factors to Consider
By determining a fair rate to pay your house sitter, you ensure that you won’t get charged unfairly for the level of care provided.
If you’re hiring a friend, you want to ensure that you’re paying them reasonably.
In contrast, if you plan to hire a professional house sitter, you want to make sure their prices are within the average pay range of other sitters.
Here is a list of factors to consider when you’re determining what to pay your house sitter.
The average rate for house sitting will vary significantly based on the geographical location of your home.
A professional house sitter will cost more for large urban cities like New York City than a smaller rural town in Salt Lake City.
For example, the average hourly rate for sitters in Charlotte, North Carolina, is $38 per night. In comparison, the average rate for sitters in New York City is $45 per night.
It’s important to research the rates for an average house sitter in your area.
Every house owner will have different responsibilities that they need from their house sitter.
The more responsibilities you need, expect to be charged additional costs. Some of the common services of a sitter include:
- Feed pets
- Walk dogs
- Clean litter box
- Water plants
- Taking out the garbage
Additional services that you may ask your professional sitter to do are:
- Collecting mail
- Snow clearing
- House cleaning
- Pool cleaning
- Carpet cleaning
- Taking a pet for their scheduled vet appointmentsdog
The level of animal care required should also factor into the pet care charge. Some pets require 24-hour pet care, especially for elderly or sick animals, puppies, or kittens.
Also, the type of animal contributes to the cost. For example, a cat sitter may cost less than a dog sitter because a cat doesn’t need to be taken out for walks.
Typically, a sitter will charge an extra $5 per visit for each additional pet and another $5 per visit for puppies.
If you require your house sitter to perform cleaning tasks, you’ll want to research the average cost of house cleaning.
For example, house cleaning services cost between $25 to $50 per house or about $30 to $50 per room.
The rates for house sitters also depend on the amount of time you’re requesting a sitter to stay. Overnight stays should be charged as a daily rate, while occasional visits can be charged on a per-hour basis.
If you’re requesting extended time, emergency, late-night, or holiday visits, you’ll want to pay a little extra. Also, decide whether you need your sitter for daily visits or have them stay at your house while you’re gone.
Consider if you’re providing any amenities or services for the sitter. For example, you may be providing them with kitchen, WiFi, and swimming pool access, which allows the sitter to enjoy their stay. For example, you could offer these amenities and utilities in exchange for light chores.
Take into account the distance and costs for the sitter to commute to your home. Calculate the public transportation fees or gas that it would cost the sitter.
It’s entirely up to you to factor transportation costs into the rate you’re paying. However, if you’re asking a sitter to commute over an hour to your house, it’s worth compensating them for it. If your hiring an international house sitter, you may want to discuss transport costs.
Experience or Skill Level
Experienced housesitters generally charge more due to their higher level of expertise. That’s because they may have other useful skills that can come in handy such as:
- Pet CPR certified
- Trained in cat or dog first aid
- House cleaning services
Finding a professional sitter with lots of experience means they likely have many happy customers. You can search for their reviews on house sitting sites and see what others have said of their services.
How to Choose a House Sitter
First, you’ll need to determine where you’ll want to look for a house sitter.
To find a house sitter, you have many options such as:
- Asking friends and family
- Asking for a recommendation on a house sitter
- Going on house sitting websites
Keep in mind that finding a sitter in cities is much easier than in small suburban areas.
Once you have a handful of sitters to choose from, you can narrow your choice by vetting them out individually. Here are factors to account for when choosing the right house sitter:
- Check their references. Make sure their clients receive a good experience. For example, did they walk home to a messy or clean house?
- Arrange a meet and greet. Ideally, you want an in-person interview, so you can see how they interact with your pet. If your pet needs to be coaxed to warm up to them, choose someone else. If you’re getting bad feelings about the person, it’s better to cut ties. You don’t want any horror stories to occur in your home!
- Ensure their rates align with your cost of house sitting. The sitter should offer a rate that is fair and fits within your budget.
- Check to see if they present professional items. This includes contracts, a cancellation policy, and payment arrangements.
How Much Should You Tip a House Sitter?
Before you decide to tip your house sitter, make sure they’ve done everything you’ve agreed upon doing. If they’ve gone above and beyond, consider tipping about 15% to 20% of the total bill.
In addition, if they went through extra trouble to care for your pet, such as rushing them to the emergency vet, you may consider tipping them more. Tipping is a personal preference, so the choice is yours!
When you’ve decided on your rate, make sure the detailed fee structure is enlisted in the contract. Also, schedule a meet and greet and provide adequate instructions to ensure everything runs smoothly. Not sure when to pay the pet sitter? This will help you make a decision.
Pet owners care for their pets and want to keep their pups or kitties happy while they’re away. Finding the perfect house sitter will help ease your anxiety about leaving your fur baby for an extended period.
If they do a great job, they can become a long-term house sitter that you can call upon for future trips!
I am Britt I have been house sitting and pet sitting for the past 7 years. I have cared for 25 dogs, 35 cats 1 turtle, and 1 rabbit over 80+ houses in 15 countries.
The opportunity to experience different homes, cultures, and communities has been nothing short of extraordinary.
Through house sitting platforms like Aussie House Sitters, and Trusted House Sitters, I’ve connected with homeowners seeking reliable sitters. This unique way of living has not only allowed me to save money on accommodation but also offered a plethora of cultural exchange opportunities.
Being a member of these platforms has not only broadened my horizons but also opened doors to short and long-term house-sitting jobs. I’ve found joy in providing excellent pet care and ensuring the home is well maintained.
I get many questions about how to get start as a house sitters, so if you have any questions please reach out! I want everyone to enjoy this incredible lifestyle as well!
You can read more about about Jay and me here!
Or connect with me on Facebook or in our house sitting community on Facebook