If you have a knack for taking care of pets, a pet-sitting business could be your entry into entrepreneurship. Learn more about what it takes to run a pet-sitting company and how to make it stand out.
What Are a Pet Sitter's Duties?
When pet owners are away, they sometimes enlist a pet sitter to take care of their furry (or scaly) friends. An owner may hire a pet sitter on a short- or long-term engagement, such as if they go on a vacation for a month. The animal care specialist ensures the pet is comfortable and well-cared for when their owners cannot be with them.
A few pet-sitting services include:
Pet sitters provide regular meals and water to pets, so they can continue to follow their everyday routines.
Taking out pets
These business owners also take pets out for exercise, play and so they can relieve themselves.
Depending on the length of time an owner contracts you, you might take on basic grooming, such as brushing or bathing a pet.
To give pet owners peace of mind as they spend time away from their animal pals, you should communicate with your clients and give them updates.
Some pet sitters stay in an owner's house overnight to provide uninterrupted care.
Pet Sitter vs. Dog Walker
Pet sitters and dog walkers have several responsibilities in common, such as getting pets outside and exercising them. However, they are slightly different. A dog walker has a more focused scope (getting a dog outside to walk and relieve themselves), while a pet sitter has a wider range of responsibilities (walking, bathing and feeding) and can take care of several types of pets, like snakes, rabbits or cats.
Considerations Before Starting a Pet-care Business
Unlike other ventures, launching a pet-care company comes with business expenses. Here are a few startup costs:
Business License and Registration
Depending on your state and what type of business you set up, you will need to invest in business registration and license.
Getting business insurance can help protect you, your business, your clients and their pets. If a pet has an accident under your watch, for example, you could wind up paying for the animal's medical bills. Insurance can help shield you from costly expenses.
Pet training and first aid classes
Being able to show potential clients that you have the training and skills to take care of their pets, the more at ease they will feel.
Belonging to a professional group is optional, but it can give you more credibility and help you find more opportunities.
How to Start a Pet-sitting Business in 5 Steps
Follow these steps to start your business:
1. Define Your Business
Before you launch your business, take time to decide what kind of business you want to run. Think about the services you want to offer, what kind of business structure you need, whether you will seek funding and even what you hope to earn. Document all of this in a detailed business plan, which will serve as your guide as you launch your pet-sitting business.
2. File Your Business License and Registration
Different business types provide different protections. Know whether you want to set up a sole proprietorship (which does not offer protections for your personal assets but might not require a business license) or a limited liability company (LLC), a legal structure that affords you more protection. If you are unsure what makes the most sense for you, reach out to a professional who can provide guidance.
Once you're ready, file your business license and registration (if necessary) so you can launch your business in good standing.
3. Set Up a Business Bank Account
A business bank account is an important part of starting a business. You should always keep your personal bank account separate from your business bank account. When tax season rolls around, you'll be able to easily differentiate between personal expenses and business ones, as well as business income. At this time, you can also open a business credit card if that is one way you hope to fund your business at the beginning.
It's also not a bad time to think about how you will accept payment and whether this platform connects with your business bank account. Noodle, for example, allows clients to pay in a variety of ways.
4. Get Business Liability Insurance
Before you can officially launch, get the proper liability insurance so you can protect yourself and your business assets in the case of an emergency.
5. Open for Business and Market Yourself
You're an official business owner and you can launch your company. This is when you make your website live and let people know you are available for bookings on social media. Both of these platforms are helpful in helping you market yourself. You can use compelling content, SEO strategies and consistent posting to help you raise your profile.
7 Ways to Boost Your Pet-sitting Business
You launched your business venture and want to get more clients. Here are a few ways to stand out as a pet care provider:
1. Offer à la Carte Services
To encourage more business, do more than offer pet-sitting services. You can focus on specific parts within pet care services and allow clients to select those items.
For example, you can offer pet walking services or feedings for clients who have complicated schedules. With your Noodle One-Link, you can list all your services and products. In fact, it can replace a traditional website.
2. Send Texts and Images
As a pet care professional, you should regularly give clients updates about their pets. With Noodle, you can send text messages, videos and images to your clients and keep them posted when they have to be away from their loyal companions.
3. Use Social Media
Social media is an effective way to build an audience. As long as your clients are OK with it, you can post images and videos that show why you are good at what you do, which can inspire someone to hire you.
4. Have a supply of tools
While pet owners will likely have the tools you need, you should also have poop bags, pet food and other care items you can pick up at a pet store in case any emergencies arise.
5. Make it Easy to Schedule You
No one wants to waste time trying to figure out how to hire you. Use a platform that uses online scheduling software to automate this process. Noodle's scheduling feature allows you to connect your calendar so customers can easily book you for one or multiple sessions.
6. Advertise Your Pet Health Skills
Pet owners want to know they are leaving their pets in good hands. Advertise your pet health skills so they know that if anything happens, you can take care of their pets.
7. Collect Reviews
Collect reviews that highlight your loyal client base. If potential clients can see how you have built a roster of happy customers, they will see you as trustworthy, which might encourage them to entrust you with their pets as well. Noodle automatically collects reviews after each transaction.
Pet Sitting Business FAQs
Is pet-sitting a good side hustle?
Since you can set your own hours, pet-sitting is a good side hustle. However, you could also make it your main focus.
How can I get clients as a pet sitter?
You can get clients as a pet sitter in a few ways. You can use social media to increase your business' visibility. You can post fliers and leave your business cards at pet stores, where you will target a large number of pet owners. You can ask clients to refer you to other pet owners.
Ready to spend a lot of QT with furry and scaly friends? Sign up for a free Noodle account to accept payments, schedule pet-sitting sessions and create a personalized experience.