Pet sitting is essentially baby sitting for peoples pets usually when they go away on holiday. This may involve feeding them, exercising them, playing with them and any other care required. There are no real barriers to entry so anyone can do it but there are some things that will benefit you if you have. The most basic thing is a love for and experience caring for animals. Being physically fit and healthy will allow you to take larger dogs for walks. If you have your own transport it will give you access to a greater catchment area. The more qualifications you have in the area of animal care and welfare the more it will benefit you.
Likewise there are no legal requirements to become a pet sitter, however it helps if you are over 18 as well as if you have or can pass a DBS (criminal record) check. There are accredited qualifications you can obtain and associations you can join which are listed in the links below.
There are two routes you can choose to become a pet sitter. You can either register with a company that will put you on their site and allow pet owners to contact you. Or you can go freelance and advertise yourself through classified sites, social media or your own website. Pet sitters are almost always self employed which allows you to set your own rates and choose your own hours. This is great if you want to fit it in around your current lifestyle or even start it up as your own full time business.
Often you will find people combine pet sitting with house sitting because the owner will want someone to stay and look after their house as well as their pet while they are away on holiday. But whether there is an animal involved or not, house sitting has all the same characteristics of pet sitting except you are maintaining a house rather than an animal. This involves deterring burglars, general maintenance, watering the plants, collecting mail etc.
Similar to pet sitting, there are no legal minimum requirements but some sites you register with will do a DBS check. References help but if you have no experience house sitting references from previous landlords and employers are a good place to start. Assignments can be unpaid as you are often reimbursed by getting to live in the persons house “for free”. Other times you will be paid. Generally the arrangements and what is required differ from one assignment to the next and it is good to be clear what is and what isn’t included. Often you will need to provide your own day to day expenses such as food and drink.
Whether it’s pet sitting, house sitting or both, it’s a great way to earn an extra income or go full time and start your own business.
How to Start and Run a Petsitting Business – A Step-by Step Guide to Setting Up a Successful Enterprise in This Rapidly Expanding Market.
Six-Figure Pet Sitting – Catapult Your Pet Sitting Business to Unlimited Success.
Sites to use
Pet Sitters International – Gain a Certified Professional Pet Sitter qualification.
NarpsUK – National Association of Registered Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers.
Paw Shake – Find a trusted pet sitter in your community.
Cat in a Flat – Find a loving cat sitter in your area.
Dog Buddy – Find your perfect Dog Sitter.
House Carers – Register to become a house sitter.
Trusted Housesitters – House sitting and pet sitting.