Pet sitting is an admirable profession with many rewards not found in the average workplace. It also requires a higher level of responsibility when caring for other people’s pets.

You may have owned many dogs and cats in your life, yet your experiences are limited to only those pets.  When you dive into professional pet sitting, the bar is raised much higher.

The opportunities for a successful pet sitting business couldn’t be better, as 66% of U.S. households own a pet (that’s 86.9 million homes)[i]. Within that vast population, dogs lead the pack at 65.1M (million) and cats 46.5M.  Birds and small animals are only .1% (6.1M), so consider the type of pets you are able to care for that will also provide the best profit potential.

If you are a rabid animal fan, that’s a great start to building a pet sitting business.  You have to truly love dogs, cats and small animals if you want to be successful as a professional guardian of companion animals.  Harnessing that passion into profit requires a business model, a business name, permits and licenses (state specific), customer service and management tools, creative marketing and some grit and perseverance.


house sitting for dogs and cats

Before you rush to brand yourself on social media and drop flyers in pet-friendly establishments, research the competition in your local area. Determine what services you plan to offer and your rates. Consider your capabilities for dog walking, daily pet visits, overnight care (in your home or the client’s home) and the types of pets you’re most comfortable with. Many pets require medications and if diabetic, insulin injections.  Your rates may reflect an upcharge for specialty care.  It’s important to outline your policies so clients know what services you provide, the cost of each and any limitations that may apply.

Establish a budget for investment in equipment and supplies, marketing materials and the cost of a website. A website is an effective tool to advertise your services and rates while also highlighting your personality.

Building an on-line presence is important as your future clients are searching for services in your area, so a website and social media accounts will help them find you! Your content will help demonstrate your expertise and grow loyal followers.

Prudence dictates that you invest in pet sitter insurance, develop policies and procedures and craft a comprehensive client contract with appropriate liability waivers.

Training courses and educational materials will help set you apart from the competition while enhancing your own skills.  A Pet CPR & First Aid course is a must, as it could make the difference for an animal that becomes sick or injured on your watch.

We have created a free e-book that offers more tips and tools to growing your pet sitting business. You can download a copy on our home page:

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[i]Michelle Magna @ Forbes Advisor as published on 1/25/24 (Pet Owner Statistics)