This post comes from Stephanie Mantilla at Plantsonify!
Determining Whether You Should Become A Pet Sitter
Pet sitting seems like an easy side hustle. You go walk and play with dogs or visit cats. In fact, you may be downright giddy thinking about all the puppy kisses you’d like to receive.
After working in the animal field for 12 years and being pet sitter side hustler for 2 years, I’m listing all the nitty gritty, less glamorous aspects so you can decide for yourself if pet sitting is right for you.
1)Are you a germaphobe?
Taking care of dogs is a dirty process. Even ones that are freshly bathed seem to run towards the closest dirt patch to remedy the situation. They love rolling in stinky smells they come across.
Their feet track mud which always seems to be the perfect time for them to jump up on you. If you’re able to roll with the mess and prepare by wearing “dog walking clothes,” you’ll have a much more relaxed experience.
2) Are you willing to work in all weather?
If you live up in a northern state, the snow will be a big factor. You’ll drive in snow to get to the pet’s house and possibly shovel snow to get to the front door.
Down south, the summers are scorching. Lunch time dog walks are extremely hot even in the shade of trees. Just this week, I was walking dogs in high 90 degree weather with 60% humidity. Even rainy days, the dogs still need to use the bathroom, be fed, and receive attention.
You will be soaked, hot, or freezing since dog walking is an outside activity. Cat Sitting is a little different since you stay indoors with them but you still need to travel to their house.
3) You most likely will be bit or scratched (or both)
This just comes with the territory. Animals are unpredictable. If you work with them long enough you’re most likely going to deal with a frightened cat or a dog that reacted to something.
The important thing is being confident in how to handle these types of situations so that they don’t escalate. Better yet is to have a firm understanding of reading dog and cat body language to prevent situations from ever escalating.
4) Do you become attached easily?
The great thing about pet sitting is meeting tons of wonderful dogs and cats. The worst part is when you’re no longer their sitter anymore.
If you become easily attached to particular animals, it may be too heart breaking when it’s time to say goodbye. People move, animals get older, or maybe you just weren’t a good personality fit. Whatever the reason, it is certain that one day you will have to bid them farewell.
Pet Sitting Is The Best Side Hustle
If you can navigate the points above and want to become a pet sitter, it really is a great side hustle. There’s very little startup if you use an app like Rover or Wag. The key to getting clients on those platforms is to set up your pet sitter profile for success.
With pet sitting, you’re setting your own availability. If you only want to watch cats, you can. If you’d prefer to only do mid-day dog walks, that’s fine too. You can even say you’re available to take small dogs (up to 20 lbs only) for boarding at your house on weekends. Obviously the more restrictive your settings, the harder it will be to get clients. It also will take longer to find clients if you’re in a rural setting since the population isn’t as dense.
Pet sitting has allowed me to stay at home with my son but allows me to still contribute income to our family. The flexibility makes it easy to work my pet sits around my husband’s work schedule or on the weekends. If you love working with animals, then dipping your toe into a pet sitting side hustle could be perfect.
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