What you need to know:
- Currently, there are no specific educational background requirements for pet sitters.
- The work mostly involves feeding the pet, walking it if it’s a dog, playing with the pet, changing the litter and taking it for toilet breaks.
- It may also involve taking the pet to a vet in case it falls sick when the owner is away.
One of the popular gigs that in developed countries is pet sitting which usually entails looking after pets while the owner is away. It mostly involves staying in the owner’s house to do so. This career is now an emerging trend in Kenya and is one of the ways pet lovers can make money.
Must love pets
Pet sitting requires very little except for experience or expertise.
The most important prerequisite of a pet sitter is that they need to love pets. This may change in the future because accreditation and certification programs may be required as the number of professional pet sitters increases as it becomes popular. Currently, there are no specific educational background requirements for pet sitters.
The work mostly involves feeding the pet, walking it if it’s a dog, playing with the pet, changing the litter and taking it for toilet breaks. It may also involve taking the pet to a vet in case it falls sick when the owner is away.
Where do you start?
Create your pet sitting professional profile and post it on your social media platforms, online market platforms as well as online pets’ groups. It helps if you add a few photos or videos of you handling pets. Have your rate card and the services that you offer? Many clients also seek plant care and other types of property maintenance in addition to pet sitting. Soon as you get your first clients, do your best as most pet sitting services work through referral and repeat clients. Ask the client if they can also put in a good word for you for future clients.
Meeting potential client
Experts advise that you should meet the potential client in person or via a video call before confirming the sit so you feel the kind of person that they are. Pet sitting is a matter of mutual fit, you will be in a stranger’s home for some time, so you want to meet their expectations and them to meet yours. In the meeting, discuss the requirements then, like will they be sending a friend or relative to check on the house once in a while? Will they need photos and videos of how their pet is doing, what to do in case of a medical emergency. Who do you reach if they can’t be reached? This is in addition to getting to know where you will find the pet food, water bowls, leashes, cat litter, toys, grooming stuff. The client will also communicate logistics like how long before their trip that you should come and the house key picking arrangement.
The advantages pet sitters give is that they stay with a pet in their familiar environment and such familiarity contributes to the pet’s happiness and health. As a sitter, you also save the pet owner the inconvenience of travelling with their pet and the trauma of travelling with a pet.
Maryanne is a pet owner. [email protected]