2019 Average Pet Sitting Rates in Toronto
This article has been updated for 2019!
How much does a pet sitter cost in Toronto?
You may be asking yourself this question if you’re getting ready to travel, and you can’t bring your pets with you.
You wouldn’t believe how often I get this question, but I understand—price is often one of the most important factors in a pet owner’s decision for pet care. And with all the different businesses and apps out there, it can get confusing really quick!
So, to help you make your decision, I’m breaking down the different price points for pet sitting rates in Toronto (you’ll see, it varies quite a bit!), along with some factors to consider.
Since pet sitting services can vary tremendously, I’ve decided to base my research on our most popular service for vacation clients—two home visits per day.
Keep in mind that boarding and live-in (hourly or overnight) care will generally cost more than the figures I’ve presented in this article.
$0 per day: Favours and trades
Yes, you heard right. You can go on vacation and pay very little, or absolutely nothing to have your pets taken care of.
I call this the “Favours and Trades” tier—because you’re asking relatives, neighbours or friends to do you a favour while you’re gone.
Another option would be to post on a local trading group like Bunz and trade an item for pet sitting services.
You can also get free pet sitting through TrustedHousesitters, in exchange for allowing a sitter to live in your home while you’re gone.
Things to consider with free pet sitting services:
- If this is not the sitter’s full-time job, how will you be sure they are available and committed?
- What happens, and who is responsible if an emergency occurs in your home or to your pet (e.g. flooding, pet needs to go to the vet)
- Does your sitter have a backup plan in case something happens and they can’t make it to a visit?
- If you’re hiring a stranger, how can you be sure they are trustworthy? (e.g. do they have references, background checks, etc.)
- How often will you receive updates about your pets?
$25-35 per day: Online services/apps
This is a fairly new tier of pet sitters surfacing from several pet sitter listing websites and apps. Companies like Pawshake, Rover.com and Care.com allow pet lovers to sign up with a pet sitter profile and take bookings through the website or app.
These sites normally have a basic site-wide insurance to cover services, and background checks for their sitters, which are sometimes optional.
They are popular with students and individuals looking to make extra money on the side of their “regular” occupation.
For these reasons, I consider them a mid-tier price point – providing more reliability than asking for favours, but still not full-time professionals.
Things to consider with Rover.com (or similar) pet sitters:
- Is this their full-time job or just a side hustle?
- Are they just a “pet lover” or do they have real working/volunteer experience?
- Has the pet sitter passed a background check?
- What exactly does their insurance cover?
- Does the company offer dishonesty bonding for their pet sitters? (i.e. will you be reimbursed for theft of your possessions?)
- What is the emergency plan set in place by the company?
- How often will you receive updates about your pets?
- How will you know when/if each visit took place?
$40-70 per day: Professionals
Professional pet sitting businesses charge more for several reasons. For most, this is their full-time job, their livelihood, and they have larger expenses to show for it.
A professional business may offer top-notch features like GPS tracked visits and dog walks, daily report cards with photo updates, and pet first aid certified sitters.
A reputable pet sitting business will have you sign paperwork, have a system in place to ensure that no pet is ever left behind, as well as a backup plan for anything from extreme weather to medical emergency.
Things to consider with professional pet sitters:
- Are they insured and bonded?
- Does the pet sitting business use staff, or is it a solo operation?
- If they are solo, what is their backup plan if they can’t make it to a visit?
- Will the same person be visiting your pets every time?
- Can they provide good references, testimonials, or reviews from longtime clients?
- Are they members of any professional association?
- How quick are they to respond to your email or return your call?
- Does their website show who will be entering your home?
More factors that may affect pet sitting rates:
- What kind of pets and how many pets do you have?
- Some pet sitters charge up to $5 more for dogs and puppies, than for cats.
- Some pet sitters charge extra if you have more than one pet – anywhere from $3-10 is the average.
- Does your pet need medication?
- Some pet sitters may charge a fee (usually $5-10) to give medication.
- Is your trip during a holiday?
- Some pet sitters charge a $5-10/visit fee on holidays or holiday weekends due to high demand. Some may only charge during statutory holidays.
- How long is your trip?
- Some pet sitters offer a 15-20% discount for booking a longer trip.
- Where do you live?
- Some pet sitters charge a mileage surcharge if you live outside of their service area.
So, what does PetsGo charge for pet sitting visits?
You may have noticed that our exact pet sitting rates aren’t posted on our website. This is because your rates (like our services) are customized to your pets and their specific needs!
According to the research done for this article, our rates are above average. But, we’re an above-average pet sitting company with an all-inclusive pricing structure. We believe in simplicity: we never upcharge for multiple pets, medications, mess cleanup, report cards, or even extra time. That’s just one of the reasons that PetsGo is the best!
So, there you have it. There’s no quick answer to how much a pet sitter costs in Toronto. Hopefully, this article will help you choose—there’s no single right or wrong answer. It all depends on your needs, your values and your budget!