[2022] Overnight Pet sitting rates


We both have many years of experience in the professional pet sitting industry.

That’s why we wrote this post to help you determine your pet sitting rates whether you are a pet sitter or if you are the one hiring a pet sitter.

First, we’ll go over what a pet sitter actually does, the services they offer and what pet sitting rates you can expect to pay. Typically, pet sitters set their own rates, so this post will help you understand what to expect.


Pet sitters who own their own business
Pet sitters through Wag and Rover
Do pet sitters stay overnight?
Services pet sitters offer
What to pay a pet sitter 
Pet taxi service rates
How to determine your pet sitting rates
Tips for choosing a pet sitter
How much to pay a friend to pet sit
Do I tip a pet sitter?

Different types of pet sitters

Professional pet sitters

Pet sitters who own their own business typically make pet sitting their career and tend to be the most reputable kind of pet sitter.

They offer a variety of services, and they set their own rates for services like:

Pet sitting in their own homes
Pet sitting in their clients’ homes, including overnight stays
Dog walking
Pet taxi services
House sitting
Errand services

They also go through the administrative trouble of: 

Registering their business
Carrying professional pet sitting liability insurance 
Having a system in place for invoicing their clients and collecting payments
Running marketing campaigns
Having a business website
Paying taxes
Hiring staff

When a professional pet sitter decides to bring on staff, they could either be part time help or full time pet sitters. They typically undergo a background check as part of the hiring process.

After all, they’ll have access to clients’ beloved pets, homes, keys and alarm systems and need to be trustworthy and true animal lovers.

For more info, see: how to start a pet sitting business

Pet sitters through Wag and Rover

A less challenging option of working as a pet sitter is to start a business under a larger company such as Rover or Wag.

These pet sitting platforms make it very easy to create a free pet sitting profile that can be set up in a few minutes, enabling pet sitters to potentially start taking clients that very week. 

They set their own schedule and pet sitting rates, and specify whether they’ll watch dogs in their own home or at the client’s home.

However, it can be tough setting yourself apart from the crowd as these pet sitting platforms become more and more popular, and clients have hundreds of pet sitters to choose from.

What’s good to know for peace of mind is that pet sitters through Wag and Rover are covered through professional pet sitting liability insurance, just like pet sitters who own their own business. 

Barbara has been working in the professional pet sitting industry since 2012 and has owned her own pet sitting/dog walking business since 2015, so her expectations were extremely high when she hired a dog walker through Rover.com. 

Although she had her doubts about finding a truly capable pet sitter on Rover, Barbara was positively surprised and very happy with the woman who ended up taking care of her dog.

She was in her mid 20s and in between jobs, a true animal lover and 100% reliable. Mandy & Barbara are still friends on social media to this day!

Students looking to make some money pet sitting

The biggest difference between the previous two pet sitters and students looking to make some money on the side is that the latter usually don’t carry professional pet sitting liability insurance (unless they create a pet sitting profile through Wag or Rover).

However, they’re usually pricing their services below the average pet sitting rates for a certain geographical area, which can make them attractive to clients looking for pet sitting on a budget.

One of the downsides of considering hiring students is that they’re typically limited in the amount of pet sitting they’re able to do and may actually only be able to pet sit during breaks from school.

This means that they may not be the best fit for clients who are looking for a regular pet sitter or dog walker. 

Several of Barbara’s pet sitting clients told her about pet sitting experiences they had with students – none of them were good and involved partying at the client’s homes while they were out of town.

We recommend vetting people who’ll have access to your home very carefully! You’ll find more information on which questions to ask a potential pet sitter inour section how to choose a pet sitter.

Do pet sitters stay overnight?

Let’s take a closer look at the service options pet sitters typically offer.

They’re usually able to accommodate a variety of different wishes their clients might have, ranging from just a few daily check-ins to a mix of overnight stays and midday check-ins or even 24 hour care at the pet sitters’ home.

Obviously, the more customized the service request is, the more expensive it’s going to be for the client. 

Daily pet sitting check-ins or “visits”

The daily check-in option is the most commonly requested one. For dogs, it consists of three or four daily visits at the client’s home, typically ranging in length from 30 minutes to an hour.

Some clients request longer visits in the mornings and at night time along with a shorter midday visit. Others are fine with three or four 30 minute visits.

Cat owners usually request one or two daily visits, usually depending on how many times the cats are fed per day. Some cat owners are even ok with just one visit every other day to refill food and water bowls and scoop litter boxes. 

It essentially comes down to personal preference, the pet’s routine, and the client’s budget.

Overnight pet sitting stays at the client’s home

Overnight stays at the client’s home are a great solution for pets, specifically dogs who get anxious when left alone at night. They’re also great for anxious HUMAN clients and house sitting purposes.

Since the pet sitter will spend a decent amount of time at the client’s home, overnight visits are more costly than regular check-ins. See our section how much should I pay a pet sitter? for information on rates for overnight stays.

It’s common to combine overnight stays with an additional midday visit for potty breaks and/or walks, a little playtime and TLC. Some pet sitters charge extra for the midday visit (Barbara does). Others include it in their overnight package price. 

Boarding at the pet sitter’s home

Another option is boarding at the pet sitter’s home. That’s what it’s called when clients drop their pet(s) off at the pet sitter’s home for at least one day, but most boarding requests are made for several days up to several weeks, sometimes even months.

This type of pet sitting requires the client’s pets (usually dogs) to get along with the pet sitter’s pets. It’s rare that pet sitters don’t have their own pets. That being said, boarding at the pet sitter’s home is not a good fit for every client as their pets might not do well with other pets. 

How pet sitting differs from traditional dog boarding facilities

In-home pet sitting either at the client’s home or at the pet sitter’s home differs drastically from traditional dog boarding facilities.

The main difference is the level of care pets receive. In-home pet sitting is a lot more customized and geared towards one-on-one pet care, whereas traditional dog boarding facilities only offer group pet care. 

The latter usually have about one staff member responsible for 10 dogs. This obviously makes it impossible to offer the same level of care a personal pet sitter is able to offer. 

Dog boarding facilities do have the advantage of being less expensive than personal in-home pet care, at least as far as boarding for one pet is concerned. They typically charge per pet, whereas some pet sitters charge a flat rate regardless of your number of pets.

Another advantage of dog boarding facilities is that they usually have a vet on staff or are located very closely to a veterinary clinic.

See our post: 10 things to do when boarding your dog

Services pet sitters offer

Pet sitters wear several different hats depending on their respective job and the pets they care for.

Some pet sitters only work with smaller animals such as dogs, cats, ferrets, guinea pigs, fish, reptiles and birds, while others care exclusively for horses or work with pets from both categories.

During check-in visits:

Feed the pets
Refresh their water
Administer medications if necessary
Offer playtime & TLC
Take dogs for potty breaks and/or walks 
Bring in mail
Adjust blinds/lights
Take out trash cans/bring them back inside
Send picture and/or video updates to their clients

During overnight stays:

Take dogs for a longer walk in the evenings and/or mornings if requested
Sleep at the client’s home, sometimes in the client’s bed if requested, potentially with the client’s pets on the bed (or under the sheets, ha!)
Offer extended playtime and TLC

During boarding:

Walk their dog clients
Feed them and refresh water bowls
Administer medications if required
Offer playtime and TLC
Send picture and/or video updates of their furry guests to their clientsPet sitting for horses and other large animals

The level of care for horses can differ as much as the level for smaller pets does. It depends entirely on the client’s requests and their budget.

Some horse sitters will check-in on their client’s horses 2-3 times per day to feed them, groom them, clean stalls and take them out of their barns onto a pasture (that’s called “turnout”) and bring them back into the barn in the evening or in case of inclement weather.

Other horse sitters are hired to watch the horses as well as ride them on the client’s property for an extended period of time, and some even move into a guest house or apartment on the horse property in order to be able to care for the animals 24/7.

This job pays very well, but it also limits the horse sitter’s personal time.

Barbara knows a dedicated horse sitter who permanently lives on the client’s farm as the client travels a lot. His personal time is more or less non-existent, but his love for horses and for his job outweighs that “minor” detail.

Pet taxi service

Pet sitters who offer pet taxi services provide rides for their pet clients to or from the groomer, vet, boarding place or any other location the pet needs to go to. sometimes their client asks them to stick around until the end of the pet’s appointment and give them a ride back home.

For safety reasons, all pets that are being transported in the pet sitter’s car should either be traveling in a pet carrier or be securely attached to a dog seatbelt. 

House sitting and errands

Some pet sitters also provide services that don’t actively involve their pet clients. examples are house sitting and errand services, ranging from picking up pet food, meds from the vet, or even the human client’s dry cleaning or grocery shopping.

For a little peek behind the scenes of Barbara’s life as a professional pet sitter and dog walker, check out the article below:

A typical Day for a dog Walker

How much should I pay a pet sitter?

Lindsay attended a baby shower a few weeks ago, and ended up talking to someone about what to charge for pet sitting.

The woman knew Lindsay was a pet sitter, and she said when she looked into hiring someone to watch her two cats the range in rates was very surprising to her.

Some charged as little as $10 per visit, while others charged $20 per visit and some charged $40.

She thought this range in pet sitting rates was odd and found the selection process overwhelming and frustrating.

You see, the pet sitters charging less are usually students trying to make a little money or brand new pet sitters trying to get their business started up.

The people charging considerably more are usually well-established pet sitters with waiting lists and strong reputations.

We can see why it would be frustrating for someone trying to hire a pet sitter for the first time.

In this particular case, the person with the two cats ended up hiring someone in the middle as far as rates.

2022 overnight pet sitting rates

$60 per night is a fair rate at minimum for a pet sitter to charge for spending the night at the pet’s house. This is likely to be from roughly 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and may or may not include a daily visit at noon.

It’s common for pet sitters to charge more than this, in the $70 to $80 range per night.

$60 or more per night may sound like a lot, but remember the pet sitter is available to your pets 24 hours per day.

While she may not be at your house the whole time, the pets are still technically in her care and she spends a considerable amount of time and energy thinking about them even when sh

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