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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

How to Make Money As A Pet Sitter


Are you an animal lover? If so, you might be interested in learning how to make money as a pet sitter. 

Working as a pet sitter can be a good way to make some extra money, and in many cases, it can be a low-maintenance side hustle. 

Learn about what a pet sitter does, how to get work done, and more in this article as you decide whether working as a pet sitter is for you.

What Is A Pet Sitter?

A pet sitter is someone who cares for clients’ pets when they’re not available. Some people hire pet sitters for a day, a weekend, a week, or longer. 

As a pet sitter, you might take care of pets for people who are at work and don’t want their pets alone for long hours. You may also care for a pet when its owner is away for work or on vacation. 

Pet sitters typically work as independent contractors. This means you’ll be self-employed, so you’ll need to keep track of income, expenses, mileage, and other details that come with business ownership. 

What Does A Pet Sitter Do?

Working as a pet sitter can be one of many great side hustles, especially if you’re an animal lover. Depending on the type of pet, a pet sitter is responsible for various tasks. 

When you work as a pet sitter, you might find yourself doing tasks such as:

  • Walking dogs
  • Playing with cats
  • Cleaning litter boxes
  • Cleaning up doggie doo
  • Feeding animals
  • Cleaning reptile cages
  • Giving medications to animals

Generally, you should just spend time with your clients’ pets. You can choose whether to care for pets in your home or the pet’s home.

You can choose short-term or long-term pet care jobs. Pet sitting is a job that requires a lot of responsibility but can also be fun.

It’s important to know that when you work as a pet sitter, you will likely have access to the pet owner’s home. 

They’ll give you a key or an access code so you can go in and out to care for their pet. This part of pet sitting is an extra responsibility.

Therefore, it’s important to leave the house as securely locked as it was when you found it. In addition, you’ll need to keep a safe eye on keys or other homeowner items.

How Does A Pet Sitter Get Work?

Pet sitters find work in several ways. First, some businesses are devoted to connecting pet sitters with clients. 

Along with that, there are other ways you can get work as a pet sitter as well. We’ll talk about the businesses connecting pet sitters with clients first.

Rover

Rover was founded in 2011 and primarily serves cat and dog owners. However, you may also be hired to care for other types of animals on Rover. 

Pet owners with guinea pigs, hamsters, bunnies, and more might seek your services on Rover. 

When you create a profile on Rover, you set your schedule, prices, and services that you’ll offer. 

Booking is done through Rover. You’ll also get paid through Rover, and it takes two days after you complete the service for your money to show in your Rover account.

From there, you can transfer earned funds to your bank account. Rover takes a 20%-25% fee off of what you earned. You keep 100% of any tips earned. 

Learn more: Rover Review

Pawshake

Pawshake provides services similar to Rover but is based in Canada and parts of Europe. With Pawshake, you can care for dogs, cats, many small animals, and horses.

This is a change from Rover, which doesn’t book horse sitters. As with Rover, you can design your profile on Pawshake to include the hours and days you’re available, your fees, and the types of pets you care for.

Pawshake charges you a 19% fee on your earnings. You will receive your payout within 8 days of completing your services. 

Facebook

Facebook community pages can be great places to offer pet-sitting services. You can expect to earn more money if you advertise and work independently.

You won’t have to share the profits with a service such as Rover, so 100% of what you earn belongs to you.

However, it’s important to remember that if you’re going to work on your own and not partner with a service, you must understand the risks. 

Services like Rover and Pawshake provide insurance, additional security and screening measures, and more. 

So, if you work independently and advertise on Facebook, Craigslist, and similar sites, consider security measures, insurance, and other details. 

Around Your Town

You can also advertise your pet-sitting business around your city or town. You can make flyers and distribute them locally.

Or you can post your pet-sitting information on bulletin boards at local stores and restaurants. 

Keep in mind the insurance and security details listed above. In addition, remember that when you own your own business, you’ll have to keep track of income, expenses, mileage, and more for tax filing purposes. 

How Much Money Does A Pet Sitter Make?

One of the great things about pet sitting is that you get to choose your fees. The fees you charge will depend on several factors:

  • The services you provide
  • The geographical area in which live and serve
  • Your reputation as a pet sitter
  • What other pet sitters are charging

And more. Indeed.com reports that the average salary for a pet sitter in the United States is $15.91 per hour. 

When searching online, you’ll find that pet sitters sharing their experiences often charge $20 an hour. 

Of course, the more you build up a reputation as a quality pet sitter, the more you’ll be able to charge. 

Conversely, one of the best ways to attract and keep repeat customers is to keep your hourly rates reasonable and your service at a stellar level.  

Pet Sitter Expenses

Yes, you can earn money as a pet sitter. However, some expenses come along with being a pet sitter.

Some expenses you’ll incur if you own a pet-sitting business include the fees you’ll pay if you create a profile on a site such as Rover.

If you work independently of a pet-sitting service, you’ll likely have to pay for liability insurance. You’ll also have transportation expenses, such as gasoline for your vehicle if you’re driving to meet clients.

In addition, if you’re driving more, you will have added vehicle maintenance costs. You’ll need more oil changes, new tires sooner, and vehicle checks and tune-ups more frequently.

Lastly, you may have business ownership expenses, such as using Quickbooks for recordkeeping.  Keeping track of these business expenses is essential as you can deduct them from your tax return.

Deducting business expenses and declaring your pet-sitting income means you’ll likely pay less in annual taxes.

Pros and Cons Of Pet Sitting

Pros

  • Set your schedule
  • Choose the services you’ll provide
  • Be your boss
  • Work as much or as little as you want

Cons

  • Pet sitting can be messy
  • Business ownership requires extra work

Frequently Asked Questions

Is working as a pet sitter safe? 

Being safe as a pet sitter involves the same rules as basic safety: Let someone know where you’re going, when you’ll be back, and how you can be reached. If you feel uncomfortable, it’s okay to turn down a job.

What services should I offer as a pet sitter?

You decide what services you offer as a pet sitter. Care for dogs, cats, or other animals according to your comfort level. 

Should I work for a service like Rover or work independently?

Some experienced pet sitters suggest starting by working for a site like Rover and then going independent after you’ve built a solid client base. 

It might be a good idea to work for a service at first to understand how the business works. 

Who Should Work As A Pet Sitter?

Are you considering working as a pet sitter? If you like animals, pet sitting might be a great part-time job or addition to your side hustle stack.

However, along with loving animals, you’ll need to be responsible if you’re going to succeed as a pet sitter. 

Being a successful pet sitter also involves keeping a tight schedule, ensuring the security of a pet’s home, and being aware of a pet’s physical condition. 

Finally, to succeed as a pet sitter, you must be a self-starter and comfortable running your business. 

You’ll need to be organized to keep track of clients, income, expenses, car maintenance and mileage, and other facts. 

Final Thoughts

Working as a pet sitter involves work. However, it can also involve a lot of fun. 

If you love animals, it’s like getting paid to hang out with furry friends! Just be responsible and reliable; soon enough, you’ll have a booming pet-sitting business.

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