US News has an interview with a woman who started her own pet sitting business after she was laid off. To her it's a way to earn some extra money -- not really a business (she has other interests), but she is supporting herself on it and other odd jobs.
If I had the time and inclination, I'd start a pet sitting business. Why? Because I think it could offer a decent side income. People spend a fortune on their pets and their vacations. Unfortunately, it's often difficult to take Fido on vacation. Voila! A built in need for someone to watch him while you're traveling.
And the options aren't good. After all, do you want Fluffy caged up in tight quarters all week at $25 per day? Or would you rather have her home where she has the run of the house for $15 a day. Oh, and the person checking on her can also get your mail and do a quick security check of the home -- extras that pet-boarding-in-a-box can't offer you.
And then there are all the extra services you can add on (walking the pet, multiple checks per day, chores/tasks around the home, etc.) Don't get me started...
My daughter does some pet sitting (though she's not really interested in growing it like I want her to) so I know a bit about it first-hand. But there are probably some readers out there who have more experience than I do, so feel free to leave your pet sitting tips in the comments below.
Anyway, I think I'm adding pet sitting to my list of potential retirement/semi-retirement options for a side income. Just look how the numbers can add up:
- Five pets watched per day for $15 each: $75 per day
- Number of days: 200 per year (just a bit over half the year)
- Annual income: $15,000
And that doesn't include sales for things like walking that you could add on. With a couple jobs like this and some retirement savings, you could be looking at a faster-than-expected early semi-retirement.