Pet Sitting: The Purr-fect Job for Animal Lovers


Everything You Need to Know About Pet Sitting

If you’re looking for a side hustle and have a soft spot in your heart for animals then this job might sit well with you: pet sitting. Pet sitting is on the rise, according to the analysis of U.S. Census Bureau microdata. In 2017, 135,584 people in the U.S. classified themselves as part-time, non-farm animal caretakers, up from 74,349 in 2007. Here’s what you need to know about becoming a pet sitter and making it work for you.

Pet Sitting 101: What Does A Pet Sitter Do?

You can have a ball pet sitting but it comes with its own set of responsibilities: Essentially, pet sitters watch over animals while their pet parents are away. Services can include in-home overnight watches; boarding at the pet sitter’s home; administering of medication; and midday visits, walking, and feeding. Pet sitting allows an animal to remain in the comfort of its own home instead of being placed in a kennel for a short- or long-term stay.

It’s Not All Work And No Play: Work Schedule And Pay

The demand for pet sitters usually increases during vacation times, especially during the summer and around holidays. Work hours are generally flexible and usually take into account the day-to-day needs of the pet owner or special events like a vacation or work-related travel. It’s possible to make between $200 and $300 in a weekend by taking on multiple overnight in-house watches or by doing one overnight with several midday visits.

Pet Sitters With Staying Power: What Makes A Good Pet Sitter?

If you’re considering working as a pet sitter you’ll want to:

1. Develop a trusting relationship with the pet owners by demonstrating your commitment to the required pet sitting routine and your genuine interest in the animal that will be left in your care.

2. Arrive on time so that the pet owner feels confident in your ability to follow instructions, act reliably, and maintain a schedule.

3. Have patience because some animals have a lot of energy and are ready to play the moment you walk through the door, while others might be timid or afraid. You’ll need to adjust your interaction with each animal according to their personality, history, and training.

4. Learn about different pet personalities and familiarize yourself with animal behavior, whether you’re sitting for a cat, dog, or rabbit. What works for one pet may not be suitable for another.

5. Volunteer with a local animal rescue group or at an animal shelter in your vicinity; that way, you can gain valuable experience and learn from others who work in the field of animal welfare. Offer to pet sit for the pet of a family member or friend to see how comfortable you are being the sole caregiver for an animal that isn’t your own.


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Sandra Murphy

Sandra Murphy

Holds a master's degree in professional writing and has more than 15 years of experience writing for national and international entities.

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