Pet Sitters


Employment Prospects


Nearly all pet sitters are self-employed, although a few may work for other successful pet sitters who have built up a large enough clientele to require help. It takes most pet sitters an appreciable period of time to build up a business substantial enough to make a living without other means of income. However, the outlook for this field is good and start-up costs are minimal, making it a good choice for animal lovers who want to work for themselves. For those who have good business sense and a great deal of ambition, the potential for success is good.

Starting Out

Working for a pet-sitting company is a great way to start as a pet sitter; however, if you plan to start your own business, you might want to take the plunge from the beginning. Many businesses require their employees to sign a "no-compete" agreement and if you begin working for a company, then start your own, this could be conflict of interest.

Building your clientele will likely be a combination of referrals and responses to advertising. Many people who begin pet sitting companies have experience and contacts in the animal care industry, such as working for a veterninary's office or animal shelter. Consider volunteering with an animal rescue group to get referrals and experience with animals. An attractive Web site with testimonials from pleased clients and a strong social media presence is also a great way to build your business. Certification and liability insurance will also lend credibility.

Advancement Prospects

Your advancement will be a result of your own hard work; the more time you dedicate to your business, the bigger the business will become. The success of any small business can be very unpredictable. For some, a business can build very quickly, for others it may take years. Some pet sitters start out part time, perhaps even volunteering, then may find themselves with enough business to quit their full-time jobs and devote themselves entirely to pet sitting. Once your business takes off, you may be able to afford an assistant, or an entire staff. Some pet sitters even have franchises across the country. You may even choose to develop your business into a much larger operation, such as a doggy day care facility.

Tips for Entry

Join the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters to give credibility to your business,

Contact an experienced pet sitter for an informational interview. Find one in your area using PSI's online guide:

Read the 5 Must-Do Steps to Starting a Successful Pet-Sitting Business, which is a free download on Pet Sitters International's Web site,

Start developing pet-sitting referrals by taking care of the pets of your friends and family.

Volunteer at an animal shelter or animal rescue group to gain experience taking care of animals.