Pet sitting is defined as "the act of caring for a pet in its own home while the owner is away." In some cases, pet sitting may also include caring for pets when the owner is home. There are important differences between a professional pet sitter and a hobby pet sitter. The term 'pet sitting' seems to originate from the US.
Pets stay in their own home environment and a pet sitter visits the home one or more times daily to provide pet care services, which may include feeding, providing fresh water, administering medications, walking dogs and poop scooping. Cats are especially well suited to pet sitting as they prefer to stay in their own home environment. Many dogs are also suited to pet sitting.
What is In-Home Boarding?
In-home boarding (private boarding) is where a pet is cared for in the caregiver's home. A carer may offer day boarding and/or overnight boarding. Pet boarding can be well suited for dogs and birds but is less suited to cats. A caregiver may accept pets from more than one family at a time. They may be restricted by local bylaws eg may only be permitted to accept up to 4 dogs as boarders at any one time. There are risks that dogs from other families may not get along.
What are Overnights and Live-Ins?
Overnights are when a caregiver stays overnight in the clients home with the pets. Live-ins are when the caregiver lives in the home temporary to care for the pets. Live-ins are usually more expensive. Some pet sitters offer overnight stays.
What is Dog Walking?
Dog walking is walking a dog typically from and to a client's home. Dogs may be walked from one home at a time or may sometimes be walked in groups. A dog walker will typically walk dogs on leash but some dog walkers will take dogs to off-leash areas. Some businesses specialise in dog walking. Dog walkers will typically walk dogs on regular days of the week. Many pet sitters offer dog walking as part of pet sitting. There are many risks with safety and liability involved with dog walking.
What is Pet Minding?
Pet minding isn't a term used in the US. I've only seen it sometimes in Australia and New Zealand. It doesn't have a dictionary definition like pet sitting does. I've seen pet minding used in different ways:
What is a Poop Scooping Service?
A poop scooping service is where a person picks up dog poop or cat poop for clients. The poop may be disposed of at the client's property or may be removed from the premises. Some people specialised in poop scooping or litter tray scooping/cleaning. Most pet sitters offer poop scooping as part of a pet sitting service.
What is a Doggy Daycare?
A doggie daycare is a day boarding facility where multiple dogs visit during the day. There are risks with multiple dogs together and it is critical that a doggie daycare operator has safety as a priority. Some dogs find attending a doggie day care to be stressful.
Home Pet Care Services
Pet sitting and overnights stays are forms of home pet care services. Home pet care services are a lower stress alternative to traditional group boarding facilities and doggy daycares. Home pet care services may include dog walking, feeding and poop scooping. Some home pet care services specialise only in one service such as just poop scooping or just dog walking.
Other home pet care services include mobile dog washing and mobile dog grooming. Some places even have a mobile vet or mobile vet nurse service. Animal behaviourists and trainers may also provide mobile, in-home pet services. Some pet sitters also become trainers and behaviour consultants. Some pet sitters are also qualified vet nurses.
Home pet care service providers range from sole traders to companies of any size. Home pet care providers may work on a casual basis, part-time or full-time.
Advantages of Pet Sitting
What does a Pet Sitter do?
Pet sitters visit a client's home to provide pet care services. Some pet sitters may stay overnight in a client's home. Clients are typically away on holiday but some clients may be busy with work or need assistance caring for their pets if they are sick or injured.
Pet sitting services may include:
Some pet sitters specialise in just a few services. They may for example specialise in dog walking for people who are home but are not able or wanting to walk their dogs themselves. Other pet sitters branch out into other home pet services including pet taxi, mobile dog washing, pet food delivery and kitty litter delivery.
Some pet sitters specialise in just one species such as just cats or just dogs. Some pet sitters offer pet sitting for horses and hobby farm animals. Some care for exotic animals such as reptiles.
Pet sitters often also bring in mail, put bins in or out, check home security, turn lights on or off and water plants.
Why choose a professional pet sitter?
Xanthe founded an award-winning pet sitting business in QLD, Australia in 2011. After selling the business, she returned to Taupo, New Zealand.
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