What Do Pet Sitters Do

Alyssa OmandacCareer, Overview

Pet Sitting is a flexible job that could work as a side gig or a full-time career, depending on your goals.

While dog walking is a well-known job, pet sitting is a relatively new trend in pet care. A Pet Sitter typically stays at someone else’s home and watches their pets. However, there is a lot more to this job than people may expect.

Pet Sitters need to spend time with the pets in their care. They play with pets, feed them, take them for walks, and may even groom them. Some Pet Sitters also handle minor household tasks, such as taking in the mail.



Pet Sitters

Pet Sitters typically provide care for pets while owners are away. They often stay in the owner’s home, which allows the pet to remain in familiar territory.

Salary: $31000
Education: No degree required
Personality: The Builder

What they do

Pet Sitters typically provide care for pets while owners are away. They often stay in the owner’s home, which allows the pet to remain in familiar territory.

Provide Daily Care for Pets

Pet Sitters meet with pet owners to discuss the daily care routine and any other requirements. The Pet Sitter then stays at the home with the pet, providing daily care throughout the day and night. Daily care typically involves feeding the pet and providing water. Pet Sitters may also socialize with the pet and follow any other requests.

Providing daily care may also involve administering medications. Older dogs and cats may require special care and additional instructions for addressing medical issues.

Take Pets for Walks or Appointments

Along with providing in-home care, Pet Sitters may occasionally take dogs for walks or to the park. The variety of activities often depends on the wishes of the pet owner. For example, a pet owner who takes his dog for three walks a day may prefer the Pet Sitter to follow the same routine. Pet Sitters may also need to take pets to appointments, such as a vet appointment or a trip to the pet groomers.

Brush Fur and Teeth

Some pet owners may request that the Pet Sitter groom their pets. This is more common with long-haired dog breeds that require frequent brushing, such as poodles. Pet Sitters may also brush the pet’s teeth, depending on the needs of the client. However, teeth brushing is not a frequent request, as most dogs are unwilling to let a stranger brush their teeth.

Clean up After Pets

Pet Sitters should be comfortable cleaning up messes, as they typically need to clean up after the pets. This may include cleaning out litter boxes and cleaning up accidents. Pet Sitters also need to clean up after themselves. While they may have free run of the house, the homeowner may request that they wash their own dishes and take out any trash.

Perform Basic Household Tasks

Pet Sitters may be requested to handle a few basic tasks while the homeowner is away, such as bringing the mail inside, collecting packages that were dropped off, and watering plants. The scope of the work rarely extends beyond these few basic chores. However, every arrangement is different. Any required tasks should be agreed upon and listed on the contract.

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What is it like working as one

Pros

You Spend Your Day Around Animals

Animal lovers should love this job, as they spend their time around pets instead of people.

Pet Sitting is a Flexible Job

Pet Sitting can provide part-time or full-time employment, along with flexible work schedules.

You Do Not Need Extensive Education

Pet Sitters do not need a college degree, allowing them to start working right after high school.

Pet Sitters Have Free Time

While Pet Sitters need to provide daily care, they do not work around the clock and often have free time for studying, reading, or watching TV.

Cons

Dealing with an Emergency Is Difficult

Pet Sitters cannot typically leave the pets unattended, requiring them to find an alternate sitter when dealing with an emergency.

You Spend the Night at Strangers’ Homes

Staying overnight in a client’s home can be a little uncomfortable for some individuals.


Where they work

Self-employed
Pet Sitting Agencies
Animal Boarding Houses

Most Pet Sitters are self-employed individuals who build their own client base or rely on mobile apps to find pet sitting jobs. Some Pet Sitters work for pet sitting agencies that find clients and assign Pet Sitters based on their availability. Pet Sitters may also find work at animal boarding houses that offer pet sitting as an alternative to standard boarding.

Pet Sitting is most common in major cities and metro areas, but Pet Sitters can offer their services anywhere.

How to become one

Step 1: Volunteer to Work with Animals

High school students can start gaining the skills needed for this career by working closely with animals. Volunteer at animal shelters or hospitals in the area.

Step 2: Take Animal First Aid and CPR Courses

Pet Sitters may find work more easily if they have completed animal first aid and CPR courses.

Step 3: Look for Entry-Level Jobs

Most employed Pet Sitters work for agencies that offer Pet Sitting services. However, some agencies require Pet Sitters to have experience working with animals. Other suitable entry-level jobs may be found at animal hospitals, pet stores, and animal shelters.

Step 4: Offer Your Services as a Freelance Pet Sitter

Pet Sitters who struggle to find employment should consider working as a freelancer. Many Pet Sitters start as freelance Dog Walkers and expand their services to include Pet Sitting.

Should you become one

Pet Sitters are typically trustworthy individuals, as they stay at other people’s homes and need to respect their property and privacy. Pet Sitters also need to be reliable, as pet owners count on them to continue caring for their pets while they are away. Interpersonal skills are also essential, due to the need to provide exceptional customer service and occasionally resolve complaints.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.


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