I’ve been doing some major research on pet sitting as I’m going to begin my pet sitting (and hopefully doggy-day-care!) business in the near future. I want to be sure I am completely educated, prepared and covered in all aspects of the field before venturing in!
The following list is partly for my own knowledge, but also for those out there looking for pet sitters or dog walkers and are not really sure where to begin. It’s simply a helpful guide to find the best and most qualified professional pet sitters out there; the ones that take the business and your pet seriously. As with any profession, unfortunately, you will find the good, and the not so good.
Some ideas to keep in mind when searching for a pet sitter or dog walker –
1. Pet Sitter Liability Insurance works much like any other insurance. It covers accidents that may affect the client’s pets or property while the pet sitter is on an assignment.
2. A Business License is a permit issued by the government. If the pet sitter is running a business, it should be licensed.
3. Pet Sitting Forms to be filled out prior to actual pet sitting dates. These forms allow both you and the pet sitter to be on the same page and should include the following. These forms also show that the pet sitter takes their job seriously.
- Pet Sitting Services Client Agreement
- Pet Sitting Assignment Form
- Veterinary Instructions and Release Form
5. Experience: What kind of experience does the pet sitter have, how long has the pet sitter been working with animals and what type?
5. Be sure your potential sitter offers a consultation. By meeting with the sitter before any plans have been arranged, you will be able to get a better sense of their personality and determine if it will be a good fit.
A few items I did not include on the list, but are commonly used amongst pet sitters:
1. A Professional License is required in order for individuals to work in certain professions. Passing tests “ideally” show the individual knows his/her stuff. This is NOT a requirement from an individual pet sitter.
2. Bonding is ONLY appropriate for companies that hire employees. It insures the business in the event that if an employee steals from a client, the employee may be found guilty of theft, and thus the insurance will pay for stolen items. This is NOT a requirement from an individual pet sitter.
Anyone can begin a pet sitting business without formal training or licensing tests. Definitely use your best judgment when picking a pet sitter or dog walker. You will know when someone is being genuine, truly loves animals, has done their research and really understands your concerns. Your conscience is usually headed in the right direction – just be sure to listen to it!