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The holiday season is upon us. For some people that means visiting family or hosting dinners and parties. Other people make an escape to somewhere peaceful and relaxing. Then there’s the pet sitter. If any of your clients are doing any of the above things…you might get a call.

Two years ago we were the first on our street to venture out Christmas morning. It was cold and crisp and the snow sparkled where people had left on their Christmas lights the night before. A few indoor lights were on in houses where kids couldn’t wait to get up…because it was 7:00 a.m. and any rational person would still be in bed. Unless you had two homes to visit to see dogs.

We were back out at noon, and dinner, and bed that year too. I made a quick meal and we ate on the run. We tried to keep a positive outlook but it wasn’t much fun as far as Christmas Days go. On any other day we wouldn’t have thought twice. The fact is…if we wanted the two-week vacation job, we had to be there for Christmas too. The dogs still needed to eat and pee and go for a walk.

The Holidays are Work Days for Pet Sitters!

If you’re a pet sitter, the holidays are your busy times so either decide right up front you’re not available for them, and let your clients know in advance…or get into the holiday spirit and enjoy making the day special for the dogs and cats too.

During the holidays (March Break too), you’ll find your schedule filling up differently, which allows you to book more people. Generally through the year the lunch period is busy while people are at work. During vacation time, you’re needed at the other three busy times of the day…morning, early dinner, and bed. Sometimes you’ll have extra lunch visits to tack on when people make day trips with the kids and the dog will be left a long time.

It’s important to give your appointment book a good hard look at these times. Just because you have white spaces in there doesn’t mean you have to fill them. You’ll burn out. A week is about as long as you can keep doing a crazy pace. We had 76 calls one March Break. There are two of us and we were still tired.

Other years, just when you’re geared up for business…no one wants you. Enjoy the rest. The tide changes with the tinkle of your cell phone. This year we’ve been building our boarding business, too. We just take dogs from one family at a time (a topic for another post), but we’re booked with two or three dogs through December and into the first part of January. Then the winter vacations start.

Holiday times are not the time for you as a pet sitter to catch up on your sleep. You’ll have time enough to do that in…actually…you probably won’t have time. You have to force a little time to yourself. We’ll talk about that another day too.

Until then…have fun out there!