Pet sitting can be a great way of earning money and for many people, a job that can bring a lot of joy and calm into their lives. Many people prefer home pet care versus boarding their animals at kennels where there is a possible exposure to sickness and fleas. Pets taken away from home, however short the time period is, can become depressed and disorientated.

How to Know if a Pet Sitting Service is the Right Business

If a potential sitter is not really an animal lover and is only in it for the money, sitting is probably going to be difficult business to take on and the animals will more than likely be little more than an irritating nuisance.

Animals take time to get to know a sitter and they may feel upset or unsettled when their owner is away. It will take time for them to respond to a new person in their lives. Sitters will have to have plenty of patience with other people’s animals and should remember the animals comes in all shapes and sizes from big bounding dogs to snakes, lizards, monkeys or birds. Pet sitting is a responsibility and takes commitment.

A pet sitter business can be very hard work, especially if there are many pets that need to be fed, cleaned up after and exercised.

Pet sitters will typically have to work over holiday periods and public holidays when everyone else is away enjoying a break.

Becoming a Pet Sitter – Where to Find Clients

The best place to start is advertising among friends and family. Once they know there is a trusted sitter available they will very likely look no further and will probably refer the sitter to others if they are satisfied.

As the business grows, print business cards and hand them out to acquaintances, work colleagues, pet shops and vet clinics. Leave fliers on community bulletin boards and at grocery stores and schools. Consider setting up a website which details services offered and contact information.

Tips for Starting a Pet Sitting Business from Home

  • Get familiar with the basics of dog and cat care, such as walking dogs and changing litter boxes. A course in pet CPR & First Aid would be very helpful and make the pet owner feel more confident.
  • Start small and gain the experience necessary slowly. There is no use in taking on too many clients as this may well become unmanageable, especially in the beginning.
  • Become licensed, bonded and insured (professional pet sitting organizations such as Pet Sitters International offer these services).
  • Draw up a contract that includes the pet(s) that will be cared for, the days, dates or periods of times the sitter will come around and the types of services that will be provided – such as feeding and exercise, rates charged and any other relevant information. The pet owner and pet sitter should both sign the contract.
  • Be sure to take note of any pet health needs such as special dietary requirements, pills or medication that the animal must take.
  • Ask for contact information such as vet or animal hospital numbers and pet insurance information should an emergency arise. In addition, be sure to have the pet owner’s contact number/s available.
  • Join a professional pet sitting organization such as Pet Sitters International (PSI). These types of organizations keep a sitter informed of the latest trends and developments in the professional pet care world and offer helpful advice.

A pet sitter business can be very rewarding. To ensure the best service and a good experience for the sitter concerned, it is a good idea to get to know the animals before the owner leaves and interact with them. In this way there is likely to be less separation anxiety on the part of the animals with their owners and they are likely to be happier and more co-operative with the sitter.

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