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If you have a genuine love for animals and you dream of working with animals every day, working as a professional pet sitter could be the perfect fit for you. You’ll have turned your love of animals into a paid job!

What is a pet sitter?

A pet sitter takes care of animals while their owners are away on holidays, or they are at work. It might be their full time career, or something they do part time or on a casual basis.

It can involve:

  • Feeding
  • Walking
  • Pet hygiene
  • Play, affection and attention – cuddles!
  • Sticking to their routine
  • Pet health emergencies

A pet sitter might offer pet hosting, where they pet sit at their own home, or a full pet sitting service where they stay/live in the client’s home (house sitting plus pet sitting) or visit the home every day to care for the pet.

SEEK tells us that the average base salary for a pet sitter is $24.34 an hour.

Complete an online course to become a knowledgeable pet sitter

While no qualifications are required to be a pet sitter, having a certificate under your belt will make you more favourable to pet-owners looking to book a pet sitter. It will demonstrate your knowledge and commitment to taking care of their pets, which are much loved members of their family. It will also give you the confidence to handle many situations, to deliver excellent care, and to take bookings knowing you’ve got a breadth of knowledge behind you.

Our online courses to take a look at:

It’s also important to be across legislation that governs animal welfare.

Set up your pet sitting business

If you’re going to take the leap, do what you love and work with animals, that is great news!

Once you’ve made the decision to start your pet sitting business it can feel both exciting and daunting. But don’t worry, there are plenty of resources to help!

Depending what state you’re in, the state governments have a range of resources to help people set up a business. They cover the type of business, if you need an ABN, writing a business plan, business names, licences and permits, etc and are extremely helpful!

You will also need to check which legal requirements you need to cover off, from the business side and the animal side. Public liability insurance will need to be addressed, and it might be useful to also look at professional indemnity and personal accident insurance.

In addition to setting your pricing, if this is more than a casual gig and you want to get a pet sitting business established, you will need to have the costs worked out so you know how much it will cost to run your pet sitting business.

If you’re going to host pets in your own home, don’t forget to ring your local council and find out how many pets and dogs you can have on your property.

Get your business admin systems in place too, along with having contracts for clients. Contracts will be very useful in outlining your responsibilities as the pet sitter and the responsibilities for the client.

It feels like a lot, but once you have it all set up, it’ll make running your business easier and reduce the risk of issues popping up.

Market yourself and find clients

As you’re starting your own business, even if just part time, it’s up to you to create or find opportunities to gain new clients/work.

This could be creating your own online presence and marketing yourself. For example, creating a simple website or a Facebook Page, posting your services into community forums, reaching out to local vets and animal shelters to see if they have a list of pet sitters they recommend to pet owners, etc. And when you list your services, don’t forget it’s not just a service for the pets, you can also house sit which would include mail being brought in, plants being watered, etc.

There are some online platforms that do the work for you!

Take a look at Mad Paws. Here you can set up your own pet sitting profile, and once your approved you can organise your schedule (for when you’re available to pet sit) and become a Mad Paws Pet Sitter.

Floofers is another one to look at. You can sign up on Floofers, create a profile, take a short pet care quiz, go through their important verification process (ID check and police check) and then be up and running

PetCloud and Pawshake are additional resources with a networks of pet sitters you can join to find new clients.

Sites like SEEK and LinkedIn also have pet sitting job openings you can apply for.

You could also list your services on house sitting websites and highlight the pet sitting services you can provide whilst house sitting.

Deciding to start something new is an adventure, especially if it’s related to something you love. Good luck following our passion to work with animals!

If you want to work with animals, but not as a pet sitter take a look at the best jobs working with animals.