Prepare a resume or at least a summary of your pet care philosophy. List all the animal behavior classes you took, pets you cared for during your life and training you received — either volunteer or paid. Take photos with you and some pets to present to prospective clients.
Advertise your skills by posting your credentials on popular pet sitting web site, such as sittercity.com or care.com, and in your local community center, parks, libraries, and vet offices. Talk to pet owners in your area to spread the word that you are available for pet services.
Once a client contacts you, plan an initial meeting and be very clear about your skills. This meeting will give you a sense of the animal’s personality and traits, as well as the owner’s expectations for walking, feeding and overnight care. Sometimes the pet owner will ask you to give medications. Be clear about your skills or expertise.
Bring an extra set of gloves if pet wrangling becomes necessary and never let a dog off leash unless you are absolutely confident the animal will respond to your voice commands. A good suggestion is to give the owner your email or cell phone. Contact goes a long way to ease a nervous owner when their pet is in your care.
Lastly, determine an emergency plan and discuss it with the client to protect yourself if the unexpected happens when the pet is in your care. This is especially necessary if the pet owner is vacationing. Where, for example, is the extra set of keys? Take a deep breath and enjoy!