How Do You Get Started as a Pet Sitter?
Introduction: Are you thinking of becoming a pet sitter? It’s a great way to make money while spending time with animals. But how do you get started? Here’s everything you need to know.
Can I make real money for pet sitting? Sure, many people pay daily for dog walkers and pet sitters. Imagine finding a person that pays you a weekly wage to hang out with their precious pet while they go to work. Sure, you’ll have to take care of them but pets are wonderful companions and many people will drop the pet off at your house. Doesn’t get much better than that. You can do this job in your pajamas. It’s a perfect job for teenagers during the summer or college students who can take courses online.
Do you enjoy working with animals and have a lot of expertise with them? Do you want to supplement your income or maybe establish your own small business? If that’s the case, offering pet sitting services, such as dog walking, house sitting for pet owners, or feeding cats and small animals in their own houses while their owners are away, might be on your mind.
But hold your horses before you create your ad and wait for the phone to ring – there’s a lot more to beginning an ethical, competent, and legal pet sitting business than simply convincing people that you can look after their pets! We’ll go over some fundamental ideas and guidance on how to start working as a pet sitter, what it takes, and what you’ll need to get started in this article.
Your Backstory is Important
To begin, it is critical to understand that simply liking animals and wanting to spend more time with them is insufficient to succeed as a pet sitter. As a pet sitter, you are asking the owners of the pets you will be minding to put their trust in you when it comes to not only looking after their animals, but also their homes; even if you only need to pop in to pick up and drop off their dog for a walk, you will still need to be entrusted with the security of their home and possessions, as well as the safety and well-being of their pet, as well as dogs, other dogs, and people.
This is not a decision to be made lightly when it comes to a person and their pet. You must be 100 percent reliable when it comes to doing what you say you’ll do, when you say you’ll do it, and you must also know what you’d do in an emergency, such as if you became ill or your car broke down while caring for someone’s cat.
To be a good pet sitter, you must have a love for animals, but you must also have a good understanding of the pets you wish to care for, be able to deal with problems and emergencies calmly and effectively, and, when caring for dogs, be able to manage and control them properly in order to keep yourself, other dogs, and people safe.
What You’ll Need to Get Started Working
Unless you plan to work in a very small region or in a large metropolis, where public transportation is a realistic alternative for getting around, you will also require your own form of transportation. If you use your vehicle for commuting and/or carrying your charges, you must notify your insurance company so that your coverage can be adjusted accordingly.
You must have insurance in order to operate as a pet sitter. Various insurance firms offer pet sitters specialized insurance that covers them in the event of unanticipated circumstances, loss, or harm to the pet in your care or their owner’s property, as well as third-party legal liability.
While anyone can technically start working as a pet sitter and create a reputation and client base over time, it is advisable to obtain a qualification or certification in pet sitting and the care of the animals you will be caring for in order to have a head start. Additional skills or qualifications, such as pet first aid, are also a good idea and will offer you an advantage when it comes to creating trust and growing your business.
Furthermore, many pet sitters undergo a CRB check to provide further reassurance to their clients, and you will most likely be obliged to obtain one if you plan to work for a pet sitting company or agency. Finally, if you begin earning money as a pet sitter, you must declare your earnings and register with the IRS.
How Can I Find Work and Start Making Money?
Pet sitting is no exception: marketing yourself and letting potential clients know about you is an important aspect of any small business. Because many potential clients hunt for pet sitters online, you’ll need to be somewhat internet-savvy to do this, so look for sites and directories that market pet sitting services and sign up.
You may also want to look into advertising in the phone book, store windows, and local pet-related businesses, such as dog groomers and veterinary clinics.
You can also join one of the many pets sitting and dog walking companies out there, which will assist you in finding employment and handle much of the paperwork and advertising for you, but this will obviously affect your take-home pay.
Here Are a Few Pointers to Help You Get Started.
As you gain a better grasp of your own strengths and limitations, the longer you work as a pet sitter, the more confident you will become. You’ll soon find yourself figuring out how to save time each day and increase your earnings without compromising the care of your charges, as well as constantly improving your talents by being introduced to new opportunities.
It takes time to gain your first clients and establish a reputation, so don’t expect to be able to make a living off of pet sitting straight immediately!
It’s also a good idea to form relationships with other local pet sitters so that you can share information and maybe work together in the future, such as if one of you has more work than you can handle or if you need assistance when you’re sick.
If you find that you aren’t getting along with one client in particular, such as a dog who is particularly unruly or potentially aggressive, it’s important to know when to call it a day and ask the owner to find an alternative, rather than risking continuing in a situation that is potentially dangerous or not working out.
Also, especially in the beginning stages of your business, don’t take on more than you can handle; don’t take on so many animals that you’ll be pressed to get to them all, don’t walk more dogs than you’re comfortable with, and if a client tells you that they’ve gone through multiple pet sitters but they’ve all left, find out why!
Conclusion: So, if you’re thinking of becoming a pet sitter, what do you need to do next? The best way to get started is to reach out to your local pet sitting organizations and inquire about membership. There are also many online resources that can help you get started, such as the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), which offers an extensive certification program for members. You’ll also want to make sure your insurance coverage is in order and start building your portfolio by offering free or discounted services to friends and family. Ready to take the plunge into this exciting career? We wish you all the best!