How to start a side hustle as a pet-sitter

Summer is well on its way and, as such, many Americans are taking trips across the country and the world. Nearly half, 45% plan to travel more this summer than they did last, according to a May 2023 survey of 1,000 Americans by marketing firm Prodege.

For those who have pets, traveling can get tricky. “We still have all the pandemic puppies that are now full-sized dogs,” says Angelique Rewers, founder of consulting firm BoldHaus. Their owners will need help taking care of them when they’re gone. In fact, some might need help whether they end up going away or not.

For anyone looking for a side hustle this summer, pet-sitting might be the way to go. Here’s how to dive in.

Dog walking, cat hangs and housesitting

Pet owners need help with an assortment of activities. Cat owners might need you to drop in and feed and play with their cats once a day. Dog owners might need you to stay the night if they’re away and walk their pups.

“The cat ones could be easier,” says Daniella Flores, founder of the side hustle blog I Like to Dabble and the Remote Work Bestie Podcast. They may only require a few hours of your time per day as opposed to days at a time.

Whatever help owners need and you’re interested in giving, check out sites like Care.com, Wag!, Rover and Sittercity for opportunities. Dog walkers make an average of $20 to $40 per hour, according to Thumbtack. That said, each website charges fees or a membership price, so make sure to look at the fine print before signing up.

At least as it pertains to Rover, “you keep like 100% of your tip,” says Flores, who goes by their/them pronouns. They recommend pet-sitters let pet owners know the site takes a cut of their pay and that tips help make up for it.

If you have neighbors with pets, you can also let them know you’re available and avoid the fees altogether.

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