Tips for Pet Sitters - How to land a Pet Sitting Job
Pet sitting is a great way to earn money, and get free accommodation around the world, all while playing with cute pets. If you’re passionate about animals, pet sitting jobs are a perfect way for you to get paid doing something you love.
There are several options for people to find pet sitting jobs. The first option is to find pet sitting jobs in your local area, this often means finding dogs to take on walks and maybe having them live at your home while home owners are out. If you want to do it this way, you will most likely need a space of your own, where pets can hang out. This can be a great way to build a small pet sitting business in your local area. You could start by finding a few clients online or in local newspapers whose dogs you can start walking and looking after, then gradually grow your business from there.
Another option for people looking for pet sitting jobs, is to live in homes and look after pets while home owners are away. This is called House Sitting. With this option, people can get free accommodation in homes all around the world. All you have to do is look after empty homes, make sure the pets are cared for and provide a little extra security for home owners while they are traveling. Some pet sitters even get paid while looking after homes.
Top Tips for Pet Sitters
1. Know What You're Signing Up For
If you don’t genuinely love animals, this isn’t for you.
Almost every house-sit will have animals, and the number one job is to make those animals feel loved and cared for, and to make sure their routine stays as normal as possible.
The homeowners have chosen a house sitter because they didn’t want to pay for an expensive pet-boarding facility, where their beloved pets would be thrust from their normal routine, and maybe not get that one on one attention that they would expect.
As soon as you meet a homeowner they’ll be able to tell straight away whether you are going to love and care for their pets the way they do, and if you don’t love animals it will show straight away.
House sitting can seem like a glamorous prospect at first; you get to live rent-free, have fun looking after cute animals and maybe even get paid to do it. But the reality of house-sitting is that it isn’t all glamour; if you don’t love animals and aren’t comfortable maintaining a high level of cleanliness (including cleaning up their poop!) then you might want to rethink whether house-sitting is for you.
You also have to be comfortable dealing with animals, knowing what to do when walking them and interacting with other animals, what to do if anything goes wrong, and more.
2. Sign up to Online House + Pet Sitting Platforms
To ensure the highest chance of you landing a pet sitting job, I would recommend signing up to several House + Pet sitting platforms and applying for lots of sits after you sign up. This is crucial, especially when you are just starting out with pet sitting. It can be a bit harder to get jobs when you have no experience. So, by signing up to lots of sites and applying to as many pet sits as you can, you’re more likely to land one sooner.
There are a bunch of different house-sitting platforms that allow you to sign up and connect with home-owners going on holiday, and it can be overwhelming to decide which one is right for you. You can read this in depth review of the best house sitting sites all around the world to decide which works best for you.
Here is a brief list of most popular house + pet sitting websites:
Trusted house sitters is my personal favorite and the one I use for the majority of my house and pet sits. I like it because of the sheer amount of options they have, and it's perfect for world travelers as they offer sits in so many countries around the globe.
3. Create a Detailed Profile
This is arguably the most important step for anyone looking to land a pet sitting job. You need to create a detailed profile, outlining why you want to be a pet sitter, some information about who you are and where you’re from, your experience as a pet sitter (include any references), and anything else you want pet owners to see when you apply for sits.
Keep in mind that Home and Pet owners will usually base their entire decision on the online profile of people who apply for the job, so make it a good one. There is a lot of competition online for good house sitting and pet sitting jobs, so creating an awesome profile is the key to separating yourself from the crowd.
Homeowners can get 50+ applications on their house-sit so it’s important that you stand out.
This is another key step in landing pet sitting jobs. Pet owners want to know they can trust you with their pet while they go away, and the best way to ensure this is through reviews and references from previous jobs. Always ensure you’re a trustworthy and responsible pet sitter, as this will make it much easier to find jobs in the future.
After you complete a sit, make sure you ask the owner to leave you with a review, this is a great way to build up a strong profile that will land you the best house and pet sits. Especially the ones that pay.
If you are new to house and pet sitting, and don’t have any references yet, don’t worry. People will still hire you based on your character and your profile. Your references don’t just have to be for previous pet or house sits either. You can ask friends or family for character references and any previous bosses you might have had for a work reference.
5. Sell yourself
If you really want to land a house or pet sitting job you have to be proactive and advertise your skills. Sign up to several house or pet sitting platforms, and apply for literally hundreds of sits.
Be honest about your skills and qualifications but don’t be afraid to sell you self. Tell them why you are great with pets and why they should hire you.
Marketing yourself is a crucial step in landing a pet sitting job. It doesn’t have all be done online either, word of mouth is a great advertising tool. Reach out to people in your neighbourhood or family and friends. This can be a great way to start getting references as a pet sitter.
Don’t be discouraged if you get rejected, be patient and continuing applying for sits. You are bound to land one soon enough. It took me a long time to get my first house sit, but ever since I got my first reference, I haven’t had any issues.
6. Communicate Clearly
Once you’ve secured a house-sit, the next step is meeting with the homeowners and getting all the information you need. This can be a scary thing when you’re not sure what to ask, but it’s important to ask as much as you can, even if it seems like only a small detail.
To ensure you have all the relevant information about the pet and its routine, I recommend asking pet owners all of the questions below:
Where they sleep
If they get up during the night
Their favorite toys
How they are with other animals
Treats you can give them
Ask about their vet
What would the arrangement would be if something were to happen?
How would payment work, etc.
I’ve found it’s a good idea to ask if there’s someone in the local area you can contact if there’s an emergency; a friend or family member, or maybe a neighbor. It’s also reassuring to know that someone nearby has a spare key in case you were to get locked out (I learnt that one the hard way!).
Remember, there are no stupid questions. If you’re unsure on anything, just ask. It's much better to clarify something that to have something go wrong when the homeowners are away.
Top Websites for House + Pet Sitting
Trusted House Sitters - Trusted House Sitters is the largest and one of the most well known international house sitting websites. They are a site that operates globally but are particularly strong in the US, UK and Australia. Out of all the house sitting websites online, TrustedHousesitters has the highest number of house sitting jobs available around the world. Membership cost is only $119/year USD for unlimited house and pet sits all over the world.
House Sit Match - An Europe and UK based House and Pet sitting website. They also have thousands of current openings around the world, but definitely more suited to people living in or traveling to the UK or Europe. Their memberships start at $90/year USD.
For a comprehensive guide to the best house sitting websites, read this.
Now you’ve got everything you need to become a top Pet Sitter. Sign up for Trusted House sitters below and start applying for openings now.