Pet Sitter Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a pet sitter. Feel free to use our pet sitter job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a pet sitter.
Who is a Pet Sitter?
Pet sitting is the act of temporarily caring for someone else’s pet for a set period. It usually takes place in the pet owner’s residence, but it can also happen at the provider’s residence or a pet-sitting business or organization. Compared to boarding or kenneling, pet sitting provides a more personal and individualized level of care. Pet sitting normally does not necessitate specialized expertise. “The act of caring for a pet in its own house while the owner is gone” is how pet sitting is defined. Because it entails coming to the pet’s home to provide exercise and companionship, dog walking is also a type of pet sitting. Pet sitters differ from boarders and doggie daycares in that they care for pets at their clients’ homes. Pet sitters come to the pet house and offer a variety of services. Feeding, exercise, and company are the most important aspects of this. Clients are typically billed per visit, per day, or vacation, with additional rates for multiple pets, travel fees, and non-standard activities.
A pet sitter is someone who provides pet-sitting services to pet owners who are unable to care for their pets while they are away from home. Pet sitters can specialize in certain species, such as dogs or cats, or they can care for all animals, including birds, reptiles, and fish. Additional pet-related services, such as dog walking, may be available from these providers. Pet sitters might work for themselves or a pet-sitting company. To be effective as a pet sitter, you’ll need a variety of abilities. Trustworthiness, reliability, interpersonal skills, communication skills, a passion for animals, and flexibility are all qualities that successful pet sitters possess.
Pet sitters look after pets daily while their owners are away on vacation. They usually stay in the owner’s home so that the pets can stay in their accustomed surroundings. They may also provide basic tasks for the owner, such as collecting mail and vacuuming pet hair, in addition to caring for dogs. Some pet sitters only work with pet owners who have cats or dogs. Birds, fish, small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians are among the animals cared for by others. When clients are out of town, many pet sitters provide a regular dog walking service as well as pet sitting services on an as-needed basis. Some pet sitters recruit extra employees to expand their service area, improve the number of customers they can handle every week, and serve as a backup when they go on vacation or become ill. They can also make more money by starting a franchise and licensing pet-sitting services under their well-known brand name.
Services in the pet sitter’s home are not included in pet sitting services. This is referred to as “pet boarding.” Boarding a pet away from home usually necessitates a kennel license, city or county approval, and, in some counties, oversight by the local Department of Agriculture, which imposes regulations to assist maintain standards and prevent disease transmission. Pet sitters are not needed to get an occupational license in many places. Pet sitting providers frequently use the term “licensed” to refer to business licenses and/or animal transportation permits that are available within the business’s coverage area. Although licenses are not necessary for all places, they may be required in certain.
Pet Sitter Job Description
Below are the pet sitter job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a pet sitter job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
- Meet with pet owners to gather relevant animal care information and discuss pet care responsibilities.
- Provide food and fresh water for domestic animals.
- Track human customer information, including address, door or key codes, and emergency contact information.
- Administer medication to pets as directed by pet owners.
- Clean litter boxes, cages, and aquariums and change rodent litter.
- Exercise pets as needed, including the regular dog and walks.
- Groom pets as needed, including bathing, cleaning ears, brushing teeth and fur, and trimming nails.
- Keep pet owners regularly informed, contact them by phone or email, and send video clips and photos.
- Notify pet owners immediately of any illness or injury that may occur.
- Take pets to the vet for examination or vaccination.
- A high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) certificate is required.
- Work experience as a pet sitter for some time.
- Knowledge of animal behaviour.
- Animal CPR and first-aid skills are required.
- Ability to look after a variety of animals of diverse sizes and breeds.
- Outstanding problem-solving and organizational abilities.
- Customer service and communication abilities.
- An animal lover.
- Patience, dependability, and trustworthiness are required virtues.
The qualities that these professionals utilize to care for animals are known as pet sitters’ essential skills or fundamental competencies. To ensure that pets receive the proper food and medications, they exercise consistency and problem-solving. They also employ situational awareness to keep pets safe while out walking. Other pet sitter abilities include those that enable them to work with pet owners. They employ communication and empathy, for example, to comprehend particular instructions and reassure owners that their pets are in good health.
- Communication Skills: You can provide high-quality care to owners who are away from their dogs for long periods thanks to communication. At the start of every job, you can conduct effective communication. Ask questions to find out how long the owners will be gone, how often the pet eats, and what medications it takes. When the owner is gone, attempt to keep them informed about their pet’s behaviour. These updates reassure the owner that you’re doing your job and provide them with the opportunity to offer advice if the pet deviates from its usual routine. Nothing makes a pet owner happier than seeing their pet well-cared for. A smartphone is almost certainly in your possession. Every day, take at least one photo and send it to the pet parent. Make a phone call or send an email if possible. Always provide information about the pet to the owner, but do it in a way that does not cause them to become concerned, requiring them to return before they can complete their tasks.
- Organizational Abilities: Pet sitters may be responsible for more than one animal at a time, so staying organized is essential. You can keep track of which drugs and foods you give each animal by taking notes. Notes also assist you to recall when the owner returns and how often you should walk the pet. Consider making a calendar to guarantee you visit each house on time and connect with each owner regularly.
- Consistency: Many pet owners count on the pet sitter to keep their dog or cat on a regular schedule. This regularity can assist them in adjusting to your presence and maintaining their normal routine. For example, you might go home every day to walk the dog at the same hour. You could also pay the animal further visits to feed it, fill its water bowl, provide medication, and play with it.
- Obedience to community pet rules: To safeguard the public’s health, several cities have pet rules. Most towns, for example, require pet owners to pick up after their pets and walk them on public land with leashes. Most towns require pet owners to keep control of their animals if they are on private land. You, as a pet sitter, are responsible for following these rules to ensure the safety of community members and other pets.
- Flexibility: While pet sitters are known for sticking to schedules, they can profit from being adaptable. They may visit homes outside of usual business hours and care for pets in an emergency because of their flexibility. If a dog has a medical emergency, for example, the pet sitter can take them to the veterinarian and stay with them while they are treated. Flexibility also aids you in completing tasks other than caring for the animal. Many pet owners have their sitters pick up their mail, water their plants, and take out their trash for them.
- Physical fitness: Because pet sitting is a physically demanding job, it’s critical to stay fit. Walking in varied settings can be made easier with frequent aerobic training. You can ensure your pets get the right amount of exercise and stay healthy by being able to walk them even in hot weather. Weight training may also help you strengthen your muscles. This ability allows you to lift and guide large animals into boxes and transportation.
- knowledge of animal behaviour: Pet sitters typically work with a wide range of species and breeds. Basic animal behaviour information can assist you in considering standard personality features to make these critters feel at ease in your company. When initially meeting a dog, for example, you might keep your cool and respect their space. Putting them on a leash or washing them may become easier once you have earned their trust.
- Reliability: Pet owners prefer to choose sitters that have a track record of reliability. This ability enables you to be responsible with the owner’s keys, adhere to precise care instructions, and respect their property. Being dependable also entails having a vehicle with which to see the pet regularly. By providing recommendations from previous clients, you can gain the trust of potential clients. Maintain your trustworthiness when caring for a pet from the owner’s home. Don’t use something that wasn’t given to you. Even if the owner wants you to feel at ease, avoid looking around the house. Remember that you are a visitor at the house and should act accordingly. Close the door behind you to prevent the pet from fleeing or making excuses if an accident occurs.
- Patience: Patience can assist you in navigating stressful situations while also ensuring the animal’s well-being. A cat, for example, may knock over a lamp or relieve itself outside the litter box. You can accept that accidents happen and clean up the mess in a calm manner. Your actions may help the animal from becoming anxious and generating more mishaps.
- Basic animal first aid treatment: Heatstroke, water poisoning, and seizures are all ailments that pets can suffer from. Knowing how to handle these diseases and when to take your pet to the vet are important skills to have. Consider learning how to recognize the signs of various ailments, putting together a basic pet first-aid kit, and dressing wounds. You can also receive certification from the American Red Cross for formal pet CPR and first aid instruction.
- Marketing Skills: Some pet sitters work for a company, while others are self-employed. Pet sitters who work independently must advertise their services to find clients. Create a website, post on social media, and distribute business cards. To gain the trust of potential consumers, emphasize qualities such as dependability and understanding of pet first aid.
- Problem-solving Skills: While it’s crucial to keep in touch with the owner, it’s not always practical. Problem-solving abilities can assist you in being proactive and overcoming obstacles on your own. For example, after a walk, you might decide to bathe your dog. This action maintains the dog’s coat healthy and the owner’s home tidy.
- Decision-making Skills: You are in charge of making many decisions regarding your pet’s care because the owner is gone. You can either make these decisions yourself or use your judgment to choose when to notify the owner. When the pet suffers a medical emergency, for example, there may not be time to contact the owner. Taking the animal to the veterinarian will guarantee that they get the treatment they need as soon as possible.
- Empathy: Empathy enables pet sitters to give excellent customer service to their clients. For example, they send regular updates to the owner to reassure them that their pet is doing well. They might also know when to hold off on updating an owner so that they can enjoy their time away from home. Empathy also aids in the care of animals who are unable to speak for themselves. You can use your compassion for animals and your intuition to comfort them and recognize when they are ill.
How to Become a Pet Sitter
- Understand the Job Description of a Pet Sitter
You’re not only a temporary friend to your animal customers when you work as a pet sitter; you’re also their advocate. Instead of their owner, you’ll have to look after them daily. This could include giving prescriptions, grooming, scooping the litter box, creating homemade foods, exercising, cleaning cages, and a variety of other responsibilities. If a pet refuses to eat after being removed from its owner, you may need to hand-feed them or experiment with different attractive meals. In the event of an unforeseen event, such as distress, accident, or disease, strong problem-solving skills are required. If you’re not sure if pet sitting is the perfect employment for you, try pet sitting for close friends or family as a trial run.
- Examine your Animal-Related Knowledge and Abilities.
People who are just starting should, according to Stultz-Hairston, “Take stock of their current pet-care knowledge and expertise and make a list of areas where they need to brush up. Some people may believe they need more experience with large-breed dogs, or they may have never handled a cat. They can find virtual and hands-on instruction in specialized pet-care issues through training courses, online classes, and even volunteer opportunities (such as at a local animal shelter).” Certifications in pet CPR or first aid are also useful in the event of an emergency.
- Consider Earning Pet Sitting Certifications
You might also explore becoming a licensed pet sitter, which needs a particular level of knowledge to take the certification exam and ongoing education to keep your certification current. If you have no prior experience and want to become a pet sitter, this is a great place to start. The Certified Professional Pet Sitter certification is offered by the Pet Sitters’ Institute (PSI), and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters offers their certification. While certification isn’t required, including it on your CV will help you stand out among other pet sitters in your region. Joining a pet sitter association, such as PSI, can also allow you to reach out to more experienced pet sitters for advice on how they conduct their companies, price their services, and deal with problematic client situations. For the beginning, this can be a helpful source of information, saving you time and problems that might put a business on hold in its early stages.
- Decide a Great Business Name
This isn’t the most critical stage in becoming a pet sitter, but it’s a lot of fun. You’ll need to name your pet-sitting business. Some pet sitters just use their name as their company name, while others become more inventive. Look for ideas in the species you’ll be caring for, your surroundings, or simply wordplay.
- Endeavour to Have Insurance
Before accepting their first pet-sitting assignment, pet sitters should obtain pet-sitter liability insurance. Accidents can happen even to the most careful pet caregiver or dog walker. Comprehensive insurance protects the pet sitter and gives clients peace of mind that if something goes wrong, they will be covered. Pet sitters and their clients are both covered under insurance. If something happens that is out of one’s control, such as a dog jumping off a couch and breaking a leg, a pet owner will be faced with a very costly item. Insurance, on the other hand, provides an additional layer of security for your clients and allows you to truly identify as a professional.
- Create a Pet Sitting Agreement
Contracts and clearly stated standards and procedures are another way for a professional pet sitter to protect oneself. Pet sitters should make sure that all clients are aware of the services that will be offered, as well as the policies and procedures that will be followed and what is expected of them. The pet-sitting contract will spell out the services that will be performed, as well as any limitations and pertinent information about the clients’ pets and home-care requirements. You can make a contract with the help of a local attorney or buy one pre-made online. Even if you buy a pre-made template contract, it’s a good idea to have it reviewed by a local attorney to ensure it complies with local laws and regulations. Clients should also sign a veterinarian release form that you produced with the guidance of an attorney. This enables you to rush an animal to the vet if it needs quick attention and you are unable to contact its owners.
- Get Your Equipment Ready
Make sure you have everything you need. Extra leashes, collars, harnesses, doggie waste bags, snacks, and toys will be required. You should always keep a variety of treats on hand to meet varied dietary requirements, as well as different types of collars, such as Gentle Leaders and front clip harnesses, available for dogs that are stronger and pull more. It’s also a good idea to have a first-aid kit on hand, both for yourself and the dogs you’re caring for. You might also want to get t-shirts with your logo and company name on them, as this is a terrific way to advertise your services while also appearing professional to present and new consumers.
- Choose your pricing and payment options.
You’ll have to figure out not just how much to charge for your pet sitting services, but also how you’ll get paid. Setting yourself up to accept credit cards, for example, is simple and can be done through most banks or online suppliers like Stripe. Look at what other pet sitters in your region are charging to get an idea of what the prevailing fee is for your services. Pet sitting fees might vary greatly throughout the country, so be sure you’re setting prices that your local market will accept. Remember to factor in all of your expenses, such as petrol and supplies, when determining your prices. After all of your expenses are paid, your price should be structured to generate a profit.
Where to Work as a Pet Sitter
Veterinary hospitals employ pet sitters to provide veterinary services and assistantships to vet doctors. They are mostly self-employed and operate on a contract basis. Pet sitters, in other words, work either independently or as employees of a pet-sitting company. Pet sitters spend the majority of their time indoors, but they do occasionally venture outside to clean kennels and exercise animals. They travel a lot for their job, whether it’s to visit clients’ homes, accompany pets to medical and grooming appointments, or even carry pets back to their owners if they provide boarding services. As a result, a valid driver’s license is required. Pet sitting can be physically taxing work because you’ll be travelling from house to house and walking dogs, often multiple dogs at once, around neighbourhoods. Pet sitters are usually hired when their clients are out of town. As a result, pet sitters are frequently required to work nights, weekends, and overnight stays at clients’ houses. Pet sitters can work part-time or full-time, depending on their preferences and availability, as well as the demands of their clients. It also carries certain physical dangers, like bites, scratches, and zoonotic infections, as with most jobs that involve working with animals.
Pet Sitter Salary Scale
A Pet Sitter in Nigeria typically earns an average of 284,000 NGN monthly. Salaries range from 174,000 NGN to 470,000 NGN. This is the monthly average pay, which includes housing, transportation, and other amenities. In the United States, the average annual pay for a Pet Sitting Job is $30, 819. Pet sitters, on the other hand, charge $25 for a 30-minute visit, $20 to $30 per day, $45 to $75 per night, or $250 to $375 per week on average.