The title asks for itself. Google gives a good number of resources (https://pawsathomecare.com/blog/pet-sitter-rates/) but I have never done this, and I haven't found articles for hobby dog sitters who also have a 9-5 full-time job. The dog owners will be on vacation, so they will let me stay at their house, which is probably what I will do to avoid driving back and forth between work, home, and the dog's house (pretty much a triangle). Typical 1 midday walk, 2 feeding/potty duties per day. Based on the cited article, I'm thinking of charging $80/day, but given that this is my first time, I feel like it's high and not comfortable offering such a rate, but I also don't want to waste my time by lowballing. It's likely to be paid in cash, i.e. no tax?

Maybe this is more suitable for Pets SE(?), but it's money related so I guess I'll ask here.

  • 10
    "It's likely to be paid in cash, i.e. no tax?" - meaning no tax is withheld. You still have to declare it as income if you are required to file taxes.
    – D Stanley
    Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 18:03
  • @DStanley Oh right. Silly me, I almost forget that non-W-2 jobs are also taxable incomes.
    – Lacie
    Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 19:18
  • Whether it's a hobby or you main jub shouldn't affect your rates. You may , however, want to offer a lower rate to friends. My nominal rate as a hobbyist locksmith has been a theoretical $40/hour, derated by the fact that I'm not as fast as a full-time pro would be, and then written off entirely (except for nontrivial supplies) if I'm doing the work work as a favor for a friend. I should probably raise that nominal rate to allow for increases in what others charge over the years.
    – keshlam
    Commented Apr 29, 2023 at 3:51
  • Edited title to focus on how to pick a price rather than asking us to suggest prices. The former is in scope (though it's likely a duplicate); the latter isn't and would be closed.
    – keshlam
    Commented Apr 30, 2023 at 2:50

1 Answer 1


Some advice about setting a price
Don't lower your price because of your inexperience. Eventually you will have more experience and your customers will balk at paying a higher price for the same service after you have set an expectation for what it should cost. If you feel you must discount because of inexperience quote the real price and offer a limited time discount or coupon, but make it clear that the discounted price is a special deal.

Beyond covering your costs, you should price it based on what the market will bear. Research your competitors and set your price based on what people seem willing to pay in the market, not based on what you THINK it is worth.

Start higher than you think you can get and lower your prices until you hit a sweet spot where you capture enough customers to meet your capacity, but not so low that you have more than you can handle. It may even help you land business to show you are cutting prices. Everyone loves a deal. Raising prices later is a much tougher thing for customers to stomach.

If you find you have too much work. RAISE YOUR PRICES. You will lose some customers, but that is the point. Having not too many and not too few.

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