Top 4 tips on becoming a successful pet sitter
If you're just getting into the pet sitting business, then you're probably wondering how you can turn this wonderful gig into a full-time successful career.
Updated on the 11/12/2020, 10:10
Pet sitting is a great way to earn some money while doing something you love: taking care of animals. But is becoming a pet sitter really a viable choice of job? Well, it can be!
There are a few easy ways you can turn your pet sitting jobs into a full-time and profitable activity. Whether you're looking for more clients to help pay the bills, or just because you love what you do and want to do more of it - these great tips will help you flourish as a pet sitter!
Diversify your pet sitting jobs
The first way to get more clients is to make sure your services are useful to a range of pet owners. For example, if you only offer dog-walking services, you may only be alluring to people who work full-time and need someone to take care of their dog during the day. This narrows your client base significantly.
You can also consider looking after different types of animals. Dogs might be your favourite animal, but what about pet owners who are looking for someone to look after their rabbit while they're away?
Make yourself known to clients
Clients are much more likely to come to you if they've heard about you before. Social media is the modern world's best tool to create an image for yourself. Use Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and/or Twitter to enable potential clients to get an inside (and free) look into the way you care for pets.
Have business cards made and make sure you distribute them to your clients. This will provide them with an easy way to contact you again the next time they require a pet sitter, but also to recommend you to others. Remember a lot of new clients can be made through word of mouth, so impressing your current clients is a must!
Network with other professionals
To be a successful pet sitter, you should also make yourself known to other professionals. Get in touch with vets, groomers, and pet stores in your area to ask them whether you can advertise in their businesses. When you meet these fellow animal-lovers, take the time to speak with them - tell them about yourself but also be prepared to learn from them!
You don't only have to limit yourself to pet businesses though. Don't hesitate to go into hair salons, nail salons, or even cafes. You never know who could recommend you.
Always provide excellent service
Success doesn't just happen - it comes after lots of hard work! If you want returning clients who also recommend you to their friends, then you should go above and beyond to make sure their pets are provided with excellent care while they're gone.
Professional pet sitters will work extra hours if their client is late coming back home, will take pets to the vet if they're not feeling well, and will be prepared to do pretty much anything - even if it includes cleaning poo off the rug or giving the dog a bath after a muddy walk.
Of course, if you love to spend time with animals, this can seem like a rather easy task. But to ensure the best possible care, do some research before you take on a new client. For example, are you sure you'll be able to administer this new pet's daily medicine? If not, are you willing to learn, or, on the other hand, to turn down the job? Know your limits and be willing to sharpen your skills over time to overcome them. This point is also valid for working hours. If you take on more clients than you can handle, you'll be forgoing quality for quantity. Don't bite off more than you can chew!
All in all, if you're comitted to the basic idea of pet sitting - caring for someone's pet as if they were your own - then you're off to a good start!
Frequently asked questions
How do I start a pet sitting business?
While having a degree is not essential to becoming a pet sitter, it is better if you do have some sort of training. A degree in grooming, behaviour, or even a certificate from the National Association of Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers will show clients that you are a trustworthy pet sitter. Once you have chosen your business name, you'll need to set up your business' legal entity, bank account, insurance, obtain all the necessary permits and licenses, and also register for taxes.
Learn everything there is to know about being a dog sitter.
Is a pet sitting business profitable?
This depends on a variety of factors including how much your services cost, what type of services you offer, how flexible your schedule is, where your business is located, etc. If you don't feel ready to set up your own business just yet, you could also become a pet sitter or pet borrower for a larger company, such as BorrowMyDoggy.
Find out more about BorrowMyDoggy!
Can you start a pet sitting business at home?
You can absolutely start pet sitting in your own home. In fact, some clients find this service more attractive than others because it allows their pets to remain in a home environment while they are gone. There are a few things to consider though. Since your home will become many pets' home, you should double check that it is thoroughly pet proofed! Your garden should be well fenced-in, any dangerous foods or items well kept away, and your interior should be clean and tidy.
Learn more about what pet owners expect from pet care services.