Guide to Starting a Pet Sitting Business

If you love animals as much as I do and want to make your living taking care of them then perhaps a career as a pet sitter is for you. If you're sure that you would do anything for your furry friends, you might be ready to stick a toe in the water, so to speak. However, there are many factors to consider before embarking on the path to pet care. For one thing, you can take this Pet Sitters Aptitude test here: If you aced that test, read on for a few things you may want to know before you start. -Work for a Pet Sitting Company for at the very least several months to get the experience and knowledge you'll need to do it on your own. You need more than business cards and flyers to get yourself off the ground. You need to be aware of what you're getting into and what the customer expects from you when you're sitting their pet. -Read up on the business aspect of the job. You should read all the books on the subject that you can get your hands on. In addition, talking to a consultant who is knowledgeable about the practice, make an appointment with a bookkeeper or accountant and join the Small Business Association. You may be able to pick some very savvy brains at one of their meetings. You have to have some basic business knowledge before you snap on your first leash or empty your first kitty litter box. -Get some legal advice. Find out what you'll need to do to declare yourself a legitimate business. You need to be licensed and bonded, insured and protected. You need to know about a business contract so you and your client both understand what's legally expected of you. -Join a trade association. Affiliate yourself with an educational group like Pet Sitters International. They can provide you with the quality standards expected from a pet sitter. They are a professional group who have been in existence for 14 years and it's founder, Patti J. Moran, has authored the definitive book for Pet Sitters called Pet Sitting For Profit. This is an excellent book. Read it. -First, last and always, cultivate a great relationship with animals. Get to know all you can about the pets who will be in your care and treat them and their owners with affection and respect. If you want to be a pet sitter and have no business savvy, volunteer to work with your friends' and family's pets until you feel confident enough to bring the same quality of care to paying customers. Working with animals can be incredibly rewarding for those who love them. All a dog or cat asks is to be loved, coddled, pampered, primped and fed as often as possible. If you chose to make caring for animals your life's work, you will never have a dull moment or a dull be