Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Pet Sitters 101

        Animals | Pet Travel

Pet Sitter Rates

Pet sitter rates vary depending on a number of different factors, including experience and the specific services you require. Rates also differ according to the number of pets being cared for, the size of the pets and the amount of time you wish the sitter to spend with your pets.

Pet sitting rates should include provisions for any day-to-day pet-related needs. Feeding your pet, making sure it has fresh water, taking it outside if necessary, playing with it, administering medication, and cleaning up messes should all be included at no extra charge. Your chosen sitter may include a number of house-sitting tasks as well. After all, it makes more sense to have one person take care of everything than to hire both a pet sitter and a house sitter while you're away.

Average pet-sitting rates vary between $10 and $20 per visit. That said, it's hard to come up with an across-the-board average when so many different factors determine the actual price. Jobs that require the pet sitter to stay at your residence overnight, for example, can cost anywhere from $40 to $80, but prices generally fall right in the middle of that range [source: Sitters City].

Unfortunately, the biggest factor in determining your pet sitter's rates is out of your control: It's where you live. It costs more to hire a pet sitter in New York City than it does to do so in Kansas City. That's just the way it goes. Most sitters assume that you have one pet, so if you have multiple animals in your home, you'll likely be charged an extra fee per animal. There's also a difference in the cost of caring for cats and dogs. Cats are much more independent than dogs and require less effort. Therefore, they cost less. You should also prepare to pay a higher rate if you want an extended visit, care for your pet over the holidays or after-hours visits.