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Pet sitter playing with pets

Pet sitter – questions and expectations


Over the years, pet sitting services have become increasingly popular because more pet owners are seeking reliable and trustworthy professionals to look after their pets. For many of us, our pets are much more than just animals. They are beloved companions who bring joy and happiness to our lives.

However, as much as we want to be there for them 24/7, there are times when we just can't. Work commitments, family vacations, and other obligations leave us unable to give our pets the attention and care they need. That's where pet sitters come in. So, let's delve deeper into pet sitting, becoming a pet sitter, and exploring how it can benefit both pets and their owners.

Let's get to it!

What is a Pet Sitter?

Pet sitting is the act of temporarily caring for another person's pet. This can involve various activities, from feeding and watering to providing exercise and playtime. When pet owners go on vacation, they often turn to pet sitters to provide daily care for their furry friends. Pet sitters usually stay at the owner's home. This allows pets to stay in their familiar environment and minimizes their stress levels.

Some pet sitters may specialize in caring for cats and dogs, while others may offer services to a broader range of pets. From feathered friends like birds to aquatic companions like fish and small furry mammals to scaly reptiles and amphibians, pet sitters are experienced in caring for various types of pets.

Different types of services provided by pet sitters:

  • In-home pet sitting: This is when a pet sitter stays in the pet owner's home and takes care of the pet while the owner is away. The pet sitter feeds the pet, gives medication, takes it for walks or plays with them, and keeps the pet's living area clean.
  • Dog walking: In this type of pet sitting, the pet sitter visits the pet owner's home to take the dog for a walk. This service is very useful for pet owners who work long hours as well as those who are unable to take their dogs for a walk due to physical limitations.
  • Pet boarding: Here, the pet owner drops off their pet at a pet sitter's home or a pet boarding facility for a certain time. The pet sitter takes care of the pet's needs, such as feeding, watering, exercise, and companionship.
  • Pet Daycare: Similar to pet boarding, pet daycare involves dropping off the pet at a facility for the day. This is done when the owner is at work or running errands.
  • Puppy sitting: Puppy sitting focuses on the needs of young dogs. Puppies need extra attention, and puppy sitters provide services such as potty breaks, feeding, and playtime. This may occur at a pet home or facility and sometimes includes training for the puppy. It’s also a good idea to have a physical pet tag with your puppy's unique microchip number and your contact details, such as our Lifetime Warranty ID tag.

Why become a Pet Sitter?

Being a pet sitter can be quite rewarding; here are some benefits and responsibilities.

Benefits of becoming a pet sitter:

  1. You can earn extra money and fund your passions.
  2. Pet sitting can be a great opportunity to get paid to stay somewhere different.
  3. As a pet sitter, you can choose the pets you want to look after, the services you offer, and the prices you charge.
  4. When you're taking care of a dog, you'll be going for walks and playing games, and moving, making you healthy.
  5. Pet sitting gives you a chance to enjoy pets without the commitment of actually owning a pet.

Responsibilities of a pet sitter:

Here are some known responsibilities of pet sitters:

  1. Provide care for various household pets, including:
    • dogs
    • cats
    • fish
    • bunnies
    • birds
    • snakes
    • hamsters
    • guinea pigs
  2. Perform pet care duties such as:
    • feeding
    • administering medication
    • providing water
    • maintaining a clean environment
  3. Perform animal grooming duties such as:
    • brushing
    • trimming coats
    • cleaning ears
    • bathing the pet
    • nail clipping
    • Perform first aid or CPR when required, and transport pets to veterinary appointments as needed.
  4. Handle captive animals and maintain daily care, including:
    • cage cleaning
    • wing clipping
    • feeding
    • watering
    • administering medication
  5. Developing a diverse client base.
  6. Following pet owners' instructions to ensure uninterrupted animal care.
  7. Maintain communication with supervisors and other walkers to promote uniformity in care to ensure high service standards.

Importance of following instructions from the pet owner

Following instructions from the pet owner is crucial to ensure the safety of their pets. The pet owner knows their pets best, such as routines, preferences, diets, and special needs. When you follow pet owner instructions, you can maintain consistency and provide the best possible care for the pets.

On the other hand, neglecting the instructions may result in accidents that could harm the pets or damage property. So, communicate clearly and give careful attention to establish a positive relationship between the pet sitter and the pet owner. This can lead to repeat business and positive referrals.

Cost of pet sitting

The standard rates for pet sitting services are around $25 for a 30-minute visit, $20 to $30 per day, $45 to $75 per night, and $250 to $375 per week.

However, these rates depend on several factors, such as location, your pet's needs, the pet sitter themselves, and additional services offered. For extra services such as 24-hour care or holiday and weekend services, pet sitters may charge a higher rate to cover the extra time and resources required. Thus, the most important thing is to charge a fair rate that reflects the value of your services and allows you to make a profit.

How to choose a pet sitter

Here's how to choose a pet sitter:

  1. Seek recommendations: People you know who used the pet sitter will always give you a realistic rating of how good a pet sitter is.
  2. Search online: Your pet may have specialized needs that the pet sitters recommended for you may not be up to the task. So, you may need to search online. This gives you access to a lot more professionals.
  3. Set up a meeting: Next, set up a meeting with the prospective pet sitter. This would give an idea of how the pet sitter works, their price, and everything else.
  4. Consider their specialty: Some professional pet sitters may focus on dog sitting, some on cat sitting, and some may even have boarding services. Always make sure the pet sitter offers the right service.
  5. Ask for references from the sitter: It's best to see the pet sitter's reference to know how legit they are. You can also ask for certifications and business licenses, if any.

Pet sitting is becoming increasingly popular for pet owners who need someone trustworthy to care for their furry companions. As a pet sitter, you can enjoy the benefits such as earning extra money, spending time with pets, and staying healthy all from pet sitting. But pet sitters also have to follow instructions from owners to ensure pets' safety and well-being. And to legitimize your business, it's best to have a certification of some kind.

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Here are the frequently asked questions about pet sitters.

How profitable is dog sitting?

Dog sitting is relatively profitable. Some dog sitting businesses make up to $57,000 per year. This can also be around $30,000. Of course, it depends on your location and the type of service you deliver.

What makes someone a professional pet sitter?

What makes one a professional pet sitter is that they should have a current and valid business license, know pet CPR, and have insurance and bonding. Also, professional pet sitters should use contracts to avoid unnecessary legal issues and protect both themselves and the pet owner.

Do you need any certification to be a pet sitter?

Not necessarily but getting a certification to run your business may be a good idea. It legitimizes your business and shows you're committed to your craft. However, you may need a business license to be able to run a pet sitting business. This usually depends on your province and city, so you should check. 

How do I become a pet sitter?

To become a successful pet sitter, you must first make sure it's the right choice for you by asking some simple questions. Next, gain some relevant work experience to show clients that you can care for their pets. Although not necessary, getting certified by industry-leading associations can help increase your credibility and employability. Take out insurance to protect yourself and your clients from accidents or mishaps while on the job. Lastly, consider joining a pet sitting organization for benefits like networking opportunities, access to online courses and webinars, and more.

How old do you have to be a pet sitter?

There's no set standard age. Generally, with the right training for pet sitting, teenagers aged 12 and above should be able to be pet sitter. However, larger pet sitting organizations may only allow pet sitters 18 and above.


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