The best pet sitters in Durham.

How to tip your pet sitter; don’t lick her face and other useful advice.

Jeremy, gift steer (no gift horses were available at this time)

Jeremy, gift steer (no gift horses were available at this time)

We are often asked about tipping your pet sitter or dog walker. Honestly, our moms taught us not to look a gift horse in the mouth, we know we have the best job in the world! (And we WOULD look in your horse’s mouth if we needed to) However, pet sitters are service providers who often work 7 days a week, 365 days a year, in the NC humidity and the February snow. We work hard so that you can have the peace of mind provided by having a loving professional caring for your beloved pets and home when you’re unable to. It’s a profession that is built upon trust, dependability and a love of animals. It’s not surprising that you may want to give your pet sitter or dog walker a little extra in appreciation for their services especially when your sitter has gone above and beyond the basic care.

So, how much should you tip?

Well. There is really not an easy answer for this. We always tell clients never to feel obliged to tip and only tip when and how much they feel comfortable doing. If you are happy and you know it (and we hope that you’re happy with your pet sitter!), then a monetary gift is always appreciated. The amount is up to you but 10-20% of the total bill seems to be the standard for those who choose to tip their pet sitter.

How do you leave a tip?

Tips can be left in cash form at the house or included directly in your payment to Bull City Pet Sitting. If you do choose to leave cash, please make sure it is clearly marked for the sitter. If the tip is included in your CC payment, you can determine the amount included for your sitter or sitters. If more than one sitters is caring for your pets the amount is split according to how many visits each sitter has provided.

Thanking your dog walker or pet sitter can come in other forms besides cash money.

  • Gift cards to gas stations, coffee shops or local restaurants.
  • Treats – check your sitters’ bio for personal favorite treats. If you are leaving chocolate for Kristin or Erica, please place it where your pets can not get into it.
  • Hand-written thank you cards. We save every one.
  • Anything your sitter or dog walker uses on a regular basis can be a great thank-you gift. Poop bags and stinky dog treats are staples.
  • Our mobile offices take a pretty good beating, so a gift certificate for car cleaning would be an extra special treat.
  • Sometimes this work is hard on our bodies too and who wouldn’t like a massage gift certificate?
  • T-shirts, sweatshirts or other useful items. We work outside so t-shirts are our summer uniform and hooded-sweatshirts are handy for layering. Shoulder bags are helpful for carrying poop bags, phones, notepads, pens and care instructions.
  • Write a review on Google or Yelp. Sitters love to see their praises on-line. Tell your friends. Word-of-mouth is our favorite compliment!
  • Overnight care package. We have had clients leave us goodies for sleepover parties such as popcorn, little fancy soaps, delicious treats. And the wifi password so we can stream Netflix while we get cozy with your pets.
  • Bring back a gift from your trip. As an alternative to giving your pet sitter a cash tip, you might consider Intelligentsia coffee from your trip to Chicago or local cheese from your trip to Vermont. (Can you tell that we really like treats?)
  • Planning ahead when you need a pet sitter is as valuable as cash to us. Due to the nature of this  job, it’s often hard for pet sitters to have the down time which is so necessary to avoid burnout. Give us as much notice as you can so we can plan our personal time too. And understand that we may need to send a new sitter if your usual sitter is unavailable. Bull City Pet Sitting works hard to strike a balance between being available to you and giving our amazing pet sitters their much deserved time off.
  • You can show your appreciation for your pet sitting service by nominating them for INDY Week’s Best of the Triangle. If there were a Client category, we would nominate you too.
  • While we’re at it, let’s go big. We would be honored to be nominated for Pet Sitters International’s Pet Sitter of the Year Award. This is our industry’s highest honor and it is bestowed upon one amazing pet sitter each year. You would make us feel like the prettiest girls at the ball. But don’t expect to see us in dresses.

Happy wagging tails and contented purrs tell us your pets are happy. Chances are, your sitter knows you are happy too, but scratching her behind the ear or licking her face would not be appropriate. We hope we have helped give you a few reminders and ideas. Partnering with you in caring for your pets is such an honor. We are grateful for you every day.

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