Did you know that most people who dog or cat sit, or do dog walking, enjoy it so much that they pursue it as a career? If you decide to go the professional route, then Simple Puppy can help you to not only find clients but provide the support you need to maintain a rewarding pet sitting or dog walking business. But there can be a lot to learn when getting started. For one, you may be wondering if you should be providing the supplies, or does the pet parent provide the supplies?
Have a Clear Contract
Your pet services contract should be clear about what exactly you do or don’t do. This includes feeding, providing treats, and even giving medications and supplements. Most pet parents will supply you with food, cat litter, treats, medication, and bags. Remember that if you provide some items, that you need to cover your costs in your pet sitting or pet walking services.
Learn What Is & Isn’t Allowed
Some dogs and cats are on special diets due to illness or weight management programs. Some pets also have allergies. While there is pet sitting and dog walking insurance to cover the pet if they get sick, it’s important to follow strict meal plans to avoid that distressing situation of having to call a pet parent to notify them that their pet is at the veterinary clinic.
Dog owners may also be strict about giving treats to their dogs. They may be happy if you provide a treat or two to enforce doggy training, or to get them to return to you quickly if off-leash. Again, some dogs may be on special diets, so if the dog owner provides dog treats, then use what they have provided.
Keep Waste Disposal Bags Handy
Even if your client is supposed to provide waste disposal baggies for their dog, ensure you have a few on hand, just in case. They do get used up and people do get busy and forget to buy new ones from the store. Some dog walking parks may also offer free bags, but there are no guarantees that there will be any left when you arrive. Most cities have bylaws where you must scoop up doggy waste and dispose of it in provided waste bins. You don’t want to have to do that with your fingers if you’ve forgotten the bags!
There are many different types of pet parents. Some want to micromanage every aspect of your pet sitting or walking services. Others will be happy to leave it to your discretion where you’ll go dog walking, or how much food you’ll provide on a daily basis. Sometimes the dog will even notify you when it’s time to go for a walk, or for a meal.
Providing dog walking and pet sitting services can be highly rewarding, but be sure to have all services clearly written out prior to your client providing you the keys to their home.