The holidays are a great time to consider starting a pet sitting business. People are traveling, maybe they are hosting guests that aren't so fond of Fido. Many pet parents prefer one-on-one sitting as opposed to boarding. That opens the door for an extremely flexible and rewarding home business opportunity.
Today we are sitting down with Sarah Kresl, a sitter for Rover.com. This is a great site that connects pet sitters with owners and handles a few necessities like insurance, payments and marketing.
What made you decide to sign up with the company?
My sister is a Rover sitter in Washington State, and I was interested in the photos she was posting. I set up a profile and received a request to sit for a chihuahua. It was a blast watching this dog for an afternoon. The rest is history and I am still taking stays over a year later. It is a fun and awesome way to spend my free time and set aside additional funds for my special occasions or surprise expenses.
How much money were you able to save/make to put towards your holiday shopping goals?
I made about $250 in the first several months that I was with the company. The nice part is that the money is put into an account on the site and you can request to have the money taken out at any time you choose. I already have a full time job that pays my bills, so I was able to save my Rover money for holiday gifts. Before I started with Rover, I started putting money away every week from about the beginning of June until Christmas. I didn't have to do that with Rover and I made enough to cover the majority of my holiday gift shopping because of it.
What are your best tips for those wanting to take a similar route?
Research the average cost for a stay in the area you live. You want to make sure that you are approachable so that potential clients can contact you. The website provides you with several questions to help you build your profile. The more thorough answers you give, the better chance you have of being contacted. Utilize the texting and email function: the quicker you are able to respond to a request, the higher you are ranked when people search in your area. Last but not least, if you treat this as a business and act professional when meeting your clients and taking care of their pets, it is likely that they will use you again. Repeat business is how I have been able to do this on a more regular basis.
How can others get started? What’s the application process like?
If you go to Rover.com/become-a-sitter, you can set up a profile. Including a detailed profile description, uploading photos, and getting testimonials from someone who can highlight your love of dogs is important. Once you are finished and submit it, it is reviewed by a Rover employee who will accept or deny your request. Creating a profile is not difficult, however how you present yourself will determine the success you will have. Also, you have the option to select whether you will invite a dog to come stay with you or are willing to travel and stay in clients' homes. I am not allowed to have a dog in the house I am renting, so I travel and get the pleasure of having multiple dogs across southeastern Wisconsin through my Rover business.
I love the people and the furry friends I have met during my time with Rover. It takes dedication and a lot of time to take care of the dogs you are watching and it should be taken seriously. My stays have ranged from a single Doberman to a 5 dog pack. They each have their challenges and their specific personalities, but I have so much fun and memories from every one of my stays.
Follow-Up Notes from The Work at Home Wife
It's free to sign up with Rover. The site keeps 15% of your earnings to cover administrative costs and the insurance that goes into effect when you are on a job. Payment is held for 48 hours after you complete a sit, after that time you can request payment at any time by PayPal or check.
Have you picked up extra cash as a pet sitter? Tell us about it in the comments.