How to Start a Pet Sitting Business

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Pet sitters care for animals while their owners are away, either for the day or for longer periods of time. Their responsibilities may include walking, feeding, grooming and administering medications. The job allows you to work with animals and be your own boss. Launch your pet sitting business by taking a professional approach.

Put together a business plan. Determine what geographical area you will work in, choosing towns that are within easy access to your home.

Decide what kinds of animals you'd like to care for. If you are most familiar with cats, limit yourself to just felines. However, you may make more money if you service more than one kind of animal. Consider whether or not you're comfortable working with all breeds and whether you'll work with birds, ferrets, rabbits and other small animals.

Become bonded and insured. The bond will cover theft if you employ any pet sitters to work for you. The insurance will cover the client's pet and property. Obtain both of these through either of the two professional pet sitting organizations, Pet Sitters International and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.

Decide what you want to charge per pet visit. Your rate may be determined by the number and type of pets, and the scope of work involved at each visit. Some employers may require simple feedings and walkings, while others may request that you give medications and groom animals.

Design a business card and flier. List your company name, email address and phone number, and state that you are bonded and insured. Become a member of a professional pet sitting organization and list that on your flier.

Visit local veterinary offices and pet stores and ask whether you can leave a batch of business cards and fliers with them. Post them at supermarkets or other high-traffic places that pet owners may visit.

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