Dog sitting
Dog sitting has proven to be a fun and well-paying side hustle for pet lovers. Vlada Karpovich/Pexels

When the pandemic hit, Kevin Liu, a 28-year-old from Texas, was laid off from his tech job for the third time. To diversify his income and ensure financial security, he turned to pet sitting. In June 2020, Liu joined Rover, a pet-sitting app that connects sitters with pet owners for a 20% booking fee.

Starting with a rate of $26 per day, Liu soon realised he needed to adjust his pricing and strategy to make the venture profitable. By raising his rates and ensuring quick responses to bookings, he managed to secure more clients, often staying in luxurious homes and looking after multiple pets simultaneously.

In 2022, Liu's most successful year, he earned $26,110 before taxes and fees from pet sitting, highlighting the potential of this side hustle. Now, he charges $170 per day, with clients often planning their holidays around his availability.

Despite returning to full-time work in the tech industry, Liu continues to pet sit, enjoying the passive income and the opportunity to help pet owners. His busiest periods are during the summer and festive seasons, and he often stays in high-end homes, providing a luxury service that includes pet care, home maintenance, and more.

Getting Started as a Pet Sitter

To excel as a pet sitter, certain skills and attributes are essential. Reliability is paramount as pet owners need to trust that you will show up on time and take good care of their pets. Experience with animals is crucial, as understanding pet behaviour and needs ensures you can handle various situations effectively. Good communication skills are also important, as keeping pet owners informed about their pet's well-being helps build trust and satisfaction. Patience and compassion are necessary since pets can be unpredictable, and handling them with care is vital.

One of the best ways to start pet sitting is by using the Rover app. Rover connects pet sitters with pet owners in their local area, facilitating agreements on the care needed for their pets. Here's a step-by-step guide to getting started:

  1. Sign Up on Rover: Download the Rover app or visit their website to create an account.
  2. Create a Profile: Include details about your experience with pets, the types of services you offer, and your availability. Adding photos and descriptions of your home (if you plan to host pets) can also attract more clients.
  3. Complete a Background Check: Rover may require a background check to ensure the safety and reliability of their sitters.
  4. Set Your Rates: Decide on your pricing based on the services you offer and local market rates.
  5. Start Connecting with Pet Owners: Once your profile is set up, you can start accepting requests from pet owners in your area.

Types of Pet Sitting Services

Pet sitting offers a range of services, allowing sitters to choose what best fits their schedule and preferences:

  • In-Home Sitting: Staying at the pet owner's home to provide care while they are away.
  • Home Visits: Checking in on the pet a few times a day to feed, walk, and play with them.
  • Dog Walking: Taking dogs for walks during the day, which is ideal for owners who work long hours.
  • Daycare Services: Looking after pets at your home during the day.
  • Overnight Boarding: Hosting pets at your home overnight.

Each type of service caters to different needs, giving sitters flexibility in how much or how little they want to work.

Salary Expectations for Pet Sitters

Pet sitting can be a lucrative side hustle. On average, pet sitters in the United States earn over $16 per hour, with some making up to $21 per hour. Rover user Hannibal D. exemplifies the potential earnings, reporting that he makes $1,000 each month from pet sitting.

Pet sitting is not only a fun and rewarding side hustle but also a profitable one. With platforms like Rover making it easier than ever to connect with pet owners, now is a great time to start. Whether you're looking to supplement your income or transition into full-time pet care, pet sitting offers a flexible and enjoyable path to financial stability.