As a professional option, becoming a Pet Sitter appears to be growing in popularity. There are certainly several explanations for this. For example, the world is changing, and the days of retiring at 60 or 65 are long gone.
Many people are working later in life. The new 50 is 70!! Many people now desire to work or return to work in order to reap the benefits of earning more money for a longer period of time.
And a flexible employment, such as pet sitting, is ideal for working around your current obligations.
For many individuals these days, ‘contract employment’ is becoming the norm, with some working several jobs, and many of us yearning for a new meaningful position. ‘A job for life’ is nowhere to be found, and in a world where we are increasingly aware of ‘working to live rather than ‘working to live,’ many are looking for something new – to do something they are passionate about.
Pet sitting may appear to be the ideal profession for someone who loves animals, but keep in mind that other abilities are required as well…
In This Article
What pet sitters do
Pet sitters are essentially babysitters for animals in that they give day-to-day look after animals while their owners are away vacationing or on organization trips, and even while at the workplace. They usually check out customers’ residences to do this (as well as occasionally stay overnight), though some likewise host pets in their own houses.
While the majority of pet caretakers look after all kinds of animals, many focus on taking care of a particular type of pet, such as:
Day-to-day activities vary depending upon the kind of animal in pet sitters’ treatment as well as specific customer requirements, though typical tasks, as well as responsibilities, include:
Providing pets with TLC
Providing socializing chances for pets via regular play and also interaction with various other pets and human beings
Providing pets with food as well as freshwater while focusing on any unique dietary demands
Administering medicines as required
Clearing out clutter cages, boxes as well as aquariums
Working out family pets as needed, such as taking canines for strolls
Grooming family pets as needed, which can consist of bathing them, brushing their coats, trimming their nails, cleansing their ears, and brushing their teeth
Moving pets to the veterinarian for examinations, vaccinations, as well as various other consultations
Observing pet dogs’ health and behavior to evaluate any concerns that might require vet focus, as well as interacting with these problems with their proprietors
Giving clients routine updates, which may include interacting with them over the phone or sending them photos and videos of their pets through email or text message
Meanwhile, animal caretakers who stay overnight in customers’ residences may also have extra duties, such as collecting mail, watering plants, and generally keeping clients’ houses tidy. These tasks are typically agreed on between the pet sitter and the customer beforehand.
Many pet caretakers are independent professionals, but some are employed by regional, nationwide or regional animal resting businesses.
How to become a Pet Sitter
Before you become a pet sitter, the following should be taken into consideration.
Recognize the Pet Caretaker Task Summary
When you become a pet sitter, you’re not just a short-term good friend to your hairy customers; you’re their advocate. You’ll need to offer them everyday care instead of their owner. That may imply administering medications, brushing, scooping the litter box, food preparing homemade diets, exercising, clearing out cages, and countless other tasks.
You may need to hand feed them or try other tempting foods if a pet refuses to eat after being separated from its owner. Keen analytic abilities are essential if anything unanticipated, for example, illness, injury, or distress, occurs. Suppose you’re uncertain whether pet sitting is the appropriate task for you. In that case, you can supply pet sit for buddies or households as a trial to ensure if it’s the ideal fit.
Testimonial Your Animal Knowledge as well as Skills
Stultz-Hairston encourages individuals who are simply starting to “Take an inventory of their present pet-care expertise and experience-and note locations that they require to learn more about.
Some individuals might feel they need much more experience with large-breed canines, or possibly they have no experience with pet cats. They can seek training workshops, online courses, and volunteer opportunities (such as at a neighbourhood animal sanctuary) to obtain hands-on and virtual training in detailed pet-care subjects.” Pet mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or first aid qualifications likewise supply essential expertise that must be an emergency development.
Think About Pet Sitting Qualifications
You can likewise think about becoming a licensed pet sitter, which needs a particular amount of education and learning to take the accreditation test, along with continuing education and learning afterwards to renew the accreditation.
This can be an excellent first step if you’re hoping to become a pet sitter with no previous experience. PSI supplies the Certified Professional Pet Caretaker qualification, and the National Organization of Specialist Pet Sitters supplies its accreditation. While ending up being accredited isn’t essential, including those credentials on your resume can assist you to stick out above other pet sitters in your area.
Signing up with an organization for pet caretakers, such as PSI, can also allow you to connect to skilled pet sitters to obtain their input on how they run their organizations, rate their services, and take care of challenging customer scenarios. This can be a vital resource of expertise for the beginner and can save you time and migraines that can sideline a company in its infancy.
Choose Services and also Variety
Morgan Weber, the owner of Fortunate Dog Experiences, encourages individuals just beginning to find out what kind of customers they want. “Do you intend to just do felines? Or overnight pet resting?” Not all pet sitters provide every service, so do not feel pressure to use something you’re unfamiliar with.
Suppose you’re not comfortable doing overnight checkouts or working unusual hrs. In that case, you may intend to focus on individuals that need noontime checkouts, such as an owner with a puppy or senior canine that can’t hold its bladder. Weber also says it is necessary to understand “Which clients you feel most comfortable with so you’re not handling work that you won’t take pleasure in or do well at.” This could be restricting yourself to specific sizes of canines or exotic varieties you don’t feel comfy handling.
On the other hand, having experience with certain breeds can make your solutions better. Weber claims she “Had a great deal of experience with pit bull rescue and so I was extremely comfortable with these types of pets as well as I obtained a lot of customers because of that.”
Weber advises that you must take on the customers you feel you can do your ideal with because “There’s room for everyone. If you just wish to do cats, there are pet caretakers who just visit felines.” Suppose you are fit with dealing with reptiles or tiny animals with specialized treatment. In that case, this can be a very niche and lucrative location. Utilize your assets to your benefit when creating your organization strategy.
Pick a Great Business Name
This isn’t one of the most vital actions in ending up being a pet caretaker, but it’s a very enjoyable one. You’ll require ahead up with a name for your pet resting business. Some pet caretakers just utilize their name as the business name, whereas others might obtain it very imaginatively. Seek inspiration in the types you’ll look after, your area, background, and even plays-on-words. Some example name suggestions include:
- Radical Reptile Pet Sitters
- Pawsitively Dog Strolling
- Cleveland Cat Resting
- Aaron’s Pet Treatment Solutions
- Wag and Meow Pet Sitters
- Puppy Resort Overnight Pet Sitting
Obtain Your Documents in Order
You must decide what your service entity, such as a single proprietorship or LLC, will be. An accountant can assist you in comprehending the differences between the two and your tax obligation responsibilities. Speak with your accountant about handling estimated taxes, as getting hit with a huge tax bill at the end of the year can be an upsetting experience for the first-time businessperson.
Depending upon where you live, there may be licenses required to operate a business, and you may need multiple ones to cover the county, state, and city regulations.
You may also need a sales tax license and collect taxes from your clients. Again, your accountant will be your best guide for this information, as every state and municipality differs.
If you want to be a pet sitter who watches pets in your home, you may be required to get a special board and kennel license. Contact your local animal control to find out the regulations and the insurance requirements for in-home boarding and care.
Make Sure You Have Insurance
Stultz-Hairston also cautions, “We recommend pet sitters obtain pet-sitter liability insurance before accepting their first assignment. The reality is that for even the most conscientious pet sitter or dog walker, accidents can occur. Having comprehensiInsurancence protects the pet sitter and gives clients peace of mind that you are covered, should anything go wrong.”
Weber agrees, saying Insurance not only covers yourself but covers your customers. If something happens outside your control, like a dog jumping off a couch and breaking its leg, that’s a really expensive item for a pet owner to pick up. Whereas wiInsurancence, you have that extra layer of protection for your clients and can label yourself as a professional.”
Develop a Pet Sitting Contract
Another area where professional pet sitter needs to protect themselves is with contracts and clearly defined policies and procedures. Stultz-Hairston notes, “Pet sitters should ensure that all clients clearly understand the services you will provide, your policies and procedures, and what is expected from pet owners. The pet-sitting contract will outline the services you’ll provide, limitations, and important information about the clients’ pet and home-care needs.”
You can work with a local attorney to create a contract or purchase pre-made ones online. Even if you purchase a pre-made template contract, it’s a good idea to have an attorney in your area review it for adherence to local laws and regulations. You also should have a veterinary release form created with the help of an attorney for clients to sign. This allows you to rush an animal to the vet if they need immediate care and you can not reach their owners.
Set Up Your Procedures and processes
You will need to have processes set up for your daily visits. This includes the following items:
Keeping track of human client information, including address, gate or key codes, and emergency contact information.
You should also have a process and file system set up to keep track of keys to ensure they don’t get lost or get mixed up with other keys from different clients.
Keep track of pet client information, including diet and number of feedings, medical history, behavioral information, veterinary clinic, number of times you need to visit, and anything relevant.
Another system you should keep with a spreadsheet or database or even a notebook is keeping track of referrals. Word of mouth is a huge source of referrals for any pet sitter, and it’s important to thank the referring person to keep those referrals coming in!
Decide upon your procedures for how you’ll handle initial visits. Will you require that you have a meeting with the client and their pet beforehand to make sure they are one you’re open to taking on? This is usually a good idea as it helps the pet feel comfortable with you since they won’t be meeting you for the first time when you are doing their pet sitting.
Prepare Your Equipment
In addition to procedures, you should also have all of your supplies in order. This will bring extra leashes, collars, harnesses, doggie waste bags, treats, and toys. You will want to have a few treats on hand that can accommodate different dietary restrictions, as well as different types of collars, such as Gentle Leaders and front clip, harnesses, for dogs that are stronger and pull more.
It’s also a good idea to keep a first aid kit with you and the pets in your care. You may also want to purchase clothing with your logo and business name, as this is a great way to advertise your services and looks professional to potential and current clients.
Decide on Pricing and Payments
You will need to decide how much to charge for your pet sitting services and how you will accept payment. This can include setting yourself up to take credit cards, which can easily be done through most banks and online vendors like Stripe.
To price your services, look at what other pet sitters in your area are charging to get an idea of the going rate. Pricing for pet sitting can vary widely across the country, so you want to make sure that you are choosing prices that your local market can bear. For example:
The going rate in a small town might be $25 per 30-minute visit, compared to $75 per 30-minute visit in a large, urban city.
Some sitters charge a set price per visit, whereas others charge by the hour.
If they buy a certain number of sessions, you can also create packages where clients get a discount.
When setting your prices, remember to consider all your costs, including gas, supplies, and more. Your pricing should be designed to net your profit after all your expenses are covered.
When you become a pet sitter, you’re not just a temporary friend to your furry clients; you’re their advocate. If you’re unsure whether pet sitting is the right job for you, you can offer to pet sit for close friends or family as a trial to ensure it’s the right fit.
PSI offers the Certified Professional Pet Sitter certification, and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters offers its certification. Having comprehensiInsurancence protects the pet sitter and gives clients peace of mind that you are covered, should anything go wrong.”