A job as a pet sitter allows you to be with animals while also making money online. It’s an easy and fun way to make money that can also give you the freedom to work around your schedule, travel to new places, and spend time outdoors with furry friends. You’ll be responsible for the care of dogs, cats, fish, birds, and even pocket pets like lizards or mice. So if you are looking for pet sitting jobs in your area, here are 10 tips to help you land one of these great positions.
Become familiar with pet care
Before accepting any pet sitting job, be sure to learn about all of your responsibilities. In most cases, you’ll have to clean up after your pets; in others, you might also be required to walk them. You’ll also want to do whatever you can to become familiar with basic pet care. End up having to administer medication or treat any serious health problems that occur while you’re on duty. You won’t be very effective if you haven’t learned anything about these topics beforehand. And—if your clients are on vacation—be sure they leave detailed instructions regarding feeding and medicating their pets before they go so that nothing bad happens when they aren’t there.
Create an account on pet service websites
One of your first steps to finding pet sitting jobs is to create an account on multiple pet service websites. These sites post local job listings, provide information about companies, and allow you to connect with other pet sitters. The most popular sites are DogVacay, Rover, and Wag!, but there are many others you can use in specific markets. Post your resume: Your next step is to post your resume and cover letter on as many pet service websites as possible. Check with each site’s page or help center to see which format they prefer. Be sure to include plenty of references; be personal, and show employers that you’re well-qualified for their job posting even if it isn’t 100 percent true yet!
Create an account on sites that offer gigs
For example, you can try pet sitting on Sittercity or DogVacay. They can connect you with local people who need caretakers for their pets while they are out of town. You might end up getting paid anywhere from $15 to $20 an hour, and sometimes more—even if it’s just a few hours of work here and there. This can be especially helpful if you don’t have tons of experience with animals because these sites provide guidance that makes things easier. For example, on DogVacay, most owners will give some sort of briefing or questionnaire to ensure your readiness before they leave their pets in your care.
Prepare your own website
Before you begin, figure out what your website will be about. Consider blogging or writing guest posts. You can also create informational products to give to visitors in exchange for an email address, which you can then use to develop an email marketing list. In addition, selling other people’s products through your website is another great way to earn an income online—just make sure they have an affiliate program so you can earn commission on each sale. The more time and effort you put into planning and preparing your site before launching it, the easier it will be to make money once it’s live!
Take great pictures of your pets
Pet sitting is all about taking care of other people’s pets. And nothing makes you look like more of an expert than having great pictures to go along with your ad. If you have some professional-looking photos, take advantage! Plus, it will increase customer trust in you as well. Taking pictures of every pet can be time-consuming, but it’s absolutely worth it. Take lots of pictures so that if one picture gets deleted, there’s still another picture to replace it with.
Write down the benefits of your services
Pet sitting jobs are one of those careers that have many benefits to them. The number one benefit would be flexibility, in which you can work when you want and on your own schedule. Another big advantage to being a pet sitter is meeting new people and forming relationships with them. People always like pets, so making friends isn’t going to be hard at all. Yet another benefit, and not just for you but also for your pets as well, is peace of mind knowing they are safe while you are away from home taking care of other matters or having fun doing whatever it is that makes you happy.
Always use first-person writing
When it comes to your pet sitting business, you’re going to want always to use first-person writing. For example, instead of saying for some pets, people are gone all day, try writing it like when I do pet sitting, I have pets that are home all day. The reason is that if you switch from talking about yourself as a professional pet sitter to talking about yourself as an individual doing something (pet sitting), your visitors will lose trust in you because they won’t see any benefit in what you have to say. So whenever possible, write using first-person words and phrases so that your site doesn’t feel corporate or fake.
Do your background check (you wouldn’t want someone else watching your pets, would you?)
If you’re looking to get into pet sitting jobs, there are some simple background checks you can do before signing up for appointments. First, check with local veterinarians in your area and find out if they know of any clients who need pet sitters. Also, consider asking friends or family members if they have had good experiences with their dog walkers, cat sitters, or other pet care providers—and trust their opinions. If someone you trust has had a bad experience with someone, find out why and make sure it doesn’t happen to you! And remember that word-of-mouth referrals are usually better than advertisements on Craigslist.
Meet all safety requirements set by state law
State requirements vary, but generally, pet sitters must be at least 18 years old, have proof of current liability insurance or bond (some states require $100,000; others require $300,000), and pass a criminal background check. Some pet sitters set their own fees and pay their own taxes, while others work through an agency that sets fees and deducts them before paying sitters. Most agencies allow you to negotiate your rate with clients, so it’s worth asking if you can charge more—especially if pet sitting is something you enjoy doing anyway. Check out Sittercity’s guide to starting a business as well as becoming an independent contractor in your state to find out what licenses and permits you need to get started.
Take advantage of social media
If you’re not taking advantage of social media to market your pet sitting business, it’s time to start. Social media is one of those things that you either love or hate, but it offers some incredible opportunities for pet sitters. The only caveat is that you can’t be shy about asking clients to share their experiences with your company online. These days, if a client has a great experience, they can log in to Facebook or Twitter and let people know immediately. You want your name associated with positive reviews and well-behaved pets!
Pet sitting is one of those jobs you can do to make money online as a side hustle. You can easily set up an account on sites like Rover and start getting paid to watch other people’s pets while they are away. Although it can be hard to get started, once you have some experience under your belt, there will be plenty of opportunities available to you. Make sure that you follow my tips for getting started and get ready to earn some extra cash with pet sitting jobs!