Pet sitting as a business and career opportunity
Some days do you just sitting at your desk in the office and wish you were working with animals instead of people? Your daydreams may be leading you to a great new business idea for somebody like you who love animals – become a professional pet sitter. You can make this your career, job, either full or part-time, depending upon your schedule and desires to become the local pet sitting services.
What exactly does a pet sitter do?
Today’s families and busy career couples are traveling for both work and pleasure more than ever and their lovely fur companions, cats, dogs, and other assorted pets, need to be cared for in the owner’s home while they are vacationing or have traveled out of town so needed pet sitters. This is where your business of pet sitter comes in. You as the professional pet sitter would go to the pet owner’s home, and care for the animals includes walking for exercise, playing for stimulation, feeding and watering cats and dogs. Additionally, you may have to administer veterinary medicine and brush, groom and clip the pet’s nails.
The business of pet sitting service is growing due to a multitude of factors such as increased travel due to lower fares and families spread across the country, an increase in pet ownership and desire for animals to be most comfortable attended to in their homes – instead of being moved to an impersonal dog kennel or dog day care center.
Today’s pet owners go beyond just spoiling their pets with expensive food and toys; they spend generously of their disposable income for medical and maintenance care for the beloved animals. These people appreciate the additional focused care that a pet sitter can offer so that you can charge higher fees than a standard dog walker.
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Types of services pet sitters business offer include:
- dog walking
- pooper scooping of animal waste
- cleaning litter boxes cages and dog crates
- pet taxi to the vet hospital and grooming appointments
- housesitting of the pets home
- potty break for dogs outdoors
- feeding and treats distribution
- watering and refilling dishes
- playing indoors and out
- snuggle and cuddle time
- petting and stroking
The top priority is to keep the pets in their regular routine, which helps them feel comfortable and secure or while their owners are away from home. This is vital because animals behave best when they are peaceful and relaxed. The pet owners should give you a complete list of the dog routine from waking up, to potty breaks, feeding and treat time for you to follow. The less stress the animal has the more likely it will stay healthy and happy during your pet sitting assignment. Don’t be surprised if the pet routine includes things such as being read a bedtime story, a favorite for birds, rubbing of their tummies and playing catch.
How to have a successful animal care business
So you’ve decided to start your own pet sitting business. Great! I want to work with animals and I think I can make a difference.
Now let’s get you started right for success in your new company. Don’t worry, this won’t be that difficult, just read this full article and follow the steps that other successful entrepreneurs in the animal related businesses share as advice for new business owners. You may find that becoming a pet sitter is just the beginning, you may expand to other animal-related services such as dog walking, training, grooming and pet day care centers. You can start your company without quitting your current job. It is an easy business to work around a 9-5 schedule until your pet sitting business has grown enough to replace your day job income. Some successful pet sitters have phased out of their day jobs by first going part-time and then eventually quitting to run their animal care firm full-time.
- Pet Sitting Business Plan – I am sure you have heard the old saying “Fail to Plan = Plan to Fail” that is very true when starting a new business, especially one with various factors of insurance, animal health, forms and marketing tasks to organize. Take a shortcut to success by learning from a professional and highly profitable pet sitting company in the Pet Sitting Business Start Up Kit This #1 selling Business Start-up Kit for Pet Sitters & Dog Walkers contains EVERYTHING new business owners need to start and manage their pet sitting and dog walking business. Cash in on the hottest industry-Pet Care! Click Here!
- Pet Sitter Salary – An important part of your decision-making process of whether to keep your current job or start your own business, being a pet sitter will be the salary comparison. Each market area and a city will vary slightly dependent upon current standard rates. Most firms are offering pet sitting charge by the visit, assuming multiple visits per day depending upon the type of and quantity of animals. Dogs will require more visits for walks and potty breaks while cats often only need once a day visit. Each visit will be charged based on the content of tasks to be completed during that time. If it is a regular feeding and walking visit, there will be one price. However, when additional services such as giving medicine, grooming for extended play time will be higher priced. In the southeastern region of America visits are approximate $15 each and in metropolitan cities such as NYC each visit can go upwards of $40 each. Calculate that using the number of visits per day and your salary can range from a part-time job of up to $900 per month or a full-time salary of approximately $30,000 per year. Remember to subtract from this number all costs and expenses incurred in performing these animal care jobs such as dog food, potty bags, cat toys and travel fares.
Pick a Name for Your New Company
Certainly, you will need a catchy name to call your animal care business. Finding the best name takes some work and imagination. You will want to create a name that communicates both the services you will offer and the value and benefit of those services. In addition to developing some ideas for business names, you will need to research the use of your chosen name to be sure there are no existing trademarks from other companies. Your business name communicates a lot about your company so you want to be sure to give it some careful thought and consideration. The best business names are ones that are easily remembered, stand out from the crowd, appear professional and detail what your business services are. Use these tips to pick the perfect name for your pet sitting business:
- Uniqueness – you must be one-of-a-kind you do not want to have the same name as another business selling the same type of services. If not, you will be confused with the other firm and will find it very hard to advertise effectively for new customers.
- Think A – Z -many business directories, both online and off, such as the telephone book list firms alphabetically. As such, you want to be at the top of that list. So consider names that begin with the letter A as having this distinct advantage.
- Tell about your business – the name for your business should let people know CLEARLY what they can purchase at your establishment. Here’s an example, the name – Pet Pampering – is lovely. However, it is vague and could mean anything from dog grooming to animal massage, none of which say to offer pet sitting services. A better name would be Pampering Your Pets Sitting Services since it clearly states that you are offering pet sitting services. It is also wise to create and name that can grow with your business, since you may want to expand your offerings to include dog walking, pet grooming or dog training. Continuing with our example above, you could use the name Pampering Pets Services, which could mean any number of animal related services.
Locality – sometimes the most successful business names include your market areas such as NYC Pet Cares or LA Pet Pampers. Consider including either the state, city or region that you will cover with your new pet sitting business.
List of Pet Sitting Business Names for your Inspiration:
The Pet Wagon Pet Sitting
Happy Cat Pet Sitting
Posh Pets Daycare
Prim and Proper Pet Sitting
The Buddy System Pet Sitting
Four Legged Friends
We Love Pets! Pet Sitting
Just Like Home Pet Sitting
The Pet Whisperer Pet Sitting
Sitters 4 Paws
It’s the Leash I can do
Pet Wagon or Pet Waggin
Go Fetch Pet Sitting
Four Legged Friends Pet Sitter
A Fuzzy Vacation
Pawsitively Awesome Pet Sitting
I Stay – You Go Pet Sitters
Happy Tails to You
Your Best Friend’s Friend (my favorite)
- Business Forms Needed & Where to Get Them Every business requires forms to gather and organize information about your customer’s orders. Here are business forms that were designed by a professional pet sitter specifically for your type of services http://www.businessformsstore.com/pet_sitting
- Insurance Needs – Do not skip over this section – it is of vital importance for you to have the proper insurance in place for you start your new business. You need to be protected from any damage that you may cause to your clients home, such as knocking over an expensive sculpture and also be covered and not liable for the replacement cost. If the dog you are walking attacks another person or dog in your presence you want to have dog walker insurance. Your customers will expect you to have this liability insurance protect themselves, their homes, and their pets while they are away. There are specific insurance companies who have pet sitting insurance programs. We recommend the pet sitters association insurance – Pet Sitters Associates programs because of their favorable premiums, coverage amounts and except acceptable deductibles.
Do You Need a Business License for Dog and Cat Sitting?
Everybody asked this question when they consider starting your own business. In America, the service of pet sitting does not require a trade type license, such as other professions, including contracting are required. However, most states do require that you register your business with the appropriate authority – here is a link to the SBA listing of state offices for you to inquire about your particular state requirements. https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/business-licenses-permits/state-licenses-permits Find your state and click to read about standard licensing requirements. There is also an option to register your business online, or if you prefer, there is a phone number that you can call your local government and asked them what you need to get started legally. You will need to have decided the way you want to have your business organized before you register with your state. This means the type of entity either sole proprietor, partnership, limited liability for Corporation C or S type.
- Being a Professional Pet Sitting Firm – These are the traits of a true professional of a pet sitter
- Trust – Homeowners will be giving you their house keys and access to their beloved pets, so they need to know you are trustworthy. Often they will do a background check on you and your firm. Do not be offended, if you have nothing to hide it will be okay. Also, you will need to provide references that they can contact to learn about your past associations and sitting jobs.
- Compassionate – Animals are sensitive and so are their owners, so you will need to extra careful in your handling of both.
- Relaxed – You need to be the voice of reason and stay calm even when your pets and customers do not. Remember animals can sense feelings very accurately and will act accordingly – so calm is the watchword of the day.
- Flexible – Today’s travel plans are frequently changed due to numerous types of delays in the airport, highway or rail station. So you will need to be able to adapt to these last minute schedule changes and perhaps stay longer or make more visits to the pets home than originally planned.
- Reliable – When you become a pet sitter you are now responsible for living creatures and must take this commitment very seriously. If you fail to show up as scheduled, an animal could become dangerously dehydrated or even starve to death. Your customers need to know that they can depend on you to come as you promised. It is vital to your continuing business and the peace of mind, and ultimately good referrals to new customers, of your clients.
- Insured – Earlier in this article we discussed the importance of being fully insured – refer to a source we recommend. Having the right insurance policy, protects you, the pet and the pet owner for any unforeseen incidents or damage that may occur during your pet sitting gig.
- Love Animals – This is a given for success in this field. You will need a good sense of humor and genuine like for our furry friends who sometimes misbehave when Mommy and Daddy are away. They will sometimes disobey, soil carpet and chew things that are clearly not toys. So when you love them you help them through this time of insecurely while their masters are away with care and love.
Join a Pet Sitters Trade Association
Trade associations prosper because it is easier, and more fun, to do business together with like-minded business owners. Together you can negotiate group discounts for services such as insurance and advertising. Also you, as a new entrepreneur, can benefit greatly from the combined wisdom of years of experience in your chosen field by connecting with other association members who are successful in your area.
Most trade groups have annual or semi-annual get-togethers for education, trade shows, and social events. Non-members are sometimes allowed to attend these functions that can be a wellspring of information and inspiration.
Here are the top three (3) Pet Sitter trade associations:
National Association of Professional Pet Sitters – http://www.petsitters.org/ NAPPS Mission Statement – The only National non-profit professional pet sitting organization dedicated to setting the industry standard and championing the welfare of animals.
Pet Sitters International – https://www.petsit.com/ Calls itself “The world’s leading organization for professional pet sitters”
APSE Association of Pet Sitting Excellence – http://www.petsittingexcellence.com/ Vision Statement – The APSE connects pet sitters and pet owners and empowers them to work together to create an optimum lifestyle for themselves and their pets.
Check out my guide on how to start your business right with tons of useful tips I learned by successfully starting, building, and selling multiple companies.