If you want to start your own dog sitting business, there are a few things that you’ll need to consider.
The amount you charge for your services is very important. You don’t want to end up working for less than you deserve to be paid.
Average Cost of Overnight Dog Sitting
If you run a business, the national average for overnight dog sitting is around $75 per night. These rates can vary depending on the geographic area as well as the breed of dog that is being sat.
If you do not run a business and just want some extra money, you could probably do it for less.
Factors to Consider
As we mentioned above, there are numerous factors that determine how much overnight dog sitting services cost. You will need to keep these things in mind before setting a certain rate for your clients.
1. Age and Breed of Dog
The age and breed of the dog you are going to be sitting is one crucial thing to keep in mind before deciding on a rate. If it is a puppy, you should charge at least five dollars more. Puppies tend to be extremely hyperactive and difficult to keep under control.
There are also certain breeds that can be a real handful, such as boxers and huskies. If a client wants to you to sit one of these dogs overnight, you’ll want to charge a little extra. This will ensure that you get paid exactly what you deserve.
2. Medical Conditions
You also need to find out if there are any medical conditions that the dog has which might require additional effort on your part. This could be anything from an ear infection (having to administer ear drops) to diabetes (having to give insulin shot).
If the dog’s medical condition requires you to perform any additional duties, you should get paid for them. Basically, any health problems that could make your job more difficult demand extra money. You can charge anywhere from five to twenty extra dollars, depending on what is expected of you.
3. Number of Dogs
When you are speaking with clients who need overnight dog sitting services, you’ll need to know how many dogs each one has. If you are going to be sitting more than one dog at once, you’ll need to factor that into your rate as well. You should charge at least an additional $5 for each dog. Sitting a single dog can be challenging enough, but two or three could be a real hassle.
If you are going to be sitting any dogs on a major national holiday like Christmas or Thanksgiving, you should charge an extra $15 at least. There are some dog sitters that charge nearly double their normal rate for these services on holidays.
5. Geographic Area
The area that you offer your services in will also have a significant impact on the amount you should charge. Take the time to find out what similar businesses charge for these services before you set your rate. Dog sitters in larger urban areas tend to have higher rates than those who operate in rural areas. It is crucial that you keep this in mind before deciding what you are going to charge.
The more experience you have as a dog sitter, the more you will be able to charge. If you are just starting out, you probably won’t be able to get away with a rate higher than $50 per night. Once you have established yourself in this line of work, you can start charging more. You should, however, notify any existing clients in advance when you decide to increase your rate.
It is customary to tip a professional pet sitter at least 15%, but some choose to tip more. You should not insist on a tip, as it is not a good image to project to clients. It’s also not a good idea to include a tip in your bill, as this is not common practice for this line of work.
8. Multiple Nights
If you have a client that wants you to sit their dog multiple days in a row, you should consider giving them a discount. A 10% discount for three or more consecutive days is a good idea. This will provide your clients with an extra incentive to use your services in the future.
You will need to be fully aware of all your responsibilities as a dog sitter. While your clients will most likely give you detailed instructions, it is important to have this information anyway.
- Providing the dog with food and water
- Take the dog for a walk
- Play with the dog
- Give them any necessary medication
- Clean up any messes the dog makes inside the house
- Pick up droppings the dog leaves in the yard
When you know what exactly is expected of you as a dog sitter, you will have a much easier time getting work on a consistent basis. You will undoubtedly have some clients who aren’t going to spell out everything they want. You should, however, ask each client if they have anything special you want them to do. This will help to ensure that the clients you have are completely satisfied.
- The national average rate for overnight dog sitting services is around $75.
- You will need to consider the age and breed of the dog you are sitting when setting your rate.
- It is a good idea to charge around $5 extra for each additional dog you are expected to sit.
- If the dog you are sitting has a medical condition that requires treatment, you can charge up to $20 extra.
- Make sure that you are aware of the rates for overnight dog sitting in your particular area before setting a rate.
- While tipping dog sitters is fairly standard, you should never demand a tip or include this in the bill you give your clients.
- You should also charge extra if you are going to be dog sitting on a major national holiday.
- It is important that you know exactly what your basic duties are so your clients will be totally satisfied with the services you provide them.