By Ben Waterworth
You may not be aware of the fact that pet sitting is actually a fairly new profession. In fact it's only over the last few years that pet sitting as a career has even been taken seriously! But it's a fantastic change from the rat race of everyday life and is something that you should definitely consider if you are looking for a new job and one that involves animals!
Essentially a pet sitter is somebody who comes to another person's house and looks after their pets, as well as performs general everyday chores around the house such as basic cleaning and collecting of mail, taking out rubbish and even some gardening. It's a great idea for people who are going away for a bit and want to hire a professional to look after their place while they are gone. It's also great for people wishing to meet new people and gain work experience on a wide variety of different pets and animals if that's the type of career they are after.
But becoming a pet sitter isn't a simple case of placing an ad in the newspaper and waiting on a phone call. You do need some form of animal experience to to be looked upon favourably in the industry. While this isn't a pre-requisite of how to work with animals it is always a good idea to go into the job having had some experience, paid or volunteer, with animals. You may think that a love of all animals will be enough to do the job and in a way it can be, but if you wish to work for a pet sitting agency then they will no doubt look upon your CV more favourably if you can show some animal experience. Why not go and volunteer at your local animal shelter, or offer to wash some dogs at your local dog grooming business? These may sound like hard tasks but not only will they help you out when it comes to applying for a pet sitting job they will also give you a taste of some of the tasks you will need to do as a pet sitter. As well as just looking after the animals you will generally need to care for them in all different ways, such as bathing them, feeding them and administering medication if the animals require it.
And as mentioned there will be general household maintenance required too, depending on what your client requires. You will sometimes find there may be some cases where people will hire you for jobs who don't own pets at all and only require you to do general household chores. If this is something you wouldn't want to do, then make sure you make note of this on your details for when people contact you about a job. One thing you will need to work out is if you want to work for yourself or for a pet sitting agency. Each has their own benefits which you may find appealing for different reasons.
If you like being your own boss and not having to answer to anybody then working for yourself is a good option. This way you can stipulate how you want your business to run as well as what services you will provide as well as how much you will charge. The downside to this is the initial effort of having to find work as you may struggle in the beginning when you are without much of a reputation. Working for an agency also has its benefits. You will be able to work in a company specialising in pet sitting so any questions or concerns you may have you will be able to work out with them. You will also always be looked after by the agency in case of any issues with a client such as them not paying you properly.
You will also find that the agency will be covered by insurance which is obviously a positive in case of emergencies. You will also usually be able to find work easily due to the agency no doubt already having a strong reputation for pet sitting. The downside is of course that you will have to work based on what the agency wants, and work for whatever salary they provide you. You will no doubt also have to work a set amount of hours and time a week. Whichever path you decide to take when it comes to pet sitting you should always realise that it is a fantastic career path that has the potential to take you a long way! So why not consider it now?