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What does a pet sitter really do?

Many people think that pet sitting is just walking in to people’s homes and playing with cute puppies and kittens all day while making sure they are fed and have water and clean liter.

“What a great and easy job that must be!” I hear all of the time.

While it is true that, in my opinion, I have the greatest career on earth; being a professional pet sitter is not for the kid next door.

Professional pet sitting is a 365 day (366 days on leap year) job. You have clients that need you while they are at work during the week, out with friends in the evenings and on vacation during the weekends and holidays.

The typical daily schedule for a professional pet sitter starts at 6:30 or 7am where we go out for morning visits for a few hours, come home for an hour and then go out for several more hours to do afternoon dog walks and visits. We typically have a few hours (between 4pm and 6pm) to have dinner and relax for a few minutes and then we are back out from about 6:30 to 9:30.

During the hours that we are pet sitting we are dealing with some nervous, anxious or shy animals who not always want us around. We are cleaning up pee, poop and throw up accidents and we also need to clean up after the occasional “redecorating” that some dogs decide to do.

We have to be able to handle security systems for people’s homes (and know how to deal with the  police when we accidentally set them off). We have to react quickly to an emergency if a pet is sick or there is flooding, heating/cooling or electrical problems in the house while we are there.

All while answering phones calls, emails and texts from both existing clients and potential clients!

Being a professional pet sitter is not for people who “just love to be around animals”. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication but it is worth it.

Even though the job can be stressful, there are always wagging tails waiting for you at the door. Not a day goes by where you don’t get to walk in to a home with a pet that is so excited to see you and can’t wait to go on a walk, play or snuggle with you. They are never in a bad mood and the only care in the world they have is to be with you.

Not to mention how wonderful it feels when a client tells you how much they appreciate all of the work you do and how valuable your services  are to them. My personal favorite is when I client calls me when they return home from a trip, just to tell me how happy and calm their pets were when they arrived home. That means that all of the hard work I put in, has paid off.

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