I have a lot of prospective clients that will call to price shop and ask me what my rates are for overnight care. I tell them that the rate is $70 per night (as of June 2017) and explain that this includes about 12 hours of overnight care for the pet(s). We do not charge extra per pet fees or for medications or for walks or even to take care of your home in your absence as some other companies do. Too often I hear that this rate is very expensive and they want to check other places. I have even heard that I should want to stay at someone’s home for no charge because it was such a beautiful home!
What people do not understand is that staying at your wonderful home with your pets is my full-time job so I take it very seriously. Many hobby sitters can charge much less for overnight care because they are just that- hobby sitters. I have heard too many horror stories about the kid down the street or the friend of a friend forgetting to give the dogs meds or just not spending the night at the home like the owner was expecting, and to the “sitter” it is not a big deal because they are just doing it to get some extra cash. My company is bonded and insured and I even have a background in veterinary medicine and animal behavior. I also do background checks on any sitters I have working for me and make sure that they have experience in the industry before I will even interview them.
At $70 for 12 hours of care that equals out to $5.83 per hour. This is a little more than half of what minimum wage is in Phoenix currently. To meet minimum wage the rate would need to be $120 for a 12 hour night. But we sleep the whole time so you don’t need to be paid to sleep! Wrong! According to the IRS if a person is on call they still need to be paid even if they are sleeping or going about their regular day. As a pet sitter, I am on call for your pets as well as your home. If your dog needs to get up in the middle of the night, I must wake up to take him out, and sometimes its multiple times a night if he is stressed out from the change of his parents being away. If I hear the cat about to have a hair ball on the comforter you better believe I shoot out of bed to get that cleaned up! I’m also there for the care of your home- if the alarm goes off, a pipe bursts, or a smoke alarm battery starts chirping as it is dying I am there to be able to take care of it and comfort the pets. And yes, those things have happened to me at overnights.
So, while $70 a night may seem expensive I would like you to think about the exceptional service that you are getting for that rate that you will not get from a hobby sitter or the teenager down the street who view caring for your pets as a means to earn spending cash and typically work another job or have other responsibilities that may take precedence over the care of your pet. As a professional pet sitting company this is what we do for a living. It is a full time job.