Becoming a Pet Sitter Is the Perfect Side Gig for Animal Lovers

Does getting paid to cuddle cats and walk dogs sound like a dream job?

If so, pet sitting might be the perfect side hustle for you.

If you love animals and need some extra cash, consider watching other people’s pets. It’s a relatively easy and flexible gig, and several websites can help you market your services and find clients.

Pet sitting isn’t all puppy kisses and kitten snuggles, though. You’ll need to be responsible, prompt and good with people as well as pets.

Here’s what it takes to become a pet sitter.

Saint, a golden retriever puppy, gets belly scratches from his pet sitter Lisa Peddicord during her visit with the puppy. The veterinary technician pet-sits for Tails and Trails as a side gig. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

What Does a Pet Sitter Do?

Though snuggling furry friends is a major perk of pet sitting, it does involve other responsibilities.

Pet sitting services might involve:

  • Walking dogs. (Bet you saw that one coming.)
  • Administering medication.
  • Cleaning out litter boxes or cages.
  • Making sure animals have food and water. You’ll want to discuss any feeding schedules or dietary restrictions with the owner beforehand.

Pet sitting can take place in your home or the client’s home, either as quick visits or overnight stays.

What Makes a Good Pet Sitter?

Even if the responsibilities sound manageable, you’ll still want to make sure you’re up for taking care of a client’s animals.

  • Be a good communicator. As a pet sitter, you’ll spend a lot of time talking to the pet owners. You’ll have to listen to them on each pet’s needs and schedule, and they’ll probably want regular updates.
  • Have good time management. Depending on how busy you are, you might be juggling a lot of clients. You’ll want to get to each job on time and have plenty of time to take care of any tasks.
  • Be understanding. Each animal you interact with will have a different personality. Some animals don’t interact well with strangers and some…

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