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    14 Replies Latest reply on Dec 13, 2008 7:57 PM by val_cards

    Pet Sitting, Walking, Etc.

    comppetcare Newbie
      Is anyone providing this service? And if so has it proven viable. I have a client interested in starting this as a part time venture. Research in the area with a pet owner base of over 5000 shows only two other services and they are over 20 miles away from the client. Your thoughts or experience please.
        • Re: Pet Sitting, Walking, Etc.
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Tell us more, Where are you located?? There was a post recently, same subject.
          Do you have a Business and Marketing Plan??
          Another suggestion, go to Members page and post A few words about your business
          LUCKIEST
          • Re: Pet Sitting, Walking, Etc.
            legalift Newbie
            One of my clients is a pet sitter in Aiken, SC. It can be a viable business. Look into The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters at http://www.petsitters.org. They should be able to help you in your research.
            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: Pet Sitting, Walking, Etc.
              FCPainter Adventurer
              I think it's very do-able and a classic word of mouth business. Easy to market yourself at local dog parks etc and even local pet food stores and shelters.
              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: Pet Sitting, Walking, Etc.
                golfdm Newbie
                There are a number of business opportunities and franchise business opportunities to view at www.thebusinessmarket.com in a variety of industries. While you are researching opportunities it may be a consideration to get in touch with one of these businesses to learn what they bring to the table to get your business going. You obviously could establish this yourself but these companies may offer a business plan and marketing support that may take an individual investor longer to get of the ground.

                Researching through established company's and speaking with them will help identify items that you may not have considered.

                Good luck!
                • Re: Pet Sitting, Walking, Etc.
                  tigerente Wayfarer
                  I am a dog walker and pet sitter. I also take groups of dogs to the dog park. I think that if your client is interested, she should contact other dog walkers in the area. I know most of the dog walkers in my area from meeting them all at the dog park. I have gotten many referrals from other dog walkers who are too busy to take on new clients. Also, there are a few tips I can give.
                  1. Define an area of business. Stick to this area or else you will be travelling way more miles than you want to or can afford to taking up lots of time and gas money.
                  2. Get licensed and insured. Petsit.com (pet sitters international) is a great place to get insurance and the membership to the org pays for free advertising and use of their logo.
                  3. Be prepared to be pooped on, peed on, vomited on, bitten, scratched, out in all weather, dog hair in and on everything you own, spending an arm and a leg on gas these days and having clients that think you owe them the world because they pay you $15 a day to walk their dog.
                  4. Get trained in pet first aid and cpr. I am a certified veterinary assistant so I learned all that stuff in school. Local humane societies or dog clubs may have classes or know where you can take them.
                  5. Volunteer at vet clinics and animal shelters to gain experience with animals and to provide that important first reference. I gained my first reference by doing dog walking for free for three months to one dog.
                  Now I have I think 15 regular dogs and a few once or twice a year dogs. I have been doing it for 2 and a half years. After the first year and a half, I got enough clients to actually support myself doing this. I am certainly not getting rich, but have been breaking even at least.
                  • Re: Pet Sitting, Walking, Etc.
                    simon07 Wayfarer
                    Hi Ben - I know you posted this awhile ago, but wondering if you'd give us all an update on whether or not this business started? I have a Golden and we use a pet sitter about 4 times a month. There is definite need for this service. We selected ours based on referrals - someone down the street was using this company and was happy with it. So, if you do start - just keep up the high standards!
                    • Re: Pet Sitting, Walking, Etc.
                      PamperedPaws Newbie
                      I'm in Pinellas Park, Florida and started my business in July this year. Unfortunately I have not been able to get it off the ground. I have a website, did the leg work, mailed out postcards, posted announcements in restaurants and pet food stores, joined a networking group, got the licensing, etc, but still cannot seem to get my first customer. Does anyone have any suggestions? There's got to be something I'm doing wrong, I just can't figure out what that is; perhaps a fresh eye could figure that out for me. Any assistance you can offer would be greatly appreciated. The website is http://pamperedpaws727.vpweb.com.

                      Michelle
                      Pampered Paws of Pinellas
                        • Re: Pet Sitting, Walking, Etc.
                          nuSenO Wayfarer
                          Please read Tigerente response! He has touch many key points that should be covered if your starting out for the first time.
                          As a Dog owner, I prefer to get a referal from a dog owner instead of a total stranger. Pet owners are not just going to give
                          you there business and not know anything about you!

                          Good Luck
                            • Re: Pet Sitting, Walking, Etc.
                              PamperedPaws Newbie
                              nuSenO, I appreciate the response, but did you read mine? I've already done everything Tigerente's suggested. However, I didn't mention in my prior post that I volunteer with the SPCA and am also certified with pet CPR both dog and cat.
                                • Re: Pet Sitting, Walking, Etc.
                                  puzzleman Tracker
                                  Pampered Paws, this may sound like a dumb response but how about asking potential customers what it would take from you to get their business. Or asking them why they do business with someone else. Or what is the reason they are not doing business with you.

                                  Sometimes the best way to get the answer is to go straight to the people you are trying to solicit and find out what their needs, wants and desires are. Doing this takes internal courage to be able to accept their answers without taking it personal. It's hard. I know that as it is what I have done in the past and currently do with new product ideas and rollouts. It's amazing what people will tell you when you ask I have gotten several good ideas on both products and marketing from just asking.

                                  Jim
                            • Re: Pet Sitting, Walking, Etc.
                              val_cards Scout
                              I was once a dog walker in NYC years ago. I had eight dogs to walk. My favorite was Daisy. She was a big overgown poodle, always beautifully groomed and cognac in color. I liked her best. She had a wonderful disposition and loved going outside to play. My dog, Joe Cocker liked her two. They got along splendidly. There was this wrinkly pooch charpe that I was also walking with the other dogs and one day the charpe ran off from the herd of dogs while playing at Gracie Mansion. It was minutes before I realized one of the dogs was missing. I panicked. I leashed all seven dogs up and marched back calling out for this wrinkly mut that has disappeared. He was always walking the other way of the herd. He just didn't like walking in a group I guess. Well wouldn't you know it. I go back to talk with the dog owner ready to tell her I've misplaced her ornary mutt, a nice asian lady and sure enough the charpe was right by her side. I was so thankful that mut found its way home. Needless to say he was dropped from the group. I've always liked animals and I think they've always liked me except for that charpe. http://www.pottytrainerforpups.com Sorry, i don't know of any dog sitting service but pet hotels are way cool...and dogs seem to enjoy staying there when their owners have to travel. Mine used to luv staying there and playing with other pooches.