how to become a pet sitter (guide & salary)
Do you love animals? Do you wish to spend your days cuddling and playing with them? Then you may want to think about becoming a professional pet caretaker.
If you are interested in this topic, you have come to the right place. This article will tell you all you need to know about pet sitters, from what they do to how much they earn and how to become one, whether you are about to finish high school or are considering a career change.
Pet sitters are essentially animal babysitters, as they provide daily care for pets while their owners are on vacation, business trips, or at work. Some pet sitters host pets in their own homes in addition to visiting customers’ houses (and even staying overnight) for this purpose.
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Meanwhile, pet sitters who spend the night in their clients’ houses may have additional responsibilities, such as collecting mail, watering plants, and generally keeping clients’ homes clean. Typically, the pet sitter and the customer agree on these duties beforehand.
A minority of pet sitters are employed by local, regional, or nationwide pet sitting companies.
What is it like being a Pet Sitter?
Before starting any career, it is generally advisable to gain a thorough understanding of what it requires to avoid unpleasant surprises down the road. This section will discuss pet sitters’ normal work atmosphere, work hours, and general job satisfaction.
What is the work environment like?
Pet sitters spend the majority of their time indoors, although they may also spend time outside (such as to clean kennels and exercise animals). A valid driver’s license is required because their business requires frequent travel, either to visit clients’ homes, accompany pets to veterinary and grooming appointments, or even carry pets to their own homes if they offer boarding services.
Moving from house to house and walking dogs (sometimes more than one) throughout neighborhoods can make pet sitting a physically hard occupation. In addition, like with the majority of occupations that involve working with animals, there are physical risks involved, such as bites, scrapes, and zoonotic infections.
What are the work hours like?
Pet sitters typically work around their clients’ schedules and do not have a standard 9-to-5 workweek. This may encompass early mornings, late evenings, weekends, and even holidays. Obviously, you can set your own hours, but the more adaptable you are, the greater your chances of securing more engagements and acquiring repeat clients.
In general, pet sitters’ work hours are irregular and primarily dependent on the demand for their services. One day they may only have a few concerts, but the next they may have a jam-packed itinerary that includes an overnight stay. However, they work more during busier months, like in the summer, when pet owners are more likely to be on vacation.
Despite the fact that the majority of pet sitters work full time, some pet sitters work part time (and even maintain a second job) while they are just starting out.
Is the job fun?
Pet sitting may be a highly satisfying and rewarding occupation, with the majority of workers reporting high levels of job fulfillment.
Despite the fact that many pet sitters enjoy the profession itself, there are obstacles that can be discouraging. This includes poor pay relative to the quantity of work performed and an absence of employment security between contracts. Also reported by many are burnout and compassion fatigue.
What is the average salary?
Though it is possible to earn a six-figure income as a pet sitter, doing so will require time, experience, and the development of a solid reputation and clientele. In general, though, pet sitting is one of the lowest-paying occupations in the animal care business.
How to become a Pet Sitter?
1. Make sure you love the job
Before embarking on any job route, you must first confirm that it is the best option. Pet sitting may sound appealing on paper, but you must determine if it is something you can really perform.
2. Gain relevant work experience
Even while being a pet owner qualifies you in a sense to care for other people’s pets, related professional experience is highly appreciated. Not only will it look fantastic on your resume, but it will also reassure them that you know what you’re doing and are more than capable of caring for their furry companions.
You can accomplish this in a variety of ways, such as by working at a pet store, veterinarian clinic, or pet grooming business, or by volunteering at a local animal shelter. You can also gain experience by caring for your friends’ or family’s dogs when they are out of town (even if you are not being compensated).
3. Get certified!
Although certification is not required to operate as a pet sitter, it can considerably enhance your reputation and trustworthiness, set you apart from the competition, and raise your employability.
Pet Sitters International and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters offer online certification programs that often include instruction in animal CPR and first aid, as well as marketing and business operations. You can also complete specialized courses in topics such as animal behavior and elderly pet care.
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4. Take out insurance
Numerous incidents have occurred while on the job. A cat could ingest a toy and require emergency surgery, a dog could escape during a walk, you could lose the client’s house keys, or you could shatter a client’s glass table while visiting their home. Then there’s the inconceivable possibility of a pet passing away while in your care.
As a small business owner, it is crucial that you acquire liability insurance. Your insurance policy can cover the cost of damages and legal fees if something does go wrong.
Conduct research and choose a plan that provides the most comprehensive and dependable coverage at affordable costs.
5. Join a pet sitting organization
Membership in a pet sitting group (such as PSI or the NAPPS) is not required, but it helps increase your credibility as a pet sitter. It also provides networking opportunities with industry experts and other pet sitters, magazine subscriptions, access to online courses and webinars, a business listing in online directories, and a great deal more.
Whether you’re considering pet sitting as a part-time or summer job, or as a full-time career, it offers countless advantages, including the chance to get paid to play with and cuddle with animals.
As parting advise, however, it is advisable to seek the opinion of more experienced pet sitters (whether they are your friends or someone you’ve contacted online). So that you can make a more informed career selection, they will be able to answer your questions, give you with insider information, and walk you through the ins and outs of the profession.