Pet sitting: ruff but rewarding

From tiny puppers to big ol’ doggos, pet sitting can be a fantastic experience. It’s also hard work and looking after someone’s best mate requires dedication. This story is about the rise and fall of my pet sitting business.

When I was unemployed, I checked out a list of “20 ways to make a small amount of money” or some gibberish. I tried every one of the items on that list, and failed each time. I created websites, I created profiles for tutoring and dog sitting, I tried flipping items found at garage sales, nothing really worked. Until one day I got a call from a nice lady who would turn out to be my first customer.

“Can you look after Angel for two nights?”

“Absolutely!”

It was as simple as that. We locked in the dates and arranged for the dog to be dropped off at our house. My ad for dog sitting at $25 per day had actually worked! Somehow.

And then I met Angel.

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My first pet sitting experience

Not unlike the above scene from Anchorman, Angel was more bear than Baxter. She was totally adorable, a Pomeranian X, but she was not the size of  Pomeranian – she was VERY big and fluffy. When she saw food, nothing could stop her from getting to it. It was an experience, I’ll say. But it all went well and we got a good review.

A few months passed before we received another call, which led to another stay, and another positive review. And then I had another. And another. Suddenly I was getting bookings left, right and centre! Every time I’d pop open my peepers and check my profile, there would be another booking! I even had to turn some away! I had nothing but 5-star reviews; at this point I realised I needed to actually plan a bit. I needed spare food, doggie bowls, beds, everything. I even ordered doggie tags with “This Bogan is my Pet Sitter” engraved on them!

I got my cheap-ass supplies (toys, bowls, treats, pretty much everything) online from sites like Vet Supply and Jumbo Pets. The best toys were the squeaky toys or those balls that you put treats in. It’s so funny watching them struggle to get to the treats that they so desperately want – but more importantly it keeps them busy!

Fully stocked and ready to roll, business was booming. I had increased the price to $33 per day and the bookings were still relentless. As someone who loves dogs and really wants one of his own one day, I was getting paid to do something I would do for free. I loved it.

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Is this article just an excuse for more dog memes? Maybe.

I looked after anxious but super-fast greyhounds that would give my V8 a run for her money. I had a few days with a one-month old Kelpiejust a little puppy – that was the most well behaved dog I’d ever met! I even played with dogs that were obsessed with bubbles! That was ridiculously fun.

It wasn’t without its pitfalls though. Some dogs had severe anxiety and couldn’t bare to be away from their families. There was a lot of cleaning involved, and a lot of sleepless nights. Some dogs just constantly got themselves into trouble.

It was worth it just for the experience though, and to meet so many different types of beautiful puppers. Unfortunately, I felt that some dogs weren’t as well looked after by their owners as others.

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Pupper, or doggo?

All in all, the dog sitting business was a success. I wound it up when I got a full-time job and just didn’t have time to look after those cute little doggos like I used to.

I made $2,135.90 in about 5 months from this venture but I got much more value and enjoyment from just playing with the dogs. If I find myself with more free time (such as if I were to retire when I turn 30), I may give it another shot.

Have you had a recent pet sitting experience? Please tell me about it in the comments below!

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