How Much Do Pet Sitting and Pet Care Services Cost in 2017?

Petsitter cost

Going on vacation? Have a busy work schedule? Sometimes you find yourself needing to hire a pet sitter or dog walker. A pet sitter ensures that your pet is well cared for while you’re gone and prevents emergency situations from happening. But it can be hard to decide how much to pay a pet sitter. We’ve done the work for you and created a list of factors that should determine your pet sitter cost!

If you’re a pet sitter wondering “how much should I charge for pet sitting?” this price guide will give you a clear idea of the pay you should ask for.

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Jump Ahead

  1. The Cost of Pet Sitting in 2017
  2. Pet Sitting Services
  3. Dog Walker Rate by Work Experience
  4. Pet Sitter Payment by Pet Type
  5. Pet Sitters vs. House Sitters
  6. Conclusion

The Cost of a Pet Sitter in 2017

In 2017, the average cost of a pet sitter was $16.80 per hour, but anywhere in the range of $14 - $18 per hour is typical for most areas. Some pet sitters are willing to work for as little as $5.60 per hour but keep in mind your state or province’s minimum wage law - it’s important to be ethical in your payment!

Average Hourly Cost of Pet Sitting by City

If you’re asking yourself “how much do pet sitters charge?” - the answer largely depends on where you’re living. The average pet sitting rates can change quite a bit between different U.S. cities. Keep in mind that major cities and metropolitan areas tend to have higher wages. Ask your neighbours or friends what they have paid in the past to get a sense of the going rate for pet sitting.

Here’s a selection of some major North American cities and their average rates:

Average Hourly Cost of Pet Sitters by City

City Average Pet sitter Cost (per hour)
New York, NY $20.61
Los Angeles, California $17.11
Chicago, Illinois $14.7320
Houston, Texas $15.55
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania $13.72
Phoenix, Arizona $14.63
Jacksonville, Florida $13.98
Indianapolis, Indiana $13.97
Columbus, Ohio $15.39
Charlotte, North Carolina $15.42

Here you can see that hourly rates in New York City averaged $20.61, whereas in Philadelphia the pet sitter prices are much lower at $13.72 per hour.

Key Factors to Consider

Services

Pet sitting costs can climb up if you want extra services besides the basic walking and feeding. For example, average dog sitting rates can increase a fair amount if you want services such as training and overnight care.

  1. Behaviour Training
    11% of pet sitters offer this service and charge an average fee of $17.10
  2. Boarding
    24% of pet sitters offer this service and charge an average fee of $18.76
  3. Dog Walking
    92% of pet sitters offer this service and charge an average fee of $14.53
  4. Overnight Care
    63% of pet sitters offer this service and charge an average fee of $15.37
  5. Pet feeding
    91% of pet sitters offer this service and charge an average fee of $13.01
  6. Pet grooming
    26% of pet sitters offer this service and charge an average fee of $13.31
  7. Training
    16% of pet sitters offer this service and charge an average fee of $14.88
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Hourly Cost of a Petsitter in 2017, By Years of Work Experience

Some pet sitters have many years of experience while others are just starting out. More experienced pet sitters can often provide a higher quality level of care for your pet and more advanced skills (such as training or grooming). Pet sitter rates can increase with experience.


Years of work 0 - 5 6 - 10 11 - 15
Hourly Rate Charged $12.68 $14.60 $18.12

Types of Pets

Not all pet sitters want to look after reptiles or exotic animals! Due to personal preferences and allergies be sure to specify exactly what type of pets you own before leaving your pet sitter on their own. How much to pay a dog sitter and how much to pay someone who looks after your reptiles can vary a lot!

Here are the most common pets that pet sitters are willing to take care of:

  1. Cats
    81% of pet sitters take care of this type of pet and charge an average of $14.94
  2. Dogs
    81% of pet sitters take care of this type of pet and charge an average of $15.24
  3. Fish
    58% of pet sitters take care of this type of pet and charge an average of $13.43
  4. Small Mammals
    44% of pet sitters take care of this type of pet and charge an average of $12.95

Here are the least common pets that pet sitters are willing to take care of:

  1. Farm Animals
    17% of pet sitters take care of this type of pet and charge an average of $19.03
  2. Exotic Pets
    18% of pet sitters take care of this type of pet and charge an average of $18.61
  3. Horses
    19% of pet sitters take care of this type of pet and charge an average of $16.95
  4. Reptiles
    28% of pet sitters take care of this type of pet and charge an average of $17.25
  5. Birds
    38% of pet sitters take care of this type of pet and charge an average of $17.39
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House Sitter vs. Pet Sitter

Even if you own a pet, hiring a house sitter may be a better option for you. If your pet is very low-maintenance (such as a cat or hamster), you could save some money by hiring a house sitter instead of a pet sitter. House and pet sitting rates can differ substantially.

The average pet sitting rates are often higher than those for house sitting. This option is particularly attractive because pet sitting rates per day can get very pricey - especially if you are leaving for an extended vacation! House sitters will do almost the same tasks as a pet sitter like collecting mail and watering plants but will not provide specialized pet care. If you decide a house sitter is a better fit, this housesitting cost guide may prove valuable!

Conclusion

We hope this price guide helped you answer the tricky question “How much does pet sitting cost?” Good luck on your search for the perfect petsitter!