Pet Sitting Jobs Near Me: If a dog owner plans to leave their pet at home while they’re at work or out of town, the doggy is going to have to at least go on a potty break. Sometimes our fluffy buddies require even more care.
Luckily, you have several options when it comes to providing care for your dog when you’re not around. Depending on what your dog’s needs are, owners can choose between dog walking, pet sitting, or dog boarding.
A pet sitter’s job is often demanding. Owners expect you to tend to their pets just as they would, if not better. Feeding, grooming, and exercising pets are just a few of the responsibilities that come with the job. That’s why, before venturing into pet sitting, make sure you’re willing to dedicate time for care.
What is a Pet Sitting?
The definition of pet sitting
In 1997 Pet Sitters International (PSI) successfully campaigned to have “pet sitting” added to the Random House Dictionary.
“Pet sitting” is defined as “the act of caring for a pet in its own home while the owner is away.” Dog walking is also a form of pet sitting since it involves coming to the pet’s home to provide exercise and companionship.
While some pet sitters and dog walkers offer additional services, such as limited in-home boarding (less than 30 percent offer this service, according to PSI’s 2020 State of the Industry Survey), these are separate services, and not considered “pet sitting.”
Caring for pets in the clients’ homes is what separates pet sitters from boarders or doggie daycares.
What are the advantages of pet sitting (over other pet-care options)?
Pets are happier and experience less stress at home in their familiar environment.
Diet and exercise routines are uninterrupted.
Travel trauma for both owner and pet is eliminated.
Pet’s exposure to illness is minimized.
Occasionally, extenuating circumstances (i.e., a pet with special health issues or severe separation anxiety or repairs taking place in the pet’s home) warrants a pet sitter caring for a client’s pet in his or her own home, and the group-rate pet-sitter insurance coverage available to PSI members does offer a limited “in the pet sitter’s home” pet-care coverage option.
Pet Sitting Requirement
PSI’s mission and identity require that regular membership be limited to those who provide pet-sitting services.
PSI recognizes that many pet-sitting businesses are rapidly growing and diversifying.
PSI membership is open to pet sitters who offer supplemental services (grooming, training, waste removal, etc.), but it must be in addition to pet sitting.
PSI reserves the right to randomly audit member businesses to determine whether pet-sitting services are being offered. Links irrelevant to pet sitting and links to listings on other pet-sitting/pet-care directories are not permitted on the PSI locator.
What Does a Pet Sitter Do?
As the definition above indicates, pet sitters care for clients’ pets in the clients’ homes. Pet owners often use pet sitters when they go on a vacation, travel for business, work long hours, or when they are too sick or injured to care for their pet(s).
Pet sitters often offer more than one pet-sitting visit per day, and some pet sitters offer overnight stays as well.
During the pet-sitting visits, pet sitters perform a variety of tasks, including:
Feeding the pets and changing their water bowls
Providing exercise and playtime (may include walking the dog)
Cleaning litter boxes and cleaning up any other pet messes
Administering pet medications, if needed
Providing lots of TLC!
Pet sitters also often bring in mail or newspapers and alternate blinds and lights to give the home a “lived-in look” if the owners are away. Pet sitters may also perform other tasks as requested by the pet owners.
Popular Pet Sitting Jobs
Part-time dog/pet sitter
Short-term vacation pet sitter
Long-term vacation pet sitter
Pet sitting/house sitting
Overnight pet care
Pet Sitting and Dog Walking: What’s Better?
Dog walking services are a little less expensive compared to pet sitters, but if you plan on going out of town for business, or a wedding, a reunion, or vacation, considering a pet sitter may be the best idea.
Some people choose per boarding as their best option, especially for dogs who love socializing with other animals. If you wonder what is per boarding, imagine it as a puppy-hotel where you drop off your dog.
They feed him, play with him, keep him safe and clean – and there are usually lots of other puppies who are staying at that same hotel, so he’ll never be bored.
If you think it would be a good option for you, search for a dog boarding app and find a certified dog daycare in your area.
Pet Sitting Tips Every Pet Sitter Must Know
1. Be Knowledgeable
The truth is, you don’t need a veterinary background to become a pet sitter. However, the more knowledge you have on pets, the better. If you’re an animal lover and have grown around animals, you have an advantage over other inexperienced pet sitters.
Usually, the pet owner will give you all directives for tending to their pet including the medicine to use in case of emergency, the food to cook, and so on. But it’s essential to have some tips with you. Find what is toxic to pets and put them away. For example, some of the poisonous foods for dogs and cats include:
walnuts and macadamia
xylitol including gums and candy
Be Responsible Besides caring for the pet, you also need to take care of the owner’s home. Be the ear and the eyes of the house. Clean after yourself and the pet. Groom the pet, take it to the veterinary and, if need be, rush it to the emergency room. As you do all these, learn the history of the animal — its medical history, current health status, and whether it’s taking any medication.
Dispose of pet disposal correctly. If you happen to walk a dog, carry something to poop-scoop. Check whether the yard, house, or plants have any pet poop.
3. Meet the Pet Before the Actual Job
Take a practice visit before every job. During this visit, familiarize yourself with the pet and learn when it eats, drinks, and goes for a walk.
A practice visit allows you to know an animal better, preparing you in case the pet’s parent leaves some details out in your briefing.
Also, bonding with the pet encourages the owner and gives them peace of mind, having left their loved ones in your watch. If you notice any aggression or timidness, consider turning the job down as things might get worse when the owner is not around.
4. Follow a Schedule
Most pets already have a schedule. You, therefore, can’t ignore the routine as it might make the pet grumpy and harm you.
Follow the written and verbal instructions left by your employer, including the right way to medicate the pet.
5. Be Compassionate
Pets notice when their owner is not around; they even get nervous. So, give the animal extra attention. If it has a favorite toy, play with it for some time until the pet is no longer interested.
This way, the animal will rest, waiting for your return later. Go the extra mile beyond feeding and cleaning — stroke, cuddle, and talk to the pet.
6. Pet Proof Your House
Even when a pet is trained, it can be destructive. That’s why, if you’re caring for a pet from your home, you need to pet-proof the house.
For example, a pet dog might try to open your door. Install a door protector to prevent scratches from the dog.
Items such as furniture and other toys in your house are like toys to pets. Proof these items to prevent pets from playing with them.
Determine whether the pet has fleas before taking it to your house. Inform the pet owner that you’ll charge them extra if the pet has fleas.
Nothing makes a pet owner feel better than seeing their pet well-fed and groomed. You probably have a smartphone. Take at least one picture daily and send it to the pet parent. If possible, make a call or send an email.
Always relay information about the pet, but ensure you don’t worry the pet owner, forcing them to get back before they fulfill their agendas.
8. Be Trustworthy
When you’re taking care of a pet from the owner’s house, remain trustworthy. Don’t use something that was not offered.
Avoid perusing the house even if the owner wants you to feel comfortable. Remember, you’re a guest in the home and should act like one.
Leave the door behind you closed to prevent the pet from escaping or giving excuses if mishaps occur.
What Are These 5 Pet Sitting Sites?
Actually, there are more sites than just the five mentioned below; however, this post will only summarize five of them.
DogVacay pet sitters provide their profiles and pet owners may browse the profiles by zip codes. Pet insurance covers owners ($25,000 in medical coverage and $250 deductible), and 24/7 customer support is available.
NAPPS offers a certification program that teaches business management, animal care, and recognizing pet health issues. NAPPA maintains a Members Directory with contact information on every NAPPS member.
Members are encouraged to network as well as participate in the forum and chats. NAPPS also has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube.
Fetch is another place for a cat or dog lovers to sit and connect with those needing the service. However, Fetch basically takes on the role of a matchmaker matching the pet owner with the most qualified pet sitter in the owner’s area.
Fetch does allow for the pet owner and sitter to meet prior to the pet sitting just to make certain that the pet will feel comfortable with the sitter.
Pet sitters do go through a background check, and when pet sitters apply they are added to a database.
This site not only offers pet sitting but also senior and/or child care settings or a combination of both. An example would be seniors who need care, but also need their dogs to walk. The company offers housekeeping services as well.
Is Pet Sitting Dangerous?
It depends on the pet. Most pets are harmless but some may be aggressive when you fail to observe their routine.
Can I Make Money Pet Sitting?
Yes, you can make money by pet sitting. This job is actually best for students who want to make some money after class or in between lessons. However, to earn a high income, you need to sit a lot of pets and charge highly.
One of the biggest mistakes that individuals make when signing up at sites like these is failing to keep their profiles updated. Regularly check your profile to ensure your information is up to date.
This includes contact information, pricing, services, and any new photos you might have. In addition, be sure to check often for customer feedback just in case any events arise requiring help from the site moderators.