Kay is a professional pet sitter who owns and runs a successful pet sitting service.
Making Money as a Pet Sitter
Some of the most asked questions about becoming a pet sitter are how much money do they make a year? How about a month? What can they expect to see in a day?
Unfortunately, there's no correct answer. There are way too many factors to take into consideration, and the only true way to get a straight answer is to become a pet sitter yourself and see what you're able to earn.
As a professional pet sitter myself who owns and runs a successful pet sitting service, I understand that you'd probably at least like a ballpark figure of what you could be expecting to make as a pet sitter, so I put together this article to give you an idea.
Pet Sitter Salary Examples
How much you can make as a pet sitter depends on a lot of things. These are a few examples of real pet sitters and their salaries:
- I run my own pet sitting service in the South-East region of the US. I average around 8 pet sitting visits per day at around $15/each. I don't work weekends or holidays, and earn about $30,000/year. I've been doing this for the past three or so years.
- A pet sitter in Florida manages to handle about 15 to 17 pet sitting visits per day and brings in around $1200/week. That's $57600/year. They work weekends and occasional holidays.
- Another pet sitter in the North-West does 2 or 3 pet sitting visits per day and manages to bring in an extra $1000/month. That about $12 to $17 per visit.
- Another pet sitter in a more rural area of the US is able to do about 14 pet sitting visits per day, at around $17 each. They do not work weekends and average around $4700/month or $57000/year.
How Much Can I Make Pet Sitting?
Before you break out the calculator, the first thing you'll need to know is that pet sitting, though it may seem simple on the surface for some quick and easy money, it's a lot more than meets the eye.
If you plan on making it in this business, then you're going to need to be punctual, organized, a people-person, and understand that it's your job to answer calls from clients at any time of day, no matter what you're doing—you never know when there could be an emergency, and your clients are counting on you to be able to help!
With that said, in order to get the best idea of what you can be making as a pet sitter (assuming you'll be going into business for yourself and not working for another person), you'll need to do some market research. This will help you determine how to price your services as well as give you information on whether or not there's possible room for competition.
Thumb through the phone books and do a Google search for any local pet sitting or dog walking services. How many are there? What services do they have to offer? How much do they charge? Do they have good business testimonials? Most of all . . . could you do better?
Knowing about your competition isn't the only research you should be doing. You also need to know about your city or town demographics—do you have an idea of how many people own pets that take frequent vacations or work tedious jobs that might keep them away from home for extended hours at a time? This is need to know information!
You can easily be the best and only pet sitter in town, but if nobody in the area is going on vacation or working long hours, then it's not going to be easy to make it as a pet sitter.
Pet Sitting Costs and Expenses
When trying to calculate how much you could expect to be making as a pet sitter, don't forget to subtract the costs.
These costs include insurance, advertising (business cards, pamphlets, commercials, etc), business licenses, website, and fuel, among other things.
Depending on whether you're going into business for yourself or if you'll be working as a pet sitter for another company, you may not need to deal with some of the above costs.
How Much Should I Charge?
Let's just say that the demographics of your area are fine and that there's some room for competition in the line of service business that you're interested in squeezing into. How much should you charge clients for the services that you offer?
This is where that market research comes in handy. You want to price your services according to what you believe would be affordable to households in your area, as well as what pet sitters are already charging.
When first starting out, it's a good idea to price your services lower than the competition, but not too low—too low might get you some less-than-great clients and may even drive potential clients away out of worry. So if other pet sitting businesses are charging $17 and $19 per half hour for a pet visit, consider charging $15.
Raising Prices Later
After you've got some experience under your belt and dedicated clientele, you might want to consider raising your prices. You might be asking why. Well, think of it this way—would you rather have a handful of clients who are okay paying more, or would you rather have tons of clients to deal with who pay less?
You can't take on every pet sitting job yourself, and if you're not in the market to hire a new employee anytime soon, then raising your service prices to ensure you only attract the best clients may be in your best interest.
Possible Service List
You're not going to make any money without a service list! If you're having some trouble coming up with services that you can offer, feel free to use any of these—I offer every single one to my own clients, and they're all client favorites.
- Dog Walking
- Boarding (in my own home)
- Sleepovers (where I stay in their home with their dog)
- Vet Visits
- Grocery Pick-Up and Delivery
- Dog Park and Beach Visits
- Dog Bathing and Basic Grooming
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Marissa Folken on May 09, 2018:
I think out of all of my jobs i will become a dog walker.
Zander Meier on May 09, 2018:
i love my dads dog and love caring for them so this job would be amazing for me and anyone else who love dogs.
zander meier on May 09, 2018:
I love my dads dogs and love to work with them so this job is good for me
Fifitrixiebelle on February 12, 2018:
TY for a great article!!
Claudia on January 10, 2018:
my neighbor is a pet sitter etc and he charges 12.00 ro 15.00 a 10 minutes dog walk. Is that the average dog walk salary?
Debi Briscoe on October 05, 2017:
What’s the best way to get started as a pet sitter, walker and everything that most people would need?
Joyce O. on March 27, 2017:
I stay at my clients houses to watch both pets and houses. I charge between $30 to $50 a day. I looked into it and to board a dog in this area is between $20 - $50 a day depending on the size of dog. Multiple animals are additional cost. Everything besides housing the animal is extra. Extra cost for interaction with the animal, treats, giving medication, etc. I provide all that for one cost. In addition, I walk the animals, play with them plus the fact the animals get to stay in their own environment where they're more comfortable. I like doing it and my clients are all happy with me. I hope to grow my business.
afsaneh baradaran on November 08, 2016:
i would like to be a pet sitter only for cats, birds and fish. but not dog. do you thinks i will be successful in this business? i live in a big city Toronto Canada
Brook Renner on September 01, 2016:
how old do you have to be a pet sitter?
Joanne on October 03, 2015:
I suffer from RSD CRPS, I can walk and I love animals, how do I become a pet sitter? I have been a Certified Nursing Assistant. I also have a dog of my own. Animals are great ( however I would not sit for a snake.) :)
Andrew from Rep Boston MA on July 13, 2014:
Great Hub! I might think about becoming a pet sitter myself. While i'd only do it primarily for dogs (as they are what I have the most experience in). I know some animals can be wild and crazy while others are calm and relaxed for most of the time. I'd have to get some more experience from my aunt, whos a dog trainer on how to deal with bite happy and high strung dogs. The experience I have is helping her train Newfoundland dogs,a very calm and peaceful breed of gentle giants for the most part. I've dealt with 4 of these ~160 lb furballs at once along with a black lab! Of course these 5 were all fully trained with people and commands, and the Newfoundlands got all their water rescue and obedience awards. You could have left a baby with them and no harm would come to him/her. I would think an untrained dog of any kind would be a little harder to control!
Thanks for the idea and great Hub - KEEP IT UP!
Kay B (author) from Tampa, FL on June 10, 2012:
@Gege, are you staying there 24 hours, full time? Most pet sitters charge anywhere from $35 to $80/night for that. I personally charge $40, but am only there from 8pm to 8pm so I can work the next day.
gege on June 10, 2012:
I am pet watching , staying at the owners home they have 4 Yorkie and one pecaneses dog so that 5 gods day and night.
Chris Hugh on June 03, 2012:
Good hub. I wish someone would do it here. I need a good sitter.
Claudia Tello from Mexico on June 03, 2012:
Wow! The numbers are amazing, especially considering that it is not a full time, all-day-long job!