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#1
Old 01-23-2013, 11:57 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
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House/Pet-sitter pay. How much?

We just returned from a vacation. An employee/friend house-sat for use. She lived in our home and fed the horses morning and evening for a week. We stocked food per her liking and she says she had a nice vacation (she used the fireplace, sauna, etc).

I never nailed down how much she expected to be paid. I asked my gf and she said $350. Thinking about it, that would be $50 a day. Sounded good, so I gave the house-sitter a thank you card with $350 in it.

Turns out my gf hadn't really thought about it. She meant tree-fiddy as a South Park reference!

Anyway, what is the going rate? I'm hoping to use her services in the future.
#2
Old 01-23-2013, 12:05 PM
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At least $25/day, more if there is more work involved. Did she clean stalls or anything like that?
#3
Old 01-23-2013, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
I never nailed down how much she expected to be paid. I asked my gf and she said $350. Thinking about it, that would be $50 a day. Sounded good, so I gave the house-sitter a thank you card with $350 in it.

Turns out my gf hadn't really thought about it. She meant tree-fiddy as a South Park reference!
That is the best thing ever. Also, don't use that house-sitter again, you've kind of set up an expectation now.
#4
Old 01-23-2013, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnie Luna View Post
At least $25/day, more if there is more work involved. Did she clean stalls or anything like that?
No stalls. We did all the heavy stuff right before leaving and left her with as little to do as possible. I mainly want to make sure I didn't cheat her. She is a good employee, a nice girl, etc. If I didn't give her a cent she wouldn't have complained.
#5
Old 01-23-2013, 01:54 PM
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kayaker, I just did an extremely scientific poll (by which I mean I asked my husband and two friends at work) that indicates that $50 per day is what they would pretty much charge. So you're fine.
#6
Old 01-23-2013, 01:58 PM
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Having someone stop by my house twice a day to take my dogs out and scoop the cat box, plus bring in my mail, cost me almost $35 per day. So $50 for a live-in sitter seems very reasonable.
#7
Old 01-23-2013, 02:50 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 7,772
When I was looking for a pet sitter for one dog for 10 days, professionals were going to cost in the range of $50 to $60/day. We ended up having the 18 yo daughter of the family across the street come over and stay while we were gone. We paid her $250 for the 10 days. She was more than thrilled to be "on her own" for the time and we weren't worried about wild parties with her mom across the street.
#8
Old 01-23-2013, 02:56 PM
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My going rate is $35 a day. I usually only mention that if someone asks, though. People often pay more than that on their own.

I do virtually always take care of a decent number of animals, though, and I do fosters and special-needs dogs and little dogs who pee on the floor and so forth. People usually leave food and it really is pretty much a nice vacation- you're paying me to do what you'd be doing on a day off. And I can still go to work and make the money I normally would.

It might be good to pay more if you live in a remote area and they have to take off work to house-sit for you or if it requires a huge amount of work or if house-sitting is their main job or something. I'd be thrilled if I got $350 for a week.
#9
Old 01-23-2013, 05:05 PM
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My going rate is $15-20 per visit depending on how far away you are and how complicated the visit is.

If I stay over night it's a flat $50 per night.

It's nice if people leave food and drink but if not I can bring my own. Even if I get use of the hot tub, big screen TV and other perks I'm still not home.

I think $350 was very fair.
#10
Old 01-23-2013, 05:20 PM
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I charge $72 for an overnight. That means a 12-hour stay (at least; longer if I feel like it) and covers at least 3 individual visits (which would be about $22 each). That is, an "overnight" will encompass at least an evening visit, a late-night visit, and a morning visit. And of course if the animals need attention late-late or in the middle of the night, that's included too.

Horses? I wouldn't house-sit AND care for horses for only $50/day. Horses are a lot of work.

I had someone balk over Thanksgiving at paying $72. I said I could go down to $65 if she was booking 3 nights or more but that it wasn't worth it to me to be away from my own house and animals for less than that, and she should check out the agencies in this area to compare prices. (They all charge about the same.) She apparently has a housekeeper who will do it for about $25/night. I said if she could find quality, reliable, and loving petcare care for that, she should go for it, but I could not match such a low price. I'd rather stay home and do my own thing.

Last edited by missbunny; 01-23-2013 at 05:21 PM. Reason: changed order of words
#11
Old 01-23-2013, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missbunny View Post
Horses? I wouldn't house-sit AND care for horses for only $50/day. Horses are a lot of work.
Really? I just did evening feeding in less than 15 minutes. Pellets, hay, fill water buckets and out. What else is there??

Anyway, I manned-up and asked her for future reference. Heart-to-heart she said $25 a day was what she had been hoping for. And she got a kick about the food choices (we asked what she liked and stocked accordingly).

We have a couple of trips planned and she is looking forward to staying, especially once it is warm enough to saddle up and ride.
#12
Old 01-23-2013, 07:22 PM
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I don't do livestock but if I did it would probably be more but it would depend on how much it was to do too. Fifteen minutes would probably be in the $50, but if it was a lot of shoveling and hauling it would be more.
#13
Old 01-23-2013, 10:21 PM
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$50 a day sounds about right to me.

As someone who does a lot of free housesitting for family, it is a pain in the butt to be away from home. Packing is a pain, schlepping stuff around is a pain, not having your things on hand is a pain, cooking out of someone else's kitchen is a pain, sleeping in a strange bed is a pain.....it's not strenuous work, but it is significantly disruptive.

You probably know this, but in the future I'd be very careful to ask for her rate first or make a well-supported proposal ("Based on what I've seen on Craig's list, I can offer the rate of......."). Not having a clear agreement on compensation when performing personal tasks for a supervisor is a really uncomfortable position to be in, because of the power dynamics involved.
#14
Old 01-23-2013, 10:59 PM
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Location: Tampa FL
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I got 100 bucks for 4 days, but that's the family rate*, so I think 350$ is totally fair.

*(If I hadn't needed the money, I would have done it for nothing)

This thread is very timely, I was thinking about advertising myself as a pet sitter & trying to decide how much to charge.
#15
Old 01-24-2013, 12:37 AM
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Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
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My cat-sitter is a neighbour, a retired veterinarian, and a personal friend. When I have to be out of town, he looks after my cats; and always does so very well.

Because he is a neighbour and a friend, I don't offer him cash money; but a bottle of single-malt Scotch will always be a gift from my cats to him for looking after them. The length of time governs on how rare (and thus, how expensive) the Scotch is.
#16
Old 01-24-2013, 01:01 AM
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Location: Chicago, Far Northsider
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It seems to really depend on the region you're in and the type of services you need. I know a lot of people who do cat-sitting (as my anecdotal example). Usually for healthy cats that just need food, water, and litter cleaning, the charge is $10 a visit, with strong recommendations toward two visits a day, minimum 1 hour per visit. For technicians like me, who take on clients with special needs cats who are diabetic or hyperthyroid or in renal failure, it's $25 a visit, two visits a day.

To me, overnight stays seem like $50 is pretty reasonable if it's mostly basic horse care. My friend who does the special needs animals would likely charge more because if she's staying overnight somewhere she can't take as many jobs - she only takes on three at a time normally, but it takes anywhere from 6 to 10 hours to complete 6 visits a day.
#17
Old 01-24-2013, 05:50 AM
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Location: Australia
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I pay mine $40 a day to live in, feed/blanket horses morning and night (no stables to clean), dogs/cats (including litter trays) twice a day plus maintain house to a decent standard. I also expect the person to stay overnight most nights as I want company for my animals.

I kind of expect it to work out to be about 2 hours a day (some days more, some less) including a walk of the dog. It should take much less time than that ... but I feel I can ask for extras if needed (last one mowed the lawns for me using my ride-on etc).
#18
Old 01-24-2013, 07:17 AM
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I pay my pet-sitter $30 for two visits to my dog per day, and no overnight stay. Considering there were multiple animals in the household, and she stayed overnight, $50 seems more fair. Certainly, not an overpay to the pet-sitter.
#19
Old 01-24-2013, 11:46 AM
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Location: California
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I pay my dog trainer $35 to come check on the dogs a few times, walk them, and play with them each day when I'm out of town. While over night is certainly a whole thing, you did also provide her with food, so I can't imagine paying much more than $50.
#20
Old 01-24-2013, 01:10 PM
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Location: 'burbs of Cincinnati, OH
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I pay $300/week.
#21
Old 05-05-2014, 10:59 AM
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How much should I pay my granddaughter to house/pet sit

I'm going to be out of town for two nights, coming home before the third night. My 19 year old granddaughter will be house sitting and watching my two dogs. She will be staying over both nights. I will be getting in some of her favorite foods, although she knows whatever I have in the house is hers to eat. How much should I pay her?
#22
Old 05-05-2014, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emilyrae View Post
I'm going to be out of town for two nights, coming home before the third night. My 19 year old granddaughter will be house sitting and watching my two dogs. She will be staying over both nights. I will be getting in some of her favorite foods, although she knows whatever I have in the house is hers to eat. How much should I pay her?
She's your granddaughter, so you should pay her more than you would a stranger. No less than $50 a night, and bring her back a gift from the trip.
#23
Old 05-05-2014, 01:42 PM
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Location: Sacramento, CA
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Does she normally live at home with her parents? Is it a treat for her to be on her own for a few days? When I was that age, I would house sit for family members just for chance to be own my own for a few days. You're already stocking the fridge with her favorite foods, so it sounds like there aren't any expenses for her. Still, she should get something, $50 for the whole weekend is probably good.
#24
Old 05-06-2014, 03:27 PM
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Location: Detroit, Mi
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I charged $65 per overnight for dog/cat care, but I did this professionally and am insured and have pet first aid training and a small cut went to my employer. I was there from 7pm to 10am, with visits during the day so the animals weren't left alone too long.
#25
Old 02-18-2016, 06:27 PM
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curious also, totally different situation

Hi so I'm in Co Springs. I am going home for a visit next month and I'll be gone just about an entire month..... I had a dog sitter that was watching our dogs sometimes through a service that employs several sitters so she's just an employee, but she's the one we've always worked with... she's familiar with me and my house and stuff.... and I fairly well trust her as Iet her take care of my dog babies several times. Well because I'll be gone a whole month I started getting nervous about that the past few days... what if a pilot light went out and gas was leaking in the house for a long time? or just... something a pipe bursts yadda yadda.... I just felt I'd feel better if she'd come by every 2-3 days walk around the house just to make sure nothings amiss. already got a bunch of lamps on timers near the windows and they are set on the random setting so it can look like I'm home even though I'm not... actually I've quite enjoyed them on a regular ole day because of the convenience of them turning on and off on their own. The service normally charges 18$/per 30 minute visit which allows the time to let the dogs out and feed them if necessary..... if she's only going to be here 5-10 minutes every 3 days and she's not needing to bring in the mail or water plants or clean or anything, simply walk around for 5 minutes and make sure everything looks normal..... How much would be reasonable to pay her per visit or for the month. I asked her to do this freelance since it's not dog sitting but we are already acquainted and so she would get 100% of the fee. she made it sound like she'd be happy to do it for free but I'm not going to let her do that. I'd like to pay her half at the start and the other half possibly an extra tip when I get home. She only lives like... maybe a mile if that from my home.... what's reasonable since she's not going to be doing a whole lot? To me, it's just amazing she's willing to do it so to me it's a lot to give me peace of mind.
#26
Old 02-19-2016, 06:46 AM
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Location: Western Pennsylvania
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Update

In the three years that have passed, we've used the same pet/house sitter many times. Everyone is happy with the arrangement. She treats it like a vacation (trading her efficiency apartment for a big house in the country). We have even taught her some basic horseback skills.

Last edited by kayaker; 02-19-2016 at 06:46 AM.
#27
Old 02-19-2016, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaDragonTattoo View Post
It seems to really depend on the region you're in and the type of services you need. I know a lot of people who do cat-sitting (as my anecdotal example). Usually for healthy cats that just need food, water, and litter cleaning, the charge is $10 a visit...
Agreed. My three kitties have a regular replacement servant, who charges $12 per half-hour or so visit. I think she may spend longer if she has time and someone wants to play. She changes litter, checks and refills dry food, replaces water, scoops the litter boxes (there are 3 when I go on vacation), gives anyone who comes out wet food (it's a treat), and plays with anyone who comes out and wants to play. She also turns on/off the tv/radio, and turns on/off lights so it looks a bit like someone is home.

She also vacuums the house the day I come home, which is amazingly nice to come home to.

$12 a day isn't much for 3 cats, so I also give her a little "thank you" gift card.
#28
Old 02-19-2016, 10:13 AM
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I pay one of my kids to leave their life and come home for my vacations. The dog gets to stay home and spend time with people who love her and the kids get some extra money. I always pay them what it would cost me to board, ensure that should they ever have a conflict I'm still covered in my vacation budget.
#29
Old 02-19-2016, 10:28 AM
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We've been fortunate in having friends and neighbors who are happy to watch our dogs (when we can't dig up a zombie! ) They are folk who like dogs, but don't want to own one. And our goldens have always been excellent guests. So it is like a little pet-cation for the sitters. I'm confident they would be willing to do it for free.

Our starting point is to offer whatever it would cost to kennel the dog, which we think entirely reasonable, since we would have to pay that anyway, and we acknowledge that the dog is getting more personal attention and less stress. Every time the sitters have said that is way too much. With the previous ones - who watched our dog in their house, we would just give them some decent "round" amount - maybe $100-200 based on length of time. Enough to show we appreciated it and to allow them to treat themselves to a nice dinner or something. Currently, the boys next door are thrilled to do it, and their parents won't let us pay them more than $20 a day. Heck, the boys would probably be willing to pay US to be able to mess around with our dog when we are gone. We are truly fortunate.
#30
Old 02-19-2016, 09:55 PM
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We have a kid that lives across the street look after our cats and the house. He comes over in the morning, opens the curtains and checks on the cats. Then after work he repeats it.
We give him 10 bucks a day. Ten days, 100 bucks. Easy money.
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