Setting a price/compensation?

asked 2016-06-23 06:31:12 -0500

I need some advice on pricing/compensation. I don't take dogs that are not spayed/neutered. I offer free bathing and free medication administration. I also am at their home 24/7. But I have a situation that I need recommendations for.

I have a potential client that has 4 dogs: She shows Newfoundland's and has 3 of them. She also has a older Shiba Inu. They all eat a raw diet, which I'd have to wear gloves to prepare. When one of them is in heat I need to separate upstairs while the others are downstairs. As they are show dogs they are encouraged to be playful and often jump on me. If they go out and roll in dirt I have to wash them in her professional at-home grooming salon. They have life jackets to wear in their pool and with such big Newfies the drying would be extensive. They all take supplements and some meds and potentially subcu shots

After our M&G, I saw how much work is involved and wondering if my pricing is fair or too low/high for that situation: I charge $40 for the 1st dog and $10 for each additional dog and that rate is inclusive. Help!!! I need suggestions!.

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Will you be staying overnight in their home also? So the price would be 80.00 a day?

Rama G.'s profile image Rama G.  ( 2016-06-23 06:54:03 -0500 ) edit

Hi. Yes, i'll be staying overnight at their home. $70 a day when all the 4 dogs are there, yes.

Angela G.'s profile image Angela G.  ( 2016-06-23 07:22:20 -0500 ) edit

I agree with everything Shane says.

Mary C.'s profile image Mary C.  ( 2016-06-23 10:19:05 -0500 ) edit

3 Answers

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answered 2016-06-23 08:53:53 -0500

I think $70/night is a very reasonable price per night. It looks like your house-sitting prices are just above average for your area, and I think this is justified as you are able to provide 24/7 in-home care. As for the extras:

-Raw diet: more and more owners are switching to entirely raw or raw supplemented diets. Raw diets do take quite a bit of time to prepare (and for four large dogs, even more so). I think it would be a tough sell on up-charging for this, since it is part of their normal feeding routine. For other clients, you could put on your profile that you charge an additional fee per booking for raw food prep.

-Bathing: This is where I think you deserve more compensation for the extra work. Newfoundlands are a TON of work to groom (so, so much hair). I would suggest telling the client that your "free bath" really only applies to one bath per dog. And that since they'll require additional bathing, you will need to add that to the booking. This fee can be adjusted based on how many times the client is expecting the dogs will need to be bathed.

Since these are show dogs, the client will most likely be understanding of your prices and be willing to pay for the quality care your reviews suggest that you provide.

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Can I ask what a raw diet is for dogs?

Rama G.'s profile image Rama G.  ( 2016-06-23 09:39:29 -0500 ) edit

I had no idea either. At the M&G, the owner uses pre-packaged, but it's just natural raw (like other animal parts - cow, etc.)

Angela G.'s profile image Angela G.  ( 2016-06-23 09:48:04 -0500 ) edit

So our dogs eat a "raw supplemented" diet. So we give them about half of the kibble they used to get. Plus we add in raw chunks of chicken breast, salmon, steak, turkey, etc to add the rest of their calories.

Shane W.'s profile image Shane W.  ( 2016-06-23 13:17:18 -0500 ) edit

There isn't a single answer regarding raw diets. Just giving a dog hunks of raw protein isn't advisable as they don't get all the nutrients they need. My dog eats a prepared raw food that comes in frozen nuggets. I just count out the number per meal (based on his weight and activity level) ...

Karen R.'s profile image Karen R.  ( 2016-06-23 16:32:31 -0500 ) edit

and let them thaw out. Really very easy. The prepared raw food has meat, organ meat, bone as well as fruits and veg, plus supplements. The frozen or dehydrated raw foods don't require any special prep or charge, but those baths sure should! My groomer charges $25-$30 to give my small dog a bath.

Karen R.'s profile image Karen R.  ( 2016-06-23 16:36:07 -0500 ) edit

As long as you are feeding the correct protein sources, dogs CAN get the nutrients they need from unprepared raw sources. If your dog is eating a raw diet based on a variety of different meaty bones, there is no real need to supplement.

Shane W.'s profile image Shane W.  ( 2016-06-24 13:27:13 -0500 ) edit
answered 2016-06-23 10:48:45 -0500

I think your rate is super low. 4 dogs for $70 and you are taking care of her home as well? You have to bath them, prepare all 4 dog food, meds, supplements, What? That is a lot of work for that amount of money. Usually travel sitters charge more because they are not only taking care of the dogs they are also taking care of the house so people will know someone is there and it's not an empty house. We are also talking about 4 very large dogs that are precious to her. $70 is way too low unless that is the norm in your area.

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answered 2016-06-25 09:18:34 -0500

They're "show dogs" and they jump on you??!!! The fact that they jump on you shows they have not been properly disciplined. These dogs are going to be a LOT to handle.

From your description it sounds like you are going to end up washing 3 big dogs every day. Call boarding places nearby and find out what they'd charge if she had to pay them to wash her dogs every day while she boarded them. I'd be surprised if $70/day would even cover boarding for 2 (let alone 4) dogs WITHOUT the bathing.

This woman is getting bargain basement pricing from you... and she knows it. She is taking advantage of you. Offering free bathing during a stay does not mean every time a dog gets dirty. You'd be well within your rights to point out that the "free bathing" service you offer is not meant to be every day. If she can afford a professional grooming salon in her house she can afford to pay you properly. I'm guessing the bathing is to keep the dirt from ruining her fancy house.

I'd suggest changing your Profile to not offer anything for free. It's always easier to tell people later that you WON'T charge them for something if it seems like it's not a big deal.

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I agree on letting people know afterwards that certain things you did/do extra were complimentary. Makes you look good!

Serina R.'s profile image Serina R.  ( 2016-08-12 14:03:17 -0500 ) edit

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