Home visits: what to expect from a pet sitter

Author picture Jessica

What are home visits?

A home visit is when a pet sitter visits a pet owner’s house once or twice daily to take care of their pet. The main tasks a pet sitter may perform include feeding and playing with the pet, as well as topping up their water bowl.

Additionally, pet sitters may be asked to perform extra tasks such as bring in mail, taking out the bins or watering plants. And, as always, a pet sitter is expected to update the owner on how the visit went and how the pet is doing.

The expectations for a home visit can vary between individual pet owners. As such, it’s very important that both parties make clear agreements in advance.

Pet sitter with dog and cat

Which pets are home visits best suited to?

House visits are ideal for pets that are attached to their home environment and can be left alone during the day.

This often includes cats, as they tend to find boarding stressful. Rabbits and other small pets may also prefer to stay at home whilst their owner is away.

Home visits may be suitable for dogs if the owner is working long hours. Likewise, older pets can benefit from home visits if they need medication during the day. Younger puppies can also benefit from having someone pop by to assist with toilet training or playing a game whilst their owner is at work. However, home visits aren't an ideal service overnight, as dogs can become very stressed if they are left alone for too long.

The best option is house sitting or home dog boarding if an owner is away for longer than a day. The pet sitter can supervise the dog overnight in the owner's home or in the sitter's home.  

Senior dog getting a pat

What extra tasks can a pet sitter do during a home visit?

Pet sitters may perform extra services such as cleaning out litter boxes or cages during longer bookings. Ask the owner to leave plenty of extra cat litter, straw, gravel or pet bedding if this is the case.

Extra services during a home visit may include:

  • Sweeping up cat hair
  • Cleaning up accidents
  • Collecting mail
  • Watering plants
  • Emptying the rubbish

Be sure to discuss expectations in detail and write them down, so there is no chance of misunderstanding. This includes the length of a home visit, which we cover in detail here.

Pet sitter taking picture of black and white cat

How much does a home visit cost?

The average price of a home visit is approximately $20 to $30, though this can vary for many reasons.

Pet sitters determine their own rates on Pawshake and some charge more than others. This is dependent on the pet sitter's experience and popularity, their availability, past reviews and the cost of living in the location they live.

We suggest new pet sitters charge a lower fee as they are starting out. They might want to slowly increase your rate in line with the number of positive reviews received. Be sure to communicate with current clients before making this change.