The weekly average price to charge for dog sitting is $175 per week.
This is broken down to $25 per day, or $25 per hour.
However, it is $75 for you to stay the night, and staying for the whole day is $150-$200.
The client’s location, what they want, your experience, and so on affect the price.
One reason rates vary so much is because of the wide range of experience in hired dog sitters, and the fact that many are self-employed.
Some people simply watch a friend’s dog once in a while, others dog sit as a part-time job, and some create a business that earns them a full-time income.
The Average Dog Sitting Rate is $175/Week
The average amount dog sitters make daily is $25. The average amount that dog sitters charge for one week is $175.
This amount will likely be lower for those with no experience, and higher for professionals.
The time spent with the dog also factors into what you should be charging. If you’re dropping by for 15 minutes, you should charge less than you would for overnight stays.
For dropping by, you can charge hourly. For overnight stays, it’s more typical to charge per day.
Average hourly rates are $25/hour, while the average rate per overnight stay is around $75. If you’re staying all day, every day to provide constant care, you can expect around $150-200 per day.
Professionals often charge much more, and beginners sometimes charge closer to minimum wage for their services.
Dog Sitting Rates Vary Considerably
Dog sitting rates can vary from less than minimum wage to a decent, full-time income. There are a lot of variables, which we’ll go over below.
First, let’s discuss the difference between dog sitting for friends, and doing so as a business. This will greatly impact how much you charge.
For example, you might not mind spending the night with a good friend’s dog for, say, $20. But if you’re trying to make a business, I recommend never charging below minimum wage.
Below, I’ll discuss both situations in more detail, but keep in mind that this article is targeted the most toward people who want to earn money as a dog sitter.
Factors to Consider when Charging for Dog Sitting
Find the Going Rate in Your Area
Each area will have a different going rate for dog sitters, so the first thing you should do is ask around. Talk to dog owners who’ve used a dog sitter to ask how much they’ve paid, and call local dog sitting businesses as a client asking for their rates.
Once you have a feel for the market, you’ll have a much better idea when it comes to setting your own prices.
Think about your Own Experience Level
Next, think about your experience with dogs. Are you working in an established veterinary office with many long-term clients? Are you someone who loves the idea of spending time with dogs, but has never owned one yourself?
The two people I described above will give very different levels of care to a pup, and will likely even end up with a different set of clients as a result of their experience.
People who already work with dogs for a living, or who already have a wide range of people who trust them with their fur babies, are going to be able to charge more than the average dog sitter.
Similarly, dog sitters who’ve been in business for years can charge more. So, don’t think you’ll be able to charge as much as a well-established company right off the bat.
That likely won’t be the case, at least not until you’ve had some time to grow your business.
Consider the Difficulty of the Job
The difficulty of a dog sitting job will depend on many factors, including:
- Breed: Some breeds require more care than others. Long-haired dogs will need to be combed if you’re watching them for a period of one or more days. Labradors require way more exercise than Pugs.
- Age: Young puppies generally need a lot of attention, while grown dogs might be fine with a simple evening walk. Elderly dogs are prone to more health problems, which may require extra work on your part.
- Health: If the dog needs any special care due to their health, this may factor into your cost. An example of this is a dog on a daily medication.
- Number of dogs or pets: You will likely charge for each additional pet, even if you choose to offer a discount after the first. You may also consider charging a different amount depending on the work that goes into an additional pet, such as the cost to care for another dog versus the cost to care for a small animal like a hamster or fish.
- Driving distance: If the dog lives far away, you should factor this into your cost and charge a little more than you would for a neighbor who lives on the same block. After all, it will take you time and money to get there!
- The dog owner: If the dog owner is laid back and just wants their dog looked after for a night, the job is going to be a lot easier than if they are very particular about how their pup is cared for. If you find their instructions involve extra work on your part, it’s reasonable to charge them a higher rate as a result.
- Amount of free time: You’ll likely find that some jobs are hands-on all day, while others allow you some free time. If you’re just sitting around watching TV or maybe even doing other freelance work with the pup at your feet, you can charge less than if you’re constantly up and moving. Whether you are just dropping in for a few hours or dog sitting overnight will also make a difference here.
Factor in Expenses
The more serious you are about turning dog sitting into a business, the more expenses you’ll incur as a result.
If you’re just dog sitting for a friend or family member here and there, you’ll likely only pay for gas to get to their home.
Otherwise, you’ll want to start adding up all of the costs for your business. These will all cut into your profit, so it’s important to keep them in mind when determining your rates.
Keeping track of expenses will also help when it comes time to do your taxes, as you’ll already have them documented.
These include smaller purchases like extra collars or leashes, brushes, and toys. You might find these things unnecessary, or a good thing to keep around in case. It depends on you, your clients, and your business.
It also depends heavily on the services you offer. For example, you might decide to offer a bath to the pups you’re watching to earn a bit more income. This would require the purchase of dog shampoo, conditioner, brushes and combs, and anything else you need to get the job done.
There are also bigger expenses that go into dog sitting as a business, including advertising, insurance, gas, and taxes.
Lastly, if you run your business out of your own home or building, you’ll likely have more expenses to consider than those who simply visit or stay overnight at a client’s home.
Decide Your Hourly or Daily Rate
With all of the above in mind, decide on a fair hourly or daily rate that will suit the kind of income you hope to make dog sitting. You don’t have to keep this consistent for every client, but consider it your base pricing.
Then, you can add on for additional dogs or services, or particularly difficult jobs.
Multiply by Time Spent with the Dog
Once you’ve worked out your hourly or daily rate, multiply it by the times you’ll be spending with the dog to get your full payment for the week.
For example, if you choose to charge $15 per hour, and you’ll be spending three hours with the dog every day, you’ll earn $45 a day, or $315 a week.
Charge More for Other Services
If you offer services other than dog sitting, you can set additional rates for these as well. Some examples are tidying the house, cleaning up the yard, and grooming the dog.
There are a ton of creative options, though. Think of things you can do while with your client’s dog or in their home, or even ask some dog owners what they’d want from a dog sitter.
Writer: Katelynn Sobus