Do you think pet sitting is easy? That “anybody” could do it? Maybe that it’s not even a “real” job because we get to play with pets all day? If you are thinking about starting a pet sitting business or if you just want to see if you have what it takes, answer the questions listed below – but can you handle the truth?
- Are you tolerant of other people’s pets? Everyone pet we meet has a different level of training. You will come across beautifully trained animals but you will also see animals that bark, hiss, jump, lick, sit on your lap, bite, nibble, scratch, pull on the leash, sniff your crotch, bolt, pee on your purse – all while the owner looks on lovingly and says “oh, aren’t they being SO CUTE?”.
- Do you like seeing the sunrise? Pet Sitting is not a Monday – Friday, 9-5 job with holidays off. It is more of a 6-8am, 11am-2pm, 6-8pm job. And that’s on a slow day; when all visits go smoothly and there is no poop or vomit to clean up – (see next question).
- Do you have a problem with pee and poop? There is no pretty way to say it, and I won’t post a picture of it, but you’ll have to deal with it on a daily basis if you are a pet sitter. Litter boxes, poop baggies – all standard issue. If an animal is stressed (i.e missing it’s owners), do you know what usually happens – yup – diarrhea. Steam cleaners and plastic gloves have become standard issue. Oh, I should probably include vomit in this question. You’ll encounter a lot of vomit. (Except in horses – did you know the horses can’t vomit?)
- Do you know how to pill a cat? It is nothing like pilling a dog, NOTHING. The link does not exaggerate as much as you think it does and it is probably based on a true story.
- Can you say no? To your friends? If you commit to watch someone’s fur-babies over a weekend or a holiday and then get an invitation to go skiing for the weekend, or to a cool party, or a Match.com date comes through – you have to say no. There are horror stories out there of pet sitters who said yes.
- Are you willing to work on holidays? While not quite on the level of the Black Friday fiasco, holidays are a very busy pet sitting time. Our busiest week of the year is Thanksgiving week – by a whopping 523% over our slowest week of the year (usually in February). We will average more than 30 visits per day for 10 days (spread out between staff). There is a way to smartly manage this so we will all get to spend time with our families, but all of us will be out there at some point on Thanksgiving. And Christmas. And Easter, and the 4th of July, and our birthdays…..Oh, and FYI, cats think Christmas tree’s are their own little playground, delivered by Santa.
How does pet sitting sound now? Easy? It’s not easy but it is very rewarding. There is nothing like having a kitty curl up in your lap to sleep, a dog bound to greet you, or a horse whinny across the pasture at you – especially when it’s not even your own pet! You’ll come to love them as much as they’ll come to love you. If you think you have what it takes, give us a call, we’re looking for pet sitters who have what it takes!