What are normal pet sitting rates?

Sophie Main
Alpacas in a field.


We recently sniffed out the average cost of dog sitters, helping owners work out just how much a TrustedHousesitters membership is saving them each year. But we know our wonderful community also includes owners with cats, rabbits, birds, and even alpacas! So we set out to explore the average pet sitting rates for animals of all shapes and sizes, and here’s what we found...

Average pet sitting rates

While our pet-loving members don’t charge to care for animals of any shape, size or quantity, professional pet sitters do. And according to Thumbtack’s research, the average daily pet sitting rate in the US is between $20 to $40. We also explored a range of salary sites to find that the average pet sitting cost in the UK is around £25 a day.

  • Average drop-in pet sitter rate for 30 minutes: $25 
  • Average drop-in pet sitter rate for an hour: $32 
  • Average overnight pet sitter rate per night: $75 to $85 

But with the term ‘pet sitting’ covering a range of animals, the average cost of a pet sitter can vary greatly when it comes to anything other than a cat or dog. That’s why we’ve dug deeper to explore the average pet sitting cost for multiple pets, small pets, big pets, and even houses with no animals at all. 

Dog in garden, resting their head in the hands of their pet sitter.

Safe and happy in the hands of their pet sitter.

Pet sitting rates for multiple animals

Pet lovers have big hearts with room for plenty of animals. This means owners often have more than one pet, and Thumbtack’s research tells us that sitters usually charge around $5 extra per additional animal. So while paying a pet sitter to drop by can be a convenient alternative to boarding kennels and catteries, the cost can really add up. 

Small pet sitting rates

In comparison to dog and cat sitting services, there are few professional small pet sitters offering live-in care. Instead, hamsters, rabbits, birds, and other cute critters are commonly catered for by small pet boarding kennels or drop-in sitters. 

Our research across pet care websites show that boarding fees range greatly, from around $5 to $15 per day. The drop-in pet sitter rates are similar in price, and also vary greatly depending on the provider, location, and the number of pets. But while the fees vary, they are consistently much lower than the average pet sitting rate for cats and dogs — why? 

Anyone with a small pet knows that such animals need lots of attention, affection and care, just like a cat or canine. While they don’t require long walks, pets like rabbits need plenty of playtime and a constant supply of food to keep their gut moving. In fact, our friends at the charity Raystede tell us that if rabbits haven’t eaten in 12 hours, they may need emergency veterinary treatment. 

With small pets requiring more care than commonly thought, it’s no surprise how many owners are joining TrustedHousesitters. With one annual membership, they can find in-house sitters who’ll provide dedicated pet care whenever they’re away. 

Tv Vet Dr Scott pet sitting with his family.

Meet pet sitters who want to make memories, not money.

Pet sitting costs for large animals

Similar to small pet sitting rates, the fees for larger animals like horses and livestock vary greatly. Factors include species, location, and responsibilities. 

You may find local horse sitters offering a range of services for different fees, so your overall daily pet sitting rate really depends on your requirements. For example, do you simply need your horse to be fed, turned out, and their poo picked? Or maybe you’d like to know they’re getting regular grooming and exercise while you’re away. 

What do people charge for donkeys, pigs, and alpacas? You may be lucky enough to find an appropriate local pet sitter, but our research suggests specialised pet care for big animals is few and far between. So it’s no wonder owners of large pet families or hobby farms simply put a stop to their travel plans completely — a sad reality that TrustedHousesitters is here to help end. 

House sitting rates

People without pets may want a house sitter to care for their plants and pool or simply keep their home safe while they’re away. 

Looking at both self-employed sitters and larger organisations, it’s clear that rates vary depending on location. While professional house sitting companies in the UK range from £18.50 to £33 per day, house sitters in Australia charge an average of $25 to $30 per day. This also increases to around $50 for an overnight stay. 

While you can’t put a price on peace of mind, these fees can add up if you are going away for a while. And although Trustedhousesitters is here to help pets stay safe and happy at home, sitters are also happy to help people keep their pet-free properties safe while they’re away — and they don’t charge. 

How does TrustedHousesitters work?

With pet sitting earning people a healthy income, we’re often asked why members of TrustedHousesitters dedicate their time and attention for free. We explain all in our article about free pet sitters but put simply, they do it to make memories, not money. 

How does it work? Both owners and sitters pay for an annual membership that helps them arrange unlimited sits throughout the year. It’s a safe and secure way for like-minded people to exchange home and pet care for a place to stay, and it’s helping pets stay safe and happy at home. That’s pets of all shapes and sizes, from farms full of pigs and chickens to colonies of chinchillas. 

A brace of ducks in their garden.

Find a pet sitter for your feathered friends.

Want to know more? 

Your can find more information on our website or by getting in touch with our Memberships Services team. Available 24/7 and with experience as an owner, sitter, or both, they’re the perfect pack to answer your questions.

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