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Old 04.07.2011, 14:35
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Pet sitting costs

I have been asked by many people to watch their dog or cat, and they all ask me what I charge. Obviously it depends on the activity of the dog, the amount of care, etc, but I figured I would ask on here. Just approximately what would one pay for:
1) a dog sitter to stay over night? (3/4 walks and two feedings for a dog)
2) when someone has two dogs (over night)?
3) Walking the dogs during the day while the owner is at work?
4) cat sitting? (feeding cat twice during day and cleaning liter box)

These would all be taking place at the animals residence.
Any advice from previous experience, or hypothetical advice, is greatly appreciated!!

thanks,
Rachael
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Old 04.07.2011, 14:36
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Re: Pet sitting costs

*I also have experience in working at a Veterinary clinic. if that really makes a difference.
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Old 04.07.2011, 20:53
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Re: Pet sitting costs

The few people in Switzerland who do in-home care, where the sitter moves into the client's home to care for the animals just as if the owner were at home, generally charge around CHF 200-ish per day, depending on the client's needs.

Fees charged for hourly dog walking vary quite a bit, there is more competition in this market, more geographic variance. I've seen prices ranging from CHF 20 to CHF 75 per hour. And again, much depends on what the client needs. This is for folks who walk only the dog/dogs from one family at a time. I have no idea what someone who does group walking would charge - I assume less - as I would never use that kind of service.

Can't help with cat care, sorry.

Do be aware that if you are caring for dogs you may fall under the TschV education and registration requirements, depending on the service you offer. If you have any questions about this, contact the cantonal veterinary office - this is the office responsible for registration of dog carers.

This regulation does not apply to cat care.

Whatever animals you care for, you should have liability insurance at a minimum.
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Old 04.07.2011, 21:56
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Re: Pet sitting costs

I usually get 100chf/day ,overnight and all i need to do walk them 3x a day and give them food. I think its not that bad and if you do it for example long weekend thats a good money for "nothing"
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Old 04.07.2011, 22:01
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Re: Pet sitting costs

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I have been asked by many people to watch their dog or cat, and they all ask me what I charge. Obviously it depends on the activity of the dog, the amount of care, etc, but I figured I would ask on here. Just approximately what would one pay for:
1) a dog sitter to stay over night? (3/4 walks and two feedings for a dog)
2) when someone has two dogs (over night)?
3) Walking the dogs during the day while the owner is at work?
4) cat sitting? (feeding cat twice during day and cleaning liter box)

These would all be taking place at the animals residence.
Any advice from previous experience, or hypothetical advice, is greatly appreciated!!

thanks,
Rachael
Rachael, I would pay:

1) 25CHF/day (varying by size/age of dog)
2) no more than double (again, varying on size/age of dog)
3) 1 walk at mid-day? 15CHF for the first dog, 5CHF for a second dog. Three dogs are too challenging to walk together.
4) 25CHF/day (but I'm biased against cats)
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Old 04.07.2011, 22:05
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Re: Pet sitting costs

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I usually get 100chf/day ,overnight and all i need to do walk them 3x a day and give them food. I think its not that bad and if you do it for example long weekend thats a good money for "nothing"
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The few people in Switzerland who do in-home care, where the sitter moves into the client's home to care for the animals just as if the owner were at home, generally charge around CHF 200-ish per day, depending on the client's needs.

Really???? wow. What's the value added to fetch 100CHF or 200CHF / day?
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Old 04.07.2011, 22:45
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Re: Pet sitting costs

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Really???? wow. What's the value added to fetch 100CHF or 200CHF / day?
In order to legally do this in Switzerland, you must gain some certifications from the cantonal offices - these come at a price.

Also, "often" it seems, the folk who offer such services legally are more than "just" sitters, they tend to have experience / qualification in animal training and / or experience / qualifications in veterinary fields.

Of course, you CAN find folks who are not so extensively qualified...


The other part of the cost has to do with the sitter relocating themselves to your home for the duration. This tends to be something that fetches a premium.
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Old 04.07.2011, 23:34
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Re: Pet sitting costs

Thank you all! I greatly appreciate your responses!! I have been asking all of my friends who have dogs and require such care, and they have been giving me similar responses. It's just that when I quote people 50chf per day (over night for 2 dogs) they tell me it is too high. (Although they are American's, they are living in Switzerland, and its a whole lot more expensive here!!) I just wanted to make sure that I am giving people a reasonable price and not overcharging them. If anyone has anymore tips or advice, I am incredibly grateful and welcome them!!

THANKS AGAIN!!
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Old 04.07.2011, 23:45
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Re: Pet sitting costs

I don't want to sound rude, mean or not at my place. I am just sincerely wondering something, please just keep in mind that I don't mean bad.

But what happen to the helping each other for the sake or it? When I had my dog, I had many people who looked after him for free when I was gone. It was to help me out!

I took care of dogs and cats myself for free, it was just the normal thing to do! Having this for free doesn't mean it will be not as good as if you pay for it. And usually it is passionate people who will want to help you out by taking care of your pet.

Last Christmas, we went to Florida and it was our neighbours who took care of my cat. She was so happy to have her and treated her like a princess. We came back with some gifts as a thank you!

It seems we don't see that much of free help anymore.... Am I wrong?
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Old 04.07.2011, 23:50
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Re: Pet sitting costs

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Really???? wow. What's the value added to fetch 100CHF or 200CHF / day?
When you care for someone's animals you have taken on a serious responsibility. Granted, with most critters (even my muttley crew) it isn't terribly taxing work most of the time - but that's not what I really pay for. I pay my sitter to be 100% responsible. I pay my sitter well, knowing that she takes the welfare of my mutts to heart, knowing that she will keep them - and all with whom they come into contact - safe. I pay for peace of mind.

(In fact, a third party paid to care for an animal can be held legally responsible should an accident happen while the animals are in his/her care. Hence the suggestion of liability insurance.)

FYI, one reason for the new education/registration requirement for dog carers is fall-out from the Oberglatt tragedy. At the time of the incident, the dogs were in the care of someone other than the owner. While I think the education requirements in the TschV are way overkill, the goal is understandable. The law seeks to improve dog owner's skills and knowledge and responsibility - that it also seeks to do so for dog carers makes sense.


When choosing a sitter, you should ask yourself:

What if your pet is injured or becomes ill - is your carer capable of performing first aid and then getting appropriate emergency veterinary care? He/she should be.

What if the unthinkable happens, your dog causes damages or injures someone - is your carer capable of taking the necessary steps to resolve the situation? He/she should be.

Better yet, are you certain that your sitter will as a matter of course take all necessary precautions to prevent the above from happening? You should be - and you should have thoroughly tested the sitter's skills and decision making before leaving your pets in his/her hands.

My advice to pet owners and carers - make sure all responsibilities and expectations, all the 'what ifs', are spelled out in writing.

As said, it's not necessarily the work, but rather the responsibility, that one is paying for.
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Old 04.07.2011, 23:55
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Re: Pet sitting costs

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I don't want to sound rude, mean or not at my place. I am just sincerely wondering something, please just keep in mind that I don't mean bad.

But what happen to the helping each other for the sake or it? When I had my dog, I had many people who looked after him for free when I was gone. It was to help me out!

I took care of dogs and cats myself for free, it was just the normal thing to do! Having this for free doesn't mean it will be not as good as if you pay for it. And usually it is passionate people who will want to help you out by taking care of your pet.

Last Christmas, we went to Florida and it was our neighbours who took care of my cat. She was so happy to have her and treated her like a princess. We came back with some gifts as a thank you!


It seems we don't see that much of free help anymore.... Am I wrong?
I couldn't agree with you more Nil


The 'network' of friends I used to have was in place so that if any one of us was to go away, there was always someone to dump the hounds off onto..... and vice versa.

no questions asked..... just perhaps a bottle of wine or two if it was for more than a day or two (plus dog food etc.).


Personally, I still have no trouble looking after a friends dog for the weekend for free....... I enjoy the company.
(and having my patience tested by some little rascal )
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Old 04.07.2011, 23:58
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Re: Pet sitting costs

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I don't want to sound rude, mean or not at my place. I am just sincerely wondering something, please just keep in mind that I don't mean bad.

But what happen to the helping each other for the sake or it? When I had my dog, I had many people who looked after him for free when I was gone. It was to help me out!

I took care of dogs and cats myself for free, it was just the normal thing to do! Having this for free doesn't mean it will be not as good as if you pay for it. And usually it is passionate people who will want to help you out by taking care of your pet.

Last Christmas, we went to Florida and it was our neighbours who took care of my cat. She was so happy to have her and treated her like a princess. We came back with some gifts as a thank you!

It seems we don't see that much of free help anymore.... Am I wrong?

Well, we do and we don't.

I look after friends animals for them for free, or for exchange of some other "service" or, in the case of watching Teckla for Begga, she simply brought me a bottle of wine.

BUT... I am also not legally qualified to have "dogsitting" as a business in Switzerland.

I have offered to others to come and check on their beloved pets for just the cost of transportation.


So, doing it for a friend is one thing, doing it for a job, for which there is an obvious market here (particularly among expats), is something else. Also, like many other jobs in Switzerland that get relegated to "pittance" level of pay elsewhere, here, because of the papers (insurance coverage, certifications and such) necessary to do it legally, it is seen as one worthy of a decent wage.
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Old 05.07.2011, 00:02
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Really???? wow. What's the value added to fetch 100CHF or 200CHF / day?
If I take 3 dogs to the kennels, I pay almost 100 chf per day. I bring their own food. The dogs aren't walked, but they have outdoor space.
I have not been satisfied with any of the kennels we have used, each stay seems to bring a new problem, fortunately nothing very serious.

I would pay 100 chf a day to be able to leave the dogs at home in an environment in which they are comfortable. I have tried to find someone who will stay at the house but have not found anyone. I need someone who knows enough about dogs to know if one is ill, and speaks German to communicate with the vet. I need someone who drives who can take an ill dog to a vet. I need someone who does not have a dog of their own they need to bring with them.
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Old 05.07.2011, 00:02
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Re: Pet sitting costs

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But what happen to the helping each other for the sake or it?

It seems we don't see that much of free help anymore.... Am I wrong? [/LEFT]
You've been Switzerlanded!

Seriously...

You are fortunate that you have friends who can help. Sadly, few of us expats have a network of friends or family here who are willing/able to help out - and so we need professional pet carers.

Besides... when it comes to caring for the muttley crew, I'm a rather ... ahem... demanding customer. Things must be done a certain way, certain rules must be adhered to, etc. I fear that my expectations of a sitter would likely strain a friendship. (OTT, moi?)

I prefer to pay a professional to ensure that things are done as I expect, I am simply more comfortable with that arrangement.


FYI, friends helping friends does not fall under the TSchV requirements for dog carers. (Cat care is not regulated either.) So helping a friend is a matter between the two of you.
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Old 05.07.2011, 00:10
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Re: Pet sitting costs

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You've been Switzerlanded!

Seriously...

You are fortunate that you have friends who can help. Sadly, few of us expats have a network of friends or family here who are willing/able to help out - and so we need professional pet carers.

Besides... when it comes to caring for the muttley crew, I'm a rather ... ahem... demanding customer. Things must be done a certain way, certain rules must be adhered to, etc. I fear that my expectations of a sitter would likely strain a friendship. (OTT, moi?)

I prefer to pay a professional to ensure that things are done as I expect, I am simply more comfortable with that arrangement.


FYI, friends helping friends does not fall under the TSchV requirements for dog carers. (Cat care is not regulated either.) So helping a friend is a matter between the two of you.

This reminds me of a proposal I may have for you... it's a subject for another day though, when my brain is more able to frame it (and I'm not taking over someone else's thread )
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Old 05.07.2011, 09:20
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Re: Pet sitting costs

Hi,

We are very lucky that our neighbours look after our crew when we are away but we go away very infrequently. We bring presents back and the arrangement is very satisfactory as my neighbour loves them and comes over for a cuddle with them.

I offer cat sitting services to my kitten owners from last year. They give me 20 chf a day which I think is very fair to them considering one of them stays here and gets round the clock care and cuddles. I also do home visits twice a day for 20chf. People will always quibble the price tbh.

At the vets around here I have seen pet care offered for 40 chf a day for two visits a day. Not sure about dog care. I think that is alot more involved with walking etc. I think between 50 to 100 chf a day is very reasonable.

Darcy
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Old 05.07.2011, 17:04
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Re: Pet sitting costs

Let me start by saying that I moved to Switzerland less than a month ago so please take my comments far less seriously than those of our favourite EF veterans! I have a large pup and it's important to me that she gets the best care possible when I'm away. My view on the matter is very similar to Meloncollie's (in that I'm more comfortable paying a professional to provide this service rather than relying on friends), mostly because I feel like my 'special needs' girl would just be too much trouble for most and I wouldn't want to strain a new relationship, but also because I'm very particular about the 'house rules' and training, and I don't want to feel like I'm being rude or pushy with someone who's doing me a favour. I don't mean to make Winnifred sound like a terror or anything, but she's a spirited 10-month-old who won't be mentally mature for at least another year or two, and who already weighs over 60 kg, so she requires consistent 'handling' by someone who has experience with larger dogs. At this point in her life, I'm open to either a 'doggie camp' (farm or boarding-type) situation or in-home care; I care more about the person in charge and have a strong preference for a professional trainer who has experience with large puppies. This means that I don't place a premium on someone coming to my place, but I know many do (and I certainly did with my previous dogs, especially when they were older). So, for me, I probably wouldn't pay much more than the going rate for a group boarding arrangement (which seems to be about 50 CHF per day, based on my preliminary research), but I can definitely see other people I know paying up to 100 CHF, assuming the person has all the necessary certifications and insurances. Any more than that sounds crazy to me but, again, I just got here and I'm still recovering from the sticker shock. The multi-dog issue has always been a bit of a puzzle for me...with in-home care, I don't really think two dogs are much more work than one, so I would think a 'fair' price would be about 25 to 50% more than for one dog. I'm sure some kind of token 'volume' discount would be appreciated by multi-pet guardians.

I really see where Nil is coming from, too, and I hope to be able to offer voluntary pet care for other people's dogs or cats at some point in the not-so-distant future once Winnifred is a bit more settled in. It's a nice (and fun) thing to do for others but then, it's not the point of this thread so enough about that!

Best of luck with your pet care project, Rachael.
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Old 06.07.2011, 00:31
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Re: Pet sitting costs

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The multi-dog issue has always been a bit of a puzzle for me...with in-home care, I don't really think two dogs are much more work than one, so I would think a 'fair' price would be about 25 to 50% more than for one dog. I'm sure some kind of token 'volume' discount would be appreciated by multi-pet guardians.
I should clarify: most in-home sitters I have used (or interviewed) charge per family, not per dog.

(As any dog owner knows, a whole herd of placid senior citizens is a lot less work than one bouncy young puppy. )
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Old 08.03.2012, 09:58
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Re: Pet sitting costs

I pay 32 chf per day here in Wadenswil,

i think its a little too much for my dog, looking for a place with a lower price..
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Old 08.03.2012, 11:23
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Re: Pet sitting costs

Clone,

What type of care arrangement is that?

If boarding at a kennel, care in the sitter's home, or care in your own home that is actually a very inexpensive price. You may find something less expensive, but if so - please check the qualifications of the carer, and scrutinize the conditions very carefully.

Given that dog care is a regulated business - and one very much in demand - prices here are indeed high. As you can see in other posts, CHF 50-100 is normal for kennels or in the sitter's home, CHF 200 for care in your home.

That said, if your dog copes well in kennels, one place where you might find a slightly better price would be with one of the rescue shelters - many provide boarding for paying clients as well. (This is provides some support for their rescue efforts.) But as above, check out the conditions, and do a few trial run stays first.

Hope you find a good solution.
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