I have worked as a pet sitter for many different people over the years. Before I had a dog, I loved watching other people’s dogs. I would stay the night while the humans went out of town. I’d enjoy a beautiful home, have fun with a great pup, and earn money at the same time. These days, I have to stay home overnight with my own dog. However, I’ll still sometimes work as a pet sitter for people who just need someone to walk a dog during the day or visit and feed a cat while they are out of town.
Pet Sitter Rates Vary Widely
How much you can earn as a pet sitter depends on so many different factors. Just a few of the things that affect your rate include:
- Do you work for yourself and charge clients directly or do you work for a pet sitting company?
- Are you insured?
- Do you know Pet CPR?
- What kind of experience do you have?
- Are you able to work with special needs pets?
- Can you work with less common pets such as exotic birds?
- Do you walk one dog at a time or do you walk a whole pack?
- What are the average rates in the area where you live?
If you have never worked as a pet sitter before then your rates will be lower than someone who has twenty years of experience. If you are able to give medications and meet other special needs, then you can charge more. Working for a company means that you give them part of your fee, but it also means you might get more clients and the company will pay for your insurance. Going rates are higher in San Francisco and New York than in small towns across the country.
Average Pet Sitter Rates
As you can see, what you can get paid as a pet sitter isn’t easy to determine. According to Home Guide, the average 2019 pet sitter rates are as follows:
- $25 per 30-minute visit
- $45 to $75 per overnight stay
- $250 – $375 per week
They say that on average pet sitters make $10 – $25 per hour. They say that the maximum is $60 per hour.
Thumbtack reports similar rates. Their 30-minute visit average rate is the same. They say that overnights are usually $75-$85.
However, those rates sound low to me, at least for my San Francisco area. For example, in my experience, most overnights here cost $100 per night. Fees are higher for multiple pets, special needs pets, or services on holidays.
How Much You Can Earn as a Pet Sitter Is Up To You
If you work for yourself, then you have a lot more control about how much you earn. It’s not just that you can set your own rates. You can find the jobs that work best for you. You can work less or more hours depending upon your needs. If you are motivated, then you can take classes and get certifications to increase your value. You might not start out earning a high rate, but you have the potential to take control of the situation and command the price that you want over time.