- May 23, 2018
Six Pet-Sitting Sites To Inspire You To Start Your Own Business
The pet food industry alone is already a multi-billion dollar one, thanks to the growing awareness and compassion for the needs of our four-legged furry friends. Today, caring for pets has spawned a formidable conglomerate that covers pet supplies, veterinary care, animal grooming, gourmet food, pet fashion, and even last minute pet-sitting.
Many startups are now focusing on being temporary pet carers. You also have a chance to get a slice from this multi-billion dollar pie by starting your own pet-sitting business. I’ve discovered that pet-sitting is a great way to make money while interacting with cute animals.
To help you start your own business, I’ve rounded up half a dozen trustworthy pet-sitting sites to use as inspiration, or as places to get jobs. These companies have services ranging from pet boarding to dog-walking, and just about anything that covers a furbaby’s needs while the owner is away.
I added unique takeaways from each to inspire you for your own venture. If you are or want to be in the business of pet-sitting in the future, these would be great pegs and resources for it as well.
PetBacker’s menu of services include dog and cat boarding, pet sitting, dog walking, pet taxi (pick-up and drop-off), grooming, and veterinary needs. Available on both the App Store and on Google Play, PetBacker offers its services for free, including price estimates, reviews, and chats with potential dog walkers or pet-sitters. You simply need to make a request, get matched with a sitter, then book, pay, and schedule a meeting.
A good takeaway from this business? Covered by a premium insurance, PetBacker also boasts a reservation guarantee that covers even last-minute cancellations. They are especially proud of having sitters that pass stringent background checks, and have been reviewed by other clients who have booked them before.
I personally found the website of Fetch! very enjoyable and informative because right away, it launches a video showcasing the quality and array of services they offer (also, the cats and dogs look very happy being walked, played with, and fed!). Assistance offered range from dog walking, pet sitting, overnight visits, and specialty services (including puppy/kitten and senior care).
What makes Fetch! Unique? They promise three things for their clients: peace of mind, convenience, and satisfaction guaranteed. With its tagline “We’ve got your tail covered!”, this site has a 24/7 booking service, experienced staff, client satisfaction surveys, pet insurance, backup walkers and sitters, text, email, and phone call updates, free in-home consultations, and glowing reviews to convince you to pick them.
It’s not fair that when you go on a vacation where pets aren’t allowed that they should be left all alone at home. DogVacay wants to remedy this by offering a cozy home (yours or the sitter’s - your pick) for your beloved pooch while you’re away. They welcome every type of dog, from puppies to seniors, through to special-needs ones.
A stand-out feature of DogVacay is that they offer pet insurance and additional home insurance if you choose to have a sitter in your own house. Boasting of a coverage of 10,000 cities across the USA and Canada, DogVacay has even bigger resources for both clients and job-seekers, easier booking, and better 24/7 customer support.
But please note: DogVacay is merging with Rover and current and future bookings will be migrated to the Rover site after June 12, when the DogVacay site gets retired.
Pawshake offers home dog boarding, doggy day care, dog walking, home visits, cat sitting, and even house sitting services in over 19 countries (unfortunately, not in the USA...yet). The site is aptly named after that magical moment when a dog and a potential sitter meet for the first time, and the former raises its paw to have the latter shake it in a friendly gesture of trust.
If you want to add a personal touch in your pet-sitting business, do what this service does. Pawshake aims for the perfect fit between pet and sitter. They do this by sharing client reviews with headshots of the sitters, and compatibility factors that include photos, descriptions, expertise and history, plus verification (all sitters are registered on the site) of both the pet and the sitter.
If you’re interested in the pet-sitting business, Pawshake also has great resources for you, including blog tips on how to sell yourself as a pet-sitter, knowing how to act in a pet meet-and-greet, and dealing with cheeky cat behavior!
5. Trusted House Sitters
By its name alone, Trusted House Sitters aims to be a service provider built on trust. The site has a description that goes “Helping pet lovers travel; keeping pets happy at home, sitters stay for free & owners travel without worry.” Potential clients or sitters can sign up on the site for an annual membership fee, then swap free accommodations while pets and the house get cared for when the owner needs to travel.
It’s Trusted House Sitters’ belief that pets are quicker to adapt to a new carer than to a new environment, hence the pet/house-sitting concept. It’s a setup that definitely relies on a lot of trust for both parties. The site underlines this reliability with 5-star member ratings, verifications using criminal background checks, ID document cross-checks, and global identity checks. If you are trustworthy and don’t mind the strict background checks, then you’d be a shoo-in as a pet sitter for them.
WIth a slightly different take on the entire pet-sitting service concept, Care throws in senior caregiving, nanny and babysitting services, tutorials, housekeeping, and child care in the mix. And why not? Everyone at home is a family member, be it an elderly dog owner who needs both caregiving and a helping hand to make sure his puppy gets to play in the dog park everyday, or a busy mom who needs someone else to help her look after both the kids and the pets at home.
You can browse the site for the kind of carer you can be for someone else’s home, with drop-down menus for specific caregiving needs for children, seniors, pets, home, and military families. Care has been around for over a decade now. It’s a service that truly believes in the basic human (and pet!) need of caring for each other.
For my own pet-sitting business to be legit, I have several main takeaways from this list:
- get good pet insurance
- aim for client satisfaction
- have 24-hour customer support
- closely match sitters to pets
- earn the clients’ (and pets’) trust
- have a good website (and maybe an app)
- throw in some extra services
Do you prefer your own pet-sitting services to have a wide coverage, or be a specialized, local one that’s recommended by family and friends? If you have any suggestions and recommendations for a pet-sitting business, I would love to hear all about them!