How do I explain to Pet owners that pet/house sitting doesn't mean I stay with the pet 24 hours a day?

asked 2021-07-01 14:06:11 -0500

Has anyone else noticed after Covid-19 that Pet owners expect a house sitter to be at their house 24 hours a day? Covid-19 has changed how much time people spend with their pets. Do I need to raise my rates? I have to make Bay Area cost of living during the day. The rate I charge is for 2 meals, 1 walk, 1 potty break and night companionship. It is already a great deal. I have tried several ways of having this conversation but those pet owners go somewhere else.

Hey folks it is $3 hr if I stay at the house and don't take on other clients. Dog Walking alone is at least $15 for 30 minutes!

How do I communicate this to them that convinces them to respect us and pay us for the time they want us to spend?

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I let my clients know upon meet and greet what my schedule or day looks like. I am in their home from 6p-8a with 1 midday dropin if needed. I have many other clients during the day and cannot stay for 24hrs. Once I mention that it is pretty easy to determine whether I am a good fit.

Angela T.'s profile image Angela T.  ( 2021-08-04 17:00:21 -0500 ) edit

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answered 2021-07-02 11:24:44 -0500

When it comes to boarding and house sitting, you can't look at the implied hourly rate--compared to walking--because it is way too depressing. ;-)

One idea is to explain to clients that having a house sitter (or boarding their dog at a Rover sitter's home) is supposed to replicate their own care. Owners go out, and run errands, often leaving their pet home alone for very long periods of time. You, however, guarantee that a pet under your care would not be left alone for, say, 4 hours or more. In the evening, you will be at their home from 6 pm to 8 am, providing the necessary overnight coverage and protection for their home. Anymore than that, then you would have to tack on a fee to represent a surcharge for exclusivity.

I would explain that the only way to have 24/7 supervision is at a kennel. But those kinds of facilities have shifts of employees who work no more than 8 hours/day. Asking someone to work 24/7 is unrealistic.

House sitting should always be considered a "premium"-type service because it requires you to uproot yourself and move into someone else's home. Moreover, they look to you as an added layer of protection for their home while they are away.

Look at what other house sitters charge in your area. I would think it should be higher.

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answered 2021-07-01 16:52:05 -0500

Even prior to this pandemic, there were pets who needed (and/or pet parents who wanted their pet to have) 24 x 7 care. It's best to discuss each pets' needs candidly at, or before, the meet & greet. If a pet has medical issues or severe separation anxiety that will escalate in absence of human contact, it's in the best interest of all concerned to understand if it will be a good match.

At $3/hr x 24 (including sleeping hours just for easy math) = $72. so perhaps your $65 rate already reflects that you've decided to promote this? Or maybe you are still considering increase?

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answered 2021-07-01 14:43:15 -0500

Good Question, I would be curious on how others answer. I don't specifically point it out to them but I do broach the topic. During the meet and Greet I will ask the owner if the dog has free range of the house when they are not there or are they locked up in a certain area? I then follow up with how long can their dog be left alone? I tell them that I am there majority of the day and always at night but I do have drop in Visits throughout the day so this gives me a good idea on how to plan my schedule or make sure that their dog would fit into my schedule? As long as you bring it up during the Meet and Greet you can not go wrong. You both are on the same page, The owners knows what to expect and you know what is expected of you! Best of Luck!

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