Pet Sitter: How to Start a Pet sitting Business

Pet Sitting has grown in popularity because many households have pets. The pets are not restricted to common animals like dogs and cats. We have exotic birds, reptiles, snakes and lizards.

Despite an increase in domesticated animals the business is hardly saturated. Most operators are young teens on vacation or with spare time on their hands. However the business is easy to scale-up into a highly profitable venture. It is perfect for people with love for animals and basic business knowledge.

pet sitting
pet sitting

Pros and Cons of Starting a Pet Sitting Service

A good pet sitter should have love for animals, good time management, and trustworthiness. Others are moderate accounting, business knowledge, and animal care. Work schedule is flexible from morning, afternoons, overnight sitting, holidays and weekends. There are a few pros and cons of starting the business.

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Pros

Pros involves flexible work schedule, low startup. Others are work from home, does not require an office, few inventory. Earn money part time/full time however moderate knowledge of animals is advantageous. A practitioner with many clients will earn good income.

  • flexible work schedule
  • low startup
  • work from home
  • does not require an office
  • few inventory
  • earn part time or full time
  • moderate knowledge of animals
  • good earnings

Cons

Requires some level of physical fitness, trustworthiness and patience. Procurement of a bond or insurance will protect from litigation. Flexibility in work schedule although an advantage is also a disadvantage.

  • physical fitness
  • trustworthiness
  • patience

Things to Consider

Things to consider before starting the business are writing a business plan. Others are form a business, provide marketing, offer services, get liability insurance. Offer competitive prices, keep detailed records, and obtain signed contracts.

  1. writing a business plan
  2. form a business
  3. provide marketing
  4. offer services
  5. get liability insurance
  6. offer competitive prices
  7. keep detailed records
  8. obtain signed contracts

Writhe a business plan

The first step is to write a business plan and carry out a feasibility study. The business plan should cover marketing, rates, profit /loss. Find out state or federal laws, tax, health and safety regulations.

Pets to Consider

There are a huge number of pets that require a pet sitter. Common pets are dogs, cats, others are pigs, snakes, rodents, lizards, spiders, aquatic animals. Each animal requires specialized care therefore define your services.

Select the type of animal

Next step is to define the type of animal to sit. Snakes require careful care especially dangerous ones or large animals’ additional costs. Specify the cost based on services breed of dog, cat, bird or reptile. Define the business hours, ideal client, and extra services.

Pet sitting services

A pet sitter offers a whole lot of services apart from pet sitting and caring for the animal. Other services include grooming, feeding, playing with the animal and visiting a veterinarian. Make sure to follow a schedule, complete administrative work and stay organized.

Extra services

Sometimes the pet owner wants extra services outside pet sitting. Such services include house sitting, watering the plants, trimming hedge. More services are feeding, cleaning of litter and daily walks. Others are poop scooping, overnight care watering, grooming.

Services

  • pet sitting
  • caring for the animal
  • feeding
  • playing with the animal
  • cleaning of litter
  • daily walks
  • poop scooping
  • overnight care
  • watering
  • grooming
  • veterinarian
  • overnight boarding
  • pet baths
  • dog walking
  • overnight stay
  • grocery pickup
  • grocery delivery

Extra services

  • house sitting
  • watering plants
  • trimming hedge

Equipment

Equipment are easy to source and basic. Common equipment are dog/cat leashes, treats, food, emergency medical supplies. Others are dog brushes, shampoos and dog toys. Dog hammock, car seat cover, and muzzle.

  • dog/cat leashes
  • treats
  • food
  • emergency medical supplies
  • dog brushes
  • shampoos
  • dog toys
  • dog hammock
  • car seat cover
  • muzzle

Pricing

Pricing depends on transportation cost, type of services rendered. Larger dogs attract more costs than smaller ones. Tax depends on type of incorporation such as enterprise, sole proprietorship or Limited Liability Company.

Base pricing on type of services and what the competitors offer. Make sure the price is competitive and offer discounts to regular clients. Charge per service, hour, overnight or day.

Earnings

To succeed diversify services and use an effective marketing strategy. Others are examine service areas, network with industry players, offer excellent services. An average sitter earn from $1000 to $3000 a month or $20,000 annually. This depends on the number of dogs per week and services.

Staff

Most pet sitting businesses are one man operated. However as business increases hire appropriate staff. The person hired should have basic pet care knowledge or certification. Make sure they are reliable, diligent have love for animals and are honest.

Who needs the service?

People who need the service are those who are going someplace for an extended period of time. Others are elderly, people with busy schedule and those on vacation.

Licensing

Pet sitters are not required to have a license to operate. However knowledge of animals or a certificate in related filed is an advantage. Register the business as a limited liability company or sole proprietorship. Get liability insurance cover, bond, tax identification number. Try to join an association related to the industry.

 Join Association

Business owners in the pet service industry should join an association. This is because of the benefits and support. There are association dues, seminars and meetings to consider. Popular association in the industry are pet sitters association, pet sitter’s international and national association of pet sitters.

Pet Sitting Contract Form

It is very important to have a pet sitting contract form. Write the form yourself or hire a legal practitioner. The form parameters are pet setting information, home information, agreement, veterinarian services, key release, home information, owner information.

Market the Business

To reach potential clients market the business. Design a website, use directory listing, and offer discounts. Hire a website builder or use simple templates to build the site. .

Use Facebook advertisements, Adwords or Instagram to drive traffic to website. Organize local events, print business cars and flyers. Use word of mouth, leverage on referrals and social media. Finally network with industry professionals like groomers, trainers, veterinarians, pet shop owners.

Marketing

  • Design a website,
  • Use directory listing
  • Offer discounts
  • Use Facebook advertisements
  • Adwords or Instagram
  • Organize local events
  • Print business cars and flyers
  • Use word of mouth
  • Leverage on referrals
  • Social media
  • Network with industry professionals

Account handling

To keep track of clients, services and earnings invest in software. There are many free or paid software to do the job a good one is quickbooks.

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tony

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