Do you love cats, dogs, maybe even the occasional ferret? If your answers were yes, yes, and…hm, I’d have to think about that one (it’s not unreasonable to not care for ferrets) than there might be an exciting job option out there for you to consider.
The job is exactly what the name suggest it would be—babysitting other people’s pets.
For the animal lover the weird and wonderful world of pet sitting sounds like a dream come true, and indeed it may very well be exactly that.
Today we are going to explore what it takes to start pet sitting, and how much money you can expect to make once you do enter into the field.
Who This Job is Suited For
You are going to have to really love pets in order to really make this job work.
I mean really love them.
Think about it: someone else’s dog or cat is going to be spending the entire day in your home sniffing through your stuff, probably occasionally urinating on your rug.
In order to feel okay about that, you are really going to need to have a lot of love in your heart for all our furry four footed companions out there.
But a love for pets isn’t all that it takes to be well suited for this work.
You are also going to need to have a lot of patience, and nerves of steel to make the process go smoothly.
Depending on the scale that you decide you want your business to operate on, this is work that could involve a couple of pets, or a whole lot of them.
While cats and dogs aren’t exactly as big of a challenge to care for as children, they also arne’t a cake walk either, especially when there are a lot of them, and especially when they are not yours.
In order to do this work the right way you are going to need to be really great with working with animals, and really patient when they defecate on your floor.
Pet sitting is largely freelance work, so there aren’t really any mandated and universal requirements.
However, there are some basic factors that might mandate whether or not this is work that you can actually do.
For example, do you have access to a lot of space?
If you plan on running a pet sitting business out of your home, it’s going to have to be spacious enough to accommodate a bunch of animals.
That means that a seven hundred square foot studio apartment probably is not going to cut it.
Do you have access to a yard?
Remember that dogs take care of business outside which naturally enough means that you will require access to the great outdoors in order to facilitate their potty breaks, and unfortunately heading on over to a neighboring yard with a puppy and a pooper scooper probably isn’t going to cut it in the professional world.
You’ll also need to consider your own physical limitations.
Are you capable of taking a dog out on a walk?
Even a really big dog?
What about two really big dogs?
What about three?
Animals require lots of care, which can be difficult to give when you are tasked with taking care of many of them all at once.
You will really need to inventory whether you are mentally, emotionally, and physically capable of doing the job to the best of your abilities.
Think about it this way: would you feel comfortable leaving your beloved pet in the hands of a pet sitter with your resources and capabilities?
If the answer is yes, you might have a potential business on your hands.
If the answer is no, you should probably start thinking about getting a different gig and maybe even starting your very own online business.
How to Get A Pet Sitting Job
The fun thing about starting up a pet sitting business is that the process is extremely entrepreneurial.
You are going to need to look for opportunities in your community, and if you can’t find them, your job might then be to create them.
You may first want to consider offering your services up online.
Sites like craigslist, or even social media pages should be able to connect you with people in your community that need to have their pets watched on a regular basis.
If you want to get really ambitious, you could even draft flyers, and talk to local businesses in your area about displaying them in their shops.
Through that method, you might even drawing in clients who had never previously considered their need for a pet sitter before.
There are other ways that might work for you as well: community newsletters, newspaper ads (if your town even still has a newspaper) and church bulletins are all viable methods of finding work.
How Much You Can Expect to Make
The nice thing is that the sky is kind of the limit here in terms of how much money you can expect to make.
Run properly, pet sitting is a very legitimate business that can net a significant income.
For example, if you land a client or two that needs their dog boarded with you from nine to five, Monday through Friday while they work, that alone could very easily equate to a $500 a week income.
Naturally, the more animals that you take in, the more you are going to make, but do be careful.
For one thing, no one is going to want to bring their dog to the home of a pet sitter that is watching twenty to thirty pets at a time.
For another thing, if your business get too big you are going to begin to encounter the health code regulations that kennels are subject too.
And hey, that’s not exactly a bad thing.
If your small pet sitting business evolves into a dog kennel, that’s great.
But if that isn’t what you are looking for right now, your best bet is to keep it small and keep it simple.
You set your own rates in this business, so just be smart and reasonable, and before you know it you can start making your living hanging out with dogs.