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10 Tips on How to Become a Pet Sitter (2024 Update)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Woman holding a white fluffy cat and Jack Russell Terrier dog while sitting on the bed

For many people, becoming a pet sitter is a dream come true. It’s a job where people pay you to watch, care for, and hang out with pets! But while it might be the perfect job for you, that doesn’t mean it’s the easiest business to break into.

If you’re looking to become a pet sitter, there are a few things that you can do to increase your likelihood of success. Here are 10 tips to help you get your business off the ground.


The 10 Tips on How to Become a Pet Sitter

1. Get a Business License/Insurance

handing out insurance documents
Image By: RODNAE Productions, Pexels
Importance High
Difficulty Easy
Cost Low/Moderate

This tip depends on where you live. Research the rules and laws for your area to ensure that you have all the proper business licenses before you start watching other people’s pets. This will ensure that you have the legal protections that you need and won’t accidentally find yourself in hot water.

Next, while you might not need insurance for a pet sitter business, we highly recommend it. What happens if something happens to the pet while they’re under your care or if something happens to the home you’re pet-sitting in?

The owner might decide to sue you, and insurance will help you in these situations. Give yourself the necessary peace of mind for your business by getting insurance.

2. Know Your Stuff

vet examining dog and cat
Image By: v-svirido, Shutterstock
Importance High
Difficulty Challenging
Cost Free

If you’re watching other people’s pets while they’re away, you need to know how to care for them properly. If you’re watching a lizard, what’s the proper humidity level and how often should you feed them? How long does a German Shepherd need to exercise each day?

If you’re caring for people’s pets, you need to care for them properly, and you can’t do that if you don’t know what to do. Getting this knowledge is free with the internet, but it will take time and a great deal of reading to figure everything out!

3. Get Experience

Black cockapoo puppy staring at a treat in a womans hands
Image Credit: Oliver Colthart, Shutterstock
Importance High
Difficulty Challenging
Cost Free

If you want people to trust you with their pets, you need to show that you’ve done it before. This means you might need to take on low-paying or free jobs at first, but it’ll give you the necessary experience that you can build on.

Once you show that you know what you’re doing, people will be more likely to choose you and pay you more for your services. It’s a frustrating way to get your business off the ground, but unfortunately, it’s usually necessary.

4. Set Up a Contract

bussiness meeting
Image Credit: Piqsels
Importance High
Difficulty Moderate
Cost Very low

One of the clearest ways to set up expectations and responsibilities for everyone involved is to write up a contract that includes everything from cancellation policies to pick-up and drop-off times.

The contract should cover anything that might come up in a future dispute, so everyone knows what to expect from the start. Have everyone read and sign the contract before you start any services.

5. Set Up Social Media Pages

Woman on computer doing research
Image Credit: StockSnap, Pixabay
Importance Moderate
Difficulty Easy
Cost Free

If you want a successful pet-sitting business, you need to promote yourself. One of the easiest ways to do this is to set up a few social media pages for your business. This will help potential clients find you, and it can be a great way to get positive reviews.

Even better, setting up social media pages is completely free, so you don’t have to worry about draining resources into something that’s not working. Even if it only gets you a few clients here and there, it’s a net positive!

6. Build a Website

a young woman or cat owner working in the office with cat
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock
Importance Moderate
Difficulty Moderate
Cost Free/Low

If you want to give your pet sitting a more professional appearance, one of the best things that you can do is set up a website. With website builders like WordPress and Weebly, it’s easy to build your business page.

We recommend purchasing a domain name, but after that, you shouldn’t need to spend any more money to make sure your webpage has everything that it needs to be a successful resource for your business.

7. Promote Yourself

two woman having bussiness meeting
Image Credit: Piqsels
Importance High
Difficulty Moderate
Cost Free

It doesn’t matter how good you are at your job if nobody knows that you have a business! Start with your friends and family, and get the word out! Tell everyone what you’re doing, and see if they can drum up clients for you.

There are many different ways to promote your business, and we recommend trying your hand at all of them. However, be extremely cautious if you plan on using paid advertisements. These costs can quickly balloon, and they’ll have a big impact on your overall profit margin.

8. Get References

couple with a dog getting a pet insurance
Image Credit: RobertKneschke, Shutterstock
Importance High
Difficulty Moderate
Cost Free

This is especially true with your first few clients, but anytime you have a positive experience with a customer, ask if they will give you a review or even better, a reference. When potential new clients are looking for a pet sitter, they want one with a proven track record.

They’ll hear you say that you’re good at your job, but if they can reach out to previous clients and get their experience, it can help them feel better. In fact, simply having and offering the references is often all that you’ll need to land a client.

9. Get on Websites

a woman using a laptop with a beagle dog on her lap
Image Credit: Kampus Production, Pexels
Importance Optional
Difficulty Low
Cost Free

Websites like Rover can drive customers directly to your business. However, these sites will also take a cut, which means you’re making less money. But if they’re giving you enough business or you’re just starting, you don’t want to turn down any potential revenue avenues.

Give these sites a shot, and see if they’re a good fit for your business. If not, you should at least get a few references in the process!

10. Work on Communication

men sitting at table smiling discussing insurance
Image Credit: RODNAE Productions, Pexels
Importance High
Difficulty Challenging
Cost Free
When you run a pet-sitting business, watching and caring for the pets is only half the job. You also need to keep clear and open lines of communication with their owners. Sending them messages showing that everything is going well goes a long way in building trust and getting repeat customers.

The more you communicate with them, the better you’ll do, so when in doubt, send them a message.



If you’re serious about setting up a pet-sitting business, there’s no better time than the present. Follow as many of these tips as you can, and you should soon get a few clients and start bringing in money!

It’s not the most lucrative business out there, but it’s one of the most enjoyable!

Featured Image Credit: Reshetnikov_art, Shutterstock

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