How Much Does Pet Sitting Cost?

Written by: Staff

In-home pet sitting is a service that can be provided by an individual or a company, and the advantages of having one reduces the stress on a pet and no travel is required since the animal can stay in its natural surroundings.  It also doesn’t expose your pet to other illnesses in a kennel.

These services are available to watch any animal, whether it’s a dog, cat, bird or reptile, if it breathes, a professional can stop by and take care of its daily essential needs.

The cost of pet sitting will vary depending on who is going to do the job, the number of pets, the number of days needed, if any extra services are required and the geographical location.

Dog by matsuyuki, on Flickr
Dog” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by matsuyuki

How much does pet sitting cost?

On average, a professional pet sitting service can charge anywhere from $11 to $30 per visit, per animal.  These visits will last no more than 30 minutes on average, but exceptions if can be made if you wanted to have the pet sitter stay overnight, for instance.

Cats, most of the time, are going to cost less than a dog since they need less attention and only one visit per day.

For a dog, some pet sitters may need to come out up to three to five times a day for bathroom breaks and checkups if kept indoors.  This can result in a total fee of $45 to $75 per day.

If for some reason your pet requires 24-hour care, the costs can be about $175 to $250 per 24 hours.  This option is often only required if your pet were to have surgery and needed to be monitored.

For example, Four on the Floor Pet Sitting located in Michigan charges $15 to $25 per visit.  Overnight stays can cost $55 to $75 per night.

A study conducted by found the average night of dog sitting booked through the website was $25, but during the busy season, during holidays and in certain parts of the United States, the average cost was higher.

Type of VisitAverage Price
1 visit/day$20 to $30
2 visits/day$30 to $50
3 visits/day$50 to $75
1 visit + daily walk$20 to $35
Overnight stay$55 to $85
Mileage charge (outside 15 miles on average)$1 to $2 per mile
Extra 15-30 minutes added to visit$5 to $15
Holiday surcharge$10 to $15
Late night surcharge$10 to $15

Factors that affect the cost

The number of pets

Caring for more than one pet will require more attention, which of course, can lead to a higher price tag.  While it won’t be double the cost “per pet,” it can add another $5 to $15 per pet.

Type of pet

A cat, as mentioned above, will require a lot less work than a dog that requires a potty break five times per day.

How many visits per day?

Some pet sitters will have a certain amount of times they want to stop by, while you may be able to simply tell them when to stop by.  For instance, if you were away for 24 hours, then they may want to stop by five or seven times, but if you were at work, one visit in the afternoon may suffice.

Anything special?

Some pet sitters can do more than just watch your pets.  They can water plants, get your mail, take out the trash and more.  If you need any of these additional services, additional fees may apply.

Do they need to stay overnight?

Pet sitters will be more than happy to stay the night with your pet if you feel your animal won’t do well alone.  In our price estimates mentioned above, a pet sitter will charge $50 or more for an overnight stay, on average.

Where you live:

With anything charged in life, where you live will matter.  A larger metropolitan area, such as New York City, will cost much more than a rural town in the middle of South Dakota.

Pet sitting overview

Before you hire a pet sitter, they will more than likely meet with your pets ahead of time and will set up a schedule, letting you know exactly when they will come out.

With each visit, the pet sitter will feed, refill the water, and if necessary, the animal will be taken out for exercise.  If the animal is on any sort of medication, they will be able to administer this as well, usually for an additional fee.

What are the extra costs?

Each additional animal will add to the overall price; however, most sitters are more than happy to give a discount for each additional pet.

If supplies such as food have to be purchased during the visit or a veterinarian visit is needed due to a health problem, additional fees can apply depending on the situation.

Walking a dog can cost an additional $10 to $20 per day per animal.  While some pet sitters may include this in their services, some charge extra.  Be sure to ask ahead of time.

Daily reports can be sent by email or by phone.  Some may include this, but others can charge.

Overnight stays that require more than 12 hours of time can be extra.  Major holidays can cost extra as well.

If your pet needs any sort of medication, additional fees may apply, which can usually be around $5 per dosage.

How can I save money?

Consider taking the animal to a local reputable kennel.  Kennels can be cheaper than a pet sitter and your pet will have 24/7 supervision.  See: “How much does a dog kennel cost?”

Talk with a neighbor to see if they can watch your animal.  Neighbors may be more than happy to check on your animal for a small fee, especially if you can trade services with them if they have animals.  You could also consider paying a child in your neighborhood a much smaller fee than a professional pet sitter.

Many pet sitting services will offer first-time customer deals.  Look for these promotions and take advantage of them.  Not only will these promotions give you an opportunity to try out the service, it’s going to save you a little bit of money in the process as well.

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