You wouldn't trust the care of your furry pooch to just anyone. Yet, even within the same geographic area you'll find a wide range of dog sitter rates. Determining a reasonable rate require assessing your own needs and the qualifications of the dog sitter herself.
Independent Sitter or Service Company Sitter
Hiring a pet-sitting company to come watch or walk your dog has advantages. For example, they'll almost always have a sitter available and their sitters often complete some type of formal first-aid and behavior training. However, if the company charges $20 per visit, the company owner usually takes half the fee and the sitter gets the remainder. In other words, expect to pay $20 for a job that would otherwise cost $10 dollars if you hired someone who advertised their dog sitting services online or at the grocery store.
Length of Time
Hiring someone not employed by a professional pet-sitting company to take your middle-age pooch outside for 10 minutes while you're at work can cost anywhere from $5 to $10. The exact amount is impossible to pinpoint because no formal pricing index exists for independent dog sitters who work outside larger companies. If, however, your elderly dog needs a solid lap around the block to empty his bowels, and that lap takes him 20 minutes, you should expect to offer another $3 to $4. Some dog sitters will include the additional charge automatically when they give you an estimate of their services. If you want someone to take your energetic puppy for a brisk 30-minute walk, you should plan on paying at least $20.
Your Dog's Temperament
You may find your overly enthusiastic six-month-old Labrador Retriever irresistible, but consider how your dog's behavior affects the ability of the dog sitter to perform her job. For example, a quick trip to the yard that would normally cost $10 for a well-behaved 8-pound dog, deserves several dollars more if your hyper dog jumps all over the sitter to the point where she has difficulty attaching the leash. Does your dog growl, snap or consistently dart out the front door? Each of these challenges requires you to pay a dog sitter an additional $2 to $3 dollars per visit.
Consider exactly what you need from a dog sitter. The more additional services you need, the more you'll need to pay. For example, add $2 to $3 extra per visit for each of the following services: Administering medication, changing your pooch's pee-pee pad or preparing your dog's food any way besides scooping dry food to a bowl. If you simply need someone to walk your dog and make sure he has plenty of clean water, you can expect to pay much less.
- dog walkers image by Pix by Marti from Fotolia.com