Do you love animals, have bags of experience with them, and are looking to build your income or even start your own small cat litter business? If so, then it might have crossed your mind to offer pet sitting services, such as dog walking, house sitting for people with pets, or feeding cats and small animals in their own homes while their owners are away.

But before you write up your advert and wait for the phone to ring, hold your fire – there is much, much more to starting a responsible, competent and legal pet sitting business than simply convincing people that you can care for their animals!

In this article, we will share some basic tips and advice on how to begin working as a pet sitter, what it takes, and what you need to get started.Your background

First and foremost, it is important to realize that simply loving animals and wanting to spend more time around them is not enough to make it as a pet sitter. As a pet sitter, you are asking the owners of the pets you will be minding to put their trust in you when it comes to looking after not only their animals, but also their homes; even if you only have to pop in to collect and drop off their dog for a walk, you will still need to be entrusted with the security of their home and possessions, as well as the safety and well-being of their pet, and also for dogs, other dogs and people too.

Making this commitment to a person and their pet is not something to be undertaken lightly. You must be 100% reliable when it comes to doing what you say you will, when you say you will, and also, know what you would do if you had an emergency, such as if you fell ill or your car won’t start when you’ve already committed to care for someone’s pet.

You will of course need to have a love of animals to be a good pet sitter; that is a given, but you should also have a good understanding of the pets that you wish to care for too, be able to deal with problems and emergencies calmly and effectively, and when caring for dogs, be able to manage and control them properly and keep both yourself, and other dogs and people safe.What you need

You will also need your own mode of transport in most cases, unless you intend to work within a fairly small area or in a big city, where public transport is a viable option for getting around. If you are using your vehicle for commuting and/or for carrying your charges, you will need to inform your insurance company of this, so that they can adjust your policy accordingly. In order to be able to work as a pet sitter, you will need to have insurance. Various insurance companies offer tailor-made insurance specifically for pet sitters, which provides coverage in the case of unforeseen situations, damage or harm coming to the pet in your care or their owner’s property, and third party legal liability too.