As an animal lover, there’s nothing that beats the time you spend with your pets. The warmth and companionship you receive is second to none. Pets have been proven to lower blood pressure and stress. So what if you could make money caring for other people’s pets. Not just a few bucks here and there, but an above average income. That’s possible by becoming a pet sitter.
Think about the normal daily tasks you do for your pet. What if you’re out of town for a day or are unable to be at home during normal feeding and bathroom times? That’s where a pet sitter comes in. A pet sitter visit the pet owner’s home and performs a variety of easy, often quick, tasks, such as feeding, taking out for bathroom breaks or a walk, and just giving the kind of attention you give your own pet. Sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it? You do this everyday anyway, so making money from it would be great.
So what kind of money are we talking about here . . . Pet sitters make between $16 and $24 a visit, which means a national average of $20 a visit. Most visits take under half an hour, so that means you have a chance of making over $30 an hour. That sounds good! Best of all, pet sitting is a growing field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects pet care employment to rise by 22 percent a year. There are over 160 million dogs and cats in the United States, not to mention birds, fish, and reptiles, which means a lot of work for you.
As the owner of a pet sitting service, you’re the boss. You decide what jobs you’d like to take and what rates you’d like to charge. It’s all up to you. In addition to making money from standard visits, there are other pet services you could do that could lead to big profits. Dog walking is one of them. You not only get exercise for yourself and get to enjoy some fresh air, but it can pay nicely.
You could also consider pet transportation, as some owners are unable to transport their pets to the veterinarian or groomer. Some charge by the mile, an hourly rate, or a combination of the two. And don’t forget overnight pet or house sitting. This can also lead to some nice money. Overnight pet sitters often make $40 to $80 a night.
You love animals and love the time you spend together. You can turn this love into a profitable second job or a new career by becoming a pet sitter. As the owner of your own pet sitting business, you’re in charge and you work when you want to work. But best of all, you make nice money while enjoying the love and companionship of a pet.
Here are a few tips on how to get started:
- You need some reliable transportation to get you to and from your jobs, insurance, and a bond. Many insurance companies offer insurance for pet sitters to protect you in the case of a lawsuit or claim. You must have insurance!
- Getting a bond will help protect you and reassure your customers as well.
- So now that you have your essentials, there are a few other items you might want to consider, such as a couple different emergency kits. One is for your car in the event you have to transport an animal. It contains cleaning supplies so a mess doesn’t become a huge clean-up ordeal. The other is for use in the customer’s home. It contains a spare collar, leash, and can opener for pet food, in addition to a change of clothing, a spray bottle filled with half water and half vinegar for any aggressive dogs you might encounter on a walk, a first aid kit, flashlight, and whatever else you think might be necessary.
- Okay, you have your supplies. Now what? Pick a name! Something catchy. Check to be sure your name isn’t trademarked or being used by several other companies in your area.
- You also need to decide the legal structure of your business. Is it a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company? This will determine what taxes you pay.
- Next, license your business. Check with your state to see what their rules and regulations are.
- Now you’re ready to begin getting business. Talk to your local veterinarians, pet shop owners, and groomers to see if they’ll allow you to leave a stack of business cards or a flyer promoting your business. Consider an inexpensive web site so anyone searching the internet can easily find and contact you, or placing an ad in the local newspaper or a newsletter. With a catchy name you’ll find yourself getting more and more calls.
- When deciding on your rates, take into account the needs of the pet you’re sitting. Is it a special needs pet that needs a lot of attention? Is it simply a dog that needs to be fed a couple times a day?
- Offer reasonable prices and you’ll see more repeat customers.
- The big lesson is, try to find what works and learn from your mistakes. Take advice from others. Listen to your customers. Before long your pet sitting business will be the purr-fect choice for pet owners in your community.