Is a Pet Sitting Job Right for You?
Pet sitting is a great job for some people.
Whether you’re thinking of taking on a second job or want to make a career out of working with pets, pet sitting is a great way to help you meet your goals. You could work for a local sitter or start your own pet sitting business; you’ll enjoy the flexibility and furry fun of taking care of dogs, cats, and other lovable critters.
Before you make the leap, take some time to learn the ins and outs of working for a pet sitter versus becoming a small business owner so you can better decide which path is the right one.
Working for a Pet Sitter
There are many different pet sitting companies these days. Depending on the size of the business, you may be able to work part time or even full time if you like. It’s a great gig whether you’re a college student, a stay at home mom, or you work in a job that has some flexibility.
As a pet sitter you have the opportunity to work with a variety of different human and pet clients. Services you’ll provide include dog walking, morning/evening visits, overnight stays, and even live-in services where you spend most of the day at a client’s house. Staying at someone else’s house can be fun; you may get to stay at some fancy places depending on the area you work in. And you get paid to do it!
Unlike other jobs, you work independently as a pet sitter. Because of this, communication is key. Your employer should be available at all times when you’re out serving clients so you can alert them to any issues you might run into, such as a dog who needs to get to a vet.
It can be a big responsibility to care for other people’s pets, especially if a pet is older or gets sick. Your employer will discuss policies and procedures for dealing with any issues that might come up. Most of the time nothing will happen. But if it does your employer will be there to help you and will deal with the human clients, too.
Starting a Pet Sitting Business
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, the ability to manage people, and like to network with other professionals, then starting your own pet sitting business might be the way to go. Of course, starting a business takes a bit more time and preparation than getting a pet sitting job.
Jenna Trethewey, owner of Play Time Pet Care in Mesa, AZ, recommends registering your business name in your state and applying for a federal ID tax number. Then you can start working on details related to your pet sitting business. “First you’ll need to determine the specific area you’ll cover, typically a 10-mile radius,” Trethewey says. “Then you’ll need to have a professional website done, get insured and bonded, draw up a client contract with your lawyer, and start networking to generate business.” One way to find new business is to get involved in your local community, where you can build relationships with potential referral sources and clients.
So what do you think? Does becoming a professional pet sitter sound like a good fit for you? If you’re ready to sit and stay in the pet sitting industry, check out the Association of Pet Sitting Excellence (APSE) for all the tools, tips, and tricks you need to get started.