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How much should I charge to dog sit?

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  • How much should I charge to dog sit?

    I dog sit from time to time for friends and family, and I never know what to charge. My favorite person just pays me quite generously, seems to be exactly what kennel boarding would cost (too bad she has my least favorite dogs). I HATE coming up with a price for other people, so please help.

    This weekend I watched a dog from Friday afternoon - Tuesday afternoon. I stay at his house, which cuts my commute from 32 miles to 5 and he's super easy. So what should I tell my cousin? Is $150 about right?

    I think kennels charge at least $30 a day around here, and since he's a big dog (golden doodle) he'd probably get charged extra. So I just did 30 x 5 days.

    FWIW, I'd rather ask too little than too much. It's family, after all.
    Holy crap, how does Darwin keep missing you? ~Lauruffian

  • #2
    For family, I dog sit for free, but the dogs come to my house to stay. I'm in Massachusetts (it's expensive here), in-home, overnight, sitting from a professional, bonded, pet sitter costs $80 a night. You'd probably be somewhere between those two extremes .

    I need to hire a live in pet sitter this spring, two dogs (one old and mean, the other young and crazy), one cat, stay in the house with them for about 7-8 days. I offered a guy who works at the barn the job for $500 and he accepted, so that must be fair in his mind . He's not a pro or insured or anything, but he's a young adult and is responsible and animal experienced and not at all related to me. I tend to be on the generous side when hiring people, so take that with a grain of salt too . I'd spend more than I'm paying him to board the three animals and they'll be much happier, I figure it is worth it.


    • #3
      If I stay at the person's house (which I normally do), I charge minimum $30 per night, more if they have more than one dog, or if they needs meds administered, etc.

      For close friends/family, its either free or really cheap if they insist on paying. One woman pays $25 per night for me to stay at her apt with her two cats, which I think is super generous, but she says its a lot cheaper than the kennel (which is $30 per night per animal).
      Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
      White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

      Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


      • #4
        It depends on how good the Bourbon is..

        For a friend or relative? If their house is nicer than yours and it cuts a half hour off your commute?? I'd do it for next to nothing.

        My sister is in love with my jaccuzi and the view. She "farm sits" for free.


        • #5
          I charged about $25 a day, and for the most part stayed at the pet owners house. I had one dog that I brought to my house, since it was easier.
          "On the back of a horse I felt whole, complete, connected to that vital place in the center of me...and the chaos within me found balance."


          • #6
            I charge what the kennel does. Friends I do for free or for very little. If our dogs get along, they come to my house.


            • #7
              My dog/house sitters will stay at my house for $40 per night. Relatively easy money for them and cheaper for me than a kennel. Win-win for both of us.


              • #8
                Keep this in mind, and I would like to hear what the above posters who do it too.

                I found that when I dog/horse sat at someone's house I ended up with MORE out of my pocket expense because of food. Sure, they always say, "eat what ever is in the kitchen" well one lady that I used to sit for ate out everyday, so her kitchen was BARE, or a things in a box. I dont eat things that come in a box. So now I have to go food shopping or eat out ever meal because her house is empty.

                Just something to keep in mind.

                BTW I charged $75.00 per day night for 2 dogs and I got paid an hourly wage to do AM chores for 5 horses. The dinner and PM checks got bumped into the day rate since its so easy and quick.


                • #9
                  I'm friends with the girls who house sit for me. I make a special trip to the grocery store so there is plenty of food available. (They love my snack drawer.) They are college students and do laundry while they're at the house. I try to be considerate, so they don't have to make trips elsewhere and spend $$ on gas.


                  • #10

                    Im sitting for 2 of my friends dogs - they will stock the fridge, I get to bring my dogs and live the life of luxery in a gorgeous house for 2 weeks. I cant wait!


                    • #11
                      Yeah, our house is nothing special at all...I have to pay people to stay here with my dogs . It's an attractive gig for young adults who live with their parents and want some privacy, but that's about it. Good point on the food, I'll make sure to leave some real food when we go away! It would actually be a relief to not be trying to eat everything before we leave for a week, that is always a scramble.


                      • #12
                        For 2 dogs, cat, and bunny I used to pay $40/day, including use of the car so they could take the dogs to the park for walks. I would always hire students, because they weren't required to be in the house 8 hours a day, I just wanted someone in the house overnight. Heck, we both work and aren't in the house all day ourselves! So the kids went to their classes, walked the dogs, were home for breakfast and dinner, etc.

                        Now that big dog is old and wobbly, we don't feel comfortable without one of us at home, so we haven't been anywhere requiring a sitter for a year or so.
                        I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


                        • #13
                          It's tough when its friends (at least for me!) because they refuse to NOT pay me even when they have beautiful houses with pools and hot tubs and stocked fridges!

                          I had scheduled 4/5 different times this past summer with one couple. They refused to pay the rate I proposed ($30/day because they were former teaches of mine and friends of my parents and their house was literally less than a mile from mine) for 3 cats and 1 dog, stopping by 2x/day to feed and do one longer walk for the dog. But it got really ridiculous with the last few times. Sadly the dog got hit by a car and didn't make it. I tried in vain to convince them that just feed the cats did not warrant the same rate but they wouldn't budge. So I did extra things around the house like taking care of their garden to try and make up for it.

                          Generally I find that good friends (or even regular friends ) are going to pay you what they want and are going to refuse you charging lower rates just because they are your friend. Most of the time when friends ask for rates I say whatever you think is fair. Family is free but I have a super small family.


                          • #14
                            I paid someone to watch my dog for 10 days over Christmas at her house, she charged me $15 a day, which is WAY cheaper than a kennel (around here it averages about $40-80 a night, depending on where you look)


                            • Original Poster

                              I would rather not charge my cousins, but they insist. And truthfully, I do end up spending quite a bit on food, because one house is SUPER healthy and the other one is bare. And now that I'm living with my SO, I don't enjoy being away from home as much.

                              Thanks for all the helpful replies! I told my cousin $150 and he gave me more, so I guess I aimed low again. But the bourbon was very fine...
                              Holy crap, how does Darwin keep missing you? ~Lauruffian