Thinking about a sitter for your pet pal? Perhaps you’ve thought about starting a business as a dog walker or pet sitter. Or maybe you just need some current statistics on the pet sitting industry. Here’s everything you need to know about pet sitters and the business of pet sitting in one convenient and colorful infographic!
written by Amber Kingsley
infographic courtesy of Amber Kingsley
Why Go With a Pet Sitter?
Pet Sitters Provide your Pet with
- Love and attention
- Exercise and play
- Daily care needs
- Piece of mind
Benefits of a Pet Sitter
Day to Day Interaction
- Regular interaction
- More human relationship
- Freedom from a cage or kennel
- Eases separation anxiety
Pet Sitting instead of Boarding Facility
- Familiar surroundings
- Individualized attention
- No interaction with unfamiliar animals
- Same diet
The Pet Sitting Industry
Pet sitting is on the rise
The US spends over $3.65 billion on pet services such as pet sitting and dog walking. The pet services industry is estimated to grow 4.4% in 2016— one of the few industries to do so.
In 2010 Pet Sitters International surveyed 7000 members and found that…
- Pet sitters visited 18.5 million homes
- Pet sitters generated $325 million in revenue
- The average pet sitting visit lasts 32 minutes
- The average pet sitting visit costs $17.25
- 98.6% of all pet sitting businesses are independently owned
- 83.3% of all pet sitting businesses are operated by women
- 84.5% of all pet sitting businesses carry liability and bonding insurance
- 44% of pet sitters serve primarily suburban areas
What type of pets do pet sitters work with?
- 97.5% Dogs
- 95.9% Cats
- 63.0% Birds
- 61.6% Fish
- 59.0% Cage Pets and Rodents (Rabbits, hamsters, mice, etc.)
- 39.6% Reptiles and Amphibians (Lizards, snakes, turtles, etc.)
- 22.1% Horses
- 19.2% Livestock (Chickens, Goats, etc.)
- 2.9% Exotic Pets (Primates, big cats, etc.)
What type of pet sitting services do sitters offer
- 96.6% Basic pet sitting
- 93.4% Dog walking
- 88.4% Care of special needs pets
- 63.5% Pet Transportation
- 58.9% Overnight sits
Picking Your Pet Sitter
Conduct an in-house interview with a pet sitter where you can ask questions such as…
- Do you have proof of insurance?
- Are you licensed and bonded?
- Do you provide an agreement or contract?
- Are you a member of any professional organizations?
- Do you have any specialized training, care and first aid?
- Can you provide references?
- Do you have a business license of your city or county?
A good pet sitter will also ask questions
Have answers ready for these questions…
- Does your pet have allergies?
- Does your pet have a special diet?
- Does your pet have any medical issues or require medication?
- What are the pets exercise requirements?
- Does your pet have a daily routine?
- What is your emergency contact information?
Most Importantly Go With Your Gut!
See how your pet responds to the potential sitter. Does your pet interact well with them? Does the sitter seem to genuinely care about your pet?
When it comes to hiring the right pet sitter on top of many things mentioned here the bottom line is that you’ve got to trust your gut!
If you’re interested in interview help with other caregivers, check out:
Need a Pet Sitter?
Need a Pet Sitter Job?
About the Author Amber Kingsley is a journalist as well as a lifetime pet lover. When she’s not traveling the world, she’s usually spending time at home with her pets, and wants to help others make sure that their pets are as happy as they can be.