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How to Start a Pet Sitting Business

Chances are at some point you’ve thought about leaving your 9 to 5 behind and starting a business of your own. But when you start tallying up the costs of getting a business off the ground—finding a location, buying enough inventory, machinery, or other supplies to get started—that steady pay check starts to look pretty good. That’s exactly how I felt before I started my doggie daycare business. After having the idea initially, I waited years to put it into action precisely because I was worried about the financial burden of getting it up and running.

"When I started my business years ago, it was before the internet had become the educational tool it is known as today. If I had the advantage of the internet, I might have begun my pet sitting business a lot earlier. Pet sitting is a great business for entrepreneurial animal lovers like me because it is both lucrative and easy to start up."

know how to detect when your dog isn’t feeling well, what foods to avoid, what symptoms require an immediate trip to the vet, and so on. But in order to be an in-demand pet sitter, you’ll want to be able to demonstrate to your clients that their pet’s health is your greatest priority. You can do so by taking courses in animal behavior and health. The Houston Chronicle recommends learning more about handling separation issues, pet first aid, and animal training, all of which can give you a leg up on your competition.

Whether you’re approaching dog sitting as a side business or a full-time operation, you should have an idea of what kind of income you’d like to bring in and what’s possible before you get started. provides information on how much you can expect to make based on the number of visits you’re able to do each day.

Running a pet sitting business will require you to juggle a lot: dates, requirements for specific dogs, correspondence with clients, and more. So, you absolutely must be organized. The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters recommends using an easy-to-edit digital calendar so that you can make changes quickly and avoid making mistakes or forgetting important details. It also suggests implementing ways to help your clients stay organized. For example, you may consider using an automated system to send clients reminders to pick up their pets at a designated time.

If you’ll be keeping your pet clients at your home, do an overhaul ofyour house to make sure there are no dog dangers lurking. For example, make sure household cleaning products and medicines are stored out of reach, double check houseplants to make sure they aren’t harmful to dogs, pick up small items that could be easily swallowed, and so on. Another great step to take, as this guide for pet sitters notes, is to put up baby gates or another type of “second barrier” to prevent the dogs in your care from running outside.

Maple C. enjoys helping others achieve goals they never thought possible. She has owned and operated several businesses throughout her career, including a doggie daycare and a fair-trade clothing shop. One day, she realized her true calling wasn’t to help people with the elements in their lives (as lovely and loving as dogs and dresses can be), but her passion is for building others’ lives. Today, she’s working to develop InspirationSpark into the web’s “inspiration hub.” She gets her own sparks of inspiration from sunset yoga, paddleboarding, and spending time with her husband and children.