By Tim Falk
Published: 02/24/2022, edited: 02/24/2022
When you become a Boarder with Wag!, you welcome dogs into your own home and provide them with loving and reliable overnight care. It’s a role that any dog lover will enjoy, and a great way to earn an income from your love of animals.
But if you’re a new Boarder, one of the challenges you face before you can accept Boarding requests is setting an appropriate rate for your services. Setting your Boarding price is a balancing act between earning a respectable income and pricing your services at an affordable level for Pet Parents.
Let’s take a closer look at the factors to consider when deciding how much you should charge for Boarding with Wag!.
Pet Parents consider a lot of factors when choosing a dog boarder — your experience, any special qualifications, and how many 5-star reviews you have from other Pet Parents. But you should never underestimate just how important cost is in their decision.
So before you start calculating your rate, put yourself in a Pet Parent’s shoes for a minute. You’re heading away for a weekend and your dog can’t come. You want to give your pup personalized, 1-on-1 care in a loving home, so how much are you willing to pay for the service? Or to put it another way, how much can you reasonably afford to pay?
Once you’ve got a ballpark figure you think most Pet Parents would be happy with, think about your own financial situation. How much time and effort will each Boarding job require? How much do you need to make per night to make being a Pet Caregiver worth your while? And how does this number compare to the first figure?
Setting your rate is all about balancing the need to keep your services affordable with the need to earn a fair income. Get it right, and you’ve taken the first step toward becoming a sought-after Pet Caregiver on the Wag! app.
There’s a lot you need to take into account when calculating your Boarding rate. Here are the key factors you should consider:
Cost of living. The cost of living in your area plays a big part in determining how much you should charge. Not only does it affect how much Pet Parents can afford to pay for Boarding, but it also affects how much you need to charge to earn a fair income. As a result, the average cost of pet sitting can vary substantially from one city to the next.
Your Boarding experience. If you’re a first-time Boarder with no reviews to your name, it’s a good idea to charge less than experienced Boarders who have received a host of 5-star ratings from Pet Parents. In fact, lowering your rate a little when you’re starting out is often a good way to stand out from the crowd and attract Boarding requests.
Your pet care qualifications. Some Pet Parents are willing to pay more for a Boarder with additional qualifications, such as having completed a pet first-aid course or being certified as a dog trainer. And if you’ve worked in other pet care settings before, such as at a veterinary clinic or animal shelter, include your credentials in your profile to demonstrate why your rate may be a little higher compared to other Pet Caregivers.
Your costs. Now it’s time to think about all the costs you incur for each Boarding booking. As well as pet-proofing your home, you may need to spend money on treats, toys, bedding, and more. Of course, you’ll also need to pay income tax on the money you earn as a Pet Caregiver, so keep this in mind when calculating your rate.
Your time and effort. No matter how much you adore dogs, being a Boarder still requires hard work and sacrifice. Not only do you open up your home to a pup you may never have met before, but you’re committing yourself to providing a high standard of care outside of normal business hours. This can disrupt your social life, while you’ll also need to put your energy into cleaning up after the dog, walking them, administering their medication if needed, and giving them the love and interaction they need to feel secure and happy. There’s a lot involved, so you need to make sure you’ll be fairly rewarded for your efforts.
What other Boarders near you charge. If you price your services much higher than your competitors, you can’t expect many boarding requests, so a little market research is the crucial next step. In the Wag! app, check the average Pet Caregiver bid in your area to get an idea of what Pet Parents are willing to pay for quality care.
What you charge vs what Pet Parents pay. Finally, make sure you’re aware that the rate you set on the Wag! app is the amount you will receive for your services. This is different to the amount Pet Parents pay per boarding session, which is displayed below your rate.
After considering all of the above, you should have all the information you need to decide on the right rate for your Boarding services.
On average, the cost of a Boarding in a Pet Caregiver’s home for 1 dog ranges from $48 to $69 a night. But remember, this is the total cost a Pet Parent pays for an overnight stay, not the actual rate charged by Pet Caregivers.
It’s also worth remembering that your rate is just one of many factors Pet Parents will consider when deciding whether you’re the right person to look after their pup. They’ll also be eager to find out more about the person who will be caring for their dog — who you are, what experience you have, and why you love being a Pet Caregiver with Wag!.
With this in mind, take care to provide plenty of information about yourself in your Wag! profile. Go into detail about your experience, your qualifications, and your love of animals, and include a few pics of yourselves with some adorable canines.
If you’re a Walker and you’re thinking of offering overnight care, check out our run-down of how to transition from Walking with Wag! to Sitting and Boarding. This gives you all the info you need to get started, and includes tips on how to attract more Boarding requests. Our how to start a dog boarding business guide is another tail-waggingly good resource that will help you start your life as a Boarder with Wag! on the right foot.
Need more advice and assistance on Boarding with Wag!? Check out our support center for Pet Caregivers to find answers to a wide range of FAQs.
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