Whisker Watchers

How much should I pay for a pet sitter?

How much should you pay a Pet Sitter?

In this article we’ll cover the factors that effect the cost of a pet sitter, along with the different types of sitters.

The short answer:

With a professional pet sitting service, you have a higher level of service, accountability, and security.

Unlike an inexperienced, un-bonded, and uninsured pet sitter, you’ll have coverage if something goes wrong.

With a professional pet sitting service, you’re getting a dedicated service that’s focused solely on caring for your pet and home.

Most people don’t take into account that they’re actually getting two high value services for the price of one, as a professional pet sitter will also watch over the home while the homeowner is away.

Only a professional pet sitter will be bonded and insured which protects the homeowner in the event that something happens such as a pet or person getting injured, valuables disappearing in the home, or damage to property.

Without the right coverage, you could be on the hook if something should happen to the pet sitter, your pet, or your home.

Professional pet sitting companies also have specific training as well as a set of protocols and standard operating procedures that they adhere to, which mitigates risks that the average person would not know how to handle or be covered for.

These procedures are in place to offer more consistent quality of service and makes your pet safety and home security the number one priority.

A professional service will also have a local manager that you can contact at anytime if you have questions or concerns while you’re out of town.

Professional pet sitting services put everything at risk to cater to pet parents, their pets, and their home as they are established businesses that have a reputation to uphold within the community.

A professional pet sitting service will have:

  • Pet Sitting Liability Insurance
  • Business Bond
  • Pet First Aid Training and Certification
  • CPR Certification
  • Emergency Protocols
  • Knowledge of animal behavior
  • Great relationships with Local Vets and Rescues
  • GPS logs for each visit
  • Medication logs
  • Visit checklists
  • A membership to a professional pet sitting organization
  • Plus ongoing educational training

Factors that influence Cost

Professional pet sitting companies will charge more if they have more experience in pet care, as well as all the necessary qualifications, coverage, and certifications.

Companies that charge more often pass it on to their sitters, which prevents employee turnover and encourages them to perform at the highest level, meaning that your pet and home receive the best consistency and care possible.

Professional Pet Sitter Costs

The cost for dog or cat sitting on a daily basis will typically be:

$19-25 per 15-minute visit
$25-$30 per 30-minute visit
$30-$35 per 45-minute visit
$35-$45 per 60-minute visit

To give you a better idea, you are looking at spending:

$100 – $120 per day to hire a pet sitter for dogs if you were to schedule 3 or 4 visits per day.

$40 – $60 per day to hire a pet sitter for cats if you were to schedule 2 visits per day.

Hobby Pet Sitters

Generally, hobby pet sitters are people you find by asking around, people in your church, the kid next door, someone who has a job working with animals, pet groomers, or platform/app-based sitters (like those on Rover or Care.com.)

Cost of a Hobby Pet Sitter

Hobby pet sitters will typically charge 60-70% of what a professional pet sitting service charges.

It’s typical to find a a hobby sitter with low rates which are not sustainable as a business or for their livelihood.

Paying someone at such a low rate is taking advantage of their care and help! Your relationship will not last for long.

They will get burnt out from working the entire week for such low pay with absolutely zero resources to grow their business, or they will realize that they are certainly worth more.

Most hobby sitters will not value their service enough to cover their time, expense, and opportunity cost.

All Day Pet Sitting Services

Usually a hobby sitter will be the only pet sitter that is able to offer an all-day service.

This is because a professional pet sitting service has other clients to tend to throughout the day.

If you can find someone reliable who will pet sit for you all day for under $150, you are getting an amazing deal!

Working with a Hobby Pet Sitter

Hobby sitters tend to not carry insurance. If something happens to the sitter, your home, your valuables, or your pet while you’re away, you could be on the hook.

A professional pet sitter is like good automotive insurance – better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it!

Hobby sitter’s services are typically not regulated. You can end up with a mess on your hands if you get unlucky by choosing a less than reputable pet sitter.

There are stories of pet sitter’s taking their client’s pets to parties or throwing parties in the client’s home.

Hobby sitters are usually providing care for cash on the side. It’s easy for them to flake out or not show up at the very last minute.

If they aren’t able to make their visits, you’ll be out of luck as they won’t have a backup in place. With a professional pet sitting service, there will typically be multiple professionals who can fill in if needed.

What about asking a friend?

Hiring a friend will be the cheapest option for you – expect to pay 30-40% of what you would pay a professional pet sitting service.

Keep in mind that asking your friend to take care of your pet is a big favor. Your friend will most likely have to juggle social and family commitments, a full-time job, and other aspects of life.

We’ve seen these scenarios actually turn into a major hassle for some, adding stress to the relationship. If that’s the case, you may want to consider hiring a professional pet sitting service.


In short, go with a professional company if you want the best quality and consistency of service.

Sure, you may save cash by going with a hobby sitter but there are uncertainties and you’ll have to deal with the consequences should something go wrong.

Even if it’s a good friend or the friendly neighbor, you’ll burden the relationship if you can’t return the favor or if they become inconvenienced.

Keep searching for a professional pet sitter if who you find doesn’t seem up to par!

A professional pet sitting company should provide excellent communication and service.

They’ll also provide proper coverage, ensuring you, your pet, and home are secured and protected.