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Become A Professional Pet Sitter

Updated on January 28, 2014

Business Plan

Starting a pet sitting business is a very fun and rewardomg part or full time business to have. If you love animals like I do, then this business venture will be right up your ally. The first thing you want to do when starting any type of business is to think up a business plan. Think about what areas you will provide the pet sitting services in. It will be in your best intrest to pick an area close by to your home that has easy access for you. Next you need to decide what kind of animals you would like to care for, whether it be felines, canines, ferrets, fish, rabbits, birds, etc.... Make sure you feel comfortable and enjoy caring for the specific type you choose. Remember the broader the range of animals you will pet sit, the more opportunities for income.



Insurance

You will need to be bonded and insured for this type of business. It covers the pet owners pet and property if anything should happen. It is better safe than sorry. So don't give the insurance a second thought. Let's start this business off on the right foot. Also you will get more clients if you are bonded and insured. You can acquire the insurance and bonds at the two professional pet sitting organizations, Pet Sitters International and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.

Next you need to decide what your services will be and what you will charge per visit. Your rate may be determined by the number of pets you are caring for, the amount of time spent at each visit, what task are involved, and any special services requested by the pet owner.


Advertising

Design a business card and flier to help promote your business. List your company name, email address, and phone number , and the state in which you are bonded and insured with on the business card and flier. Become a member of a professional pet sitting organization and list that on your flier. A catch phrase on the business card and flier will make it rememorable. Visit your local animal vet and ask to leave a batch of your business cards on the counter, most will say no problem. Put a flier up at the supermarket, put an ad in the paper, and Craiglist has a services section you can place an ad as well. Exposure is the key, and if you don't advertise, no one will call you.



Do Your Best

Always put your best foot forward with all your clients. Always be courteous, explain your qualifications and intentions. Word of mouth will drum up new business.

Four Benefits Of Pet Sitting

1. It does not cost a lot to start a pet sitting business. Initial cost will be for business cards and fliers. But some advertising can be done for free via Craigslist.

2. If you are an animal lover, there could not be a better job to have. You get paid for doing what you love.

3. Clients are easy to get, whether it be from your advertising or word of mouth. People are always going on trips and need someone to watch their pet.

4. Clients will pay you well for taking good care of their pets.

Comments

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      Sarra Garrett 

      5 years ago

      If I may add a few things: Pet sitters insurance is a MUST. People revere their pets as family members and the law is changing wherein the pet is worth more than what it was purchased for.

      I was the only insurance adjuster for pet sitters insurance claims in the United STates and I've seen it all: suicidal dogs jumping from 5th floor balconies, overdoses, pet hoarders, dog bites and dog napping.

      Always make sure you NEVER put any dog in the back of a truck as they do jump out. Bring a camera with you at all times. If the client is a hoarder or a pet hoarder take pictures!!! (If they are pet hoarders you need to report them ASAP as it is against the law and more than likely the pets are being abused in one way or another) If a pet dies in your care take a photo where the pet lies. These photos you will need to provide to your insurance adjuster in the case something happens.

      Make sure you read your directions every time you go to the clients home. Double check everything. If a family member shows up and says they will take care of the animal, make sure you contact your client and tell them. Remember, you are contracted to care for the animal not the 'stranger'.

      Please do not go to the dog park! They are dangerous not only for the pet but for other people there as well and believe me, if a person is run over by a dog in your care they will sue you. If you must go to a dog park take no more than 4 dogs with you at any one time. Learn the laws of dog parks in your area.

      If you love pets this is a good extra income. Just remember you are taking care of someone elses 'baby' and believe me, if something happens to a pet while in your care the owners can be ruthless. If something does happen make sure you contact your insurance ASAP and don't talk to the client anymore. Allow the adjuster to do all the talking for you.

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