Pet care can take many different forms. No matter how your job as a pet sitter looks, it's a trusted job that includes caring for animals and spending time with them.
Pet sitting is, without a doubt, the act of briefly taking care of someone else's pet for a set amount of time. But pet sitting can be done in many different ways.
Most of the time, you'll go to the pet owner's house to feed and care for their pet. But there are times when you may need to bring the pet inside. Some pet sitters stay at their client's house while they're away, while others just stop by several times a day to feed and care for the pet.
In either case, pet sitting is a great way for animal lovers to make money and spend time with cute furry friends.
But before you decide to be a pet sitter for a living, you should think about the pros and cons. This way, you can be sure that you are taking on a job that you fully understand and are doing so for the right reasons.
Low start-up costs: Becoming a pet sitter doesn't cost as much money as some other businesses. Also, as soon as you get your first client, you'll start making money. A lot of your new business will probably come from word of mouth, which is great because it keeps your advertising costs low.
Turn your love of pets into money. Isn't it cool that you can make a business out of your love of animals? If you love dogs and cats, becoming a pet sitter is a great way to spend time with cute animals and make a few bucks at the same time. Both you and your client come out ahead.
Be your own boss. Being your own boss has its pros and cons, but, in general, it's a good thing. Yes, you have to be in charge of your own life and very self-motivated, but if you want to be successful at pet sitting, there's no reason why you can't.
Also, if you are your own boss, you can choose how much you want to work. You won't want to turn away clients if you want to make a good living. But after a while, you might be able to choose the pet-watching jobs you want and turn down the ones you don't, like the ones that start at 5 a.m.
Loyal clients—In general, if you're nice and professional and do a good job, you'll have clients who stick with you. After all, if a pet owner finds someone they trust and like to take care of their beloved pet, they will want to keep that person.
Animals are typically fed and exercised in the early mornings, on weekends, and in the evenings, so it is highly probable that you will be required to work during these times. But because pet sitting isn't always the same thing, you have time during the day to run errands and do other things. So, if you don't like the strict schedule of a 9-to-5 job, pet sitting might be a good choice for you.
Calls at the last minute or late at night are frequent, so make sure to set limits at the first meeting with a client. If you don't set rules, you're likely to get a lot of calls from clients who want to stop or reschedule their booking at the last minute.
You might want to add a late booking fee. This makes it at least worth it to make last-minute reservations. Plus, it could stop some clients from making changes at the last minute!
Also, because pet sitting isn't a 9-to-5 job, people may think it's okay to call you at any time of the day or night. You can choose to answer the calls or use the "leave a message" service. You don't want to lose your business, but you also want to have a life outside of work.
Managing expectations: As a pet sitter, you may be asked to do things like clean the house, pick up dog poop in the yard, wash the dishes, bathe or groom the dog, cook cooked meals for Fido, and even walk over a certain distance.
Do research and think about as many of the possible extra jobs as you can. Make a price list. That way, if you get a note or email asking you to do extra things while pet sitting, you can add them to your bill.
Chasing payment—This really applies to anyone who works for themselves: chasing money stinks. But you do get used to it, and you learn what you can do to cut down on how much you have to chase money.
For example, if you send out invoices at the same time every month, clients may be more likely to pay on time. As part of the rules of your service, you can also put the time frame for payment on your invoice.
If a client keeps not paying you or is always late, you might decide that they aren't worth the problem and let them go.
Animal knowledge: You don't have to go to school to be a pet sitter, but you do need to know a lot about animals and have experience with them. What if an animal you are taking care of gets hurt? Do you know first aid for animals? What if the pet you are taking care of gets mean? Knowing how animals act and what to do if a pet is scared or bites is important for your health, the pet's health, and the health of those around you.
Even though being a pet sitter can be hard, it could be a dream job for someone who loves animals and doesn't want to be stuck behind a desk.