The gig economy has truly taken off in recent years. Roughly one-third of the US population is made up of gig economy workers — but what does that mean, exactly? Gig economy workers are those who don’t necessarily work a 9-5 job, or work for a specific company or boss. Instead, they work for themselves, turning things like side hustle jobs into their full-time careers. Pet sitting is a popular gig economy job that can lead to a full schedule and a lot of success when it’s done the right way.
If you’re someone in need of a pet sitter, though, the fact that there are so many available, and so many apps to find them on, can feel overwhelming. How do you know who to trust with your four-legged friend?
No matter which side of the pet sitting app table you’re on, it’s important to know which ones are reputable, so you can either make a living for yourself or make sure your furry family member is properly taken care of. With that in mind, let’s look at both sides of the spectrum to determine what you should look for in a pet sitting app.
Starting and Running a Pet-Sitting Business
Self-employment is on the rise and will likely continue to be a trend well into 2020 and beyond. If you want to start your own gig economy job, it’s important to know what you should expect and which job is right for you. Working for yourself understandably allows you to have a lot of freedom, but it also demands a lot of work and may not always include traditional hours. Choosing something you’re passionate about will help you to stay motivated. Some of the best gig economy jobs include being a driver, consulting accountant, handyman, programmer, or a writer.
But, if pets are your passion, being a pet-sitter or dog-walker can help you to feel fulfilled and keep your bank account happy.
People love their pets, and they want to know they’re in good hands. So, any extra certifications you can get to boost your reputation will only improve your chances of getting hired. While no official certifications are required, if you have experience in training or basic medical care, that can be very appealing to owners.
Once you’ve officially started your business, you’ll have to market yourself in order to start getting jobs. Eventually, word of mouth will be your best friend as people start to share with friends and family what a great sitter you are. However, it’s also a good idea to invest in some self-promotion and personal branding opportunities, like promoting your business on social media, sending out mailers, and making your own website.
How to Choose the Right Pet Sitter
On the other hand, if you’re on the flipside and looking for a pet sitter, you can take comfort in the fact that you have options. Try to look at the pet sitting market as a competitive one, and take note of the people who are putting in more time, effort, and resources to get their business noticed. If you see a specific sitter or service on a Facebook advertisement or you get sent something in the mail, do your research to make sure they’re reputable. If you’ve heard good things about someone from a friend or family member, keep that feedback in mind.
You might feel more comfortable using a pet sitting app, and there are plenty available. Some of the most notable pet-sitting apps include:
You can also visit Pet Sitters International to get a more in-depth look at sitters in your area. This website will allow you to see if they’re insured, as well as any training they’ve received.
Once you’ve hired a pet sitter, having open communication with them is key. They’ll let you know what to expect and you can share what you need from them. You can also prepare your pet sitter by letting them know of any special needs your pet might have, giving them a daily schedule, and informing them of emergency numbers for the vet, family members, etc., in case anything happens.
Using a Pet Sitting App You Can Trust
Whether you’re a pet sitter or a pet owner looking for someone to take care of your fur baby, using a pet-sitting app can be a great resource. As a sitter, reputable apps can get your foot in the door of the pet-sitting world and help you to brand yourself, be easily-accessible, and share your love of animals to prospective clients.
As someone looking for a reliable pet sitter, apps can help you to narrow down who you might think is a good fit. Beyond the reputation of an app, the most important thing is to find an individual you can trust and someone who is reputable. So, if you reach out to a potential sitter via an app, make sure you understand their background and that you can communicate with them freely about things like expectations, how they expect to be paid, what they’re willing to do for your furry family member, etc.
In this growing gig economy, apps are becoming more popular than ever for finding specific services. When it comes to the love, care, and attention of family pets, utilizing some of the most reputable pet-sitting apps can make pet owners happy, and pet sitters more successful.
Maggie Potter is a muggle from the Pacific Northwest who writes from time to time and covers a variety of topics. When Magnolia’s not writing, you can find her curled up with a good book. You can connect with her on Twitter @MuggleMagnolia