With summer vacations starting, I’ve been getting even more calls for pet sitting. Some pet owners ask about my experience first, but most ask about pricing since everything else is moot unless they can afford me. Well, I’m a great pet sitter and do charge accordingly. Yet, I’m still the most affordable option sometimes.
One Pet – Luxury
When a family has just one pet for me to watch, I am a luxury expense. A basic kennel in our area around Houston, TX charges $25-$50 per night per dog or cat.
I charge $20-$25 for basic visits within 10 miles of my house or $80+ for overnights (which includes living out of the house during the day, so the equivalent of at least 3 visits plus I sleep over and house sit too).
The big difference between a kennel and me is that the pet gets to stay at home and get spoiled more. But I understand that for a single pet like a dog that needs 2-3 visits a day or overnight sitting, I’m definitely more expensive than some other options. Yet, I do have dozens of clients with single pets.
Multiple Pets – Budget Friendly
With multiple pets, hiring a professional in-your-home pet sitter like me becomes a nicer AND more affordable option.
For example, I’m pet sitting overnights right now for a family with a Pug and a cute cat. They were going to pay $400-ish to board both of them at the Petsmart Pet Hotel for 5 nights and 6 days. They ended up hiring me for exactly $400 for the same period and I am at their home every night and a huge chunk of every day. Their Pug and kitty seem to enjoy sticking to their basic routines. That is usually the case.
With 3 or more pets, especially dogs, I’m simply cheaper. $100+ a night for boarding or $80 a night for me to watch over the pets and home. Bam!
Finding a GOOD Pet Sitter
I realize that not all pet sitters are insured, bonded, and experienced, BUT if you have multiple pets or a single pet that could simply benefit from staying in their own home, you may want to check out professional pet sitters in your area.
- Find a sitter that is insured. You can check zip code listings at insurance sites like petsitllc.com.
- Ask about their experience AND actually check their references.
- Look for reviews on places like Yelp.com.
- They should require meeting you and the pets at your house before your vacation. Professional pet sitters HATE surprises, and meeting your pets before they work in your home is just smart. It’s also smart to know where everything is and actually be able to visualize the daily routines.
- They should offer to send you text pictures and updates.
- They should have you sign a contract of some sort and you should get a copy.
- Be happy to come home to dogs way less neurotic than usual. 😉