How much to pay your house or pet sitter in South Africa

How much to pay your house or pet sitter in South Africa
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In South Africa, it is important to determine a suitable payment for your house or pet sitter, and it is equally important to understand the range of tasks that can be reasonably expected from them. Pets are integral members of the family unit and your house is your castle, so this is an important job.

What tasks can I expect my pet sitter to do?

When it comes to the expectations for a pet sitter, it is considered the absolute minimum for them to offer essential provisions such as food, water, and proper care to the pets under their responsibility.

A pet sitter may be required to take care of a litter of energetic and demanding puppies or kittens. Alternatively, they may need to provide specialised care for a sickly dog that requires regular medication in the form of pills or daily injections.

Typical expectations include:

  • Brushing the pet’s fur, administering medication, or taking the dog for regular walks. For those who are caring for puppies, handfeeding might be necessary.
  • In some cases, the sitter might also be responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the pool or activating the alarm system in the evenings. The owner will provide specific instructions based on their typical daily routine, and the pet sitter will typically be compensated accordingly for fulfilling these special requirements.

What are the potential responsibilities that a house sitter can be expected undertake?

Standard tasks and expectations for a house sitter include:

  • Taking care of the house daily, which includes keeping it secure and making sure it is clean and organised for the owners’ return.
  • Providing regular updates or reports if requested by the owners.
  • Special requirements such as cleaning the pool, watering plants or activating the alarm in the evenings. These special requirements would be specified by the owner and house sitters should be compensated accordingly.

What do I have to do for my house or pet sitter?

One important expectation that the pet or house owner should consider is making sure that there are enough meals provided for the sitter if they will be staying overnight. The duration of a pet or house-sitting job is often longer compared to babysitting, and it is common for the sitter to spend the night at the client’s home. Although the expenses for travel remain the same for both house/pet sitters and babysitters, it seems unjustifiable to demand an identical hourly rate for these services as one would for childcare.

How much should you pay your house or pet sitter?

Payment can be a tricky subject to navigate as each case can – and should – be treated individually. While you get some dog walkers charging only R150 per dog walk, which may only conclude a few hours in total, with collection and drop off, dog sitters are charging up to R1 000 per day.What tasks can I expect my house sitter to do

Tailor your compensation according to the number of pets, the level of effort required and the distance the sitter has to travel. Anything between R250 and R750 per day is considered fair for house or pet sitters. At the end of the day, you want the person staying in your home and caring for your fur babies to be as happy and comfortable as possible.

What is industry-standard payment for house or pet-sitting services in South Africa

If a pet sitter needed to travel daily, an absolute minimum of R250 should be charged – for that, the sitter would likely just arrive to put food in the pet’s bowls, give them a quick cuddle and leave.

If the pet/house owner prefers that the sitter stays at the house with the pets, the minimum day rate is R500. It would become exorbitant to charge by the hour, but we have to consider that the sitter is giving up their time.

if the sitter were staying over, they may charge an additional R200. If the sitter is allocated larger tasks, they could charge an extra R100 – R200.

R500 would cover a half day for a sitter to hang out with the pets for a short while, and perhaps open some windows or water plants. A full day could cost R750, which includes special needs like medication, hand feeding a litter of puppies or nursing a wounded cat.

To calculate how much to pay a house or pet sitter to sleep over, it’s usual to use the half-day rate with an additional R200 for staying over as the sitter would be spending extra time at the house but would not need to travel up and down daily.

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