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How to Start a Pet Sitting Business For Under $500

December 24, 2011

Pet sitting is an easy way to make a good income without investing a lot of money. This is a great time to start a pet sitting business, as people are spending more and more each year on their pets, and want only the best for their four legged family members. Because all that’s needed is reliable transportation and insurance, you can become a pet sitter on a shoestring.

According to the latest national pet owner’s survey, 63 percent of U.S. households have pets. There are 75 million dogs and 89 million cats in the United States. That’s a lot of potential pet sitting work! In the past, pet owners had to send their pets to a kennel or find a willing friend or relative to care for their pets. Today, with the help of a professional pet sitter, pets can stay in the familiar surroundings of their own home. No more stressful visits to the kennel. Pet sitting has grown from an unknown career two decades ago to a popular business today.

It doesn’t cost a lot to start a pet sitting business. If you have basic reliable transportation and a cell phone, you’re almost there. An insurance policy is essential, and most pet sitters are also bonded. A simple index card system is all you’ll need to keep track of your customers, although many pet sitters prefer to use a computer. Business cards are also a must, both to hand out to prospects and to post on bulletin boards and leave with pet care professionals, such as groomers and vets. Setting up an emergency bag, with essentials like a spare leash and collar, flashlight, doggie bags, treats and cleaning supplies costs under $100.

How much can you earn? According to a recent poll of professional pet sitters, the average full time pet sitter makes around $175 a day. The average national charge for a pet sitting visit is $16 – more in big cities and less in small towns and rural areas. Most dogs require two visits per day, while cats may only need one. Most pet sitters are happy to work solo, although some choose to hire employees and expand their business.

In addition to the low start up costs, you want to start your own pet sitting business because you can be your own boss and keep your schedule flexible. And of course, because you’re a pet lover. If you don’t love pets – especially dogs – choose another business! A pet sitter’s life is all about animals, and pet sitters that thrive do so because they love being around animals. As one pet sitter said, “I can’t believe people actually pay me to play with their pets. What a way to make a living.”

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From → Pet Sitting

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