Are You Capable of Becoming a Dog Sitter or Boarder?

Table of Contents

So, are you interested in becoming a dog sitter or boarder? Before you can become a sought-after dog sitter or boarder, there is a lot to learn, whether you are currently a dog walker or this is your first experience caring for pets. To ensure your success, you'll also need to arm yourself with a set of necessary abilities and background information.

So, before you sign up to be a dog sitter or boarder for the first time, let's have a look at what's involved.

A passion for dogs

First things first: if you're going to offer five-star overnight care for dogs, you need to have a genuine passion for dogs. When you have a genuine passion for dog companionship, every sitting or boarding assignment will feel like a welcome opportunity to spend time with your furry friends. Your home will be a safe and happy haven for the dogs, and you'll be sensitive to their individual requirements.

In addition, let's be honest: cleaning up dog excrement isn't exactly the most exciting part of owning a dog. Yet if you have genuine affection for the animals in your care, those unpleasant tasks become much less of a burden.

Dog-care experience

Having a soft spot for dogs is one thing, but knowing how to provide good care for them is another. That's why it helps a lot if you have experience taking care of dogs or other pets, as this will guarantee a high demand for your services.

More time spent with dogs means more familiarity with their specific care requirements. This includes making sure they get enough exercise, get plenty of positive attention from adults, eating well, and have a secure living situation.

If you've never had a dog before, this might be a good time to adopt one or help a homeless pup by providing temporary foster care. If that isn't an option, try to improve your pet care skills in other ways. Before taking on overnight care, it's a good idea to gain experience walking dogs by asking friends and relatives to let you spend more time with their pets.

The ability to read dog body language

Knowing how to read dog body language is an essential ability for any pet care or boarder. So, it is important to recognize when a dog is joyful, excited, worried, anxious, or even afraid.

When you know how a dog is feeling, you can take the right steps, like taking it out of a stressful situation or making it feel better with treats and pats. And when you do, you'll have no trouble at all forming a deep connection with each and every dog in your care.

Getting dirty

Dogs are great furballs, but they aren't necessarily the cleanest animals. You'll need to roll up your sleeves and get messy if you want to be a great dog caretaker or boarder.

We're talking about picking up a slobbery tennis ball and tossing it. We're talking about being doused in kisses from a pup with less than minty fresh breath. Yes, as a dog sitter, you will inevitably end up with dog hair all over your clothes and the furniture in your home. We are, of course, discussing the act of sanitation.

If you can't or won't do the dirty work, sitting and boarding may not be for you.

Good Communication Skills

You might be surprised to learn that a big part of being a dog sitter or boarder is talking to people as well as dogs. Finding reliable pet care while you're away can be stressful for pet owners. They won't trust just anyone with their pet because they want the best for their furry little family member.

And this is when your verbal and written communication abilities come in handy. With these abilities, you can figure out how to give each dog the finest treatment possible. They also make sure that you and the pet owner have the same expectations for the pet's care, including the time, place, and method of care.

Customers are more likely to return if you can express yourself properly, listen to their concerns, and address them promptly.

Schedule flexibility

It's no secret that pet owners frequently want weekend dog sitting services. It may be time to reevaluate your social schedule if you regularly attend happy hour on Fridays and the movies on Saturdays.

It's also helpful if you can accommodate demands at the last minute. The unexpected can happen at any time, and when it does, pet owners may suddenly need to spend the night away from home. If they know they can count on you to take excellent care of their dog whenever they need it, they will remember you the next time the dog needs to have a sleepover.

Qualifications and training

Being a pet sitter does not require any sort of formal education or certificate that is recognized on a national level. The Pet Sitter Certification program is a "great" way to gain knowledge about canine communication, common behavioral issues, and effective, humane methods of training.

That, however, is not your only option. So that you know what to do in the event of an emergency with your pet, you may wish to take pet first aid classes, for instance. You could also volunteer at a local animal shelter, take a course in dog training, or do either of these things. Taking steps to improve your credentials in dog care is always a good idea.

A dog-friendly house (if you want to be a boarder)

As a dog boarder, you'll spend your nights caring for the furry children of others. Obviously, you'll need to be able to guarantee the health and safety of everyone who spends the night at your house.

It must be completely secure to prevent any furry Houdinis from escaping, completely free of dangers that could lead an inquisitive dog astray, and immaculately clean. It's a big deal for any dog owner to leave their pet overnight with a stranger, but if you can assure them that their dog will be well cared for, they'll be more willing to leave him or her with you.

Ready to impress your customers?

Join 1,100+ successful companies from around the world who already trust Scout to run their businesses.
Start free trial
No credit card required