A Dog Sitter can be anyone who is left in charge of other people’s dogs while they are away. A professional dog sitter, however, is a service provider who charges a fee for his/her dog sitting services, experience, and expertise.
Other elements that may distinguish a professional sitter are formal animal-related qualifications (Veterinary Science, Dog Training, etc) and the possession of a license and insurance.
Types of Pet Sitting
There are several types of Pet Sitting, and they all include general pet sitting tasks, such as feeding, exercising, grooming, playing, and pampering.
This service requires Pet Sitters to board dogs in their own homes. This can be on a regular basis (every weekend) or on an ad hoc basis (for a week while the owners go on holiday). While boarding, dogs are fed, walked, and cared for just like they were staying with their owners. This is a popular alternative to kennels since dogs are offered a much more personal, comfortable, and homey care, which reduces separation anxiety for both dogs and owners!
Dog Walkers take dogs for a walk while their owners are away or busy at work. Each dog walking session usually lasts for ½ hour to 1 hour and can be done on an ad hoc basis, but it is most often requested by dog owners as a regular booking (every day, three times a week, etc). Dogs can be walked on their own or in the company of other dogs (usually a max of 4 dogs per dog walker).
Cats are generally more independent and do not enjoy leaving their homes, so sitters are often contracted to make Cat Sitting visits. Each visit usually includes feeding, pampering, grooming, playing, changing of the litter box, and occasionally other general house sitting tasks, such as watering plants, picking up post, etc. Cat sitting services are usually requested when owners go on holiday.
This service is often requested when owners feel the need to provide their pets with closer companionship and attention while they are away, without having to temporarily move their much-loved pets to unfamiliar facilities. House sitting duties include feeding, playing, pampering, grooming and exercising all the household pets, while performing general housekeeping tasks, such as cleaning, picking up post, taking messages, etc.
PET SITTER PROFILE – AS A PET SITTER, YOU MUST:
- LOVE pets!
- Have long-term experience (that means years!) caring and looking after pets.
- Have good Communication Skills: as a sitter, you will always meet up with the owners first, so you must inspire their confidence and talk through any concerns.
- Have Initiative, be motivated, and be proactive: most pet sitters are freelancers, which means you are responsible for promoting yourself and securing work. And even if you work for a company, you have to be able to work unsupervised and make sure you provide the best possible care.
- Be Responsible and Organised: owners are asking you to basically look after a member of their family and are counting on you to protect and care for them, that is a huge responsibility! Attention to detail is key; keep notes for each pet’s requirements, turn up on time and never miss an appointment!
- Be Adaptable and good at Problem Solving: unexpected things do happen, especially when dealing with animals, so you must be prepared to act calmly and accordingly. If you panic easily, maybe this is not the job for you.
- Be Fit and Healthy: pet sitting can be physically demanding, especially if you are looking after dogs that require a lot of exercise and grooming. Also, make sure you do not have any pet allergies!
HOW TO GET STARTED
Most professional dog sitters are freelancers and work on a self-employed basis. You may also want to consider working as a sitter for a pet sitting company, especially if you are just starting out and would like some guidance. Becoming a member of the National Association of Registered Pet Sitters may also be of interest since it offers good benefits and recognition, but you do have to pay a fee.
In any case, you have to know how to promote yourself and your business. You can start by promoting yourself in local newspapers and businesses, posting adverts, flyers, and business cards. However, you may want to reach a larger and more targeted audience – and that’s when Tailster comes in.
Tailster helps you get in contact with local dog owners who are looking for a sitter. It takes only 2 minutes to create your online profile, and it’s absolutely FREE! Your profile will have all the important information regarding your services, including prices, location, and photos. And if you already work as an established pet sitter, have your own company or work for a company, you are still welcome to create a profile – why not?
We understand that in this day and age you want to get as much exposure as possible, and Tailster can certainly help you with that.
So, to create your free profile and find out more, visit our website Tailster.com. And for any other queries regarding Tailster or pet sitting in general, do not hesitate to contact us via our site.
Good luck and happy pet sitting!