There are many ways to start a pet sitting business but the easiest may be taking care of your own pet or pets and walking them in the park and getting to know your neighbors. That is, of course, if you have a dog. Cats don’t like to walk on a leash very much although it can be done.
If you don’t have your own pets but share a love for animals then a pet sitting business may be just for you too. If you are fond of pets and want to earn extra income or take on a part time job then starting a pet sitting business may be a logical step to take.
You can tell neighbors, post flyers, advertise in local newsletters. Set an example by being a good pet owner if you happen to have a dog or cat. Let your neighbors know you are available if they take a vacation.
Everyone goes away from time to time and it is very expensive to board your pets at the vet. You can offer a reliable and economical alternative.
You will need to determine your price to charge. Look at what other pet sitters charge in your community and ask a similar amount. Be specific about what duties you will perform and how often. You can have a price for one dog walk per day. Then another price if more walks are necessary.
Are there other pets to consider? Do they have a couple of cats, maybe fish, birds, reptiles? Do they want you to water their plants and pick up their mail or leave lights on at night? Do they want the radio or television left on? Do they want you to spend extra time playing with their pet?
You need to set the parameters of what you will do and for how much. Be very specific about what they want. Always get phone numbers for them while they travel and for their vet should an emergency arise.
Be clear about what duties you are to perform on a daily basis. Sometimes the pet owner will leave cash for you should something unexpected occur. Also, be aware of where food is stored and where to find the pet dishes, favorite toys and especially the leash or leashes. If their pet gets an special treats or is on a special diet you need to know. Do you have to give the pet any medicines?
Sometimes a pet owner may want you to actually stay in their house and house sit as well as pet sit. That, of course, would be another price entirely but it could turn into a win win situation.
Be sure to know where plastic bags are kept or whatever container the pet owner wants you to use to clean up after their pets during a walk. Be sure to obey the rules in their community and clean up after the dog. This is very important and easy to do once you get used to it.
If the pet just runs in a fenced in back yard be sure to know whether they want you to clean up each time you let their dog out. Also, always be respectful and walk the pets on a leash and show positive behavior when you are out.
Neighbors will take notice of how well you handle the pets of others and this can create more business for you – or less – if you don’t do a very good job.
It is very helpful to get references. If someone has used your pet sitting service be sure to ask for a recommendation. Word of mouth can be a great way to expand your pet sitting business. If you do a terrific job for one neighbor, they often will tell another and you can develop a reputation as a reliable pet sitting business.
You can expect repeat customers and watch your business grow. Some people get bonded and even create spin offs on their pet sitting business. You might start an obedience class or offer play dates for pets or develop a pet birthday party service.
It is best to be very helpful and polite to the pet owners and show a genuine affection for their pets. Loving animals can be the first stepping stone to starting a solid and successful pet sitting business.