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Should You Tip Your Pet Sitter?

by Therese on December 19, 2010

in Pet Sitting, The Pet Care Biz

tipping your pet sitter or dog walker, especially during the holidaysShould you tip your pet sitter during the holidays?

Absolutely! If you’re happy with the services your pet sitter offers, then by all means, please leave a tip.

It’s common for people who work on holidays to get paid double time, but that’s not normally the case for pet sitters. Although some will charge double, most will charge an additional few dollars per visit or an additional per day fee. There are other pet sitting businesses that don’t charge any type of holiday fee. Regardless of whether or not they charge a holiday fee though, you can bet they’re going to work their tails off!

Why should you tip your pet sitter?
Holidays are the busiest time for a pet sitter. He or she is likely to have some very long days going from house to house, and unlike Santa, there aren’t any reindeer to make the travel time easier! A few days before Christmas until the day or two after New Year’s are usually super busy. A typical day can start as early as 5am and not end until after 10 pm. There may be an hour or two break at some point, but then it’s back to work.

But working holidays is just part of the job!
You might be thinking, “it’s my pet sitter’s choice, to work holidays” and you’re absolutely right. Working holidays is part of operating a pet sitting business, and it’s something pet sitters either accept and do, or lose clients. But as much as they may love what they do for a living, it is tough to miss out on celebrating with their family and friends.

It’s nice to be acknowledged.
Being acknowledged for a job well done makes us feel good. Any gesture you can make to let your pet sitter know how much you appreciate what they’re doing will not be overlooked! The pet sitters I know (and that would be a lot) don’t expect tips or gifts from clients, but they sure do appreciate them. It can make working holidays feel less lonely, and a bit more festive. And it’s not uncommon, after the holidays are over, to see messages on some of the pet sitter forums bragging about the wonderful client who left them a tip, a gift card, or other unexpected treat.

So, how much should you tip?
In the end, that’s up to you, but I suggest a minimum of 15% of the total bill. If your pet sitter cares for your pets on a regular basis, or has gone above and beyond what’s expected, you might want to leave more.

One last thing about tipping your pet sitter . . .
Although the holidays are the most common time for clients to leave tips for their pet sitters, a tip at any time during the year is going to be appreciated!

On behalf of all pet sitters who will get a tip this holiday season, Thank You!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly Guarnieri December 19, 2010 at 6:29 pm

At the end of the year, we alway tip our pet sitters (plural, because we have moved a lot and worked with a different sitter in each state), but the fact that other industries pay double-time to hourly workers who work holidays never occurred to me. Thanks for pointing out that fact.


Leslie Kaufman December 19, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Thanks, Therese. So tempting to share this post on FB, but I won’t because so many of my connections are my clients. There are still plenty of clients who do not acknowledge us during the holidays and although it would be nice to get something from my regular clients, I get more upset when my sitters are overlooked.


Madeline December 19, 2010 at 10:29 pm

As a pet sitter and dog walker working during the holidays can be hectic but that’s the nature of the business. Although it is nice to receive tips I don’t expect it.


Wendy Wise October 28, 2013 at 11:19 pm

I strongly agree that us pet sitters should be left a tip. We work very hard while the owner’s are not home to insure a happy and safe enviroment for their furry babies.


Alan November 28, 2013 at 11:27 pm

I get very busy on the holidays. During Thanksgiving and Christmas I am going non stop from 4:00 AM to 9:00 PM. It is extremely tiring and there is no time to spend with family. Many of my clients tip me well, but many do not either. I even had one regular client try to manipulate me to accept pay for two visits when he asked for three, while he is off enjoying the holidays with his family. I have been pet sitting for 23 years and never charged more for holidays, but that is ending starting December for my non tippers. Those that tipped in the past will be left at the standard rate.


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