Many visitors to HouseSitMatch.com ask us how they can get on board, as either a pet homeowner or a pet housesitter. Most of the prospective housesitters have had dogs in their lives at one time or another and a remarkable number have been pet professionals sometime in their past. The most frequently asked question is I think I’d like to be a dogsitter, and perhaps travel as a dogsitter, how do I do that through your site? If you have always fancied a spot of dogsitting and perhaps want to find new forms of affordable travel read this blog for some great ideas.
How to become a dog sitter
Being a dog sitter is a great way to earn some extra money. If you are an animal lover, then what better way to spend your time! There are lots of people who work a lot or have other commitments and need someone to walk, feed and watch their dogs. You may also need to groom the dog, depending on the size of the dog or how sharp their nails are – you may want to wear protective clothing for this.
It may require you to travel around the country and stay at various people’s houses while they are away. This can also be good fun. Walking dogs could allow you to see lots of different places. You can research to find good walking spots or just walk around and see what you can find. Lots of walking trails should be signposted, but you should also keep an eye out for signs that tell you that you can’t walk there or can’t take a dog (familiarize yourself with them here mysafetysign).
What qualities do you need to become a dogsitter?
As a dog sitter, you need to have strong communication and interpersonal skills. The dogs’ owner will need to be able to trust you and you need to build up a good relationship with them. You will need to be patient; a client base comes with time.
As well as having a good understanding of dogs and their needs. You will also need to be prepared to go out in all weathers and have good physical fitness so that you can take them on lots of walks.
You will be responsible for the welfare of the dogs, so you need to be reliable, on time and passionate. And above all you must love dogs to become a dogsitter.
Do you have qualifications and experience?
No specific qualifications or experience is needed. However, clients will want to see that you have experience with dogs, perhaps you have had your own. Another way to gain experience could be to volunteer at your local animal shelter.
Furthermore, you can do specific courses in things such as first aid for dogs or dog grooming, which will show your commitment and make you stand out from the crowd. As you gain some experience you could also learn to train dogs – this could be one way for you to progress.
You may also need to be able to drive and have your own car.
Being legitimate and credible
If you are becoming a dog walker you should also get a DBS which is a background check which you can give to clients.
You should also get public liability insurance. This will protect you in case anything goes wrong while you are working, or anyone tries to make a claim against you.
There are many places online that you can advertise your services. Utilize social media channels as well as specific dog sitting websites such as Pet Sitters USA. Get testimonials from people you have worked with and consider taking a video of you with a dog. People like to feel like they know you before they hire you to look after their dog.
Travel as a dogsitter
If you have always wanted to see new places and enjoy travel you can exchange your time and services by joining a network like HouseSitMatch which will enable you to travel as a dogsitter. On our network you need to join as a paying member and get checked, this is important to inspire confidence in you as a trusted dogsitter when you travel around the world. Then you build a profile and offer your experience and references as a dogsitter. We can help you to build your profile and optimise your chances of travelling the world by dogsitting and housesitting.
Becoming a dogsitter has many advantages if you love dogs. It enables you to either earn a living doing something you love dearly and for which you are qualified, but it also allows you the opportunity to travel in your own country or much further afield by house and petsitting around the world in exchange for free accommodation. it’s a great life. Become a dogsitter today!