Do you have a passion for pets and the desire to carve a career as a professional pet sitter? That’s great, but before you get started make sure you know the steps you need to take to make your pet sitting business a big success.

Sure, pet ownership is on the rise but COVID-19 has put the brakes on overseas travel. Nonetheless, it’s likely more people will choose to holiday in their own countries. And luckily for us Aussies, we have plenty of amazing places to explore.

However, if you’re starting your career—or have reached a stale point in your existing business—it’s important to recognise the steps that can help make your pet-sitting career a triumph. Here are six ways to get the most out of your efforts.

6 steps to pet sitting success

1. Grow your knowledge (and keep it fresh)

Now is the time to take stock of your current pet care knowledge and consider ways to increase your skills. Are you comfortable dealing with dogs with behaviour issues? Do you have more experience with cats over dogs? Are you equipped to handle an animal injury? Perhaps you might consider learning more about Pet First Aid.

Continued professional development spans all industries. Enhancing your skills and knowledge gives you confidence, but it also ensures you can deliver the best possible service to your clients. Plus, learning new skills and being aware of the latest trends in your profession can help set you apart from your competitors.

2. Stay abreast of legal requirements

Laws and regulations can change and new ones can be introduced. As such, to ensure your pet sitting business is a success, it’s important to stay on top of the legalities.

For example, according to Pet Cloud, by law, all pet sitters operating in Australia need Public Liability Insurance. Furthermore, if you intend to look after multiple fur clients, you may need council approval in the form of a permit.

Plus, if you intend to exercise your animal clients outside of your own home, be sure to stay up to date with when and where you are allowed to exercise dogs. Off-leash areas can change according to the time of year; the last thing you want is a council fine.

3. Offer consistent and quality service

Excellent and consistent service is a must in any business. Not only will your clients appreciate it, but also it is likely to result in word-of-mouth recommendations.

You might teach your fur client a new trick while you’re pet sitting. Or perhaps you bake some homemade pet treats to reward your four-legged friend. Heck, maybe you pick up some milk to leave in the fridge because you notice your client is getting low. Little things can have lasting effects.

Of course, it’s not about adding on services and not getting paid to do so. However, if there are small things you can do to go above and beyond this can really help set your pet sitting service apart from that of others.

4. Promote your business

It’s important to regularly promote your business. After all, you never know when you might lose a client. Certainly, if you can find an activity you enjoy, that also happens to raise awareness about your pet sitting service that’s a win-win. For instance, if you love writing you might start a blog about pet sitting life, which you can promote via social media.

If you like to get creative, maybe you can design a brochure or leaflet, which you can leave at local pet stores, groomers, vet clinics and animal shelters.

5.  Network

Networking is great for business and personal success. However, if, when you think of networking, people in suits and awkward conversations over posh dinners, comes to mind—think again!

Successful networking can be as simple as having regular conversations and recommending people you know. Check out this great read about how to effectively network for your pet sitting business. (Believe me, it’s a particularly great read if the idea of networking scares the pants off you!)

6. Love what you do and love yourself

Without sounding too hippy trippy, to maintain a successful and busy pet sitting business it’s important to love yourself. Indeed, self-care tips are just as important for pet sitters as they are for those who work in the veterinary profession.

Many pet sitters get stressed and anxious when they’re fully booked, as they don’t know how to turn down clients. Likewise, they may find themselves dealing with a ‘difficult’ client and not know how to offload them without causing more grief.

Make sure you regularly take the time to assess how you are feeling. If you do feel stressed, make a list of the things you believe might be causing this feeling. Once you identify the triggers, you can set about finding ways to address and alleviate the stress.

Sure, when you have back-to-back bookings it can be difficult to find time for yourself. However, this must be a priority. After all, if you let your health fail, you won’t be able to care for your fur clients.

So, plan ahead. Book in regular health check-ups. Schedule time for exercise and set aside a day a month to relax and recharge. Once you get into the habit of doing these things, not only will you see the benefits, but also it’ll be much easier to do (without feeling guilty!).

What are the things that ensure your pet sitting business is successful?

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Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure for the past 12 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, and those who work to promote a better life for all animals.

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