The Complete Guide to Setting Holiday Fees for Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers

Josh Winer
Josh Winer December 22, 2021

A guide to help pet care pros determine and set the appropriate holiday fees for common US holidays.

The holidays can be exciting and hectic for anyone — and that goes doubly so for pet care businesses! The days that most people look forward to taking off often end up being when pet care professionals work the hardest. And while it isn't always fun working the holidays, it's definitely part of the job. That said, it's important that you are fairly compensated for your time. Adding a holiday fee to your services is a reasonable, standard practice in the dog walking and pet sitting world. Workers get paid extra for working holidays or overtime in most other industries — the pet care industry should be no different.

To help you determine the correct holiday fee for your business, we've created a new Holiday Fee Calculator Tool that provides the national averages for flat rate and percentage-based fees for the most common US holidays. Our calculator has industry averages for New Year's Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve.

Cat on lap with lights

Setting your holidays fees.

When it comes to setting holiday fees for pet sitters, dog walkers, and other pet care providers, there are a lot of factors to consider. First, you need to decide if you will be setting your holiday fee as a flat rate per service or as a percentage of each service. You will also want to consider if you plan to charge per visit or per day?

Then there are a few other questions to ask yourself:

Will you have standard rates for every client, or will you set different rates depending on each client's needs? What if one day isn't as busy as the next? How much should you charge for that? Will your holiday fees change from year to year? What about for a special community event — like a city-wide holiday parade — that may affect your business? And then you need to consider all the various holidays. Some holidays might be busier than others, and some usually extend longer, like Christmas week vs. New Years's Eve/Day.

We know, that is a lot to consider! That's why we've put together a Holiday Fee Calculator to help you figure out how much to charge during the busiest times of the year. We looked through the data and found a few fascinating industry trends:

  • About 92-95% of companies charge a flat rate instead of a percentage of services for their holiday fee.
  • Roughly 75% of companies charge per visit compared to 25% that charge once per day.
  • Overall, holiday fees tend to be higher for the week of Christmas than for any other holiday.

Each pet care company and holiday are different, so your needs could end up being completely different. That's why we've tried to provide you with as many resources as possible to choose the right option for your business. If you have more questions about holiday rates, make sure to take a look at our Academy Lesson on Creating Your Holiday Fee Policy. We've also created an in-depth Holiday Guide for Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers that covers all things holiday-related!

Also, make sure your cancellation policy is up to date and easy to locate for pet parents. Having a clearly defined cancellation policy is essential around the holidays. And if you use Time To Pet, it's super easy to set up Automatic Holiday Rates. These holiday fees are automatically applied when scheduling new services for a client and when clients request services through the portal.

Holiday pet treats

Pet care holiday fees for common US holidays.

Now, let's take a look at some of the industry holiday fee averages we've found from looking at national data.

New Year's Day

Charge flat rate or percentage?

91% of companies charge a flat rate.

9% charge a percentage.

Charge per visit or a per day fee?

79% of companies charge once per visit.

21% charge a once per day.

How much do flat rate companies charge?

Once per visit charge on average is $10.93.

Once per day charge on average is $13.58.

How much do percentage companies charge?

Once per visit charge on average is 42%.

Once per day charge on average is 25%.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Charge flat rate or percentage?

93% of companies charge a flat rate.

7% charge a percentage.

Charge per visit or a per day fee?

81% of companies charge once per visit.

19% charge a once per day.

How much do flat rate companies charge?

Once per visit charge on average is $11.08.

Once per day charge on average is $14.75.

How much do percentage companies charge?

Once per day charge on average is 31%.

Easter

Charge flat rate or percentage?

92% of companies charge a flat rate.

8% charge a percentage.

Charge per visit or a per day fee?

82% of companies charge once per visit.

18% charge a once per day.

How much do flat rate companies charge?

Once per visit charge on average is $9.39.

Once per day charge on average is $14.85.

How much do percentage companies charge?

Once per visit charge on average is 52%.

Memorial Day

Charge flat rate or percentage?

93% of companies charge a flat rate.

7% charge a percentage.

Charge per visit or a per day fee?

79% of companies charge once per visit.

21% charge a once per day.

How much do flat rate companies charge?

Once per visit charge on average is $10.14.

Once per day charge on average is $13.91.

How much do percentage companies charge?

Once per visit charge on average is 45%.

Independence Day

Charge flat rate or percentage?

94% of companies charge a flat rate.

6% charge a percentage.

Charge per visit or a per day fee?

78% of companies charge once per visit.

22% charge a once per day.

How much do flat rate companies charge?

Once per visit charge on average is $10.90.

Once per day charge on average is $13.27.

How much do percentage companies charge?

Once per visit charge on average is 46%.

Once per day charge on average is 26%.

Labor Day

Charge flat rate or percentage?

93% of companies charge a flat rate.

7% charge a percentage.

Charge per visit or a per day fee?

79% of companies charge once per visit.

21% charge a once per day.

How much do flat rate companies charge?

Once per visit charge on average is $9.87.

Once per day charge on average is $13.20.

How much do percentage companies charge?

Once per visit charge on average is 47%.

Veterans Day

Charge flat rate or percentage?

95% of companies charge a flat rate.

5% charge a percentage.

Charge per visit or a per day fee?

74% of companies charge once per visit.

26% charge a once per day.

How much do flat rate companies charge?

Once per visit charge on average is $11.48.

Once per day charge on average is $13.91.

How much do percentage companies charge?

Once per visit charge on average is 34%.

Thanksgiving Day

Charge flat rate or percentage?

92% of companies charge a flat rate.

8% charge a percentage.

Charge per visit or a per day fee?

80% of companies charge once per visit.

20% charge a once per day.

How much do flat rate companies charge?

Once per visit charge on average is $11.08.

Once per day charge on average is $14.58.

How much do percentage companies charge?

Once per visit charge on average is 46%.

Christmas Eve

Charge flat rate or percentage?

93% of companies charge a flat rate.

7% charge a percentage.

Charge per visit or a per day fee?

80% of companies charge once per visit.

20% charge a once per day.

How much do flat rate companies charge?

Once per visit charge on average is $11.87.

Once per day charge on average is $14.74.

How much do percentage companies charge?

Once per visit charge on average is 46%.

Once per day charge on average is 24%.

Christmas Day

Charge flat rate or percentage?

93% of companies charge a flat rate.

7% charge a percentage.

Charge per visit or a per day fee?

79% of companies charge once per visit.

21% charge a once per day.

How much do flat rate companies charge?

Once per visit charge on average is $12.21.

Once per day charge on average is $15.47.

How much do percentage companies charge?

Once per visit charge on average is 44%.

Once per day charge on average is 26%.

New Year's Eve

Charge flat rate or percentage?

93% of companies charge a flat rate.

7% charge a percentage.

Charge per visit or a per day fee?

80% of companies charge once per visit.

20% charge a once per day.

How much do flat rate companies charge?

Once per visit charge on average is $11.97.

Once per day charge on average is $15.44.

How much do percentage companies charge?

Once per visit charge on average is 42%.

Once per day charge on average is 44%.

Happy dog on bed

Are you ready for the holidays?

In the end, you should choose a holiday fee that is fair for your business and agreeable to your clients. As always, it's best to avoid pricing yourself out of the market and asking for too much. On the flip side, though, you don't want to underprice yourself either. Hopefully, our guides and calculator tools will help you select a reasonable holiday fee that best suits your needs while still being fair to your customers and profitable for your business. We hope this helps save you some time and effort in creating your holiday fee structure!

Planning for next year.

The year-end holidays are a great time to think about how you plan to set your rates for next year. If you are thinking about updating your rates for the new year, make sure to check out all of our Free Calculator ToolsThe Ultimate Guide to Setting Your Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Rates, and our Advanced Webinar on Rate Increases. Our knowledgeable team at Time To Pet has created this webinar that focuses on basic rate increases, grandfathering in rates for existing customers, and making rate increases on extra fees, frequency discounts, templates, and packages.

Happy Holidays!

Make sure to check out our Time To Pet Academy and Blog for more great resources.

Time To Pet is modern pet sitting software trusted by over 2,500 of the world’s most successful pet sitting and dog walking companies. We help pet care professionals start, grow and manage their businesses.

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