Does anyone charge extra for elderly dogs?

asked 2016-07-28 14:41:39 -0600

I just finished a 10 day pet sitting gig for a 12 year old, deaf rescue dog, who is essentially not potty trained, just as many puppies aren't. She also required tons of meds and medicated baths and for me to carry her up the two different flights of stairs in the house, multiple times every day. In all, this dog required more care and work than any other dog I've watched, including puppies, so I might consider charging an elderly dog rate / charging my puppy rate for dogs over a certain age.

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answered 2016-07-28 16:32:18 -0600

I don't charge anything extra for elderly dogs, as many of them don't require additional care. But, if you do a meet and greet with a dog that seems it will require more intensive work, you can always adjust the cost. Then, you can explain to the owner that based on the dog's needs you've adjusted the cost.

If you do decide to charge more for senior pets, just make sure that it's written on your profile, so it doesn't catch them off guard.

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I would do the same. Not all seniors are as high maintenance as that one, so you could decide on a general "special care" charge in the event that a client comes in who will need that much time and effort.

Jessica M.'s profile image Jessica M.  ( 2016-08-06 10:40:56 -0600 ) edit
answered 2016-07-28 21:06:13 -0600

I would only charge extra if the dog clearly required more care. I am currently caring for a 12 year old husky who is maybe the easiest dog I have cared for - she is happy go lucky, bounds up and down the steps when excited, and is more than happy to go for mile long walks. I think her owner would be confused as to why she would be charged an extra rate just for her dog's age, even though her dog is completely unaffected by her age.

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answered 2016-07-28 16:35:16 -0600

I've cared for many senior dogs, some who were recently adults and others who were older. Some of the older dogs, even with sight and hearing issues and more oral meds., were easier to care for than other adult dogs. And then there have been a few with issues like you experienced. I wouldn't be inclined to charge more for a senior dog based on health needs, but I would consider that in determining my availability and not agreeing to book too far in advance.

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answered 2016-08-01 19:56:40 -0600

I have recently had a couple of very elderly dogs that needed a fair amount more of my time in either supervision do to arthritis, blindness, incontinence, or anxiety. I LOVE OLD DOGS and I want to be sure they have a place where they are loved and not kenneled. That said, I completely understand where you are coming from. I have one client whose pup comes with a massive pill box and requires medication every 2-3 hrs. However, they also give massive tips because they know how much work it is to take care of old pups and appreciate the break from it too. I have another that pees constantly everywhere he goes and doesn't even realize it. I do require that client to bring an large amount of disposable belly bands.

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answered 2016-07-29 12:20:40 -0600

As an owner of a senior dog, I understand where you're coming from. My dog requires medication 3 times a day, more frequent potty breaks and occasionally help getting around. However what he doesn't need is long walks or tons of mental stimulation to keep him out of trouble. He can't jump onto counters to get to food, and will typically find the most comfortable spot in the house and fall asleep for hours at a time.

I don't know if a blanket rate for all senior dogs is the best option - especially because 12 for a big dog is much older than 12 for a small dog, but agree with Deb that if during the M&G a dog obviously requires excessive additional care, you're within your rights as a sitter to charge extra. Perhaps put something in your profile about dogs requiring more than basic care will incur an additional $X fee per day. You can also charge your bathing fee for any baths you have to give!

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