On the Job as a Pet Sitter

What can you expect on the job as a pet sitter? You’ve made all your preparations, got your business set up, found insurance coverage, and maybe taken a pet first aid course. Even the first meet-and-greet is behind you. You’ve bought extra supplies and have all your contact info and keys in hand. You are now officially a pet sitter!

And now you’re out there. Alone but excited. The one thing we can tell you for certain is, today’s visits will never be the same as tomorrow’s or the following day’s…or any other’s in your life as a pet sitter. Every time you open someone’s door, you’re in for a new experience. Because just like humans, other animals have good days and bad ones, pains and aches, nerves and excitement, joy, fear, and boundless love.

[To help you decide if pet sitting is the career for you, choosing your company name, getting started with your first phone call and meet-and-greet, and other start-up and business growth information, have a look at our Business & Marketing section.]

What You’ll Find in Our “On the Job as a Pet Sitter” Section

Here we have loads of article on what to expect – and suggestions on what to do – while you’re on the job pet sitting. We’re continually updating this page to reflect new articles added to the blog, so please check back often.

First Pet Sits

You might want to start with the basics…your first pet sit. Always remember, you are a stranger coming into the animals’ home. Despite having met you with their humans, when they’re alone, animals feel the weight of their job to protect the family home. Help your new friends balance their duty with their nerves by being respectful. Our “You’ve Arrived” series walks you through a few scenarios:

You’ve Arrived – What’s Next Pet Sitter? Part 1 – Cats

You’ve Arrived…at Your First Small Animal Pet Sit – Part 2

You’ve Arrived…at Your First Dog Sit – Part 3

You’ve Arrived…at Your First Vacation Pet Sit – Part 4




Nervous Animals

Some dogs and even cats are very nervous when you arrive the first time. Never assume that just because the animal was friendly during the meet-and-greet that they’ll be happy to see you alone. Learn the signs of happy barking or a nervous warning to avoid an unpleasant outcome for you both.

First Pet Sits with a Nervous Dog – Part 1

First Pet Sits with a Nervous Dog – Part 2

Cat Pet Sitting

Aside from no walking needed, cats have different needs than dogs. Your care and responsibilities are similar but not the same. Cat sitting is a popular stand-alone business for people who adore cats, those who don’t want to look after dogs or who are unable to manage big dogs but still want to spend time caring for lots of animals.

Cat Sitting Visits

You’ve Arrived – What’s Next Pet Sitter? Part 1 – Cats

Never Feed Your Cat or Dog these Foods!

Everyday Pet Sitting

The schedule, the animals, even your lunch menu might be the same from day-to-day…but everyday pet sitting holds something new for you to learn or experience…every day.

12 Hazardous Conditions for Exploring Dogs

Doggy Play Days (not every visit should be a walk)

Checking Departure and Arrival Times of Pet Owners

Teach Confidence to the Dogs and Cats You Look After

Make the Most of Your Pet Sitting Notes

Introducing New Dogs to Your Boarders

Older Dogs – Giving Them Quality Pet Sits

When the Pet Sits Don’t Go As Planned

Routines for Pets – While at Home or Boarding

Surviving the Holiday Crazies

The One-Handed Poo-Bag Tie-Up (A light-hearted look at a recent close encounter of mine!)

Pet Poop Pick-Up (The “Flinger” is a tempting but not always viable option, by the way!)



Vacation House Checks

You already keep an eye on your client’s home when you look after their animals during a pet sit…so why not incorporate house visits alone into your schedule?

Double-Duty…Pet Sitters and Vacation House Checks. Parameters

Double-Duty…Making the Vacation House Check – Outdoors

Double-Duty…Making the Vacation House Check – Indoors

You’ve Arrived…at Your First Vacation Pet Sit – Part 4 (vacations with pets)


The Weather

How the weather affects your job as a pet sitter as well as the animals’ safety is an important point to consider. Not all sitters plan this out sufficiently, especially if they set up shop during the spring or summer.

In icy conditions, put your safety first – “Stay Upright on Slippery Roads!”

Worried about the pups paws? Read, “Cold Paws in Freezing Temperatures.”

Is it too dangerous to drive but the client hasn’t cancelled? Maybe you should ask…

“Is Checking for a Pet Sitting Cancellation Rude?”

Look After Yourself - Pet Sitter

You’re no good to the animals or to you if you’re run-down, cranky, or ill! You need to look after yourself, too. And when you can’t work…have a contingency plan in place.

Pet Sitters…Take Time for Yourself

The “Too Hectic” Pet Sit

Contingency Plans for Pet Sitters

Living Life on the Edge – The Pet Sitter

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