Sometimes jobs can be hard to come by. What isn’t in short supply, however, is dog owners, and people’s need to take care of their pets properly while they’re away from home. If you’re looking for a summer job or a full-time gig, being a pet sitter might be in the cards for you if you play them just right. But how, exactly, does one go about getting a job as a pet sitter? Well, in this digital age, it’s much easier than it used to be. Now, instead of going door to door, you can go online and spread a much larger net than you ever could hitting the pavement. Here are a few tips that can help you get that dog sitter position so you can spend your days surrounded by four-legged, furry goodness.
Get A Website
This isn’t nearly as hard as it sounds. With places like WordPress, Blogger, Wix, and Squarespace offering free website options, it will be easier than ever to get yourself out there, and for others to spread the word. Check for sales if you really want to have a specified domain name. Most are sold in six to twelve-month batches, which means you won’t have to shell out money on a monthly basis.
There are also plenty of places where you can download free templates if you want to tweak the site aesthetic. The world wide web is your oyster in this regard, so make sure not to pass it up.
Try Apps Like Rover
I hesitate to mention this one because people have had a variety of experiences through pet sitter apps, like this one here where a boarder didn’t adhere to the food limitations, or this instance where the dog was attacked by the sitter’s dog. It may not be a bad place to start, however, and get your name out there to obtain local clients that will come to know and trust you with their fur babies. Rover is probably the most popular of these apps right now, but look around at others before you decide on the right one for you.
Search The Internet
There are more places than Rover and apps to apply to be a pet sitter, so never be afraid to utilize some Google-Fu in the hopes of obtaining your dream job. Sites like Sittercity, Petsitter, or even general job finding websites like Indeed may help you get your foot in the door. Some of these sites even have background check features that will allow you to post your clean background check, which is sometimes a MUST for pet sitter jobs. It can show that you’re trustworthy and put your clients at ease.
Never forget to ask for recommendations and reviews on your work from your customers. The more credible reviews you have, the more likely someone is to consider you for their own pets. If this is really a job you want to have, you need to do what all marketing gurus preach and “build your brand.” Recommendations, reviews, and word of mouth business never goes out of style, so build, build, build! If you find yourself needing your first recommendations to get rolling, try pet sitting for friends and family, first. Ask them for positive reviews. There’s no shame in relying on people you know to help get your foot in the door.
Go Through A Professional Service
There are several companies out there that offer pet sitting services, and they’re usually looking to hire. A company will advertise, find clients for you, do a background check on you, and make sure you get as much work as you ask for. Look online for companies that pet sit in your area and reach out to them. They’ll probably interview you to make sure you’re a good fit, ask for your experience, and introduce you to the people and pets you’ll be working for. They will take a cut of your pay, but they also tend to charge clients more, and they do a lot of the work for you.
Make sure you know about the types of animals you are going to be pet sitting. I know for a fact that I would not want someone watching my dog if they only had experience with cats or birds. They’re different animals, and they require different types of care and treatment. Doing what you can to stay informed about all types of animals–or the ones you’ll be focusing on–will help make you a better, more efficient dog sitter. Get books. Read magazines on pets. Do your research. See if you can find blogs written by medical and training professionals. Anything helps, and they don’t all have to cost you an arm and a leg.
I googled this on a whim for this article, and I’m honestly surprised to find that this is a thing. So now, I can tell you about it. Pet Sitters International (PSI) has been around since 1994, and is, according to their site, the “leading educational association for professional pet sitters.” Passing this certification serves to showcase that the professional can demonstrate a well-rounded background and healthy amount of knowledge on pets to ensure that they are a reliable pet sitter for the American household. Granted, there is a $140 membership fee along with a $10 application fee, so if you’re hard up for cash, maybe put this off for now.
If you’re going to be keeping up with animals all day, you’re going to need a lot of energy. Pets take a lot of work, and you will need to make sure you’re up to the challenge. If you’re the stay-at-home type, maybe limit your services to cats and birds. Dogs need walks, so you’ll need to be physically capable of handling moderate exercise outdoors, no matter what the weather is.
Honestly, it’s not a job for everyone, so if you have second thoughts, that’s okay! You don’t want to dedicate yourself to something you’re going to end up not liking.
Let us know if you have any thoughts or ideas that we didn’t include here! Or, do you have your own pet sitting job? Let us know how you did it in the comments below!