Animal Lover? Pet Sitting Just Might Be the Paw-Fect Side Gig for You

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Diana Sanchez was brought up surrounded by animals. So much so, her parents used to joke that she grew up at a zoo, complete with six bass, four dogs, two cats and a dove.

After she left home at Plant City, Florida, to attend the University of Tampa, she couldn’t take her pets together with her since dorm life was not an ideal match for them. But by her senior year, she actually missed being around animals. While searching for a part-time job in 2016, she found an advertisement from Tampa Pet Sitters.

“At first I thought it had been too good to be true. ‘I get to pet dogs, and that I get paid for this ‘” She says. Fast forward to now: Sanchez, 25, remains pet sitting area time when she is not teaching elementary school pupils.

Pet sitting as a negative hustle is on the upswing, as shown by a Penny Hoarder evaluation of U.S. Census Bureau microdata. In 2017, 135,584 people in the U.S. classified themselves as part time nonfarm-animal caretakers. That is up from 74,349 at 2007 — an 82.4percent increase.

Overall employment for all part-time workers increased only 16 percent in the same period.

Therefore, if you interested in finding a side hustle and possess a love of furry buddies, here is what you need to understand about being a pet sitter.

Pet sitters provide owners peace of mind by watching over their creatures while the clients are off. Jennifer Palhete, that operates in Lakeland, Florida, about an hour out of her home in Tampa, Florida, can not let her three dogs outside throughout the afternoon. Knowing a pet sitter will be there to nourish and allow them out requires a huge burden off her shoulders.

“I do not need to consider it, and the peace of mind they provide is huge,” she says.

Some of the services provided by pet-sitting businesses include midday visits and walks, in-home overnight watches and boarding in the sitter’s house.

For midday walks or in-home visits, a sitter will come to the client’s house to feed and allow the pets out for a specified period. The trip length varies based on the services provided by the business.

During in-home overnight visits, a sitter will remain at the customer’s home to feed, walk, administer medication, play and watch more than the pets through the night. “It’s very much like an Airbnb experience, and a pet to look after,” Sanchez says.

People who opt for the in-home service don’t wish to board their pets in a kennel, she adds. All three of Palhete’s puppies were rescued, and one has particular needs after suffering severe abuse. She understands putting them at a kennel would be detrimental to the progress they’ve made toward being comfortable around people.

“The fact they can stay in their own house, have their food and stay on the same program is such a huge help to me,” Palhete states.

Some services offer boarding where the owners drop their pets off at the sitter’s house instead of having the sitter remain in theirs. This choice permits Lisa Peddicord, a part-time pet sitter and dog walker with Tails and Trails in St. Petersburg, Florida, to simultaneously care for the customer’s and her own pets.

What’s the Work Schedule and Pay Like?

According to Sanchez and Peddicord, pet sitting is a flexible side job that works nicely for their various schedules.

Sanchez says the demand for pet sitters usually increases during holiday times like spring break, summer time and vacations. Working , Sanchez says she’s able to create $200 to $300 in a weekend performing multiple overnight in-house watches by doing one immediately with different midday visits.

Peddicord, who works in the evenings as a vet tech at an emergency animal hospital, can work 10 to 15 hours a week for a midday dog walker. This past year, involving dog grooming and walking pets at least one time every month, she managed to make just under $10,000.

“That is the difference between going on vacation or buying your first house,” she says. “Therefore it makes a big difference.”

What Makes a Good Pet Sitter?


Both Sanchez and Peddicord offered a few hints and guidance to anyone considering getting a pet sitter.

Build a Trusting Relationship With the Owners
Peddicord says not all pet owners are alike when it comes to expecting sitters. Some need more reassurance than many others. To establish that connection, she proposes meeting the owners together with the pet to get a”coffee date” or moving to the owners’ home to have them demonstrate their own regular.

Then during your visits, text the owners images of their pets with upgrades on which they did that day. “I think that helps you build trust by filling them in on daily tasks,” she says.

Be There On Time

Another way to establish confidence is to maintain the customer’s house on time. Sanchez says many services offer a time window so that the owner knows when to expect the sitter. By way of instance, Sanchez may tell a pet owner she will be there between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.. If you have two or three appointments throughout that two-hour window, make sure you stay on schedule.

Have Patience

Sanchez says most of the time when you walk through the doorway, dogs are prepared to play and the sitter needs to be ready for them to get lots of energy. However, some dogs need somewhat more work than others. She recalls working with a dog which was recently adopted from an animal shelter. The puppy would vet Sanchez by carefully sniffing her before departing the crate. “Every single trip, he would do that thing before I tried to put a leash on him,” she said. “I made sure that he was comfortable.”

Sanchez finds the behavioral quirks of her customer’s dog. As an example, she knows Gracie will not arrive out until she’s far away from the doorway. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder
As Sanchez finds more individuals getting into the area, she encourages potential sitters to become knowledgeable about animal behaviour. She states you may understand what works for your dog, but that may not work on other people’s dogs. “There are so many pets out there that need attention in different ways, so familiarize yourself with different animal behaviours. It will make your work so much easier.”

Do Not Have Expertise? Volunteer

If you do not have a lot of experience with animals outside of your pet, Sanchez recommends volunteering at an animal shelter or rescue. Furthermore, in case you have a friend who owns a pet, offer to pet sit should they move out of town. That way it is possible to see how pets respond if their owners aren’t around.

She states ,”The more friendly and patient people we can enter pet sitting, the better.”

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