As a pet sitter, you’re often the first point of contact with prospective clients working either from your home or theirs. This can be an uncomfortable situation, especially if you’re not sure how to balance professionalism with friendliness. However, this type of work also comes with its fair share of upsides. Pet sitting is rewarding and helps give meaning to your life while also providing a side income.
As a professional pet sitter, it’s important to balance those personal feelings with your business persona. You want to make the client feel comfortable and take them on as friends, but not so much that they feel like they could trust you with their pets in your home without any supervision or follow-up questions about your care for their pets. Let’s take a look at some ways you can stay professional as a pet sitter and keep your clients happy.
Be upfront about your requirements
Don’t assume that what you need to start pet sitting (or what you will need as you continue to pet sit) is the same as what your client needs. You may need to invest in a pet first-aid kit, food and water bowls for your pets, a pet transponder, a pet bed, a pet car restraint, etc., but not all pet owners will want to purchase these items before you even begin pet sitting. Some clients may want to provide you with an Amazon gift card so that you can purchase everything you need for their pet and then return the gift card when you’ve finished their pet-sitting job. Setting requirement upfront and requesting any specific requirement from the client helps you guys to set boundaries and understand how to take care of the pet better.
Don’t be afraid to say No
If you’re not comfortable pet-sitting a particular pet, say so. It’s okay to turn down a client if you feel like their pet would be a bad fit for you. Don’t take on a pet if you think you’ll be too stressed out, overwhelmed, or scared to do a good job. This once happened to me as I wanted to gain as many 5* reviews on Petbacker as quickly as possible. Although I was able to build up my Petbacker’s review page, I was really stressed out with set quality standards. So take your time to train yourself to be a better pet sitter and don’t ever be afraid to say no when things get uncomfortable.
Go the extra mile to impress
If you are looking to build a strong network of clients and get multiple positive online reviews for your work. Going the extra mile by providing add-on services really does help allow buyers to feel better when they are buying your service. There are many ways you can provide more service, it could be giving your own homemade treats, running longer distances with the pet, or driving the pet. Heck if you can make more by providing more service, why not!
If your pet sits for a family with three young children, make sure you know enough about the children to make them feel comfortable. Soft skill is an important element to learn for every pet sitter, especially when handling children. Young children are naturally close to their pets, so it would be great if you are able to blend with the young children’s vibe with their pets.
If you’re pet sitting for an elderly person, make sure you know enough about their particular health habits and medications so that you don’t accidentally cause harm. This ensures that whatever, happens, you can also be there for the elderly person to take care of their need should there be any issue along the way.
Maintain a professional demeanor
Even though you’re likely to become friends with the pet parents and their pets, don’t forget to keep a professional demeanor. It is important for you to keep your language and actions professional in front of owners, even if you and the owners have become friends. Although it is great that you can work well with the owner, do note that you are providing a service and that the owner has the ability to replace you at any time.
As a pet sitter, you need to balance being a friendly person and someone who can connect with the pets and their people while also being professional. This means you can’t let your feelings get in the way of your work and you have to have a certain amount of distance in your interactions with clients. You also have to be very goal-oriented and focused on providing excellent service and customer experience.
Your customers are hiring you to take care of their pets while they’re away. This means you need to be sure to check in with them regularly and provide them with updates about their pets’ activities, health, and needs. Pet sitters generally work on a recurring schedule, so you may have the same clients coming to you every few weeks or months. This means you can get to know your clients and their pets very well over time and develop a strong, trusting relationship with them.