Being a great pet sitter takes a lot more than just having compassion for pets. Anyone who wants to become a professional pet sitter must have the complete package. Likewise, anyone who needs a pet sitting service wants to know the firm they choose to hire employs the right people. So, understanding what it takes to be a great pet sitter is key to having a successful business. Whether you want to be a pet sitter or you need to hire one, please read on to learn more.
This article will answer:
- What does it mean to be a great pet sitter?
- What attributes make a great pet sitter?
Being A Great Pet Sitter
- Experience―Being a pet lover is indeed important, but being an experienced pet handler with a strong dedication to the wellbeing of pets is paramount. This is especially true with pets that haven’t been well trained. It is unwise and dangerous for an inexperienced beginner to be put in charge of an aggressive pet. Large, unruly dogs can easily intimidate an inexperienced sitter which can lead to disastrous results.
- Certification―Is it mandatory? Is it important? Yes. Certification as a professional pet sitter places the very best way above the rest of the pack. It tells the prospective client that you are an educated, licensed professional who knows pets and their needs. It shows that you are a dedicated, well trained specialist who has invested time and money in your training.
- Dependability―As a pet sitter you must take care of your client’s pet needs. The client expects this and is paying for it. You must always be on time. You must always be honest, reliable and truthful. Know what the client expects before you commit yourself and/or your company. Let the client know what you can and cannot do. A well written legally binding contract will do this for both parties. And, it will reinforce that you are a dependable professional the client can trust with his or her door key and pet.
- Insurance―This is a key element that protects both the pet sitter and the client should something happen to the pet on the sitter’s watch. Having insurance also tells the client the sitter is a professional. The policy needs to affirm the client’s and the sitter’s responsibilities. It needs to make all liabilities clear―what’s covered and what’s not. (There should be an agreement form signed by both parties. Along with stipulating the sitter’s duties, the agreement form should make clear the liability limits covered by the insurance. The sitter needs to know the actual value of the pet. For example, is this a registered animal with an expected breeding value or an unpapered mixed breed pound rescue?)
Attributes of A Great Pet Sitter
- Must be fond of pets―all pets. This is a must-have attribute. Without a respect and love of pets you cannot succeed as a pet sitter, nor should you be one. If you have a fear of dogs this is not a job for you. The same applies if you are fearful of cage pets or if you have a pet related allergy.
- Must be calm around pets and sensitive to their needs. All domestic pets will react badly to a fearful or harsh person. You must also be a fairly fit and able person with a lot of patience. A great pet sitter knows from training, experience, and instinct how to be calm yet skillfully assertive with pets.
- Must be a good time manager and willing to be flexible when the client makes changes. The client needs to trust that their pet will be taken care of when they can’t be there.
- Must be trustworthy and personable. The client has to trust that you will be there on time to care for their pet―every time. The client must also like you. If they aren’t comfortable with you they won’t hire you.
Confirm by text that you’ve arrived and that their pet is okay. Also confirm by text when you’re leaving and be willing to stay longer if asked. It’s a good idea to leave a nice note about their pet and how much you enjoyed taking care of their pet. This goes beyond being dependable. The client is trusting that you’ll take good care of their pet and that you will respect their home and property. Reinforce that and you’ll be hired time and again, and you’ll get a great reference!
To be a great pet sitter with many happy and satisfied clients requires a lot from you. You have to be comfortable around all sorts of pets. You must handle yourself well―you must be fit, patient, and able to commit to the tasks given you by each client. You must be a well-trained, certified, dependable, friendly, and trustworthy person. Only with those traits and skills can you become a great pet sitter with a following of happy, repeat clients.