Pet Sitter Job Information

Being a pet sitter is a big responsibility. People leave their dearly loved pets in your care, sometimes for months. There is much preparation and a lot to know and understand to be able to do the job properly. You do need to be an "animal person", with an affinity for working with pets. Many people specialize with their personal favorites, such as dogs or cats.

There are a few basic rules to be a good pet sitter:

1. Be prepared

Make sure you have everything you need to look after the pets in your care. You need:

  • Clean bedding for mammals.
  • Clean terrarium or fish tank for reptiles and fish.
  • Good quality food appropriate for the animals in your care.
  • Clean drinking water must be available at all times.
  • Grooming equipment for dogs and cats.
  • A local vet you can use in emergencies.
  • To be familiar with the symptoms of any diseases or insect problems affecting pets. 

2. The big "Don'ts" in pet sitting

There are several important situations to avoid:

  • Don't take on an animal you can't handle, for example; do not assume you can handle a big dog  or a potentially dangerous pet.
  • Don't take care of an animal which is a potential risk to small children.
  • Don't feed any animal leftovers or any human food and make sure to check for allergies or other potentially dangerous foods to pets in your care.
  • Do not allow the animal to remain dirty because it can contract disease in unsanitary conditions.
  • Don't leave animals unattended or unsupervised.

Basic management for pet sitters

The pets in your care require consistent care and management. These are the essentials:

  • All domestic pets must be fed at established times. Establishing a schedule ensures proper diet management and reassures the pet.
  • Pets must receive adequate exercise, daily. A walk or a game for at least half an hour per day is minimum amount of exercise required by most animals
  • Mammals, particularly dogs and cats, require family style attention. They will suffer if ignored. They need to play and have fun.
  • Pet sitters must be alert for any unusual behavior or symptoms of a medical issue at all times. For example, an irritable dog may be a symptom of a serious infection.
  • Pets must know the house rules. If you're caring for animals, you need to make sure they know how to behave in your home. They will need to know the reasons they are punished.
  • As a pet sitter, you are on the job 24 hours a day. Keep your prospective and always tend to the needs of the pet.