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Tipping your pet sitter for the holidays

by Therese on December 17, 2009

in Pet Sitting, Pets

say thank you to your pet sitterDoes your pet sitter do a kick ass job?

Does he or she do such a good job caring for your pets that you don’t know what you’d do without him or her?

If so, consider leaving a nice tip or a gift when he or she takes care of your pets during the holidays.

Pet sitters work their tails off during the holidays! A lot of pet sitters will start the day before dawn and not stop until long after dark. Since they’re so busy, it’s not uncommon for them to either miss family celebrations altogether or to plan them after the holidays. For many others, it means finding a little time between pet sitting jobs to visit with their family and friends. Even for big time pet lovers (which is most pet sitters, after all!) it can be a pretty lonely holiday. So, getting a special “thank you” from a client can mean an awful lot.

I don’t pet sit full-time anymore, but I can tell you that when I did, the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s day were pretty tough weeks because of the hectic schedule. But when clients left a tip or gift it really perked me up and helped me get through the long days. Knowing they appreciated what I did for them and their pets meant a lot and made a huge difference. (Even though I don’t have many pet sitting clients these days, it still means a lot to see that extra “thank you” they leave for me.)

So, what kind of tip is appropriate?

I’ve talked with a number of pet sitters about this, and even did a mini poll (pet sitters, you can still cast your vote!) to see what pet sitters prefer – gifts or money. What I found is that pet sitters really appreciate whatever their clients choose to leave as a holiday tip/gift. There seems to be a slight preference for money over gifts, but whatever you choose to give, you can bet that your pet sitter will appreciate the fact that you thought of her (or him!).

If you leave money, how much?

Just like any other service, a better job is going to get a better tip. As a general rule of thumb though, go with at least 15-20% of your pet sitting bill. If your pet sitter cares for your pets quite a bit during the year, you might even want to be a little more generous.

Whether you decide to leave a thoughtful gift or money, to add an extra touch that’s sure to put a smile on your pet sitter’s face, include a card or note with a simple “thank you.” It’s amazing how big those two little words really are! And combined with a thoughtful gift (whether it’s money or a gift) you’re going to make your pet sitter’s holiday that much more special.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Vicki December 17, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Thanks for this nicely written article, Therese. I think sometimes our clients aren’t sure about the appropriate tipping protocol with pet sitters because we are usually the owners of our business. When I was growing up, you tipped employees but not the owner of the business.

Like you, I always appreciate the acknowledgement of a tip or gift, but I feel no offense if one isn’t given. I’m well paid by my clients, and try to give excellent value to them and their dear pets. If they’re moved to give a little something extra, that’s a nice bonus but not expected.


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