If you’re interested in a pet sitting job, there are plenty of opportunities in today’s pet-friendly economy. For many people, their pet is just another member of the family, and they’re willing to spend almost as much money on their beloved dog or cat as they do on their own children.
There’s also the fact that many people today travel a great deal, and they need the services of a pet sitter to take care of their cat, dog, bird or reptile while they’re away. And so pet sitting jobs are readily available in most urban areas, if you’re willing to work hard and spread the word about your availability and your services.
If you already have a pet sitting business, but you’re just starting out or you don’t have enough clients to keep you busy, you might way to try an advertising or marketing campaign to bring in more work. There are a variety of ways to do this, from running ads in neighborhood newspapers to taking out a classified on an online bulletin board or social networking site like Facebook.
If you’re new to the industry, and you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to finding a pet sitting job, you’ll need to learn about the business and get a few successful jobs under your belt first. You might start by pet sitting for a friend or family member, just to get used to caring for pets, and to learn what’s involved with the job. Pet sitting sounds easy, but there’s a lot more to it than many people think, and don’t forget that you’ll be responsible for the animals in your care.
About the Job
Most professional pet sitters spend the bulk of their workday in other people’s houses, or traveling from house to house. The reason that many people prefer petsitters is that they don’t want to leave their dog or cat in a kennel, with the stress and anxiety this can induce in the animal. A lot of people also like the idea that there will be someone looking after their home while they’re away, and so many pet sitters also double as house sitters as well.
While most of this work involves watching after dogs and cats, people also have other small animals as pets, including birds, snakes and other reptiles, rabbits, fish, and even livestock if you live in a rural area. So a pet sitter needs to be experienced in handling a wide range of pets and animals.
And if you’re new to the job, and you’re not sure how to take care of a particular breed or type of animal, don’t be afraid to tell this to the animal’s owner. It’s better to turn down a job than put yourself in an awkward or even dangerous position later.
The duties of a typical pet sitter include some or all of the following, depending on the client, type of pets, and work being offered:
The majority of pet sitters are self-employed individuals who are responsible for their own advertising and marketing, bookkeeping, taxes and other small business activities. For those who are self-motivated and like being their own boss, this is usually no problem, but can be a challenge for others who are used to working for someone else in a regular work environment.
While no formal education is necessary for a pet sitting job, you'll need to have some experience working with a variety of pets. Also, if you don’t have any small business experience, you might want to read a good book on this topic, or take a course in small business management at your local community college.
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