So do you want to be a pet sitter?

So you love animals and you think it would be great to be a pet sitter so you can take care of dogs and cats every day. While it’s fun to take care of different animals all the time, I want you to know what working with pets is all about. There is more than you think.

Do not misunderstand. I love what I do, and I enjoy it. But, most people just don’t realize what it takes to be a professional pet sitter or dog walker. When looking to hire someone to work for me, I look for certain characteristics in that person to see if she can handle the job and how dedicated she really is.

Saying you love animals is not enough. Pet sitters must be dedicated to working through the different situations that they will encounter. And, they must be able to deal with very stressful situations. Any time you hold an animal’s life in your hands, there is stress involved.

I am targeting those who may want to work for a pet sitting company and do the work of caring for animals, but not have to worry about running a business. Let me tell you what I look for in a pet sitter or dog walker when I’m hiring.

Work for a pet care company

As a pet sitting business owner and dog walker, I have worked very hard to earn and maintain a very good reputation for what we do. When I hire someone to work for me, I make sure the person will do whatever they can to help maintain that good reputation.

This means that I am looking for pet sitters and dog walkers who care deeply about the animals they care for and treat our clients with the utmost respect and courtesy. This can’t be ‘just a job’ for the people I hire.

When looking for a pet sitting job, you need to decide what type of work you would like to do. Will you just do dog walks in the middle of the day, just take care of pets during the holidays, or do both? Will you be doing overnight pet sitting sessions where you will spend the night at the client’s home taking care of their pets and home? This depends on what you want your hours to be.

Will you be willing to work on vacation? The holidays are a busy time for any pet care company. I am looking for babysitters who have no problem working on vacation. This means they may not have time for family events, or they may need to work their family time around their pet sitting schedule.

Some pet care companies will hire you as an independent contractor and others will hire you as an employee. This means that if you are an independent contractor, you are a sole proprietor. You must withhold and pay your own taxes, you are responsible for your own medical care, insurance, supplies and tools, and you must pay for any training you need. However, you are flexible in the way you do your work.

If you are an employee, your taxes will be withheld, your employer must provide you with supplies and tools to do your job, and must pay or reimburse you if you use your own vehicle. As an employee, he must do his job as instructed by his employer.

Do you like to take a lot of vacations? If you work as an independent contractor, that means you don’t get paid if you don’t work. If you’re an employee, you may not have much vacation time yet. Will you work weekends, mornings, afternoons and nights? This is a typical schedule for a pet sitter, week after week.

These are just a few of the many questions you will need to ask yourself and be prepared to answer when looking to work for a pet care company. Being a pet sitter allows you to have some flexibility in your schedule, but you will still have a schedule.

Will you be looking for a full-time or only part-time position? You should let your potential employer know how much work you are looking for and see if this fits with what the pet sitting company is looking for. If you just want to do this job for a little extra money, and you only plan on serving a few clients, this doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be hired by a pet sitting company.

For my company, as long as I know this is the case, I know that I will only be a pet sitter from time to time. This means that you may not be as trustworthy as another caregiver, but you could be an important backup.

Short list of pet care considerations

As a pet sitter or dog walker, there are many things that you need to be aware of and take into account. A true professional has to deal with many things. I have listed only a few.

  • get up early in the morning
  • Make visits later in the evening.
  • Visiting in the afternoon
  • Have your day divided into segments of visits, leaving little time between them
  • walking dogs in the cold
  • walking dogs in the heat
  • walking dogs in the rain
  • Walking dogs in the snow (depending on the place)
  • Walking dogs on windy days
  • Walking dogs in a combination of the above.
  • Sometimes dealing with aggressive animals
  • Dealing with other loose dogs while walking your client’s dogs
  • Dealing with one of your client’s dogs getting loose
  • Being attacked by a loose dog
  • Give a dog or cat a pill orally
  • Giving a dog or cat an injection
  • Administering subcutaneous fluids to a dog or cat
  • Administering insulin to a diabetic dog or cat
  • Pick up dog poop with a poop bag
  • Clean a litter box
  • Clean up dog or cat urine/poop from a hard floor
  • Cleaning dog or cat urine/poop from the carpet
  • cleaning hairballs
  • Cleaning up dog or cat vomit
  • Cleaning urine, poop or vomit several visits in a row (it happens)
  • Working every day for weeks, sometimes months at a time
  • Try to find time for friends, family and loved ones.
  • Attend to any pet emergency, including pet first aid/CPR and taking the animal to the vet
  • Being able to walk two dogs at the same time, at least
  • Be able to walk dogs up to 150 pounds.
  • Basically, be available at all times
  • Keep your vehicle well maintained
  • Put a lot of miles on your vehicle by driving from customer to customer
  • Be professional and courteous to your customers

Like I said, this is just a short list of things a professional pet sitter has to deal with. There is much more, but I do not want to continue for days. If you think you have what it takes to be a pet sitter, then you are a true animal lover who loves hard work and will do anything for the animals in your care.

If you think this list is not a problem for you, then I know you would really go above and beyond to care for the animals in your care. These are the kind of pet sitters I look for when I’m hiring, and I know this is what any other potential employer will be looking for as well.

The rewarding side of caring for pets

This job can be very rewarding. When you do everything in your power to make sure the pets you care for feel loved and happy, you’ll feel like you’ve made a difference, because you have. When you’re walking a client’s dog, both of you enjoying the experience, it’ll make you smile a big cheesy grin as you walk. Cats and dogs have been proven to help lower blood pressure. When the dogs or cats you care for snuggle up to you, you can almost feel their health improve every second.

This is a quick look at what it means to be a professional pet sitter or dog walker. So do you want to be a pet sitter? I hope this has helped you decide if this is right for you or not. Either I’ve made you realize that you really don’t want to work as a professional pet sitter, or I’ve just reassured you that that’s what you want because you love animals unconditionally.

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