Is pet sitting a good job? Do companies only cater to dogs and cats, or are there sitters for exotic animals? How do I start?

This is directed at people who are or have been pet sitters, or have hired pet sitters in the past. If you aren't any of those please don't answer.

I'm a college student and I love animals more than people and even life itself.

I've worked with animals before, done extensive research on a variety of breeds and species, and have had animals all my life. My area of knowledge covers common pets like dogs and cats, as well as less common pets like: rabbits, fresh water fish, hamsters, guinea pigs, rats, mice, etc... and even exotics like: salt water fish, exotic birds, colubrids, constrictors, monitor lizards, blue tongue skinks, bearded dragons, tarantulas, forest scorpions, hissing cockroaches, and much more. I fear no animal alive.

I have been bitten, jumped on, scratched, strung, and pissed on, on such a multitude of occasions that the prospect of that happening doesn't bother me.

I'll tenderly mention I worked at a pet store, for two years and I was the best person they had (they made sure I knew). I liked that job but left because they refused me a raise, and refused to let me work full time.

I understand that every animal is unique in personality regardless of species, and I know how to read their behavior.

I've looked into the career understand that I need to get bonded and insured but I haven't the slightest clue how to do that or where to even start. I know certifications also help but I don't know where to get those. Direction and advice would be great.

Update:

Also what are the general pros and cons of the job, what do pet sitters make starting out, will they even consider hiring a college student, and are there companies to stick with or defiantly avoid (for this I will add that I live on the east coast of the USA)?

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  • Anonymous
    4 months ago
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    Best advice is to take is starting a small business course and you can learn about all the forms and everything you have to worry about for taxes and keeping records or what have to do, they will also cover licensing, bonding, hoe to apply and where to apply etc.

    This type of work you also have to be very good at times scheduling both with a client as well as yourself and allowing enough transportation time between clients as well as having an emergency back up in case something were to happen to you like you break a leg or an arm can’t make it that day, for somebody to be able to take over for you. Not all jobs will allow that or you just to call in sick or day your going to be several hours late, this is one of those you need to be on time and where you say you will be. You also must have good communications with your clients at all times. I did this type of work for several years full-time at first and part time for about 15 years after.

    What you end up charging the client all depends on what they have you do - some jobs was just housesitting some were live in with light housekeeping like vacuuming and dusting taking care of the dogs, water in the plants, while others are just dog walking and some more poop patrol. Whatever they needed I tried to oblige and fill-in.

    If you have an excellent service where it will eventually spread that you’re good and reputable - if you give bad service just to one person that will spread like wild fire and you won’t be able to get hired by anybody for a while. Unfortunately this is the type of job where you cannot just call in because you feel bad that day or you’re running a slight temperature you still have to go to work because the dogs and cats still need to be fed and they still need to go outside. The clients house still need that mail brought in and the lawn picked up. You need to be a prompt individual good worth ethic ethic’s and I suggest that this would be a good job for you - you also have to love the animals that you’re working with or you won’t last to long if you hate being around them and dealing with the hair, slobber etc.

    How I got started for client is I had a sign up with my phone number on it with a little tags that people could tear off and it had what type of plants and what type animals that I had experience with everything from fish to iguanas dogs and cats, horses to goats I also did housesitting and pet sitting alone. I started with just at two or three clients and it grew into a full time job, most of my clients were spread by word of mouth.

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