Are walks included in the price of an overnight stay?

asked 2016-07-30 20:05:43 -0500

Recently I had a meet and greet with a potential client. During the first message I received from them prior to the meet, it showed the price of a 5 night stay for 2 dogs at $200. This would be accurate if it's just an overnight stay. However; I charge $17 a dog ($4 additional dog= total of $21) for a 30 minute walk and that was not included in the $200 price. Since the $200 showed up for them, the client assumed that $200 is the total price. The client requested two 30 minute walking sessions a day.

Does Rover not calculate for additional walks or services during a multiple night stay?? How does that work?

Since Rover listed the total stay at $200, I was obligated to only charge them the $200 because I didn't want to raise the price up on them and I would have felt bad if I did. Keeping it at the $200 I was able to keep the client, however I lost additional fees I was set up to charge.

Please help.

Thanks in advance! Rover Sitter/walker

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answered 2016-07-30 21:34:14 -0500

Whether you board dogs in your home or sit for them at the client, the "nightly" charge is for a 24-hour period of care, which would include walking, feeding, playing, etc.


Of course, you have the flexibility to charge however you want so long as the customer understands and you've sent a revised invoice. When a customer requests x number of nights per dog, Rover's system assumes you are providing the full level of care described in the FAQ linked above. When a dog stays at my home, all walks are included in my daily charge.

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Thank you very much for answering! I just didn't know why it was charging it that way. Totally makes sense now that everything is included. Thanks again!

Adrian R.'s profile image Adrian R.  ( 2016-08-02 02:11:11 -0500 ) edit

I was going to suggest you increase your rate to reflect the walks, but I think you have now done so. From the questions/comments posted here, there are some sitters who choose to charge on an a la carte basis for every service provided. My rates are all-inclusive (feeding, walking, giving meds...)

Karen R.'s profile image Karen R.  ( 2016-08-02 10:48:18 -0500 ) edit

Can someone tell me the going rate for a sitter in San Diego for 24/7 care in my home? I'm having trouble understanding how the price could only be $35

Tammy L.'s profile image Tammy L.  ( 2021-07-28 18:52:59 -0500 ) edit
answered 2016-07-31 14:01:08 -0500

I agree with Karen. Walks are included in all of my rates and services except for drop in visits. Since you are charging for a 24-hour period, an additional charge for a walk would be double-billing in my opinion.

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Thanks for the feed back. That makes sense.

Adrian R.'s profile image Adrian R.  ( 2016-08-02 02:13:18 -0500 ) edit
answered 2016-08-06 09:53:01 -0500

An overnight stay includes a place to sleep, food, water, human interaction AND exercise. I don't usually hand-walk my boarders, but that is because I have a huge yard where they run around all day, so they get plenty of exercise. If a dog needs additional energy burned off before bed, then I will take them for a good long run.

Always include walks/daily exercise as part of your boarding service. If you do not feel you are being well paid for your time per dog, then raise your nightly fee.

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answered 2016-08-01 14:35:18 -0500

I agree with both Cari and Karen. Rover includes all of the dog's care in the nightly stay price. Since most sitters do not charge additional fees for walks during boarding or house-sitting, it could drive new clients away. At the meet and greet, I always lay out what my typical boarding schedule looks like. This includes a morning and evening walk, plus a midday and bed time potty break. If a client wants adjustments to this, such as a senior or puppy that need more frequent outings, I make note of it.

If you do decide to charge additional fees for walks, I would consider lowering your nightly price. If I was paying $200 for 4 nights for my two pups, I would expect that my sitter would walk my dog according to their usual schedule. I would only consider paying for walks if a sitter were on the lower end of pricing.

Of course, as Karen said, your fees are totally up to you! I would just suggest making it clear in your profile and in the messages leading up to the meet and greet, that walks would incur an additional charge. This way, a client doesn't feel blindsided at a M&G (or when booking) by new prices.

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I agree with what you said. I would never steer my clients in the wrong direction or blindside them. I just needed to know how this charging thing works. Thanks and I appreciate your response!

Adrian R.'s profile image Adrian R.  ( 2016-08-02 02:17:17 -0500 ) edit
answered 2016-08-03 12:11:32 -0500

I consider what the Rover cost shows as my "base" rate and let them know in the initial messaging that the cost could go up or down based on the meet and greet after I have a deeper understanding of the pet's needs. At the meet & greet, I talk to the owners in depth about their dogs needs, preferences and schedules, and then I come up with a rate I feel is acceptable for both the amount of work required to take care of their dogs and for the amount of total time they expect me to spend with them. I won't accept a booking that means I earn less than $10 an hour for my work.

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Could you explain further. I see you don't offer home boarding, but you do house sit for $26. For that price, what does the customer get in terms of pet services and how long do you stay in the home?

Karen R.'s profile image Karen R.  ( 2016-08-03 14:59:01 -0500 ) edit

I set my price at $26 for the overnight because that is the same price I charge for 2 drop-in visits ($13 each) - and I always do a 3rd free of charge when I do the drop-ins. So, regardless of "how" they book, I offer basically the same services. But I will make exceptions for the right pet & owner.

Brandi M.'s profile image Brandi M.  ( 2016-08-03 16:13:03 -0500 ) edit

But I discuss this very clearly with what I have to offer and make sure everyone is expecting the same thing. I take "24 hours of care" to mean "the care needed for 24 hours" not "I promise to be there for 24 hours straight". So far, whenever sleep-overs were expected, they asked for that explicitly

Brandi M.'s profile image Brandi M.  ( 2016-08-03 16:17:17 -0500 ) edit

Pet sitting is, however, something I do for the joy of it - it's not my primary job. I would rather just not accept a booking if we both didn't feel we were being treated fairly and with respect. My goal is to create long-term pet sitting relationships where we both feel we got a good deal.

Brandi M.'s profile image Brandi M.  ( 2016-08-03 16:24:39 -0500 ) edit

I don't do it for my primary job, either, so when I see a big, bouncy German Pointer coming through my door, I know he's going to be a lot more work than the little poodle who prefers to sleep all day. I charge a higher price for large dogs, as they take a lot more time and energy.

Jessica M.'s profile image Jessica M.  ( 2016-08-06 09:57:09 -0500 ) edit

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