How to start a pet sitting business

How to start a pet sitting business?

Start a pet sitting business by researching the business or gain work experience as a pet sitter. Determine your rates by analyzing your competition. Obtain a business license, secure a location, buy supplies, website, and start advertising! The best way to get business is word of mouth advertising.

Imagine, starting a successful business around pets. Every day you get to exercise and play with the best creatures on earth.

Making money with pet sitting is possible!

Luckily for you, I’ll show you some tips on starting your own pet sitting business. I’ll show you how much you could make as a pet sitter and how to set your rates. You’ll be up and running your own business in no time!

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How do I start my own pet sitting business?

Start your own pet sitting business by performing research and understanding how your business will work. Determine your rates, obtain a business license, and secure a business location. Purchase the needed supplies, build a website, and start advertising and networking to bring in your first customers.

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Research pet sitting businesses

Starting your own pet sitting business can be tricky and mistakes can be costly. Your best chances of starting a successful pet sitting business starts with your own knowledge. Research pet sitting businesses by watching YouTube, reading books, and talking to other pet sitting businesses outside your market.

Businesses that don’t make it are usually unprepared. Give yourself the best chance of success by learning everything you can before launching. However, you’ve got to find the balance between research mode and actually starting.

The best way to research a pet sitting business is to reach out to an existing and successful pet sitting business. Reach out to a pet sitting business that models what you want your business to look like. Make sure you reach out to one in a different town, so you’re not directly a competitor.

See if the owner would be willing to show you how their pet sitting business works. Even better, see if you can work for free to gain valuable insights to the business operations. Six months of experience can teach you everything you need to know.

Alternatively, you can read books and watch YouTube. They aren’t as good as working in a business, but you can still learn a good amount.

Determine your process

You need to figure out your businesses process and how it’s going to flow. Now’s the time to think about how your business is going to operate. Working for for another pet sitting business is the best way to work out every detail.

You’re going to want to consider the following:

  1. How will you take payment? Which payment processor are you going to use, can someone book online, etc.
  2. What legal documentation will you need? You don’t want to be liable if someone’s pet gets injured. You’ll also want to have a emergency contact form.
  3. How will you keep track of pet medications? Depending on the size of your business, you could have between 1 and 100 dogs under your control. Each dog may have specific medical needs that you’re now responsible for giving.
  4. Will you hire staff? If so, how will you hire them and make sure they’re paid on time?
  5. How will you track your clients? Each client needs to onboard their dog and you need to make sure you give the dogs back to the right owner.
  6. What’s your policy if someone forgets to bring pet food?
  7. What medical records will you need to have the owners prove?

Determine your rates

You’ll also need to determine how much you’re going to charge for pet sitting. You need to charge enough to cover your base expenses, but stay competitively priced.

The best thing you can do is take some time to research your local rates. What are other pet sitting businesses charging in your area? Are they charging extra for additional services?

For example, one of our local dog sitting businesses charges the following amounts for each service:

  1. Pet Day Care. $15 per day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m, Monday through Friday. Pickups after 5 p.m. will be charged for ‘extended boarding’ rates. Pet Day Care on weekends or holidays falls under ‘extended boarding’ rates.
  2. Extended stay boarding. $25 for small dogs and $30 for medium/large dogs. Pickups after 5 p.m. are charged a $25 late fee.
  3. Grooming. Grooming is an additional service and pricing varies. You can include Grooming as an up sell for your business.

Obtain business license

Every business will need a business license to do business legally. You’ll have to pay a small fee, get your location inspected, and hang the license on location. Obtain a business license in the county you’re doing business in.

Find a location

A pet sitting business will need a location to board pets and operate your business. You’ll need a lot of space for pets to play, but it needs to have reasonable rent. Ideally, your business location will be located near a local veterinarian.

Pets, especially dogs, will need a lot of room to run around and play. You’ll need a location that can at least facilitate a game of fetch.

You’ll also need a place to board the dogs at night. Therefore, the room needs to be large enough to sleep all the dogs. The amount of dogs that can stay needs to be able to cover your rent on a monthly basis.

Being located next to a veterinarian can be convenient in the event of an emergency. You can also work with the veterinarian for discounted rates if their boarding gets full.

Purchase Supplies

As you’re closing your lease or rent for your business location, it’s time to purchase your business supplies. You’ll need to buy all the equipment, toys, and food you’ll use on a daily basis.

Build a website

Your business is going to need a website for credibility and building trust with your clients. A website can help you book appointments and let your customers learn about hours, rates, and share your business.

You can learn how to put together a basic website in a couple hours watching YouTube. Your website doesn’t need to be fancy, but it does need to contain important information.

You can always hire someone to build you a website. However, you just need something basic to get started.

Advertise and Network

Start advertising and making connections to generate business. Use Facebook, pet adoption events, shelters, and word of mouth to find customers. You need to get your business known if you want to get clients.

One of the easiest ways to get known is to use paid advertising, but that can be expensive. For example, you can pay to be on the radio or show up on local TV channels.

Alternatively, you can make a Facebook page for your business. Facebook advertising can be an inexpensive and targeted way to get customers. You can also join local Facebook pet groups to spread the word.

See if you can network at local pet adoption events. Hand out business cards to pet owners and network with the shelters. The shelters can hand out your business card for all future adoptions.

How much should I charge for pet sitting?

Most pet sitting businesses charge $15 per day for day care and $30 for extended stay boarding. Your area may have different rates, so look at your competitors pricing to find your market’s rates. Keep your rates low when you’re first starting and raise them when your business becomes established.

The hardest part about starting a business is getting your initial clientele. Nobody has heard of you, so you don’t have any business. Keeping your rates low can help you get initial customers.

Low rates will let people take a chance on you. The more business you can generate, the more people will find out about you. After you’ve gained a steady amount of business, start increasing your rates.

How much money can you make owning a pet sitting business?

You can make between $15-$30 per pet that you watch over. Averaging 10 pet visits per day, four day week, could earn you between $30,000 and $65,000 per year. How much you earn depends on the size of your business and local area.

What qualifications do you need to be a pet sitter?

You do not need any qualifications to be a pet sitter. However, you should have a love of working with pets. Any pet training, grooming, or work experience can be an advantage.

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Summary: How to start a pet sitting business

As you can see, you can start a pet sitting business, but it will take some work. You’ll need to learn the business, obtain licensing, and secure a location. You will also need to set your rates, build a website, and start getting business!

You might be able to make between $30k and $65k as a pet sitter. Most businesses charge between $15-$30 per visit.  How much you earn depends on the size of your business and the local area.

Starting a pet sitting business doesn’t take any qualifications. However, you should love to work with pets.

John is the founder of TightFist Finance and an expert in the field of personal finance. John has studied personal finance for over 10 years and has used his knowledge to pay down debt, grow his investment portfolio, and launch a financial based business. He is committed to sharing content related to personal finance based on his experience in his career, investing, and path towards reaching financial independence.