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dog sitting

Dog Mom
November 10th, 2005, 03:04 PM
The hubby and I are going away to do christmas shopping soon and we have someone coming to stay at the house with the fur babies ( 5 dogs and 3 ferrets) This is the first time I've left them with a non-family member and I am a bit nervous!! So far I have a list of rules, emergency contact info, feeding info and pictures of the dogs/ferrets with the names ( just incase) She's been over a couple of time to just be with the dogs for a couple of hours so they get to know her, she is staying at the house Thurs night - Sunday afternoon. I asked her how much she wanted to be paid, she said that it's up to me :( I've never had to pay someone to look after the "kids" before I've always had my sister look after them! so what would be a reasonable rate? help please :)

doggy lover
November 10th, 2005, 03:14 PM
I use to doggy sit for a breeder when I was a teenager she paid me $1 and hour, but thats years ago and it was never for that long. What does it cost to put them in a kennel per day? How old is the girl that is taking care of them? I'd take into concideration these two things and the fact that she is stayin in your home and using your stuff. A friend of mine has done it for me and I have just bought her a gift for doing it but I guess this girl will want money.

Dog Mom
November 10th, 2005, 03:22 PM
There are no kennels around here. ya I live in the boonies :) She's a girl I know from work. She's my age 25 and seem to have a good head on her shoulders. I don't know if she wants cash or if she wants a gift.

November 10th, 2005, 03:44 PM
Hi there. I do drop in pet sitting and dog walking in London, Ont. I am not with a professional company, but do this for a few clients on an occasional basis and just do it because I can't get enough of animals! and it is a little pocket money, not to make a profit really. I would consider my rates low compared to a professional company. I haven't raised my rates in 5 years!

Usually for a house with cats/bunnies/birds (pets that don't need to be walked or let out in the yard, I just charge a "group rate", which is a flat rate for the visit. I'd say about $10- $12 per visit and this includes changing the water, cleaning dishes, cages, litter pans, feeding, and playtime/brushing. Each visit is for about 1/2 hr.

For dog walking, (I have a steady client), I charge $40 for 3 walks at 1/2 hour each. That's about $12.75 per visit. This fellow is pretty happy with the service, that he decided to hire my hubby to snow blow in the winter and mow/rake in the summer and fall!! So now he makes pocket cash doing odd jobs that he loves!

Is the person that is staying in your home fairly young, (teenager or younger)? Is she required to walk the dogs or just let them out and play in the yard with them a few times a day? It really depends what her duties will be when she is there, such as feeding, administering medications if needed, play time, bringing in mail/flyers and keeping house with the lived in look, including snow shovelling! if it has already snowed in your area.

Is her food supplied? She will also likely be doing a lot of tidying up with ferrets and 5 dogs!! So she should be compensated for her efforts. No doubt, she will be brushing the dogs just before you get home to make them look nice and she will sweep any dust and fur before you get back too!

If she is literally living in your home full time during your absence, she should be paid more than if she were just popping in for feedings and playtimes.

A boarding facility around here have varying rates. Here's the price list from Country Paws: ( they allow multiple dogs in the same suites, hence the price differences)

Indoor/Outdoor Suites $17.99
V.I.P Suites $27.99
Deluxe Suite $20.99
Extended Play Service (for pickup after 11:00 am) $11.49
Doggie Daycare $12.25
Country Trail Walk $3.95
After Hours Pick Up (for pickup when closed) $8.00

and At Merithot Pet Resort:

DOG BOARDING RATES:(as of June 14, 2005) per dog!

Small Dog $15.00 /day
Med Dog $17.00 /day
Large Dog $19.00 /day
Country Walks $5 each
Pickup and delivery $15 each way.

Having said that, I think it is wonderful that your dogs get to stay at their own home ;) as it is very convenient for you and them. This girl will have her work cut out for her, so I would pay her fair amount for her time and efforts. Perhaps $25 per day or so, plus a nice gift? I think that is very reasonable for you and a nice gesture toward her!

November 10th, 2005, 03:47 PM
It depends on alot of things- what the market is in your area, how qualified this peson is - does she have CPR, vet tech training, experience and references - how much she charges tho if she is asking you, she may have not much experience. Experienced good dog sitters her can get $30 s day per ist dog and $10 for extra dogs and that is not even staying in house! (It's $20 per cat plus $5 per extra kitties. ) One Kingston, Ont web site I looked at charges "Overnight visits are 50.00 per night and are from 8PM to 8AM included in the fee for service is a morning walk for dogs. Additional visits during the day will be charged at the normal per visit fee."

In most cases, live in is $60 a night. You would prob pay more if you took them to a boarding kennel and that means they come into contact with other dogs.

Still, this sounds like someone who is ot a professional dog walker/pet sitter so you may pay her less. I am not sure I agree with paying a younger person less, unless of course she has less experience. I know some young ppl who are excellent.

Here is a good example of questions you might want to ask a new sitter:

I read recently about someone who hired a sitter to watch her Siamese kitties only to return and realize that for the week, the sitter never turned up. One cat survived!

In my case, I have a friend who offered to stay with my babies - 3 cats - and while she wanted no money, (she has a fulltime job as a teacher and could be home with them at night tho her daughter - a univ student- spent time with them occasionally during the day - and brought YY to my secretary so she could carry out her therapy cat responsibilities.

I gave her $20 a day - and I was last gone for 2 weeks a half so that was actually very unexpsnsive at $250. I was so thrilled with the care that I gave them $500 - boarding would have cost more and would have been more stressful for the kitties, She gave the money to her daughter since she often was the one who stayed overnight. Now, they are not professional cat sitters but the daughter is a 4th year nursing student so does have CPR and has worked part time in a vet hospital ( so is very knowledgable about cats.

I know when my brother went on vacatuon to Hawaii, it would have cost him approximately $600 to have someone come in for the week so I was back into the labsitting biz, lol (and I had to get friends to come and walk him during the day). He is a well behaved big baby though and very easy to care for and even tho I think I am quite qualified to be a pet sitter, his "daddy" called almost every nite to see how he was doing, lol (as in "does he miss me?", lol That made me wonder about the story of the ppl whose sitter did not show up since I too called every chance I had. Even in La post Katrina, I was able to find a phone at the hospital or from the military guys.

Good luck!!

November 10th, 2005, 10:27 PM
Prices are a bit higher over there. Here in Stony Plain, Alberta, I pay $10-12/day for Niki,(medium size dog) and $8 each for the cats when I board them. To have someone stay in your house I think $25/day would be reasonable as you are also providing food right? When I pet sat that's about what I was making. Although if I could make $60/day, I may have to start a new career, as a babysitter I'm cheap at $20/day or $3/hour.

Dog Mom
November 11th, 2005, 07:34 AM
Thanks for all the great info guys. As far as I know she had no first aid/cpr training. CyberKitten you have me terrified to leave the kids with someone, but thanks for that story. There is no pet sitting/walking services, I live in a town of about 300 people. I was thinking $35/night + Gift, all her food is provided. she has asked to bring her 2 cats, I don't have a problem with that all the dogs are good with cats. I'm not really happy with leaving them at home, I've only been out of town without them once when we had to take Zoe to the vet. I don't know what to do:(

November 11th, 2005, 10:43 AM
The $35 per night would be the minimum - if you had to board your dogs in a home environment, it would cost you what CyberKitten posted - if not more, due to number of pets. I pay $45 a night when we go away for a home environment, plus I send my dog's own food. This is not necessary, but when your dog is used to a certain type of food, it is a very good idea. The dog boarder does feed her charges top quality food, just a different brand than mine eats - my dog loves everything, but a change in diet while being boarded is not good for puppy's output. I would have to pay more for someone to stay at my house. I would be terrified to do this anyway in case the person didn't show up.

November 11th, 2005, 08:31 PM
A dog sitting service in town wanted $25 an hour to come visit and walk your pet. I actually think thats a bit excessive considering to look after a human child is $3 or $25 a day. I would offer her 12 dollars an hour that seems reasonable to me. Shes still getting more than minimum wage, which is 8 dollars an hour in BC

November 11th, 2005, 08:41 PM
I did a lot of dogsitting for neighbors when I was in high school. They paid me about $10 american a visit for one dog, times three times a day. So that was about $30 a day just stopping over. If you're going to be gone a weekend, I would say about $100 for the entire weekend and a nice gift. Five dogs is an awful lot. Are they large dogs? Because then I would up it to $150. This is all american, so I have no idea what the exchange rate is. :o You want to pay her enough that she'd be willing to do it again if you needed her and liked the job she did.

November 11th, 2005, 08:54 PM
I'd say $20 a day and $20 a night is reasonable for one doggy, if they are the only doggy. In a kennel, they don't get t oo much 1 on 1 time, so I think it should be cheaper... The daytime is the work, the nighttime, there might be no work, but it won't be too fun to sleep at somebody else's house.

For 5... and ferrets... I'd say $80/day. I think that is what I would need to really feel responsible for these doggies. That's the thing, the lower you pay, the less loyal and responsible the employee. If you pay $20/day, it's a strong message saying "This job isn't a big deal so don't take it too seriously." If she is a super doggy (and ferret) lover, then she'll always take it seriously, but more money would make sure of it. JMO

That said, I babysat one doggy for a week at $20/day. She was supposed to sleep at home, but went sort of crazy alone the first night, so we took her home. I didn't charge any extra because it was just one doggy, and she was a nice doggy...

Dog Mom
November 14th, 2005, 07:25 AM
Molly'sMommy yes they are big dogs, smallest being 50lbs largest being around 75lbs. Prin my doggies are nice....... I would never pay $20/day for 5dogs I know what it's like to take care of them! We have a big fenced in back yard, I told her if she wasn't comfortable walking them that she can just let them out in the back yard to play. During the day wouldn't be that much work, she works the same schedule that I do and the dogs are used to that, they go out before I go to work so around 7:30am the out again at 10am then out at noon then out at 3pm then at 5 pm when I'm done the day and off weekends ( wow that felt like Dude where's my car...... and then and then.....)
but I am going to talk to her again to see if she's changed her mind on a payment thanks again for all the opinions :)

November 17th, 2005, 11:40 AM
I never boarded Joey. He was always insecure when I was out of his sight so I wanted him in his own surrroundings. My mother would come and house/dog sit for me. She could take him out for his piddles, but doesn't really have the stamina for a decent walk. So the dog walker would come in the late afternoon/early evening. Her rates just went from 15 to 17 dollars, which is pretty reasonable around here.

I would also never consider boarding a pet someplace where they are unattended overnight. If a dog gets loose and is aggrassive towards another there is no one ther to know what's going on. What if there is a fire?

It's nice to have someone in your home so maybe ask around some more, or press her for at least a ballpark figure. If it's a teenager you might want to talk with her mother.

November 17th, 2005, 01:37 PM
Just last week my daughter and SIL went on vacation and had a dog sitter come and stay in their home. They have a 21 month old Bernese Mountain Dog and a 4 month old Leonberger, and the sitter charged $45/night. They had him once before when they just had the Berner. Both dogs love him. However, he must have fallen asleep and not put the puppy in the pen because she did a little bit of damage to the drywall in the hall. I think they would have him again though because they know they can trust him with their beloved pets - and their home.