Congratulations! You’ve decided to try out dog sitting as a side hustle to achieve your goals. Of course, we hope your goals include paying off debt and living the life of your dreams! Regardless of what your goals are, we’ve compiled a list of the things we wish we knew when we were first starting out with dog sitting. This list will help you:
- Earn more money from the beginning.
- Avoid some common mistakes in dog sitting.
- Stand out from the crowd of other dog sitters out there.
- Always do a meet-and-greet with new clients. This is a time when new clients come by (to your home if that’s where you’ll be watching their dog) to meet you, introduce the dogs, and generally get an idea of whether you’re a good fit. Introduce the dogs one at a time if you have more than one, and make sure to answer any questions the owner may have, and give an overview of how you’ll care for their dog. We’ve occasionally made exceptions to this rule, but believe it is a good guideline.
- Ask these two important questions before accepting any booking. 1) Is your dog allergic to anything? 2) What challenges have you had in the past with your dog? These questions will reveal a lot about how you should handle the dog while he’s in your home. For example, should the dog be fed separately from other dogs? Should he be crated at night, because he tends to tear things up while the family is asleep?
- Don’t hesitate to decline a booking if you’re not comfortable with the dog during the meet-and-greet. We’ve only done this twice, so it shouldn’t be common. However, in-home dog sitting is intended to be a “home away from home” for the visiting dog. If they won’t be comfortable in your home, or you won’t be comfortable with them there, it’s better to defer to another sitter. For example, we suggested another nearby sitter for two very small miniature poodles who couldn’t stop shaking around our bigger dogs. They would have been fine, but we didn’t feel they would have a good experience.
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