Monday

What Should Nanny Charge for Pet/House Sitting?

Received Monday, November 16, 2009
Perspective and Opinion on ISYN The family I nanny for has asked me to watch their dog and fish over Thanksgiving weekend (26th through 30th). I, of course, agreed. I've been with the family for over a year and a half and I adore them. The mom told me to research how much I might charge for that. Any tips? For watching their two boys, I make $14/hr or $12/hr if it is just one boy. Required of me would be: staying over night with the pets (I don't mind), feeding them in the morning and evening, walking the dog and other general things. I would also be basically house-sitting for them as well. The pets can be left alone during most of the day or I can take the dog with me places if I want to do so. Since this is related and has some different/special circumstances, I decided to ask here as part of my 'research.' What do you think?

34 comments:

ericsmom said...

Its not like babysitting kids. Because you will have alot of free time. Not sure how much they charge for petting sitting in your area. I would guess you should get about $80.00 a nite??

No one bite my head off. LOL.
Not sure of going rate. But seems easy enough. Not like set hours. You can go out, and do as you please in between

Lola said...

If you have no other plans that would be impeded on by the house sitting, I would charge a flat rate and not too high of one. It doesn't seem that you are required to do any house cleaning, except for if the pets make a mess I would assume and cleaning up after yourself. Take into consideration the amount of hours you will actually be walking and directly caring for the pets. I would charge $10 dollars an hour for this. So if you walk the dog for a half hour twice or three times a day, if you are going to be bathing the dog or if they require you to brush his teeth, or how long you will be combing his hair (my pekingese needs LOTS of brushing, a lab not so much), if you have to give him any meds, how many house plants they have that you will need to water, how far is their mailbox (some people have very long driveways), etc. Putting fish food in a tank takes less than a minute so I wouldn't bother tallying that!! Anyway tally all this up and charge them accordingly. Tack on $20 dollars for each overnight. I think $50 a day is about right. Unless you are spending more than three hours doing actual chores, of course, but that would be my estimate. I would propose $200 dollars for the four nights. But I would also be open to negotiation since it seems that you all have a very cordial relationship and you want to take into consideration what they are comfortable with as well as what you require.

I did a housesitting exactly like what I have described, for two spoiled, pampered, silver comb and toothbrush set having miniature poodles. This was a long time ago though, and I was paid $120 dollars for four days. Even though the poodles were fairly high maintenance, the pay seemed more than fair for the amount of time I spent working.
The cool thing about housesitting, like you mentioned, is that you are not a slave to the home. You can go about your day, relax, take a bubble bath, etc. You can spend Thanksgiving with your family, it's a sweet gig....easy money.

MinuteMuggle said...

oh my god milk them for all they are worth. charge a whole lot.

Village said...

I agree with the flat rate of $200 for the weekend. Sounds about right to me.

Michelle said...

I used to dog sit all the time for one very friendly and very lazy yellow lab. The family would pay me $40/day and all it required of me was to feed him, walk him once and let him outside. It seemed like an easy extra $40 for me and I was happy to have an entire house to myself for a few days as well. Plus it did help that they stocked the fridge for me and had an awesome cable package :) This was in the suburbs of Chicago.

Michelle said...

oops but I forgot to mention that it is a holiday weekend that you're helping them out over so I'd take that into consideration as well!

Orange Snakeskin said...

The only time I had experience with this I was living at home so it was a bit of a vacation to stay at my employers home with a pool. I only charged about $20 a day to let the dog out to run at least twice a day, feed him, throw a ball for a bit, run the pool cleaner and pick up the mail but I was also under paid and over worked at this particular family.

Morgan'sMom said...

MM, I hope your response is only the result of your still being in a bad mood. You get all self-righteous when people insult your sense of responsibility (i.e., using a non-licensed provider), so it seems rather inconsistent when you post advice advocating that people take advantage of a situation.

Based on the frequency of your posting, it seems like you rely on this site for at least a small amount of your human interaction. People here know you and it appears that some of them even care about you. If you've got stuff going on that you need to get of your chest, maybe you could write it on up and find support here. Something like that would be a lot more productive than you posting snarky responses that really aren't true to your character.

Just a thought.

xfileluv said...

How much is this putting you out? I.e., are you giving up your own plans? Are you going to be far away from your friends/family? More importantly, how badly do you need the money?

I ask because one option would be to offer to do it for free. Offer it to them as your early Xmas/Hannukah/etc. gift to them. If it's not really putting you out, and as long as it's not keeping you from making money or socializing otherwise, it could work in your favor. My rationale is that not only will it warm their hearts, but they will be more likely to "gift" you with a nice bonus at holiday time.

Or not. Heh.

I'm not saying it's the *right* solution....just one you can throw in the mix as you are deciding what to charge. Regardless, I'm sure they appreciate your offer to help; it sounds as if you are lucky to have a great relationship with them!

BayAreaMom said...

I usually offer about $30/day for pet sitting. It's a bit higher than kennels in my area charge, and a bit lower that a "professional" pet sitter. Also, my dog needs pretty minimal walking. If I expected the pet sitter to take the dog for several long walks, I'd offer more $.

VAnanny said...

Morgan's Mom: You took the words right out of my mouth. MM, while I enjoy reading most of your comments, you do have a tendency to come off as self-righteous and borderline rude.When you say:"oh my god milk them for all they are worth. charge a whole lot" that just validates the fact that you are rude. It's getting a little old.

MinuteMuggle said...

If you don't like my posts, just skip them. Problem solved! Some of you are entirely too sensitive.

going rate said...

The going rate is $40-$50 per night. HOpe that helps.

Morgan'sMom said...

Yep. Sensitive enough to notice when somebody is hurting. Sensitive enough to offer to help. It's kind of hard to skip it when it's so obvious and so ubiquitous, but I'll do my best to ignore it. Hopefully the OPs will too, because you're not doing anybody any favors when you give snarky advice to people who are genuinely seeking help.

My sensitivity ain't going anywhere, so the offer stands.

MinuteMuggle said...

wow. morgan'smom you're ok, you really are. your child is very lucky. sorry i have been snarky and thank you for your concern but i'm really ok. i just have a very different sense of humor. but compared to so many people I know, I'm really not that crazy. :)

thanks again. you sound nice. :)

bippityboppityboo said...

I would say 250 or perhaps give them a range? I usually say I'm comforable with... (maybe between 200-250). Gives you a chance to get a bit more while be pleasant and undemanding but still getting what you want. Good luck. I would say around 250 since it is a hoiliday weekend.
Good luck.

DenverNanny said...

While it is nice thought to offer to do it for free, I think it would set a bad precedent: If you were an hourly employee, would you offer to work overtime for free? Momboss is expecting to have to pay, but what happens next time they need a house/pet sitter? OP would end up back here in the awkward situation of "now she expects me to do it again for free/lower rate"...
I think $150-$250 sounds fair, maybe depending on the SES of your employers?

Anonymouse said...

If (and only if!) this is not messing up your plans for the weekend, I wouldn't charge too much. $200-250 seems like an awful lot to me. It obviously depends on how much work the dog is, but I think I would charge more like $100 if I were in that position.
However, if these people have more money than they know what do do with, and aren't going to mind shelling out $200+, I guess you might as well charge them that. Especially if you need the money badly.

MissMannah said...

$200 seems like a lot to me. When I pet/house-sit, I charge $20 a day, but it usually includes such perks as food being provided for me and use of a computer and DVR. I've even sat for a family who let me use their car while they were gone. So I think $80 for the 4 days is more than fair. If you show the dogs a lot of love and call the family to check in at least once, you can probably expect a tip as well.

Holly said...

I make anywhere between $20-40/night for house/pet-sitting.

nyc mom said...

Call some kennels and dog walking services in your area. Get comparable rates and charge based on that. Here's a basic summary, which is not far off my personal experience (higher in NYC). I find rates vary a great deal by region of the country and, understandably, in home vs bare bones kennels. For some reference, for a large dog with personal in home daily care rates often run $50-75/day.

nyc mom said...

http://www.ehow.com/how_4586426_much-do-pay-pet-sitter.html

munson, dds said...

The simple formula for this is as follows:

Call a reputable kennel in your area of residence, preferably one your employers use or would use. Gather the data on their daily rate.

Take the number of 24 hour periods and multiply that times the daily rate. Keep in mind that at a kennel, 55 hours is 72. And 41 hours is 48. Ask about the holiday pay for the kennel. My kennel charges double the amount they normally do for any holiday.

Now, add on $25 dollars for each non holiday overnight you will need to do and $50 for each holiday night you will need to spend.

Cena said...

$200.00 seems like a lot? Do you have any idea what it costs to kennel a dog? If she's doing this Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun, thats $50 bucks a day. I walk dogs and get $20.00 per walk for a 1/2 hour. Granted I am in the NYC area but still.

censorthis said...

Thought you didnt censor anything here, MPP and Jane? Funny how half of the comments here are deleted now all to protect a certain blogger!!

Morgan'sMom said...

Wow, seriously? Why?

please said...

censorthis and morgan'smom:

I really think you should just move on if you can. The blog administrators are protecting the safety of others. Would you want to protect someone and their child if you could? From harm? From physical harm? I would. You seem to like this blog as you are here, so trust the administrators. Please stop.

NannyJ said...

House/pet sitting is just so simple, I feel like $200 is a lot too.... but I am trying to remember what I have made. One week my employers (and my grandparents at the same time!) went out of town. My grandparents gave me $100 to watch their cats for about 5 days (I didn't have to spend the night there). My employers were only out of town for 2 days and a night (I only had to walk the dogs once and was mostly there to keep the dogs company. Plus I got to eat their food and watch their cable), and they decided just to give me an extra days pay, which I was fine with.
The next week one of my professors went out of town and they paid me $40 a day for 5 days. House sitting for my prof was a lot more stressful for me, because I wasn't familiar with the house and wasn't as comfortable there. She also had 2 dogs (one VERY old) and 3 cats that I also wasn't familiar with. I found myself wanting that week to be over very quickly, and wishing I was being paid more, just because I was so uncomfortable! But working for my employers whose home I spend much of my time in, and whose dogs I know very well was kind of like being at home!

So assuming you feel similarly in your employers' house, I wouldn't ask for too much. I think $200 sounds a bit steep (unless they are fabulously wealthy). Maybe charge 2 or 3 hours of what you would get paid watching the kids...it probably wont be too much work! (Between $115 and $170 for the weekend?) I think your employers would appreciate it if you don't gauge them!

gym rat said...

Looks to me like one of the blogs rules was broken anyway. We are not supposed to "assume" we know who a certain poster is. That has nothing to do with censorship, especially since none of those posts had anything to say about the topic at hand.

nanny to many said...

My bosses usually use a kennel, but last time they went away for a weekend I offered to pet sit in exchange for two paid days off. They actually ended up giving me a $50.00 tip as well.

A nanny who cares said...

I am a nanny and professional pet/house sitter. I am bonded and insured, and have been doing this for about 3 years now. I charge $60/day which includes overnight as well. I think it's unreasonable for a nanny to think she should be paid as much as a professional pet sitter since they have usually incurred the cost of training and licensing.

I think $40-45/day is reasonable, assuming they are paying you your normal salary when they are gone. Which they should be doing.

My employers are going out of town for two weeks and I offered to watch their cat for free. Granted I am only going over there a few times a week to check on her. I feel my employer treats me better and values me more when I do things like this for her. Plus, Christmas time is coming up, and not only am I hoping for a bonus, but also quite a bit of paid time off. Hope your employer gives the same to you. But, I am sure they will remember how much you charge them.

Morgan's Mom said...

Of course. Absolutely no harm was intended. Sincere apolgies.

GimmeCandy! said...

I agree with others who have said that charging 50.00 day is reasonable and fair. Although the paid time off trade is also a good idea.
Now, onto the other matter discussed here...
Any fool who's been around this blog a while could figure out who MM is. If she/he really wanted to hide their identity, they might've attempted to pick something not of the Harry Potter world when coming up with a new nickname! And no one is protecting anyone here. As if someone posting on this blog under a fake tag is going to put their child in danger...PUH..LEEZE!
Internet drama is so ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

OP here, thanks for all the tips. I've decided to go with a flat $20/day because of all the perks and how easy the job will be. It's a little more fair than charging an hourly rate based on work done plus mileage (about $75 in all, what a sitter would get for only one trip a day), yet still cheaper than a kennel ($200) or what a pet sitter would charge for what I have to do (two trips/day plus overnight fees ~ $250).