Budgeting in the Professional Pet Sitter
The following is a guest post from Crystal Stemberger, who I met at the 2016 Petsittingology Conference. She’s been blogging about personal finance at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff since she started it in early 2010. She started Crystal’s Cozy Care Pet Sitting in early 2014.
When someone finds out that I’m a professional pet sitter, I usually get two questions.
“Can you make a living from that?” Yes. We actually have multiple income streams but we do bring in $30,000+ a year from pet sitting and we haven’t taken on a full load of clients yet.
“Why do people hire professional pet sitters? Wouldn’t they rather use family, friends, or neighbors?” Sometimes, but their family, friends, or neighbors may not be available, willing, or able to help. That’s where we come in.
The Benefits to Hiring a Professional
I don’t really have to sell myself too hard to get clients. Usually they already have their own reasons to search out professional help. Here are the most popular reasons for budgeting in professional pet sitters:
- We are insured and bonded. That gives pet owners a peace of mind if/when they think about the bad stuff that can happen when someone else is caring for your pets.
- We have set services. If you ask a friend to watch Fluffy, they may or may not spend as much time with him as you’d wish, may or may not feed him on the schedule he’s used to, and they may or may not take the time to walk him or play with him the way you do. Professional pet sitters offer set services right up front, so you know exactly what Fluffy will receive.
- Pet sitters that come to you mean that your pet can stay in his/her own environment while you’re away. If your pet goes to the pet sitter, they will start seeing that as another safe spot with fun stuff to do.
- Professional pet sitters will have the experience that some friends and family lack.
- You receive regular updates for extra peace of mind during your time away.
Can Your Budget Take It?
Most professional pet sitters seem to charge between $15-$30 per visit, $50-$100 per overnight, and/or $20-$50 per night per dog or cat that stays at the pet sitter’s home. Those prices vary by geographical regions, hence the large spans. You can do a quick search of your area and browse the rates on several pet sitters’ sites to get a general idea.
So if you have one animal, professional pet sitters may cost more than a kennel. But if you have 2+ pets, we usually end up being around the same price or even cheaper. And your animals get more one on one care!
Professional Pet Sitters for the Win
In the end, when you need to hire help for your pets, an insured, professional pet sitter is a great way to go. Call their references, read reviews, and choose the person who seems to be the right fit for you and your animals. You’ll know at the initial meeting if you’ve found the right person for your crew.
Author: Crystal Stemberger
Crystal is a financial blogger on her website BudgetingInTheFunStuff.com and owns Crystal’s Cozy Care Pet Sitting in Spring, Texas.