How Much Do I Pay a Pet Sitter?

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How Much Do I Pay a Pet Sitter?
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Your pets are your family members, so of course you want to spend every moment possible with them. However, sometimes other obligations like work or travel take you away from your pets. Pet sitters can give your pets the care they need right in the comfort of their home. Before you start looking for a pet sitter, take a few minutes to understand cat and dog sitting rates so you know what to expect to pay.

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Basics of pet sitting costs

There is no one answer for what to expect in cat and dog sitting costs. The truth is, rates vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including where you're located, the number of pets you have, and the type of care they need. However, understanding some average house sitting rates can give you an idea of what to pay a pet sitter.

According to, as of 2018, most pet sitters charge between $14 and $19 an hour. You may see rates as low as $9 per hour or as high as $21 per hour. Keep in mind that those rates are hourly, and if you're looking for someone to stay overnight with your pets, they're likely to charge you a flat rate rather than an hourly rate.


Pet sitter rates calculator

If you'd like to get an idea of dog sitting rates in your area, then the pet sitter rates calculator by is a good place to start. The calculator lets you choose different types of pets and different types of services that you may need and then gives you an estimate of what you should be prepared to pay.

Factors influencing rates

While the above rate range can give you a rough idea of what pet sitting can cost, you should also consider a few other factors that can cause rates to fluctuate. For instance, Apartment Therapy notes that rates may change based on the area where you live or how far a pet sitter must travel to get to you. According to, rates in major metropolitan areas are usually higher than rates in rural areas.


Apartment Therapy notes that other factors that can influence rates are the size, number, and types of pets that need care. Pet sitters may also charge more for particular types of care, like overnight stays, administering medication, grooming, and any extra requests, like taking a pet to the vet.

Experienced caregivers usually charge more than inexperienced caregivers. If caregivers have a special skill, like experience as a veterinary technician, they can usually ask for higher rates.

Understanding pet sitting costs

Why are pet sitting costs so high in some cases, and why is there such fluctuation in range? Professional pet sitters face many startup and business costs of which you might not immediately think. They need to charge enough to not only cover these costs but to also make pet sitting worth their time.


According to Pet Sitters International, a few of these costs include insurance, training programs, a business license, background checks, accountant fees, advertising expenses, and more. They need to factor in transportation costs for each stay, and they also have to pay taxes on any money that they bring in. When you think about everything that goes into pet sitting, it's a bit easier to understand why pet sitters sometimes need to charge higher rates.

Finding the right pet sitter

When it comes to finding the right pet sitter, don't let rates be the first factor that you consider. Instead, think about aspects like the pet sitter's experience, his ability to provide your pets with the care that they need, and his references. It may be worth it to pay extra for an experienced sitter who can provide you with the peace of mind that your pets are safe and happy while you're away.