Are You Pet Sitter Material?

Are You Pet Sitter Material?
Pet sitting can be a fulfilling and lucrative opportunity for the right person. While it may sound like a hobby, professional pet sitting is a career for many people, and there are even organizations dedicated to helping business owners get started, attract clients, and build their profits. Do you have what it takes to join the ranks of successful pet sitters?

What it really takes to run a successful pet sitting business

First and foremost, you must love animals. Thriving pet sitters truly care about the needs of their clients—including the four-footed, furry variety. If you don’t have a love of pets, it’s probably obvious that pet sitting isn’t the business for you.

Experience is not a requirement for a pet sitter. However, it can be helpful if you’ve cared for animals in a professional capacity, such as volunteering at a shelter or zoo, or working with rescue animals. Experience benefits both you and your clients, who will be more inclined to trust that you’re a good fit for their animals. Even pet ownership can be a beneficial addition to your resume.

A few essential personality traits for a pet sitter are friendliness, responsibility, and patience. Pet sitters should be approachable and easy to talk with. You’ll need to be open to answering any questions your clients may have, and willing to follow any special instructions in caring for their pets. Responsibility is also important, as pet owners need to trust that you’ll perform the services they pay you for in a thorough, timely manner. Finally, you’ll need a healthy supply of patience. Not all animals will trust you right away, so you’ll have to work to create relationships with them over time.

You should also have a good business sense and a certain level of assertiveness. While pet sitting can certainly be fun, it’s also a business, and successful pet sitters conduct themselves as such. You’ll need to be able to keep track of your income and expenses, and file the correct income tax forms each year. Also, prepare yourself to deal with potential problem clients, such as those who might be slow to pay their invoices.

As with any potential business, emergencies can arise on the job. You should be able to remain calm and be informed about what to do in an emergency situation, such as when a pet needs medical attention.

Running a pet sitting business can be a rewarding experience. If you have the right qualities for the job, now is the perfect time to get started on your career as a professional pet sitter.