The rates for paying a pet sitter vary widely, but knowing what's average can help you decide what's right for your situation. Factors to take into account include the age and experience of the pet sitter, the tasks the sitter will be expected to perform, and the type of pet(s) you have.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Expect to pay an average of £9 per 30-minute visit or £29 for three visits a day. When calculating the final amount, however, take the considerations noted in Steps 2 to 5 into account. If you're looking for a sitter to stay overnight, go to Step 6.
Determine what tasks you'll want the pet sitter to perform in your absence. Most rates include giving a pet food and water, letting the pet out, giving the pet 15 minutes or so of one-on-one playtime or attention, and doing minor household tasks--mainly watering plants, turning lights on or off, and bringing in the mail or newspapers. Taking a dog for a walk generally costs extra--about £3 for every 10 minutes you want the dog to be walked. If you don't need any household tasks taken care of, you can expect to subtract £1.30 per visit from the cost.
Consider the type and number of pets you have. A dog will require much more time and attention than a hamster. Dogs are usually the most expensive, especially if walking is involved. The rates listed in Step 1 are for dogs. Sometimes the cost of caring for a cat is £1.30 to £3 less per visit, although you should take into account whether you're asking the sitter to change the litter box and how often. Those tasks are worth more. If you have more than one pet, expect to pay an additional £1.30 per pet per visit.
Consider the age of the person who will be doing the pet sitting. The rates in Step 1 are for adult or professional pet sitters. If you're asking a teen who lives in your neighbourhood to do the job, he or she is likely to be happy with less. Typical rates for teens are £3 per visit or £6 per day.
Consider paying a friend with something other than cash. If a close friend or family member will be pet sitting for you, they may not expect any pay at all, and accepting cash may be awkward. Expect to pay a little less than the usual going rates, and consider giving the sitter a gift card to a favourite store or shopping mall instead of cash.
If you're planning to have your pet sitter stay overnight with your pet, expect to pay an average of £39 per night. A college student may be willing to do it for about half that.
Tips and warnings
- Spell out exactly what you expect the sitter to do in advance, so there are no misunderstandings.
- Agree on the price to be paid in advance.
- Don't hire anyone you don't know to sit for your pets without carefully checking references first. Many professional pet sitters are bonded to insure you against loss.
- Don't hire anyone you don't feel comfortable with. You want your pets to receive not only care in your absence, but affection and reassurance as well. Someone who seems cold and distant isn't likely to provide this.