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  • Linda

Pet Sitters are thankful for tips

Clients who give the occasional tip are a blessing to pet sitters

Professional pet sitting was the first "job" I ever had where I received tips occasionally. They were very much appreciated.

Even though hiring a professional pet sitter is sort of a luxury service because pet-sitters usually aren't a cheap service to hire, a professional pet sitter, especially a solo sitter and someone who is just starting out, really doesn't make a lot of money.

Let's say for example, that a pet sitter charges $ 20.00 for a half-hour visit. That doesn't include travel time, so it is really about $ 20.00 for a full- hour when you include travel. Take out of that the cost for mileage ( the biggest expense for a pet sitter ), and minus bonding and liability insurance, taxes, and supplies (which are basic but can still add up), professional membership in something like NAPPS (National Association of Professional Pet Sitters) or PSI (Pet Sitters International).

There are also busy and quiet times of the year for pet sitting. In my area, I'd start to get busy around Mother's Day through Columbus Day, then it would usually get quieter until Thanksgiving/Christmas and then a lull in January until people would go to a warmer clime for a week or two or hop on a cruise. Then it'd get quiet until Mother's Day again. Busy doesn't necessarily mean swamped, it just means that they are pet-sitting somewhere almost every day.

A solo pet sitter can have as little as one pet sit a morning and one in the evening, up to several a day. So really, a solo pet sitter, especially starting out, can make as little as the fee for one pet visit a day. That isn't much, is it? Of course, during very busy times they can make a lot more than that in several days. But when you average it all out by 365 days a year, it can still be fairly low to moderate-income.

This can change if a sitter hires employees or Independent Contractors to help when the times get busy. Not everyone wants to have a big company.

As an aside, people sometimes think that starting a pet sitting business provides quick and easy money, but when you consider all the business side of it and the time spent outside of pet sitting marketing, doing meet and greets, and the like, it isn't really so.

I love Dave Ramsey (the radio financial guy) but he often promotes getting some freelance pet sitting gigs as a way to make fast money - perhaps in a city, but it is really more involved than that.

I think pet-sitting can be busier for those who live in cities and so perhaps city pet sitters can make a buck quicker than those who live in small towns.

I just took a roundabout way to explain why tips are very welcome for a job well done and pet sitters really appreciate the boost.

How much to tip? Well, that is up to the client's budget and how much they value the service. Sometimes at Christmas, a client may tip the value of one pet-sitting visit, but again, that depends on the client's budget. Not every client tips and that is A-OK. But I just want to say that in general, pet sitters are very appreciative of tips for a job well done. I once heard of a pet sitting client who gave her pet sitters a cruise every year! That is not the ordinary, however! LOL!

I didn't expect tips when I started out, and really, I never did. I always saw them as a surprise and a beautiful gift from a client. Tips made my day. My service always stayed stellar regardless. Some clients just really needed a pet sitter and my fee was all they could afford. Some clients had better incomes and were able to give the occasional tip.

Regardless, I appreciated all tips.

Now that I'm a retired pet sitter, I'd like to put a little incentive in the minds' of pet owners to consider giving the occasional tip to their pet-sitter. it really makes a pet sitter's day and sometimes just helps them pay the bills and get by!


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