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February 01, 2012


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My wife did pet sitting for a while as a side business, one of the key things for this business you need to have enough customers close to where you live.

Since you are likely to make multiple trips per day when caring for a dog (most of the business) you will really eat up time and miles if you have to drive all over.

This limitation makes the business not viable in more rural areas.

She found a book that outlined how to run a pet sitting business- with suggestions for getting started, organizing clients, doing customer interviews, etc.

I remember talking with some of the other women that ran similar businesses- it struck me that doing additional errands was another big source of revenue for her- if someone already trusts you enough to give you a key to their home and take care of their pet they will trust you to do a lot of other tasks they just don't have time to do.

-Rick Francis

I have some friends who pay *good money* to have their pets set up in nice conditions while they are gone. I'm confident that you could make some pretty good money by offering this service.

I offer pet sitting services part-time, although I could probably do more to find additional clients in my area, etc. Since I work full-time, I am limited in what I can offer. Right now, I will do a morning visit and an evening visit, but where I've found the most money (and easiest for me) is actually finding someone who wants you to stay overnight with their pet. I've made $35-50/day doing this.

I have encouraged my wife to pursue this in the past also. We live in a suburban neighborhood, and I know that there are a ton of these animals who need looked after while their owners work all day. The numbers are there!

I would suggest surveying your surrounding area, getting the word out somehow to see if it's possible to get a large number of clients that are within reach.

What timing - my fiance and I just this morning wrapped up a four-day pet-sitting (in-house) favor for our friends! The rate they quoted us was $20/dog/day. We (mostly I!) housed, fed, administered eye drops, walked, and played with their 9-month-old cocker spaniel - and realized that we don't have time for a pet :( I loved it - lots of walking, playing, and horsing around. I could definitely see myself doing this (though probably not in-home) if I become a stay-at-home mom. Whenever that might be!

Pet sitting would be a nice retirement option if you love animals :)
I tried to volunteer for pet sitting and/or volunteering at an animal shelter, but the organization closest to my home is apparently SO popular that they don't accept any new volunteers until late February.
The site also said that in order to become a pet sitter, my house will be inspected and I have to get a license and so on...(I'm in Chicago, maybe Chicago is just picky!)
So definitely not a light-hearted part-time volunteer hobby. I would love to do it as a half-time/full-time commitment though.

I did petsitting for about a year in 2008 while I was trying to find a happier job than my customer service position. I charged $15 a day for dogs at 25 lb or less, $20 for 26 lb to 60 lb, and $25 for 61 lb and larger. I made pretty good money but then started fostering Pugs and eventually found blogging.

And it's all tax free ;)

Wow, either I was overpaying, or everyone is undercharging. We have two dogs (one medium size mutt, and one Pug), and I have shopped it around at lots of petsitters in NE Ohio that will service our area, and I have never been able to find anyone for less than $15/visit. So at three visits per day, we were paying $45/day. Show me in-home sitting where I can hire someone who is licensed, bonded, and insured for $15/day, and I will sign up. Maybe the neighbor kid would do it for that amount though.

Steve, *technically* it's income, and you're supposed to claim it under "other income", line 21 on your 1040.

Wow, I do this this too, but only occasionally since I'm a student. When you work out the numbers it turns into a nice side income.

I started my own pet sitting business as a Freshman in college in 2004 and love it. As a pet sitter you can work as much or as little as you choose and for me right now with two young kids I put very little effort into expanding my business but still make a profit each year. The best part about it is that I can write off portions of my household bills and car expenses as a business expense because I run the business out of my home.

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