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jca's avatar

If I ask my neighbor to feed my pets when I'm away, how should I compensate her?

Asked by jca (36062points) September 13th, 2011

I am going to be away for about 5 or 6 days. I asked my neighbor, who lives about 4 houses away, if she could feed my pets. I have 3 cats, 2 frogs in a fish tank and a Siamese Fighting fish in another tank. It would involve coming over once every day or maybe every two days to feed them.

What should I do to compensate her? Should I offer her money? How much would be a good amount? Should I buy her a nice gift? Both money and a souvenir? I have no problem asking her what she would like but I don’t want her to feel awkward.

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19 Answers

AshlynM's avatar

Just mention to her that you’d like to pay her for her time. If she refuses, then leave it at that. No need to push the issue. Maybe get her a gift certificate instead. Everyone can always use a gift certificate.

AmWiser's avatar

I agree with @AshlynM
And throw in a souvenir too!

Brian1946's avatar

When my neighbor across the street watched my house, watered my lawn, and returned my receptacles to my back yard, I gave her a Target gift card.

She seemed very appreciative, so perhaps your neighbor would like one for a store where she shops.

ddude1116's avatar

My neighbor usually gives me twenty dollars to feed his cats. I tell them I’m happy to do it, but they insist on paying me for it. I appreciate it, and I tell them that. And their cats are adorable..

Sunny2's avatar

Offer to pay and if you’re turned down, offer to do something similar for her. It may be to do grocery shopping, baking, or something else she might need help with.


Buy her a nice gift.

JLeslie's avatar

Souvenir is nice. Maybe take her to lunch or dinner sometime in the future. I think it is fine to offer to pay her also, if you are so inclined. If she has pets, you will probably be asked to do the same for her, so then I really would not sweat some sort of monetary compensation.

Jellie's avatar

Bake her a cake/cookies or something like that.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Give what you can I suppose.My mother-in-law watched my dog last week while I was away.
I gave her $50 and a nice ginger jar I made.She didn’t want anything but if you had to babysit my dog you deserve something. XD

chyna's avatar

I paid a friend of mine to watch my dog for the weekend what I would’ve paid at a kennel. But that was her staying here, so it was a bit different than runnning over for about an hour each day. Perhaps take her to dinner?

Neizvestnaya's avatar

If she’s accepted without you two talking money then don’t give her money. Instead, give her a couple of gift cards to places you know she’ll enjoy.

If it were me paying someone to do that job, I’d be giving them about $200.00 so if I were to give gifts, I’d choose a nice steak/seafood restaurant, a prepaid salon certificate, some movie certificates, maybe a little of each.

jca's avatar

@Neizvestnaya: $200 for 5 days of coming in, meaning $40 per day?

chyna's avatar

I paid 15.00 a day for someone to come in my home and stay. All she had to do was feed the dog and open the back door for her to come and go as she pleased.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@jca: Yes, that’s what I meant. Where I live, the cheapest you can find a pet sitter or boarder type place is $60.00, back in 2004 and that was for one animal. You’ve got a bunch of animals.

jca's avatar

Update from the Update Lady: She told me I don’t have to pay her because I’m a great neighbor and she’s happy to have me. I am presently on vacay, so I decided to buy her some things (sweatshirt and maybe some food and kitchen items which I will arrange nicely in a basket).

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@jca: Now that’s a great neighbor!

jca's avatar

Update from the Update Lady: Her request for a souvenir was a colored glass sun catcher.

I got her an embroidered sweatshirt, a bottle of maple syrup, a mug, two handmade colored glass sun catchers (Pairpoint glass factory, Sandwich MA) and some apple cider tea.

Sweatshirt was regularly $40, I paid $18, cup was half price for $3, sun catchers were $13 each. Total I paid was about $65 for all. I love a sale so it would have been more, as I indicated, if it were not all on sale. I also put a nice thank you note signed by the cats, the frogs, the fish and me and my daughter, and put it all in a gift bag.

Jellie's avatar

Love updates!

jca's avatar

I have to provide them when I’m usually the one requesting them. Fair’s fair.

The Update Lady

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