Boarding in kennels puts a lot of stress on both pets and their owners, who tend to worry more when their pets are kept overnight rather than cared for at home. Home pet sitting is the best and healthiest way to have pets looked after when the family is away because they are in the comfort of a familiar space. Or, for pet owners with long days at work, the pets are home and inactive. Dog walking and pet sitting is a great way to be around animals and be your own boss. Courtesy of K9 Carnivore, here are some things that will instill confidence in potential clients in your professional approach.
Did you know you can take classes in pet sitting and even become certified? Online courses like Udemy give you lots of options for the level of learning you need. They provide a certificate that gives the degree of professionalism that can make you stand out. The courses are only about $15 each and are a great investment if you want to make this your job.
Pet First Aid
Expect the best and be prepared for the worst. Accidents can happen, so you’ll want to have the pet first aid skills for when they do. The American Veterinary Medical Association offers links to various basic pet first aid for things like seizures, fractures, bleeding, and choking. The American Red Cross has online classes in pet first aid with certificates. Being certified in pet first aid gives the peace of mind that you’re prepared.
Most pet sitting gigs are for dogs, although cats, birds, and fish are common as well. Presuming that a lot of your work will be with dogs, it makes sense to learn a little dog obedience. Video conferencing classes over Zoom or other platforms means you can learn from home. If you don’t already own a dog, borrow one from a friend or family member to practice with. Your clients will be impressed with how well you can work with their dogs using commands.
Learning the proper way to bathe a dog means a much calmer experience for you and the pet. Check with your client to make sure you know where all the proper dog grooming items are kept. You can charge extra for baths, and when things take off and you’re ready to invest in yourself, groomers are in hot demand.
Tools of the Trade
Your client should and most likely will have everything you need to take care of their pet at home, but it never hurts to have spares on hand. Leashes and collars can tear or break, toys can get buried in the yard, and treats can get gobbled up. Having your own supplies at the ready will make everything more pleasant for you and your temporary companion. If you’re not near a pet
shop, nearly everything you need can be found online.
One of the first things you’ll want to do is check out how other pet sitters are marketing themselves. It’s a great way to find your target audience too. They write that if your competitor is targeting a specific market, it means they’ve zeroed in on a specific opportunity. Making flyers to leave at dog parks, cafes, and pet stores may seem simple, but you have to put yourself out there. Meanwhile, advertise yourself on social media and neighborhood message boards.
Pet sitting can be rewarding and some people turn their pet sitting side-gigs into full-time jobs. Whether you’re looking to make extra money for expenses, or wanting to go into business for yourself, being prepared and ready will go a long way to getting you to your goal.
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