How to Start a Pet Sitting Business

How to Start a Pet Sitting Business


How to Start a Pet Sitting Business

If you’re looking to start a pet sitting business, you’ve come to the right place since we’re going to show you exactly how to do it.

We’ll start with key pet business industry fundamentals like how big the market is, what the key segments are, and how revenues and profits are generated.

Then we’ll discuss keys to not only starting a pet sitting business, but succeeding in it!

How Big is the Pet Sitting Industry?

There are 106,319 pet sitting businesses in the U.S. that generated $6.7 billion in revenue last year which represents an annual growth rate of 6.6% in the past 5 years.

What are the Key Segments of the Pet Sitting Industry?

The main segments of the industry are Pet boarding and Pet grooming.

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What External Factors Affect the Pet Sitting Industry?

A number of factors affect the performance of the pet sitting industry. These drivers include:

Number of pets (cats and dogs): A higher population of cats and dogs means that there is higher demand for pet sitting services. This year, the number of pets is increasing, creating more opportunity for the pet sitting industry.

Number of households: Most households in the US own pets. An increase in the number of households affects the pet sitting industry positively. Households are expected to increase this year.

Per capita disposable income: The per capita disposable income does not affect the pet sitting industry greatly. In the previous years, it has been observed that consumers tend to cut back on their expenses when the per capita disposable income decreases but they do not decrease their spending on pet services. An increase in the per capita disposable income however makes consumers more likely to spend more for their pets. This is expected to increase this year and benefit the pet sitting industry.

Price of electric power: Most pet sitting businesses rely on electricity for their grooming and boarding services. Therefore an increase in the price of electric power hurts the industry. The price of electricity is expected to increase this year.

What are the Key Customer Segments in the Pet Sitting Industry?

The largest customer segment in the pet sitting market are Family consumers with children under 18. The remaining segments include:

  • Family consumers with no children under 18
  • Consumers living alone
  • Consumers with roommates

Sizzlin’ Stats Pet Industry Trends

What are the Key Costs in the Pet Sitting Industry?

Wages – Almost half of the industry revenue is spent on wages.

Purchases – Payment for supplies, such as shampoos, pet food, drugs and related items can vary depending on the size and type of operator. However, most industry players operate on a small scale and do not benefit from wholesale prices.

Other – Marketing, depreciation, accounting, rent, utilities, and other related costs account for 11.6% of the industry revenue.

Why is a Professional Pet Sitter a Better Value than a Hobbyist Pet Sitter?

Professional and Hobbyist Pet Sitter infographic

What are the Keys to Launching a New Pet Sitting Business?

1. Prepare a business plan
Study all the factors that you need to consider before diving into the pet sitting industry. This includes your products and services, target market, marketing strategy, competitors, operations, and costs. In preparing your business plan, you will learn whether or not starting a pet sitting business is feasible and profitable for you.

2. Get certifications
Pets are family, and pet lovers will entrust the lives of their pets to professionals more than anyone else. So if you want to get ahead of other pet sitting businesses, get certifications from professional pet sitters organizations like Pet Sitters International or National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. This will increase your credibility as a pet sitter and give assurance to your clients that their pets are in good hands.

3. Choose the right business name
Your business name is the first thing that your potential customers will be exposed to. It is important that your name leaves them a mark and best describes what your business is all about. Think of a name that is unique, catchy, and easy to spell and pronounce so it won’t get easily disregarded by potential clients. Remember to keep your name cool AND related to the nature of your business. Irrelevant business names often shoo customers away.

4. Identify your products, services, and rates
Make a list of the services that you will offer in your pet sitting business like pet walking, grooming, boarding, training, and even veterinary services. You may also sell grooming products, pet accessories, and food, etc. Estimate costs and assign rates for each product and service. Having an outline of the products and services, and their rates will help you in preparing your financial plan.

5. Secure your legal requirements
Make sure to process all the necessary documents and pay all the fees that need to be settled before you start your business. Know the legal requirements that your local government asks for a pet sitting business like inspections, licenses, and permits. Comply with them honestly and on time. Take note that the requirements may vary in different states.

6. Hire experts
As much as possible, hire people that are also certified pet sitters. If you can’t find or afford to employ other professionals to work with you, choose people with long experience with pet sitting to ensure quality service. You can also provide trainings for your employees so that you can give your customers the assurance that your people can handle their job well.

7. Advertise your new business
Let the people know about your new pet sitting business. Distribute flyers around your business location or put up banners and posters with the name of your business, contact number, operating hours, as well as your launch date. This will keep passersby and potential customers looking forward to your business. Make use of the internet and create social media accounts for your business for a wider audience. You can also run paid advertisements and promotions for your page to increase your online visibility.

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What are the Typical Startup Costs for a New Pet Sitting Business?

You can start a pet sitting business with as little as $500.

How much do Pet Sitting Business Operators Make?

An average pet sitting business owner earns $25,000 to $60,000 annually.

Social Media in the Pet Industry

Social Media in the Pet Industry infographic

Helpful Videos

10 Must Know Tips For Pet Sitters

4 Steps To Growing Your Pet Sitting Business

10 Elements on Your Pet Sitting Website that Will Increase Client Leads

The Modern Rules of using Flyers and Door hangers for your Pet Sitting Business

Additional resources in the Pet Sitting Industry

For additional information on the car dealership market, consider these industry resources:


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