Become A Pet Sitter
You want to become a pet sitter but don’t know where to start, don’t panic! It’s completely normal to have a lot of questions when starting something new. In the following article, we will go over the various services a pet sitter can offer, how much you can expect to earn and how you can sign up as a pet sitter at Holidog.
What is a pet sitter
A pet sitter, in principle, is someone who temporarily takes over the care of a pet when the owner is not able to do so. You may be dog walking or spending some social time with a cat. You can be asked to come to spend several days at the pet owner’s home while s/he’s away. You can also be asked to board a dog or a cat in your own home, provided you have space and are happy to do it of course!
A pet sitter is first and foremost somebody who loves animals! You have to be sure that you have enough experience with other peoples´ animals before you can offer this service for a pay. Don´t have any experience yet? Then you might want to consider first gaining some experience by asking a friend or family member if you can look after their cat for a while, maybe walk their dog or ask if their four legged friend can spend a night in your house.
Another important question you have to ask yourself before you decide on which pet sitter services you wish to offer is: what animals do I feel comfortable taking care if, and in what type of setting? You might have a small apartment which would not be suitable for a big dog. Or your roommate might be allergic to cats. Consider all these faces before deciding on the type of services you wish to offer.
How to become a pet sitter
There are two main options available to you: advertise your pet sitting services yourself or join an online pet sitting platform. We will review both options below. For more general information about pet sitters and all its facets, please have a look at our complete pet sitter guide.
Advertise yourself as a pet sitter
The first solution is to get the word out in your own community. Hand out flyers to shops in your area and let people know that you’re available to take care of their pets while they’re away. Of course, you can also post an ad on a job websites or social media.
Be precise about the services you offer and how to best get in touch with you.. Remember that your ad has to look professional and should be easy to understand. Are you willing to do pet sitting at the owner’s place or do you only offer dog boarding? Do you offer additional services like dog walking or cat visiting?
Keep in mind that you might not get in touch with pet owners as easy as you thought and that you can’t always be sure if the people contacting you are honest. For safety reasons, it might be a preferable option to go through specialised online pet sitting companies.
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Using an online platform
A quick search online will help you find dozens of websites offering pet sitting services. Take some time to understand how they work. Holidog, the number one pet sitter platform in the UK, can provide you with everything you need to start your pet sitter carreer.
Registering yourself as a petsitter with Holidog is simple. Visit Holidog’s website and click on "Become a pet sitter". Enter your first name, surname, phone number, email address, and any other contact information. Then complete your profile. Mention your past experiences if any. Describe yourself in a few words and highlight the traits that match best with what owners expect from their pet sitters (hint: patience, independence, care are always sought after!).
Don’t forget to specify whether you’d like to do pet sitting in the owner’s home or if you’d rather board a dog at yours. You can also choose to be a dog walker or visit cats.
How much does a pet sitter earn?
With Holidog, you are free to choose your own rates for the various services you wish to offer. The average price for an overnight pet sitting job, whether in your home or in the pet owners home, is around £10. If you’re new to pet sitting, ask for a little less until you’ve gained some experience. Never set a rate that is much lower than the average: it risks arousing mistrust and driving potential clients away.
You can always do a quick search for pet sitters in your area and look up the prices of others to get an indication about how much you could ask. Again, when you are just starting out, keep your prices low, but not too low, then gradually up your prices as you gain experience. Also tke into account that, due to the higher costs of living, you can ask for a higher compensation as a pet sitter in London than in other parts of the UK.
Besides paying for your services, there are some other costs that are usually to be paid by the pet owner, such as you travel costs if you’re looking after their pet in their home. They also have to reimburse any additional expenses related to buying food for their pet or taking their dog to the vet in case of an emergency. Keep all receipts: you may need them to get your money back.