If you’ve ever wanted to get some advice on an email you’re writing or pick up a few tricks to get an apprehensive pup to cooperate, you’re not alone. An online pet sitting forum is a great place to find a sense of community among dog walkers and pet sitters.
It can be hard to find people who understand what we do every day. If your friends and family are anything like mine, they think you live a completely stress-free life, just playing with dogs all day. Sometimes you just need a place to vent among people who understand what you’re experiencing. For many pet sitters, that place is an online pet sitting forum.
Pet Sitting Forum Tips For Noobs
What happens in the pet sitting forum stays in the pet Sitting forum
This is the first rule of most pet sitting forums. There are usually more rules, and you should read them. I like to think of the forums as a safe zone. It has to be that way to encourage open communication and learning. Just like every other human, we make mistakes, but it’s very important that we learn from them. There are a lot of successful sitters in online communities. When something inevitably goes wrong, there is a brain trust of people to help you navigate the issue. The ability to post privately and trust each other is what makes it a great learning environment for pet sitters at all stages of their career.
Have a thick skin
While the pet sitting forums can be a wealth of information and camaraderie, be prepared to know exactly what everyone thinks. A lot of people join the forums and choose to be casual spectators. You can pick up a lot of good information just hanging around the clubhouse. If you do decide to post, you shouldn’t take anything anyone says personally. Consider the feedback you get, take things with a grain of salt, and make informed decisions based on the feedback you receive. In the end, we are all entrepreneurs. We run our own businesses because we have strong opinions about the way things “should be done”. If you want to participate in class, be prepared to hear what the professors have to say -- then do whatever you want 😀.
NPSR is a common abbreviation used at the beginning of a post in the forums. It stands for Not Pet Sitting Related, and it’s a courtesy to let other members know you're about to ask or tell a story about something random. That’s right, there’s pet sitting forum lingo. Sometimes people need to vent, and it’s typical to label this type of post as a “rant”. You’re basically telling everyone that you’re stressed out, and you need to vocalize it (through typing). It is perfectly acceptable, and healthy, to vent once in a while, but let’s keep it 💯 because you’re going to get feedback on it, whether you want it or not. Some of the other lingoes you’ll hear are:
- PC: Potential Client
- M&G Meet and Greet
- Charge: A charge is the pet you're caring for.
- Dirty Delete: This is where you delete a post (typically because you don’t like the feedback). Trust me... don’t do this! If you’re over it, just turn off the comments.
Pet sitting forums aren’t just about getting work advice or having a sounding board. There is also a strong sense of community. This really came into play when a pet sitting conference Scout was attending had to be evacuated for a hurricane. There was a post about it, a group of people from one of the forums evacuated, and ended up staying the night with another forum member. This one of the rare occasions where online friends became friends IRL. Of course, like any large group, you’ll find people who you like and people who you don’t, but one thing about pet sitters, in general, is that they are caring, compassionate people who are always willing to help if they can.
Pet sitting forums are a treasure trove of experience and information. In the larger forums, there are pet sitters from literally every background. There are part-time Rover and Wag sitters along with business owners who have built million-dollar a year companies and manage 50+ staff members. Having access to that many points of view and experiences is invaluable.
*This post is dedicated to all the forum moderators. Without you, it would be chaos.