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How to Start a Pet-Sitting Business

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Updated on Dec 9, 2011

Does your child love caring for animals and want to make some extra cash during holidays and vacations? Encourage him to practice his business skills with these tips for a young entrepreneur!

Pick the Pets

Families may have various kinds of pets that extend beyond the standard cat or dog. Your child might be asked to care for a pet snake, rat, guinea pig, hamster, fish or other exotic pets, so he should consider what kinds of animals that he feels comfortable taking care of.

What to Charge

Your child can choose between an hourly rate or flat fee for his pet-sitting services, and vary the rates depending on the type of pet. A fish is usually less work than a cat, which is less work than a dog. Help your child gain a sense of the market by researching other pet-sitting businesses and their rates.

Availability

Help your child determine what hours and days he is available to offer pet-sitting services. Remind him to leave some time for his homework, chores and other commitments and hobbies so he doesn’t become over-scheduled.

Neighborhoods

Your child may want to limit his pet-sitting services to certain neighborhoods that he’s familiar with, or most convenient. If he is going into empty homes, consider safety issues and whether a parent would be available to drive and accompany him to his duties.

Advertise

Now your child can use his artistic talent to create posters and flyers advertising his pet-sitting business. He should include his name, phone number or email contact information. He should mention what kind of pets he can watch, his fees, his available hours and which neighborhoods he can work in. He might also enjoy making business cards. There’s no need to give out your child’s home address, so it’s best to keep that information private.

Promote

Help your child hang his posters and distribute flyers and business cards to neighbors. Check to see if your local veterinarian’s office, pet shop or your school has a community bulletin. You could also use social media to get the word out.

Ready, Pet, Go

Help your child to track his job schedule on a calendar, and designate a safe place for keeping his clients’ keys if they give him one. Now for the fun part! As he continues taking care of animals, he’ll progressively improve at it, figuring out what works and what doesn’t.

Pet-sitting is a great first job for kids who love animals, and can be a profitable way to earn money during the holidays!

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