Why Pet Sitting In Retirement?
Have You Thought About Making Money Pet Sitting? Why Not?
Retirement is something every one of us is eager for. We spend our entire lives working to support our families, feed and care for ourselves, and pay off the house; so when we retire, it is often the best feeling in the world.
However, what if there is not enough money in retirement? One of the best ways to earn an extra income during your retirement, especially if you love animals, is through Pet Sitting.
Pet Sitting can be a great way to generate income in a stress-free way during your retirement. It’s especially great because you set your own hours, meaning you can work when you want to. This opens up many possibilities, and can even allow you to travel and house-sit pets on the go.
So, how does it work? In this post, I’m going to provide a full guide on how you can start Pet Sitting today.
Where to Find Pet Sitting Jobs
There are various pet-sitting website platforms that allow you to find jobs pet sitting. They all work in a similarly effortless way that allows the pet sitter (you) to advertise your services, and the buyer (the pet owner) to browse through different sitters to see which one will suit them best.
Rover – the United States
Rover is the biggest dog and cat sitting platforms available to United States residents. To start advertising your services, you’ll need to create a profile and publish it so that dog/cat owners can find you. On Rover, you can offer four different services from:
- Dog Boarding – care for the pet in your own home
- House Sitting – stay at the owner’s house with the pet
- Dog Walking – take their dog for a walk
- Drop-In Visits – check on their pet and have a play date
- Doggy Day Care – day time pet care in your safe home
You’ll also have access to 24/7 support, including vet assistance, and you can conveniently manage your pet sitting business with the Rover app. You can even set the size, age, and other pet preferences that work for you. Depending on your age and personality, you might not be able to keep up with a puppy of 8 weeks old!
If this all sounds very appealing to you, click “become a pet sitter” and you’ll be on your way to earning income in no time.
Petcloud – Australia
This is one of Australias biggest pet-sitting platforms. You can care for cats, dogs, horses, birds, rabbits, and more. It works in a very similar way to Rover in which you set up your profile and create “listings” that specify what type of services you want to provide. Petcloud offers the same services like Rover, plus more. These include:
- Pet Taxi – transport the owner’s pet
- Grooming & Clipping – provide a grooming service to the pet
- Training – you can offer to train their pet for a fee.
Petcloud also allows you to offer more services once an owner has hired you, such as a visit to the vets, picking up and dropping off the pet, washing, brushing, and walking. If you’re uncertain how much to charge for your services on Petcloud, this platform actually has an answer for you in their “FAQs” section, along with plenty of other helpful information.
The other great thing about Petcloud is that you don’t have to wait for someone to find you. Instead, you can “view jobs,” which lets you browse jobs that have been posted by pet owners. These jobs list the location, service required, pets, start date, and end date. If you are interested in a particular advertisement, click “apply now” and if the owner thinks you are a suitable applicant, you could get hired!
Other Pet-Sitting Websites To Earn Money
That’s not all, though. Other pet-sitting platforms include:
- Petsitter – United States and Canada
- Pawshake – very international including some Asian countries
- DogBuddy – you can find the list of European countries at the footer
- MadPaws – Australia
How Do They Work?
Every pet-sitting platform works similarly to one another.
You need to sign up and make a profile with the platform. This is usually straightforward and takes a short amount of time. In most cases, to be adequately verified, you will need to provide a valid phone number.
Choose & Price Your Services
Each platform varies with what services you can provide. Decide which you think would be most suitable in your situation. Are you a confident dog walker? Do you enjoy having a pet in your home? It is up to you to decide.
Acquire Verification Badges
On some platforms, such as Petcloud and Pawshake, you can earn “badges.” These will really help boost your ranking and get seen. Some of these include First Aid, Police Check, and Responsive badges. Each one is not too difficult to achieve but should be considered.
The pet sitting websites act as a middleman. They collect payment from the owner upfront once you have been hired, and then the money is released to you after the job is completed.
Each platform provides protection for your services. For example, Rover has a guarantee in which your services are protected up to $1,000,000. I recommend reading up on each platform’s insurance to make sure they align with your needs and preferences.
How Much Can I be Paid?
To price your services, I recommend searching for other sitters to see what they are offering. You can do a test search by pretending you require a service. To do this, enter the service you need, location, the length of time, and any other information it asks of you. Click search, and a selection of recommended sitters will appear listed with their price and some additional information.
It is up to you on what price you would like to set, though. If you’re just starting out, you could maybe offer a slightly lower price to try and beat the competition.
Best Questions to Ask the Pet Owner
It is important to ask the owner questions before and after working for them. This will not only make you look professional, but also help give you an idea of what to expect, how to improve for the next job, and it will provide the pet owner peace of mind when they are away from their companions.
This is important for all services that may require you to feed the pet. Ask questions like:
- What type of food do you feed your pet?
- What is the usual feeding schedule?
- Does your pet have any special feeding needs or allergies?
- Can your pet have treats?
If a dog doesn’t seem willing to play, there could be a reason why. Ask the pet owner:
- How often do they exercise?
- Is there an exercise routine?
- Do they have any physical restrictions? (age, injury, illness)
Special Needs – Medications
This is an essential criterion you must address with the owner before caring for their pet.
- Is your pet on any medication?
- Do I need to give medication?
- What illness does your pet have?
- How do I administer the medication?
- What is the dosage?
Special Needs or Wants
Their pet could get nervous, anxious, or act strangely with a different routine. Ask:
- Does your pet have a favorite toy he/she needs have?
- What calms your pet down if he/she is worried?
- Does your pet enjoy being stroked?
Knowing this information can mean the difference between a great, healthy time and a dull, unsafe time.
- Where do you keep the leash?
- Where do you keep the harness?
- Where do you keep the food, toys, etc.?
If something goes wrong, you need to know what to do.
- Is there a specific veterinarian nearby?
- Is there another person I can contact if I can’t reach you?
It’s a good idea to get to know a bit about the animal’s behaviour to create the best possible experience for him/her.
- Is your pet aggressive? (people, animals, territory, resource aggression)
- Is your pet social with other animals of the same type (e.g., dogs at the dog park)
- Is your pet’s personality playful, nervous, shy…
What Else You Should Know
I was very interested and curious when I first came across the pet-sitting industry. I acquired some knowledge from people who have been doing pet-sitting regularly as a form of income, and here’s what you should know.
Visits Could Take Longer
You can get carried away playing with the pet, some things may not go as planned or get in the way of doing a particular task, and depending on how .. the pet is, your visit can take a lot longer. To avoid this, I recommend to plan out and organise your jobs efficiently, so you are never late or behind schedule.
This could include cooking the pet’s meal or brushing the pet, even if these tasks are not a part of the initial agreement or service details.
Picking up the Poo
It’s not all smiles and cuddles! There is generally some dirty work involved, and most often this is the picking up of poop. Even if this is not something the pet owner is distraught about, it will make you look more professional and dedicated to your services if you appear clean and committed.
This is for you, not the animal. While the pet industry is fun and engaging to work in, you will almost always end up with some type of injury; this could be unintentionally or intentionally. Usually, these are scratches and bites and are easily cared for if properly cleaned.
Take Notes & Photos
This is a great way to recount your experience with each pet and remember specific details for the next time you are with them or things you’d like to share with the owner.
These are five things to be mindful of when deciding to start pet-sitting work. In my opinion, it is best to go through an online platform, such as the ones mentioned, due to safer payment processing and insurance.
Overall, Pet Sitting is a great way to earn some side income during your retirement. It can cater to many different people and their personal likes and dislikes, such as a preference of a dog, cat, or bird.
The flexibility and how it allows you to set your own schedule is perfect for those who enjoy travelling, being their own boss, and especially if you enjoy the company of animals. Combining these interests creates the perfect way you can start earning income as a retiree today.
I hope this article helped you learn about Pet-Sitting and how to start making money out of it. What are your thoughts on pet sitting as an income during retirement? Let us know in the comments.
Please also visit the Make Extra Income section of our website. There are various ideas and how-to guides that can help you generate extra income for retirement.