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

Does earning money to snuggle felines and stroll pets seem like a dream task?

If so, animal sitting may be the ideal side hustle for you.

If you enjoy animals and require some additional money, think about enjoying other individuals’s family pets. It’s a reasonably simple and versatile gig, and numerous sites can assist you market your services and discover customers.

Pet sitting isn’t all puppy kisses and kittycat snuggles, however. You’ll require to be accountable, timely and excellent with individuals along with family pets.

Here’s what it requires to end up being a family pet caretaker.

Saint, a golden retriever pup, gets tummy scratches from his animal caretaker Lisa Peddicord throughout her see with the pup.The veterinary service technician pet-sits for Tails and Trails as a side gig. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

What Does a Pet Sitter Do?

Though cuddling furry good friends is a significant perk of animal sitting, it does include other duties.

Pet sitting services may include:

  • Walking pets. (Bet you saw that a person coming.)
  • Administering medication.
  • Cleaning out litter boxes or cages.
  • Making sure animals have food and water. You’ll wish to talk about any feeding schedules or dietary limitations with the owner ahead of time.

Pet sitting can occur in your house or the customer’s house, either as fast check outs or over night stays.

What Makes a Good Pet Sitter?

Even if the duties sound workable, you’ll still wish to ensure you’re up for looking after a customer’s animals.

  • Be a great communicator. As a family pet caretaker, you’ll invest a great deal of time speaking with the animal owners. You’ll need to listen to them on each animal’s requirements and schedule, and they’ll most likely desire routine updates.
  • Have great time management. Depending on how hectic you are, you may be managing a great deal of customers. You’ll wish to get to each task on time and have lots of time to look after any jobs.
  • Be understanding. Each animal you engage with will have a various character. Some animals don’t engage well with complete strangers and some will wish to get on you as quickly as you stroll in the door.
  • Don’t hesitate of getting filthy. You’re going to handle poop eventually. You may need to offer Fido a bath after he discovers a mud puddle on your walk. Embrace the turmoil.

How Much Money Will You Make?

The quantity of cash you’ll make is mostly based on the rates you charge and services you use. Overnight boarding will be more work than a fast house see, however you can charge more. You can likewise charge more throughout vacations or if you’re taking care of numerous animals. A common house see rate can be anywhere from $20-30.

Unsure of what costs to set? Look for animal caretakers currently offered in your location and see what they’re charging.

If you’re brand-new to pet sitting, you can likewise begin at lower costs and increase them as you get customers and experience.

A woman trains a golden retriever puppy.
Peddicord trains Saint throughout her 30-minute check out to a St. Petersburg, Fla., customer’s house. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

How Do You Become a Pet Sitter?

As a family pet caretaker, you can set out by yourself or register with recognized sites. Either alternative permits you to set your own pay rates and work schedule.

And each has its advantages and disadvantages. Third-celebration websites will take a cut of your earnings, for instance, however these services might conserve you a great deal of energy and time marketing yourself.

Starting Your Own Service

If you’d rather put in the legwork yourself and keep all your earnings, here are some things you can do to bring in customers. The disadvantage? You’ll need to pay the expenses of running your own company.

1. Get Relevant Experience

If you’re a family pet enthusiast however don’t have a background in a pet-related company, that’s okay. You can get pet sitting experience by using the service free of charge to family and friends.

Even if you’re simply starting, don’t hesitate to publish your services on social networks. Advertise in your regional garage sale groups.

You can likewise get experience and aid pets in requirement of attention by offering to stroll pets at an animal shelter.

2. Decide on Your Services

As you get experience, you’ll get a basic concept of what kind of services you wish to use. Maybe you’ll restrict your company to felines and pets. Or perhaps you’re up for taking care of anything from horses to hamsters, too.

Are you happy to stroll numerous pets? Can you take a family pet to the veterinarian if asked? Do you desire type or size limitations? These and other concerns will show up as you start your animal sitting services.

You’ll likewise wish to stockpile on any products you might require and what rates you wish to set, depending upon what you’re using.

3. Get Certified

Set yourself apart from the typical animal enthusiast by getting a Professional Pet Sitter Certification. You can do this through various companies, such as Pet Sitters International (PSI) or the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS). The courses and tests cover crucial info for animal caretakers and legitimize your company, however these accreditations can cost $200 or more.

Cheaper choices are offered, including this accreditation course by for simply $45.

4. Get Insured

Anything can occur when you’re running your own company, so pet insurance coverage is a fantastic method to safeguard yourself and your customers. You can get basic liability insurance coverage for less than $200 each year from business like Pet Care Insurance or Pet Sitters Association.

5. Learn Pet First Aid

Give yourself and your customers assurance with a family pet emergency treatment accreditation. These classes cover how to take care of felines and pets by inspecting important indications, taking care of injuries or seizures and other medical emergency situations. The American Red Cross uses a standard online course for $25. You can discover more substantial courses through companies like Pet Emergency Education and Pet Sitters International, however those choices expense more.

Becoming accredited in emergency treatment for family pets is likewise a great concept if you intend on ending up being a family pet caretaker through an existing site.

A woman pets two whippet dogs
Whippet pets Cooper and Allie greet Diana Sanchez as she gets to their house for her 30-minute see. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Using a Pet Sitting Website

If you’d rather discover tasks through a recognized source or simply desire a side gig, you can utilize canine sitting sites. It will make discovering tasks simpler and it can be more affordable than going it by yourself, though you’ll still need to pay costs.

1. Rover

One of the most popular animal sitting sites is Rover. Rover permits caretakers to select their own schedule, services and costs. Services you can use through Rover consist of animal boarding, canine walking, doggy day care, home sitting and drop-in check outs.

You can likewise set choices on the qualities of animals you take, such as size and age. Payments are all set for withdrawal after 2 days. However, Rover has a $35 profile evaluation charge when you begin and they take 20% from your task revenues.

Before you can begin, Rover will take 10-20 days to authorize your profile and you’ll likewise be needed to pass a background check.

2. Wag!

Wag! is another popular site for animal caretakers, with over 400,000 caretakers presently on the service. Like Rover, you can set your own schedule and costs.

When establishing your profile, you’ll be needed to offer 5 recommendations from good friends or household.

To offer services on Wag!, you’ll need to send an application and be authorized, which takes 2 week typically. You’ll require to pass a family pet care test and a background check. The background check is a one time charge of $39.95.

Wag! caretakers are paid through Stripe every Friday for the services done the previous week. Unfortunately, Wag’s service charge per task is quite high at 40%. You do keep all of your pointers.

3. Fetch! Pet Care

Unlike its rivals, at Fetch! Pet Care, you resolve a recognized Fetch! area, so long as one is offered. You’ll use and be spoken with by the regional owner. However, you’ll still be setting your own schedule.

With Fetch!, you’ll end up being acquainted with your customers and their family pets, as the business appoints main and backup caretakers to each customer. You’ll likewise be needed to keep a Pet Journal throughout your project.

Fetch! Sitters go through an extensive interview and background check to begin.


Though you most likely think about babysitting two-legged kids when you think about, the website likewise links fur children to pet caretakers. has 2 subscription levels. With a standard subscription, you’ll pay $18.99 each year for a background check and can just discover and use to tasks.

Premium subscriptions are $8.99 monthly and offer you very first access to tasks, greater ranking in search engine result and you’ll have the ability to see who has actually seen your profile. The background check charge is likewise waived.

When you established your profile, you’ll choose your schedule, accessibility and chosen per hour rate.

One of the benefits of is quick payment. The cash you make goes to your checking account within 24 hr.

Like the other sites, users are needed to pass a background check prior to they can take part in the website.

Contributor Jenna Limbach composes on monetary literacy and way of life subjects for The Penny Hoarder from her home in Nevada.


A news media journalist always on the go, I've been published in major publications including VICE, The Atlantic, and TIME.

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