Does Anyone Charge for Time Spent in Appointments?

asked 2017-03-30 20:26:07 -0500

My basic question is if anyone charges (and how much), for vet visits, etc, so I'm updating this question because the answers I'm getting are not answering that and are focused on communication and what house keeping entails. I mainly house sit and consider normal care 24 hours, walks, feeding, etc.

This is not the issue. As for communication, that is also not the issue. I have tried. So, I am simply trying to figure out if anyone charges transport fees, appointment fees, etc. Most of us charge extra for puppies because it really is extra work. Anything else?

I just started a Stay in which the dog was injured a week prior to the Stay. The owner had taken the pup to the vet, surgery was preformed and the dog received sutures. Two days before the Stay began, the owner informed me that the dog would need her sutures out during the Stay and that I would need to her to an open vet clinic where I would have to wait up to a couple of hours (no scheduled appointments). I have walks during the day as well, so this means rescheduling other clients with very short notice.

Whether or not I actually get paid for these extra appointments (yes, it's plural), I will have to see but my question is simply, does anyone have a fee associated?

Our appointment last night was a few hours. It was an out of the blue appointment with no notice. If I had a fee in place, I could have mentioned it.
I have a feeling that she will have more of these appointments and she is not very reasonable.

I heard her yelling on the phone at the vet techs because she didn't want to hear what the doctor's orders were, she wanted the doctor, herself. Doc was in surgery on a critical case. Owner said she didn't care, have her come out for a minute and pick up the phone (from surgery on another dog's life).

The entire waiting room could hear her yelling. Her pup was fine and hadn't needed the vet visit. Great energy, great appetite. Just slightly loose stools from the antibiotics she has been on.
She made me go to the trauma center. Two dogs had died, one was critical and another had an emergency c-section.
So, again, my question is, if you knew you were going to have unscheduled appointments lasting several hours, do you have a fee? I know I certainly would have added a bit to the overall House Sitting costs.

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Update: It's after 9p and we're still waiting to be seen in the waiting room. 1+ hour so far

Moureene T.'s profile imageMoureene T. ( 2017-03-30 22:10:25 -0500 )edit

Finally leaving at 10:38p. Now the drive to the Stay. :/

Moureene T.'s profile imageMoureene T. ( 2017-03-30 23:44:58 -0500 )edit

4 Answers

answered 2017-04-03 17:49:07 -0500

I may be missing some information since posts have been edited but here are my two cents...

It sounds like this client is unreasonable, so I'm not sure if any advice you receive will be helpful for this particular visit, but I think that going forward it would be okay to charge extra for this kind of thing. Much like stays where the owner wants you with the dog 24/7 (no leaving for other walks or services) sitting in a vet office for hours is a hindrance to your business.

I think if an owner ever asked me to do something above and beyond (which I think multiple vet visits lasting hours qualifies as) I would tell them I do have to increase the charge for that time spent. You are essentially stuck and if you had to reschedule or cancel on other clients, that is hurting you. Hopefully this kind of situation isn't frequent, but going forward I think it's fair to tell the owner that you will charge by the hour.

This is your business and you can run it how you want, charge what you feel comfortable with!

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Thanks, Carly. I was just curious if anyone had anything in place and what it was, ballpark-wise. I do tons of house sitting but this has been beyond the pale. In the end, after 3 hours in the vet, she told them that she wasn't going to pay. I was afraid they were going to ask me to pay her bill.

Moureene T.'s profile imageMoureene T. ( 2017-04-03 17:58:39 -0500 )edit

In the end, the vet clinic wss very sympathetic. They told me that I should consider not sitting for her ever again and that she had been banned from their clinic for the way she treated the staff and refusal to pay.

Moureene T.'s profile imageMoureene T. ( 2017-04-03 18:00:11 -0500 )edit

YIKES! I would think $10-15/hr for something like this is reasonable. I am happy to do small favors for my clients (drop off at the groomer, etc.) but I would want to be compensated for anything PLANNED that went beyond that. I would not charge hourly for an emergency.

Carly H.'s profile imageCarly H. ( 2017-04-03 18:12:22 -0500 )edit

Agreed. I have no problem with the odd errand. But we were at the clinic (the first time), from 7p until 10:20p. And then one smack in the middle of the day. I had to shuffle everyone and she has never said, 'thank you'.

Moureene T.'s profile imageMoureene T. ( 2017-04-03 18:17:54 -0500 )edit
answered 2017-03-31 08:58:19 -0500

Huh. Personally I feel like housesitting includes all care for the pet- vet visits included. I do feel like it would be appropriate to ask for compensation for the mileage, but I think I would discuss that with the client before getting Rover support involved. If I was a pet parent and my baby was in and out of the hospital and I suddenly got an email from Rover without my sitter mentioning anything to me I would feel like our communication wasn't very good.

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I agree. Just like puppy care is caring for all of its needs but we charge extra because its usually more work than standard dog care. I was simply asking if a Stay were beyond the norm if you had fees in place. I've had tons of Stays and this one is the 'puppy care' of Stays

Moureene T.'s profile imageMoureene T. ( 2017-03-31 12:07:35 -0500 )edit

Rover support did not send a nasty email. I tried speaking with owner and then reached out to Support for suggestions since these last minute texts were begining to make me have to reschedule walks. Rover has access to our communication and based on what they read sent a checking in email.

Moureene T.'s profile imageMoureene T. ( 2017-03-31 12:10:37 -0500 )edit
answered 2017-04-07 14:31:28 -0500

My house sitting fee covers 24 hour care, so I would not charge extra for trips to the vet as you described. I charge $5 for pickup or dropoff service, so you might want to ask for something like that.

I would definitely NOT sit for this client again. The fact that the clinic has banned her speaks volumes. There is no reason to be that rude to other people. Be careful,next time you might be the target.

Your situation, with the owner telling you ahead of time about the vet visits, is something I would have discussed with the owner prior to accepting the stay. Now that you have started the stay, it would not be fair or professional to add fees to the stay. Seeing how this owner reacted to the clinic, I'd bet dollars to donuts she wouldn't pay extra.

In the future, if you know something like vet visits will happen during your stay, discuss it with the owner prior to booking the stay. It also depends on your definition of house sitting. Mine is basically I'm in the client's home 24/7 with trips away from home as needed. Make it clear to the owner what hours you plan on being in the owner's home and whether you will charge for service outside those hours. Again, this should all be agreed upon prior to the booking being finalized.

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Agreed. The one appointment for suture removal was the only one that I was made aware of and didn't charge because it was a one-time reasonable part of the stay. Once the Stay began, the owner started demanding additional things and visits that cut into my walks.

Moureene T.'s profile imageMoureene T. ( 2017-04-07 14:35:11 -0500 )edit

She has returned and was angry that I did not wait around until she got home. Her flight was due at 11a and she gave me no idea when she would be home. I left at 11:20a because I had walks. She texted me after 7p and was angry that I had not waited around. So glad it's over

Moureene T.'s profile imageMoureene T. ( 2017-04-07 14:37:13 -0500 )edit
answered 2017-03-31 06:32:02 -0500

Sorry to hear of the issues you are dealing with. I'm not sure you can charge an additional fee for the services performed unless your client offers to pay you more.

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Fyi you can ALWAYS add fees after speaking with owner ;) For Example: late fees, pickup/drop-off, extra day needed, bath, extra animals etc Think if the owner needed to add two more walks on same day, you just hit modify and add cost; you wouldn't just drive back to house and walk the dog for free..

Serina R.'s profile imageSerina R. ( 2017-06-30 00:32:36 -0500 )edit

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