What Does a Pet Sitter Do?
Pet sitters usually offer an array of services from pet sitting, dog walking, pooper scooper, pet taxi and even house sitting. The most advertised is the pet sitting aspect of the business.
Pet sitting consists of taking care of all types of pets in the comfort of their own surroundings. Pet sitting does not mean taking the pets into your home. That would be considered animal boarding.
The purpose of pet sitting is to limit the stress to the pet while the owners are away for the weekend or a long vacation. Pets seem to do better when they are in their own home with their own bed and blanket, their own toys and their own buds (other pets). Pet sitters provide this luxury by making daily visits to care for the pets.
The following is a list of common pet sitting duties during regular visits:
- Potty Break for dogs (can consist of a walk)
- Refill water dishes
- Play time
- Snuggle time
- Petting time
- Clean any messes/litter box/cages
- Administer Medications
This is what most pet sitters will do on most visits. The purpose is to keep the pet in its regular routine. So, if the dog normally gets a treat when it wakes up, you would give a treat when you arrive in the a.m. If the pet normally takes a walk around the block daily, you would do the same. If the pet likes to get read to (birds like this), you would read to it. This minimizes stress and allows the pet owners to relax more while they are away. If the pet needs a pill everyday at 6pm, you would be sure to arrange your schedule accordingly.
Pet sitters can also offer many other services to supplement their income. Many pet sitters will also offer daily dog walking to help those clients who work long hours, have an elderly dog or have a new puppy. Pet sitters may also offer pet taxi to the vet or pet taxi to the groomer. Pet sitters may also offer pooper scooper. This is picking up what the dog did while you were not there. This is a nice convenience since you are already there. You can use their scooper, plastic bag and throw it in the trash. You can make a nice $15 or so for just 20 minutes of work or less depending on the size of the yard. Basically any service you can think of which is pet related you can add on to a pet sitting service. You can even add on errand services. The possibilities are endless.
It is recommended to start off with just pet sitting and start building your business based on customer requests. This way you will learn what your area is in need of and start advertising based on that. The bulk of your requests and client bookings will more than likely be derived from pet sitting and dog walking.
Now that you know what a pet sitter does, you can determine if this is the right business for you. Remember you are taking care of pets. You may have some messes to clean up and you should have some basic knowledge of pet care and breeds.
Once you have determined if this is the right job for you and you have thought about which service you would like to offer within the pet sitting industry, it will be time to set up your business.
The first step in setting up your pet sitting business is picking a business name.
We will discuss how to pick a business name in the next installment.