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Setting Your Pet-Sitting Fees

  
  
  

“What should I charge for my pet-sitting services?”

It’s a question we hear a lot here at Pet Sitters International (PSI). To avoid the appearance of price fixing, service providers, such as pet sitters and dog walkers, are prohibited from collectively discussing specific pricing details.

PSI member for rotating slideFortunately, PSI included questions on rates and services in its 2011 State of the Industry Survey, which can be shared.

Keep in mind; rates vary depending upon where you live--so it's a good idea to take a look at what other pet sitters and boarding facilities and doggie daycares in your area charge to get an idea of local pricing.

Also, keep in mind that almost all of the pet sitters completing PSI’s survey maintain pet-sitter liability insurance.

Below are the national averages for various services offered by professional pet sitters and dog walkers*:

SERVICE

AVERAGE LENGTH

AVERAGE FEE

Basic pet-care visit

31.6 min.

$17.75

Dog walking

30 min.

$17.40

Overnight sits

12.5 hrs.

$61.90

In-home boarding

 

$39.90/day

*PSI surveys its more than 7,000 member businesses every three years on topics including pet-sitter demographics, service prices, income, business size and types of services provided. The survey results are used to develop an accurate PSI member profile and to examine industry trends. Twenty-seven percent of PSI’s members responded to the 2011 survey.

A word about setting your pricing…

Remember, when setting fees, you’ll want to do some calculations to anticipate what your overhead business costs will be. Expenses to consider include:

  • insurance and bonding
  • utilities
  • phone bill
  • printed literature
  • advertising
  • professional membership fees, etc.

To be able to meet these expenses, you will need to factor a flat overhead cost and a margin of profit into each services fee.

“You have to remember all the expenses that go into this professional pet care service you’redescribe the image providing. And you have to believe that you’re worth it and be ready to explain to surprised customers that there is more to this business that simply putting out some pet food. Once customers understand the value of your services, price is usually not a deterrent.”

–PSI President Patti Moran

See what fellow pet sitters have to say:

PSI posed the following question on its Facebook page. Here’s what other professional pet sitters suggest:

"Pet sitters, what "formula" did you use to determine your pet-sitting rates? Did you look at the competition, factor in mileage, etc.? (Please do not list specific rates)"

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