Wanting to become a Pet Sitter seems to be becoming ever more popular as a career choice. There are definitely a number of reasons for this. For example, the world is changing and gone are the days when we retire at either 60 or 65. Lots of people are working later on in life.  70 is the new 50!! Many are now wanting to continue to work or go back to work and reap the rewards of earning for longer. And a flexible job such as being a pet sitter is perfect to work around your existing commitments. But, people of all ages are interested in this fun choice of job! So, we’ll be sharing some of our top tips for how to become a pet sitter to help you make the decision on whether it’s the right job for you.

For lots of people these days ‘contract work’ is becoming more and more the norm, some working more than one job, and now many of us are looking for a new rewarding role.  ‘A job for life’ is nowhere to be found and where we are more aware of ‘working to live’ rather than ‘living to work’ this prompts many to look for something different – to do something they have a passion for. Pet sitting may seem like the perfect job for the person with a passion for animals, but don’t forget that other skills are needed too…

How to become a pet sitter: top tips and things to consider

Now, let’s take a closer look into what makes a great pet sitter. What do you need to consider? What skills do you need to possess? Is it the right choice for you? Choosing any job, whether it’s working for someone else or setting up your own business, takes careful consideration, so these points should help!

What a great job!

As a pet lover, whether it be dogs, cats, rabbits or pets of a smaller variety (hamsters, guinea pigs, etc.), a job where you get paid for caring for and cuddling the animal of your choice becomes a very attractive prospect. How many jobs give you this sort of reward and allow you to potentially work from home or have a mini-break at a client’s house, as well as giving you the flexibility that pet sitting gives? For many people, it’s the perfect balance between a job they love, and one that works around their existing commitments such as caring for family members, the school run, or even another part time job!

Is this really the job for me though?

Well, firstly we really must think very carefully about this when looking into how to become a pet sitter.  There is a lot more to it than potentially meets the eye. ‘Pet parents’ will be handing their ‘babies’ over to us –  how do we feel about having this responsibility? Would we want to have the pet living with us (boarding) or would we want to go to the client’s house and care for them there (sitting)? Do I want to do doggy day care or perhaps go to the home of a cat or rabbit to feed and provide some company and cuddles each day?

We need to think carefully about the practicalities.  If I live in rented accommodation, how would my landlord feel about me having a dog or cat stay in the house on a regular basis? Do I need a garden or not? Do I have the right level of experience working or living with animals? Do I have the patience? Do I have the time and resources to be able to communicate easily and quickly with my potential clients? Keep in mind that instant virtual availability and sending photos and blogs of their precious pet keeps the client happy and can boost your earnings. Do I have the energy? After all, some dogs need a high level of exercise – although this isn’t by any means always the case with smaller, less energetic breeds. Would I have the confidence to give medication? For example, you could perhaps need to give a cat with diabetes a daily insulin injection. Do I have children and/or my own pets and how would they like a new housemate for a few days or weeks? Am I allergic to cats or any other animals?!

As you can see, when researching how to become a pet sitter there is a lot to consider! This may influence the sort of animals that you look after, and the type of service that you offer (such as daily trips, a ‘live-in’ service, or looking after the animals in your own home). There is no one right way to be a pet sitter, and different clients will be looking for different things, so there is a chance to be successful with different pet sitting set-ups! But, you need to ensure that the pet sitting services that you’re offering work for both you and your clients, in order to keep everyone happy. 


So how do I go about finding such a job and what would stand me in good stead to find the right one?

How do I find a pet sitting job that pays me enough and provides regular work? As with any industry, some jobs are better than others, and different jobs will suit different people, so it’s important to carefully consider what you’re looking for out of a pet sitting job before you apply. 

When looking into how to become a pet sitter, there are a few more things to consider. For example, would I prefer to have some support so that if I have a crisis of one kind or another when caring for a pet I have some practical help that comes from working with a company? Would I like to work with a company that will train me, give me new skills and allow me to earn even more?  This might include training on how to toilet train puppies and teach them how to sit, stay and come, or know how to build up the confidence of a nervous dog whilst at the same time teaching them basic obedience. Should I work for a company that will insure me in case of any mishaps? Should I sign up with an agency and what are the pros and cons of this? These are the sort of things you should be considering. It’s really the same as looking for any job, ideally, you need a certain level of experience, skills, motivation and also a bit of luck!!

But where can you get experience from? When it comes to how to become a pet sitter, having some experience under your belt will really help. You may already have some that you hadn’t really taken into account.  Do you have your own pet or have you done so in the past? Have you taken care of, played with, walked a friend’s or family members’ dog? Have you looked after someone’s cat or rabbit whilst they have been away?

If you haven’t got or had your own pet, have you helped out at riding stables or boarding kennels in the holidays? Have you been on any animal management or grooming courses?  All of these experiences will go a long way to giving you the skills, experience and confidence to pursue your goal.

If you haven’t had any of these experiences then it would definitely be beneficial to look into gaining some before you consider becoming a pet sitter. Good boarding kennels should always be very busy during holiday periods, Easter, half terms, summer holidays, Christmas etc. – they are usually very open to offers of assistance at these times.  So any work experience that you can get will always be something that you can put on your CV or profile and will always give you that edge.

Matching is paramount for successful pet care professionals

The really key thing for success as a Pet Sitter is always being matched as closely as possible with your client and their pet’s needs.  If full consideration isn’t given to this then it can lead to a less than wonderful experience. As long as all the right questions are asked and thoroughly considered honestly then all should go swimmingly!! 

How to become a pet sitter: conclusion

Whether you are looking to become a pet sitter with an existing company, or want to go it alone, it really can be an ideal job for all sorts of people! Teens looking for their first jobs, those with family commitments, and the retired looking for a bit of extra cash all find it to be the perfect job for them. And, as long as you are prepared for all of the hard work that goes into looking after your client’s precious pets, it can be really enjoyable, too!