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Thread: What would you offer to pay (pet/house sitter)?

  1. #1
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    What would you offer to pay (pet/house sitter)?

    Our pet/house sitter fell through for this weekend (we are headed out of town for a half-work, half-play retreat), so I have been scrambling around today trying to find someone else to stay the weekend and take care of the house and animals. Anyway, I sent an email to my coworkers this morning to try to find someone, and it looks like we have a candidate.

    She is 18 years old (the daughter of a coworker), lives at home with her parents, and will be staying at our house Friday evening through Sunday evening. She will be taking care of 3 dogs, a cat, and a bird. We'll be asking her to scoop the cat's litter box once a day, change the bird's water dish daily, probably change the bird's food once during the time we're gone, and feed the cat twice each day.

    For the dogs, she'll be feeding them twice a day, refilling their water dish if necessary, and letting them out to go to the bathroom as necessary (which includes scooping up after them), which is several times a day. We'll also ask her to bring in the mail each day.

    Also, we'll ask her to walk two blocks to our friend's house (who are going out of town with us this weekend) twice a day to check on their cat (refill food and water) and make sure their house is secure. She'll have use of their pool too.

    I've been emailing with her dad, and we are making arrangements for her to come over one evening this week to meet us, the animals, go over their routines, etc., plus walk her to our friend's house to do the same there. In my initial email, I stated that payment was negotiable. Now I'm trying to figure out what is reasonable.

    In the process of trying to find someone, I did call a few petsitting services in town, but I haven't heard back from them. One has a website, and their rates start at $50.00 per night for overnight visits (this is for one animal, I presume), and $16.00 per daily 1/2 hour visit. So in theory, if I had one pet, and wanted to hire a service to come over for the weekend, I'd be paying approximately $150 for 2 overnights ($100) + probably 3 1/2-hour daily visits ($48).

    Does any have any thoughts or comments on what is a fair offer? I will ask her what she had in mind, but I also want to be prepared to have an offer (that can, of course, be negotiated) if she doesn't state a number right off the bat.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    The only petsitting I've done was for the ILs, and they paid us with a refrigerator full of food (which is A LOT, if you know how much DH eats!).

    The only comparison I have is that we babysat my two baby cousins for a weekend, and my uncle gave us $250. So I would think $150 would be reasonable (maybe even generous) considering she wouldn't be staying the entire weekend.
    Kristin

    Even a fish wouldn't get into trouble if he kept his mouth shut.

  3. #3
    I've had two diffferent dog sitter, both college students that lived at home with their parents. They were thrilled to dogsit my two dogs. Much less work then you describe but the agreed amount was $10 or $20 a day. Much less then you are thinking.
    Christie

  4. #4
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    I would look at $100, this is not including your neighbor right? Since wshe l probably just be thrilled to get away from herhouse, and $150 is for a pro who has to cover insurance costs.

    Laurie

  5. #5
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    I've always charged $50/day for housesitting (the last family was 2 dogs, 3 cats). I would charge extra for doing the neighbours.
    "Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But, we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh, yeah, did I mention that this whole time we're standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick. Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. Next question."

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by ChristieinMB
    I've had two diffferent dog sitter, both college students that lived at home with their parents.
    It really shouldn't matter if they are professionals that have their own homes or are college students looking to get away from the 'rents. They would be doing the same service, and should get paid the same rate.
    "Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But, we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh, yeah, did I mention that this whole time we're standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick. Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. Next question."

  7. #7
    Originally posted by badunnin


    It really shouldn't matter if they are professionals that have their own homes or are college students looking to get away from the 'rents. They would be doing the same service, and should get paid the same rate.
    Yes, you are correct they would be doing the same job, I was referencing that because for them coming to my home was a treat. They did not do pet sitting as a job or career. One offered later to stay for free, he lived inland, at my house he had full use of my beach home to surf and play. I didn't care what he did as long as my dogs were happy. I'm more fussy about my dogs than my house.
    Christie

  8. #8
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    I would expect to pay her at least $100 for the stint.
    We had somone stay last summer who did overnight pet-sitting on a regular basis (so, very experienced) and was certified in canine/feline first-aid. We had one geriatric dog who required feeding and meds twice a day and she charged $35 per day but we paid her $50 and considered that a bargain. She brought in the mail and offered to water the garden and do any light housework, inclusive! She also left me a voicemail each evening letting me know that everything was going fine, had taken doggie out for a walk that evening, etc.

  9. #9
    When we lived in Ithaca, we had a sitter for Gertie a few times, and if I remember correctly we paid somewhere in the neighbhorhood of $20-30 per day for her care. We asked the person to stay at the house, feed Gertie twice a day, and walk her at least once a day; water the plants; and bring in the mail. In addition to the money, we always offered the use of our laundry machines (a plus for grad students!), food, and computer w/internet access so they could get work done while keeping Gertie company.

    For your pets plus a neighbor's pet, I might offer $40-$50 per day... I would think about the actual amount of time she'll be spending on pet care and what you might pay on an hourly basis for that, then pad the total for the weekend because she'll be living in.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by badunnin
    It really shouldn't matter if they are professionals that have their own homes or are college students looking to get away from the 'rents. They would be doing the same service, and should get paid the same rate.
    True, but in this case, this woman is not a professional pet sitter. I would expect to pay her less than I would a pet-sitting service or professional pet sitter, who is insured and bonded. $100 is about in line with what I was considering offering, which would include checking in on my friend's cat. Really, that's a minimal request that would take less than 30 minutes total for the whole weekend. I'll see what she thinks and go from there.

    Thanks!

  11. #11
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    actually it sounds like a heckuva lot more than 30 minutes of work You're asking her to basically be around all weekend for whenever the animals need her, taking care of multiple animals and also taking care of the friends' animals. Sounds like a lot to me! I would say at least $100 each "house" for the weekend.

    J
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  12. #12
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    Sorry I see the friend is only a cat...still you're wanting two visits a day. I would say at least $150 but that's just me
    "Comfy? I'm chained in a bathtub drinkin' pig's blood from a novelty mug. Doesn't rank huge in the Zagut's Guide."

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  13. #13
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    I would vote for AT LEAST $150, multiple animals, cage/box cleanings, etc. In DC we pay approx $15 per animal per 1/2 hour visit and that doesn't include them staying in the home. Between your place and your neighbors the girl will not be getting out too much this weekend (why can't the neighbors pay her as well?). Why not throw a number out there and see what she says and negotiate from there. Good luck and have a fun trip.

  14. #14
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    I do see your point, and will see what she thinks. My friend will be chipping in as well, but again, her share will be minimal because, frankly, stopping in twice a day to add food and water to a cat bowl takes at most 5-10 minutes total a day. It's a pretty minor inconvenience, and I don't expect her to foot much expense especially since her cat is perfectly fine off if nobody checks in on her for the weekend.

    But again, for approximately $150, I could have a professional pet sitter who is insured and bonded, so I would expect to pay someone who is "helping out" her dad's coworker a bit less, especially since she will have food for the weekend (I am grocery shopping for her) and access to unlimited long distance, wireless internet, an HDTV with cable + all the movie channels, a pool, a pool table, etc. And she's certainly free to come and go as she pleases. We both work long days, and the animals are fine for up to 8-10 hours unattended.

    Anyway, thanks for all your input.

  15. #15
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    My dd would love to find a gig like this (mind you she is only 15 so I wouldn't let her stay overnight). But $100 to play with pets and escape her brother (and possibly me) and watch whatever she wants uninterrupted would be heaven to her.

  16. #16
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    I'd also say $100 is adequate. Thatís great and easy money for an 18 yo who isnít a professional.
    You can't drink rum on the beach all day if you don't start in the morning.

  17. #17
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    Maybe in Arizona you would pay that for a professional, but not in this neck of the woods for 3 dogs, a cat and a bird. Last month I paid $20 a visit, twice a day. The visit is apprx 45 minutes. It's $15 a visit plus $5 each additional animal. Stay over I think is $50 plus a day/night.
    "Comfy? I'm chained in a bathtub drinkin' pig's blood from a novelty mug. Doesn't rank huge in the Zagut's Guide."

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  18. #18
    Hi Eva

    We have three people we use for dogsitters - a 26 year old (a friend of a friend) and two neighbor girls (one 19, one 17).

    We pay $20 a night. The dogs get fed and walked, played with, etc., and the sitter gets the run of the house (pretty much). They all enjoy it, because they all live at home with their parents and it's time away. We've never had a problem.

    I'd pay $20 a night per dog at a kennel. This way, our house is also being watched.


  19. #19
    I checked with my DH, we paid $20 a night for each dog sitter. They love it. They are not professional dog sitters, but responsible, reliable students.
    Christie

  20. #20
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    My DD who is 20 just did this a couple of weeks ago. It was for 6 days, not 3 and she received $200. They have 2 cats. She did not have to walk anything or go to anyones house. She was happy about the $'s.
    Is the daughter independent, looking forward to "having her own place" for the weekend? That might make a bit of a difference. What are your rules about guests? Have you discused that with her? You might want to.
    Good Luck
    Kim
    Take time to laugh, it's the music of the soul

  21. #21
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    This is timely...

    Last week Sweetheart and I went to Florida to visit my parents. We left early on Saturday and returned late on the following Saturday. A woman who is a technician at the veterinary office we use took care of our dog in our home for the week, feeding and walking her and staying at the house overnights and bringing in the mail and the newspapers every day.

    I received the bill yesterday. She charges $25 per day (up from $20 per day last year, and since we hadn't discussed the increase in her fee, that's all she wants to charge me).

    I'm going to pay her the full $25 per day, and I'm going to give her a little bonus, too. Her service is extremely valuable to me since my sweet little basenji girl hates the kennel and has been known to bite the nice people there who try to care for her! We don't go away often but with aging parents in Florida (mine) and Chicago (his), occasional trips are important. When we do go away, Jenna's service allows us to go with peace of mind. She's very good with the dog (that's saying a lot with a basenji!) and I trust her with both my dog and my home, not something that comes naturally to me!

  22. #22
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    I house sit for a couple who have MULTIPLE....MULTIPLE (like around 30 cats) cats. I do it mostly as a favor all though I have started to charge them a little. They are fosters like we are and I don't think that many people would be willing or capable to be responsible for that many animals. I do not stay overnight.....an I charge $20 to $25 a day. They usually pay me more. I live in the phoenix area and I know that they are getting quite a deal out of me. I know most charge double that for 1-3 animals.

    Lorena

  23. #23
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    spam reported
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canice View Post
    spam reported
    What do these people do, google their products and then post? I am always amazed at the ingenuity of spammers.
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  25. #25
    I've always wanted to hire a Finnish petsitter.

  26. #26
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    My son's GF came and let our dogs out, fed the cats and checked on everything while we were away. We were gone about 18-20 hours. The lab probably would have been okay to be let out once, but the younger one needs to go out more often. She came 3 times and refused my offers to pay her, so I paid for dinner and a movie for my her and my son when we got back. Cost us about $45, but I considered it a bargain. If I had to board the dogs, because of our timing, it would have been 2 dogs for 3 days each and they would not have been nearly as happy as to have a friend come play with them.

    Eva, to be fair, if you were hiring a professional at the rates you found (which may not be all-inclusive, additional animals, playtimes, does the overnight include midday services, etc.), you are not considering multiple animals and appear to be looking at one visit per day on the second house where you said you would want them checked twice a day. I think you might be doubling the amount you think you would be paying for those stated rates and the number of animals and visits you have to consider. I bet you'd be looking at $250 or more, not $150. Didn't you have a price for the pet sitter that was lined up? You didn't say why it fell through, maybe it was unavoidable, but maybe the rates weren't enough to get dedicated service (even if another reason was stated)?

    I think $100 would be a bargain, especially when you are in a pinch. I'd be okay with that for just your crew, but I'd expect her to get something more for going to a second house twice a day. And yeah, cats can survive a couple of days, but I think they are less stressed out if they get some attention. Mine tend not to eat much when I'm away, and after 2-3 days, that can start to cause problems.

  27. #27
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    My neighbor is watching the house and my cat in exchange for a case of beer.

    Actually I do the same for them so it's a wash.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by SandyM View Post
    I've always wanted to hire a Finnish petsitter.
    **snort**

    Since this came back up again- when I cant find a free person, I have a friend who does it for part of her living. She charges 30/night. It is only 20/more a day then boarding her. Foxy knows and loves her and is sooooo much happier then in a cage all day!
    ~Kim~

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  29. #29
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    I couldn't board one cat for $10 a day, much less a dog! I paid more than that years ago -- before kids or DH.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beth View Post
    I couldn't board one cat for $10 a day, much less a dog! I paid more than that years ago -- before kids or DH.
    Oops. Meant to say it is 20 to board her. Only 10 more/day for dog sitter
    ~Kim~

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