The WFH (Work from home) lifestyle has become popular since the Covid lockdown in 2020. As many as 77% of employed residents in the information and communications industry worked remotely in 2020 due to the COVID-19 situation. Working adults are now realizing that working from home is able to improve productivity, better mental health, and cut down a lot on expenses (mainly transportation and food). With more time to themselves, these people are now looking for ways they are able to make money online. Pet boarding is a service-based business that helps care for a client’s pet, the service became popular during the Covid lockdown as a way to not only make an extra income but also to have a companion during work.
If you have experience managing pets and enjoy being with them, maybe this side hustle may just be the best WFH side income!
What is Pet Boarding?
Pet boarding means a place to let pets have a place to stay overnight. Depending on the price range for the size of the home. Pet boarding can be done at almost anyone’s home. If the owner really loves their pet a lot, they would even send their pets to a dog hotel or resort which will cost them upwards of hundred to thousands of dollars.
How I stumbled onto this Side Hustle?
I started taking care of my neighbor’s pets during my schooling days. It was a means to earn a side income to fuel my expenses for my education and my investment. I use a pet boarding service app called Petbacker which allows me to find potential clients that I am able to serve.
During the pandemic, there was a large amount of demand for foreigners to have their pets taken care of as they needed to travel back to their country. I was given plenty of opportunities to take care of their pets and form good networking skills.
At one point during my schooling days, I was able to make at least $1,500 a month simply by taking care of their pets. Most of which the income came from pet boarding services because they require more care for the pets. This is why I highly recommend those who are WFH and have experience taking care of pets to provide a pet boarding service.
How to start a Pet Boarding Service?
Well to start off, you will need to sign up to Petbacker and request to provide a service. Do write down as much detail as possible so that your potential clients have a better understanding of yourself and what you can provide.
A great way to get more clients at the start is to start by lower prices to get higher reviews to rank better. As the number of clients increases, do adjust your prices accordingly to the market standards. Also, a good technique to stand above the crowd is to provide added services. Doing extra work such as going for long walks with the pet or providing free treats to the animal is what buyers of the service are looking for.
What you may need from the client
One of the key components of developing trust and confidence in comprehending the client’s needs. Ask the owner if the pet needs any medication or special care before accepting the position. This is done to ensure that you can take good care of the animal and that you are aware of the circumstance and what is required of you to manage the task.
When meeting the Client and Pet for the first time
Before meeting the client, bringing a pet (usually a dog) would be great for a conversation starter. This assures the client that their pet would be entertained by a friend.
When accepting the owner’s pet, ensure you are able to handle the pet first before accepting the job. Sometimes, animals can have anxiety issues when leaving their owner. Therefore, you have to walk with the pet and get comfortable with the animal before bringing it over for boarding. Once you get a feeling that the pet has become more relaxed, it’s time to accept the job!
During the Boarding Service
When first entering the boarding home, the pet can be really exciting meeting a new place for the first time. To ensure they don’t run around too much, close all the doors first. Only open up other rooms once the pet is more relaxed. Take note that dangerous objects or areas should be kept away from the pet such as hazardous chemicals or sharp objects.
Once the pet has found himself in a comfortable position to rest or relax, throw him his toys or a bed for it to rest comfortably. Remember to also take some cute or interactive photos or videos during the boarding service to ensure the client that the pet is well-taken care of.
During any feed time, ensure you have taken photos of the meal or treat the pet will be taking. Once approved by the owner, then it is time for the pet to eat!
Once every 4 to 8 hours, bringing the pet down to get some fresh air is really important, especially for dogs that are outdoor poo trained. If the pet boarding service last more than 3 days, having longer periods of outdoor activity is critical to ensuring the pet stays happy.
After the Pet Boarding Service
Great nothing feels better than knowing the job is almost completed and you are going to get paid. Before sending the pet back to the owner, ensure that the pet is in good health and shape.
Tips from me to make every client happy: Surprise the pet by asking the owner to surprise them and see their reaction. It’s always a nice feeling!
Before separating ways, remind the client to write a good review on the app (it’s free so why not?). Share your experience with the client’s pet through images or videos as well. You can also provide a discount when they come back for further services if you want to keep them as repeat customers.
Q&A for those Wanting to Try Pet Boarding
I bet you have a lot of questions to ask before starting out. Don’t worry I have written down the most commonly asked questions on how to start a pet boarding side business. If you have any other questions do feel free to write in the comment section down below or contact us through email.
Who are the ones usually requesting such services?
From my experience, it is usually owners who are either foreigners or those who are constantly traveling (whether on staycation or overseas).
Why Pet Boarding is one of the best WFH side hustles?
If your job allows you to work remotely, you can essentially work a pet boarding service anywhere!
Is it a High Demand?
Pet boarding is one of the highest-demand pet service skills. Once you obtain a client, they usually come back a second round if your service is good.
Are there other Services?
There are many other pet servicing skills one can do.
It requires the walker to usually walk their client’s dog to take a poo and go out of the house every once in a while. The job usually pays around $15 ~$40 per hour. It is a good service to take only if you live near the client.
Going to the client’s home or area to take care of their pets. Pays around $15 ~ $50 per hour. I usually can charge more if the client requests longer hours.
Pet Taxi Service
The usual taxi service wouldn’t like to go through the hassle of having pets in their vehicle. This may cause future passengers to suffer from unnecessary pet allergic reactions. Worst still, the animal might damage the cushions in the car. Pet Taxi services which are usually in a larger car have cages at the back of the car. The job usually pays a very decent amount more than the usual cab fees. However, note that this service request is quite a niche, and not many people are ordering this service.
Pet groomers are required to have a license before being given approval for pet grooming services. The prices for license cost around $2,800 for basic grooming and $4,600 for master class grooming. If you are looking to get certified, do check out Animal Art Academy where they provide a long 20~40 lessons to get you prepared to be a groomer. This is why Pet grooming is the most well-paid service out of all the rest. For short fur animals, prices start from $80 for basic grooming and $100 for full grooming. For longer fur animals, prices start $100 for basic grooming and $120 for full grooming.
Is there a lot of money to be made?
Depending on the services. Generally, the better income from pet servicing comes from pet grooming and boarding.
What are the things you need to start pet boarding?
Not much, all you need are toiletry set to clean the pet and a proper place for the pet to stay. The rest is really added service (such as pet treats or pet bed)
Where can I sign up?
I use PetBacker to do my Pet Boarding Service. If you would like to join, do click on my referral link here.
Why it can be a Rewarding Experience for first-time Side Hustler
I remember doing my first pet boarding service. It was a tough and scary experience as I did not know what to expect from my clients. As I took the time to open up myself (life of an introvert😅), my client knew I was dedicated to serving their pets to the best of my ability. From taking care of the pet’s diet to keeping them in shape. I really enjoyed having another pet to care for as it was a great pastime and entertainment at home.