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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Looking at all the love there that's sleeping
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    4,172

    Do you tip a pet sitter?

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    So...

    I've had rabbits as a house pet consistently since 1992.
    In all that time, I have NEVER had to hire a pet sitter.
    I've left them on their own for a weekend, had friends house sit while we were gone, I've taken the rabbit(s) with us on our trip, I've had a neighbor's kid watch them, or I've sent them off to a friend who fosters with a local rescue group (cost: volunteer work at some future time).
    But now my guy is elderly (11 - which is ancient for a rabbit), and he's more than a little set in his ways. He makes it plain that he does not like to be uprooted from his home and carted off to live in a stranger's house for a week or long weekend with a bunch of other stinkin' rabbits (as much as we try to tell him that "Camping with Aunt Susan is FUN!" - he doesn't buy it any more! ).
    So a neighbor and friend has started a dog-walking/pet-sitting service. We intend to have her watch and feed our rabbit, Noah, twice a day while we're gone. Cost is "per visit", in the neighborhood of $10-15 each. I guess a small price to pay for nearly 20 years of pet ownership.
    But....after all is said and done....should I tip her? Throw in an extra $10 or something for a job well-done (presuming, it IS well done??)?
    Thoughts? Is tipping a normal thing? I don't know the etiquette here.
    Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    When I first starting using a pet sitter, it didn't occur to me to tip. Somewhere along the way, I started doing it. My sitter's visits for two cats (well, now we're down to one, but I haven't used the sitter since then) cost $15, and I tip her $3 on top of that. So, 20 percent. For as much peace of mind as I get from knowing she cares for my pets, I figure it's a worthy expense.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Centennial, CO
    Posts
    340
    I typically dont, as we dont use "professionals" from a company who arent taking the whole pay; we have a handful of people we rotate using, some friends and some people we found on craigslist. I have a gal that comes to our house once or twice a week to walk our dog midday when we cant get home at lunch from work, or on the weekends if we're gone all day riding or skiing. Routinely, I just pay her the fee, but I do give her bonuses or gifts at Christmas and usually midyear, and if I have to call her last minute for something I leave her an extra tip. If we're out of town on vacation and return late ot have to drop our dog off super early, I tip for my inconvenience to them.
    Jenn K
    Centennial, CO
    Love my Fuji!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    MD suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,832
    My pet sitter walks my dogs every day and I pay her very well, so I don't generally tip except at Christmas and when she goes beyond the call of duty. (Like on this trip, I'm not getting home until late in the evening so I threw in extra since she's feeding them dinner.)

    If it's a one shot deal, I'd probably tip the amount you suggested just to make sure she'd be willing to make time for me the next time I needed her.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,336
    When I went away for 3 weeks in May, I advertised my place rent free in exchange for pet sitting. Considering the going rate for rent around this hood is in the $1200/mo range, I literally had to interview people for the "job".

    A young couple fit the bill, and they kept my place clean and nothing was broken or stolen. And most importantly, the cats were alive and well, so I gave the couple a $20 Starbucks card when I came home. I felt maybe I should've given them more, but hey, I saved them $900 in rent so I think it was a pretty sweet deal for them.


    And going off on tangent a bit, but I hate the concept of tipping, especially in restaurants where the waitstaff give poor service and still feel entitled to a tip. What's most insulting is when they automatically charge a specified amount of tip to your bill - sorry, but tips should be earned, not expected.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,063
    I don't tip, but then I pay above the usual fee...well, I guess that means I tip

    My cat sitter is awesome. Nothing less describes her. My cats are not people cats, they're old and they're cranky. When other people -- nice people, who like cats and treat my house and cats well -- sit for the cats, the cats are basket cases for a week after we come back.

    With my sitter, on the other hand, when we get home the cats are more like, "Oh, you're home? Is the sitter coming back?" I swear they like her more than me.

    So....long story short, I've given the sitter several pay raises over the years from the fee she quoted. She's worth every penny I've paid her over the years.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    northern california
    Posts
    1,460
    The only time I've tipped was when we were planning a one month trip to Australia and the "friend" who'd been saying for months that she would house sit bailed at the last minute. We found a woman who was recommended by our dog breeder who agreed to come for 2 weeks on short notice. I paid her almost double what she'd asked. (The other 2 weeks were covered by the son of a friend. I paid him well, too.) I figured it was cheaper than canceling our trip, and I really appreciated her being there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    58
    You people made me paranoid ...we have a lovely sitter and we've never tipped her. She charges $20 a visit though, so she's being pretty well compensated. I tip just about everyone else but it never occurred to me to tip her. Now I'm thinking maybe we should...
    2008 Trek 7.5 FX WSD / Brooks B-68 (still breaking in)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    MD suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,832
    Quote Originally Posted by WolfGirl View Post
    You people made me paranoid ...we have a lovely sitter and we've never tipped her. She charges $20 a visit though, so she's being pretty well compensated. I tip just about everyone else but it never occurred to me to tip her. Now I'm thinking maybe we should...
    I think you're fine. I pay $20 a visit, too, and I think the pet sitters much prefer a regular customer (and regular income) to an occasional tip.
    2007 Rivendell Glorius/Trico gel with cutout (not made any more apparently)
    2005 Specialized Sequoia Comp/Specialized Dolce
    2006 Kona Cinder Cone/another Trico gel
    1986? Bridgestone mixte/Brooks B72
    1991 Bridgestone 300 Xtracycle/Terry Gelissimo

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    662
    We don't tip, but do give out X-mas bonuses in the form of cash or a Target gift card. Our dog walker is very appreciative of the bonus, our house/pet sitter believes we already pay her too much for "the privilege of staying in our lovely home" and is almost embarrassed about getting a bonus.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    477
    My girls cat sit for my neighbor/friend and she doesn't tip.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,336
    come to think of it, I never got tipped for babysitting, either. Do people tip babysitters? if you tip pet sitters, why not someone who look after your human babies?

    I think we've gone a bit overboard with tipping. Which, I suppose, isn't a bad thing.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    5,050
    I think it depends on the type of petsitter that you have.

    In our case, we hired and pay the girl directly. She keeps all the money as if it were a babysitting situation. We pay her well (more than her other 'gigs' but still less than it would cost us to use a kennel) and we didn't tip extra. I assume that if we continue to use her and we go somewhere around the holidays, then a holiday 'bonus' would be in order.

    When we lived in NC and we hired a service to pet sit (and we asked that pet sitter to do more than typical with medications and walking a dog-aggressive dog), we tipped. We figured that the regular fee paid both the sitter and the company she worked for...the tip was hers to keep.
    My new non-farm blog: Finding Freedom

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    1,193
    We use a commercial service, which has gone above and beyond for us. So yes, I tip them, even though the cat is very shy and the sitter never sees her. It is worth it to me to know that someone is coming over each day and looking after Carmen and noting if there are any problems with the house. In my mind, it is good to keep people you have to trust liking you.
    Give big space to the festive dog that make sport in the roadway. Avoid entanglement with your wheel spoke.
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    On my bike
    Posts
    2,510
    I have an older cat & a 4 year old rambunctious German Shepherd & I use a commercial pet sitter for overnight visits plus day visits to let the dog out. She goes way above & beyond - cleans my house, sweeps up my patio, etc. So, yeah, I tip hugely - sometimes up to 50%. I don't think she actually makes much money after the agency gets their cut and she's newly married & struggling a bit financially.

    It's worth it, to me, to have somebody uber-reliable so that I do not have to worry about the four-leggers. Sometimes pet sitting is almost as much as my hotel, but that's life.
    To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.

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