What to charge for pet sitting
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What should you charge for pet sitting?
Pet sitters generally don’t charge enough. New pet sitters seem to worry they won’t get new clients if they charge too much. Or, they worry they don’t have enough experience to justify charging more. This is the wrong mindset. If you are a pet sitter, you should believe your services are highly valued.
Professional pet sitters should charge at least $20 per 30-minute visit when caring for dogs, cats and small animals like ferrets, bunnies and fish.
Suggested minimum rates:
- 15 minutes: $15
- 30 minutes: $20
- 60 minutes: $27
Factors to consider when determining how much to charge for pet sitting
This is based on my own experience as a professional pet sitter. For more information, see my post on how to start a pet sitting business.
What is your competition charging for pet sitting?
Look at what existing pet sitters in your area are charging, and offer something comparable to the high end. If the range is about $18 to $25 per half-hour visit, you should charge $25.
Make pet sitting worth your time.
A “30-minute” visit will take you about an hour or maybe more when you consider driving time to and from the appointment. Your time is valuable, so charge accordingly.
Offer different options for the length of each visit
Give people multiple options. For example, allow them to select 15-minute visits, 30-minute visits or 60-minute visits. And allow them to mix and match. So, someone might request one 60-minute visit and two 15-minute visits per day. This will give your customers some flexibility on how much they spend. Give them a better deal on longer visits. Charge enough for shorter visits to make them worth your time.
Charge more for pet sitting multiple dogs.
If a client has multiple dogs, it’s OK to charge extra for each additional dog. I charge $5 extra per visit for each additional dog. For example, a 30-minute visit for one dog is $20. A 30-minute visit for three dogs is $30.
If you want to maintain a flat rate regardless of the number of dogs, then charge a bit more.
Your pet sitting service is the best.
Some people hire pet sitters because they think they can save money, but those are not your target customers. You want to attract customers who appreciate quality pet care. These are the people who will appreciate your compassion for dogs and your dedication to quality service. They will hire you because you have experience handling and training dogs. They will hire you because you know what to do in an emergency, you are respectful of property, and dogs feel comfortable and safe around you.
You aren’t starting a pet sitter business as a hobby or to pay off your credit card. You are offering pet sitting because it’s a passion and a career.
As a professional pet sitter, you take yourself seriously. You have a modern, crisp web site with high-resolution photos. You accept credit card payments. You carry pet sitting insurance. You pay your taxes. You are properly licensed. You network within your community. You donate your time and money to animal shelters because you care.
Offer dog walking.
As a pet sitter, you need to provide dog walking as an option for your clients, and this service should be included in your flat rates. For example, if someone requests three 30-minute visits per day, maybe one of those visits is spent walking. For another client, you might only spend 20 minutes walking, leaving 10 minutes for feeding, saying hello and so on. Each dog will have different needs, and you should be advertising yourself as a dog sitter and a dog walker.
Care the most.
If you care about each pet as though she were your own, it will show. If you love your job, it will be obvious. You can’t be a good pet sitter if you’re doing it for the money alone. You are a good pet sitter because you love caring for people’s pets. People will notice, and they will want to hire you and pay you accordingly.
Do you own a pet sitting business? How did you determine your rates?
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