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7 Vital Things You Need to Know Before Starting a Pet-sitting Business in the USA

Having an in-depth understanding of animal CPR and first aid is very essential to become a successful pet sitter.

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Guide to starting a pet-sitting business in the USA
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The requirements for starting a pet-sitting business in the USA are not as complicated as you may think they are. Time commitment is the first thing you should look at. Secondly, ask yourself, “Do I have love for pets?”

Here are the 7 vital things you need to know before you start that pet care service.

1. Who is a pet-sitter?

A pet sitter is an individual or company that visits people’s homes to care for their pets. Such services can be used when the owner goes on holiday or is away for a night.

Dog walking can also be a form of pet sitting. This type of service is commonly used by people who go out to work and want to ensure that their pets get the required exercise.

Pet-sitters’ responsibilities:

  • You are to feed the pet
  • Give them purified water
  • Give them medications as instructed by pet owners
  • Report behavioral issues
  • Play with pets to encourage mental and physical stimulation
  • Know animal behaviors and be adept at caring for all kinds of pets

A professional in this field is expected to be able to perform animal CPR.

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2. How popular is pet-sitting in the U.S.?

Pet-sitting is available globally.

North America has the single biggest market. And accounts for approximately a third of the world`s pet-sitting market.

As of 2021 the global market size was estimated to be USD 1.94 billion and it’s expected to expand over the years.

It means pet owners are spending more on the well-being of their pets. This has undoubtedly caused a huge increment in general expenses for animal care. 

Annual expenditure is expected to increase yearly according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA).

Pet parents in the U.S. spent USD 123.6 billion on their pet animals in 2021 and is likely to hit USD 143.6 billion by 2024.

In America alone, there are 77 million dogs, 58 million cats, and 8 million birds. It’s easy to carve a niche for yourself if you have a genuine love for pets.

As a matter of fact, anybody can venture into this line of business. But the most common ethnicity among pet sitters is White.

Which makes up 68.1% of all pet sitters. Comparatively 18.1% of them are Hispanic or Latino, and 6.4% of the rest are unknown. 

3. How do I become a pet sitter?

99% of pet-sitting businesses are independently owned, so to become one is just a matter of time and effort.

There are websites online you can actively use to expand your pet care knowledge.

You can search for Trusted House Sitters. This is a website that allows you to give pet care free of charge in exchange for experience. It’s one of the best ways to quickly grow your portfolio in the pet business.

One of the major criteria for becoming a pet sitter is your love for pets. You should be able to cuddle and play with them for a living. In addition, you should be able to socialize and interact with them.

Provide them with food & fresh water. And also pay detailed attention to any of their dietary or medical requirements.

While most pet sitters are self-employed. Some are also employed by local, regional & national pet-sitting businesses.

If you ask me, I will confidently tell you that there is no particular skill set to run this business. All you need is knowledge of animal behavior and must be a lover of all kinds of pets.

You’ll also need to deal with their loving and sometimes furious owners. Therefore good communication skills are also important.

Having an in-depth understanding of animal CPR and first aid is also very essential.

To round it all up, you have to have good business acumen since you’ll be running your own business. And you know what that means, it’s one of the surest ways to skyrocket your growth.

4. How much does pet-sitting cost per day

Rates vary depending on the type of services requested. Skill level, location, and years of experience are factors that determine how much you will be paid.

As of March 26, 2024, the average hourly pay for a pet sitter in the United States is $16.05 per hour. 

2 visits is the minimum for most pets per day. But in most cases, 3/4 visits are recommended if the pet needs proper attention. So imagine as a professional you are earning $23 per visit then multiply by the amount of time you visit in a day.

The cost of pet sitting is influenced by a variety of factors, such as where you live (New York or California).

For instance, if the client has a lot of pets, or if they are ill or old, the standard price may easily increase. If they are young and are still learning where to use the restroom, it will also cost extra since you are in charge of cleaning their mess.

In addition, expect to charge more on holidays since you are skipping your vacations to be on duty. The majority of pet sitters charge an extra fee.

5. Business insurance for pet-sitting

A strong risk management strategy is very essential when starting a pet-sitting business. If a client is not content with your service or a pet gets injured in your care you may be liable.

It’s important to have the right insurance coverage to protect yourself. Your clients and their pets are to be handled with care. It is normal to carry a form of pet insurance to help diminish any unforeseen risk.

The cost of this insurance can be determined by several factors. The level of coverage you need, the size of your business, and your location.

On average, it can cost anywhere from $250 to $500 per year. The cost of the policy is minimal, compared to the potential costs of an uninsured incident.

When choosing a pet sitting insurance. make sure the coverage includes both general liability insurance and bonding.

Ensure that the insurance company can answer your questions and will be there for you if you need any assistance. Read the policy carefully to understand any exclusions or limitations.

That way you won’t have to make a wrong choice. You can also go online and check the one that suits your needs.

6. Pet-sitting sites & apps you would need when starting your business in the United States

Would you like to get your pet-sitting jobs online? These are some of the best websites you can register to enable you to get connected with your potential clients.

1. Rover

Earning potential: $25-50 per night; $25-30 per hour

2. Wag

Earning potential: Up to $500 a month (sitting dogs 3x per week) On average, the cost of an overnight stay for one dog is $39-59. Each dog costs an additional $24 per night.

3. Care.com

Earning potential: $11-18/hour pet walking; $13-20/hour pet sitting

4. PetBacker

Earning potential: $20-40 per day (One to two 30-minute visits)

5. PetSitter.com

Earning potential: $10-20 per visit; $60 per night.

6. Fetch!

Earning potential: $18-25 per hour.

You can maximize your income by working with multiple apps. Line up several gigs each day, use multiple sites to spread your services and give yourself access to a greater volume of customers. 

7. Membership of pet sitters in the United States

As an individual or a team, joining a pet-sitting association is something you ought not to overlook. It allows you to gain access to the credentials. hence, continuous education, and community.

Being a part of an association also keeps you up to date with your industry trends.

Some of these pet sitters membership bodies are:

  • National Association of Professional Pet-sitters (NAPPS)
  • Pet Sitters International. (PSI)
  • United Pet Care. (UPC)

The list is endless.

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Conclusion

With what I have analyzed in this article, starting your own pet-sitting business shouldn’t be a hard nut to crack.

Here you now know who a pet sitter is and how to become one. I am sure you now have the idea of how big the market has grown, and how much you can make daily.

It’s now left to you to do your due diligence and act accordingly and the sky would be your limit as far as starting a pet-sitting business is concerned.

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Lawal Afeez is an SEO content writer and contributor at EntrepreneurBusinessBlog.com. You can connect with him via [email protected].

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