Pet Sitter / Dog Walker

Fresh air and exercise.This relatively new industry involves visiting owners’ home when they are away to care for their pets. Daily tasks of a pet sitter are: Dog walking, pet feeding, supplying fresh water, changing kitty litter, picking up dog poo, cleaning up after pets, cleaning out hutches/chicken coups/aviaries, mail collection, tending rubbish bins, plant watering and providing a pet taxi service. In addition to all of the above, providing outstanding customer service is a daily requirement if you are to grow your customer base.

The main criteria for working in this industry are personal qualities such as a love of animals, reliability and honesty.

Apply for a carer position at a pet sitting business. The largest is Lonely Pets Club which has carers all over Australia. Franchises are available which involve a modest capital outlay.

What is Pet Sitting?

Pet sitting is new growth area within the Pet Care industry. Pet sitters visit client’s homes when they are away to feed and clean up after all of their pets, provide fresh water and walk their dogs. Pet sitting is an alternative to having to put dogs in kennels and cats in catteries. The pets stay at home and pet sitters provide a mobile pet care and dog walking service.

What Qualifications are needed?

Unlike Veterinarians, vet nurses or zoo keepers, there are no real qualifications required to start your own pet care business. However any prior animal related experience is a bonus. Prior work in a kennel or cattery, completing an Animal Technology course, Pet shop, RSPCA/pet shelter volunteer work and possibly work experience in a Zoo are all looked upon favourably as relevant prior experience.

Who becomes a pet sitter?

There is no stereo typical person that becomes a pet sitter. They come from all walks of life, but the main criteria for working in this industry are personal qualities such as a love of all animals, reliability and honesty.

How do I become a pet sitter?

You can basically choose between

  • Starting up your own pet sitting business
  • Seeking employment for an established pet sitting business such as Lonely Pets Club (in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth).
  • There are several advantages to buying a Pet Sitting franchise rather than trying to start from scratch.

How to start up your own pet sitting business

  • The first thing you will need to arrange is a Business name and/or Company name.
  • Then you will need to arrange current Public Liability Insurance, Home office insurance and Work Cover policies.
  • You will need, phone, computer, email connection, fax and all of the normal components of a home based office.
  • You should have have a current Police check done on yourself and any staff that you may employ. Clients may request to see your police check.
  • Develop a brand – colours, logo and ‘feel’.
  • If you choose you could look at uniforms, dog leads and other pet related accessories.
  • To promote yourself, you should develop a website and advertising campaign to attract as many clients as you can.
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