November 12, 2023

How to price your pet services online to increase profit margins


If you’re trying to grow your pet service business, establishing a proper pricing structure is key to your success. Charge too much, and you risk chasing customers away. Don’t charge enough, and you won’t profit (and you’ll risk burning yourself out).

There’s a proper balance that can be achieved here.

But thanks to online selling, it’s possible to create a pricing structure that is both profitable for you and satisfying for your customers.

But first – is it better to charge hourly rates or flat fees?

This post is an offshoot from How To Run A Profitable Pet Services Business. Read the main post to learn everything you need to know!

Hourly vs flat rate

There’s no quick answer to this conundrum. However, for the majority of cases, we suggest dropping the hourly rate in favour of flat rates.

Unless you’re a dog sitter, here are just a couple of reasons why you’re selling yourself short by charging hourly:

  • Hourly rates vary from region to region, and if you want to charge more than the regional standard, most customers won’t be interested.
  • As you become better and faster at your job and learn to save time, hourly pricing becomes less profitable for you.
  • You need to do the mental work of keeping track of your hours.
  • Customers aren’t 100% certain of the amount they’ll have to spend if your hours end up varying.

But flat-rate pricing has its own set of issues – for instance, do you charge the same rate to groom a chihuahua compared to a Bernese Bouvier, or to scoop poop for a tiny yard compared to a mansion garden?

And what about dog-sitting, where you have no choice but to do time-based pricing?

Online selling is a different game

The great news? With modern technology, you’re no longer limited to hourly pricing, or even just flat-rate pricing, for that matter.

You are free to set up your pricing based on a variety of factors, including:

  • Type and size of the dog
  • Specific services and add-ons
  • Size of the yard
  • Number of dogs (for dog-sitting and walking)

That’s because these factors can be established easily, without conversations – all the customer has to do is enter their information on your website.

All you have to do is figure out how much money you want to make. If hourly pricing makes sense in your brain, but you want to charge a number that makes customers gasp, figure out the equivalent in terms of fixed pricing instead.

And if you’re using instant pricing software, they don’t even have to wait to know what the pricing will be.

Seal the deal with upsells

And that’s it! Don’t feel limited by what you think pet service pricing should be. 

One last tip – include additional options on your pricing and booking pages to upsell existing customers. As an example, you can offer dog training sessions, additional doggy massages, and even give the option to book recurring appointments.

Want to test out these features for free? Check out our Dog Walking Live Pricing & Real-Time Booking page and try it out for yourself!

You may like our other articles:

  1. How to Save Time as a Pet Service Business owner (and make more money)
  2. How to Scale Your Pet Services Business and Grow a Furry Empire
  3. How to Run a Profitable Pet Service Business
  4. 3 Ways To Better Handle Quoting Your Pet Services