Becoming a pet sitter: how to determine your rates

Becoming a pet sitter: how to determine your rates


Perhaps you are considering becoming a pet sitter, or you might already have a profile on Pawhshake. You can determine yourself which services you offer: dog walking, day care, home visits or boarding. In turn, you decide yourself how much you want to charge for each service within the price range on the site. But how do you set your rates, and what is reasonable?

Photo: Bill Young

You are completely free in setting your rates within our price range, but it’s worth putting some thought into it. When filling in your rates on the dashboard, we provide you with a recommended rate which you can use - or you can choose your own within the price range. Consider the following when determining your rate:

Your motivation
Pet sitters on Pawshake offer their services out of love for animals. Earning some extra money is nice, and your services are definitely worth it, but most Pawshakers get started because they just enjoy doing it. They are passionate about animals and love helping out in their neighbourhood. So don’t just consider the money, but also your own reasons for sitting.

How much time does it take?
A home visit requires a commute. During the visit you will most likely stay for a while,  performing tasks such as cleaning the enclosure or litter tray, playing with the pet, collecting the mail, etc. And as a dog walker, do you go for a 30-minute tour around the block, or do you go on a 1.5-hour hike with the dog? Depending on how much time your pet sitting service takes, you can raise or lower your rate.

Do you have any costs?
Think for example of the travelling costs that you have when you’re doing home visits. Do you offer home boarding? Perhaps you have had to make some adjustments to your home so as to make it dog- or cat-proof.

Do you have any particular skills like grooming, training or nail care?

Do you have any particular pet-related skills?
... because your know-how is worth something! Have you got professional grooming experience? Have you worked at a shelter? Do you know about training techniques, nail or dental care? Or have you perhaps participated in dog-related workshops or are a veterinary student? In short: Consider your skills and knowledge and take them into account when setting a rate.

Do you get few or lots of requests?
Are you being flooded with requests and you can’t take all of them? Or are things rather quiet and the  “competition” in the area is getting all the pet sitting jobs? If you aren’t getting any requests, perhaps your rates are too high compared to other pet sitters, or the other way around. To get an idea of the rates your colleagues charge, you can always have a peek at their profiles by searching for your suburb or town on the website.

Take the Pawshake contribution into account
In order to be able to maintain and develop the website and to pay for the Pawshake Guarantee and our dedicated team, we charge a small contribution. That’s why 19 % of the amount for every booking will automatically be deduced before we pay you out. There are no further costs, and creating a profile is entirely free for both pet sitters and pet owners.

You can of course adjust your rates any time, so log in regularly in order to keep your profile up-to-date. What other factors do you take into account when determining your rates? Let us know in the comments below :-) Have fun Pawshaking!

Comments (1)


Hi there we have used your sitters a few times and I would like to sign up as one!

I'm a stay at home mum so would be perfect for me
Sam Staniford

Aug 1 2016 - 12:29