Best Petsitting Jobs for 2021
As they say: Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. So animal lovers… this one’s for you.
In the past, providing pet care required you form personal connections offline and manually line up gigs. But now, there’s an abundance of digital services that make it easier than ever to land petsitting jobs.
You can work part-time and possibly even full-time walking dogs and petsitting for pets while their owners are at work or out of town.
Keep reading to learn about the best petsitting jobs and how to maximize your earnings in this fun line of work.
Best Sites for Petsitting Jobs
For starters, let’s review the top websites where you can find petsitting gigs.
Rover is a popular pet care app and website that connects people to local pet care providers.
You can use Rover to discover boarding, house sitting, dog walking, daycare, and drop-in opportunities. Rover customers can search for care providers, read reviews, and pick a sitter who matches their needs. All bookings and payments go through Rover.
To work for Rover, you have to be at least 18 years old and pass a background check. Laws and regulations for providing certain pet care services can also vary from place to place, so it’s important to check your local area for licensing and certification requirements.
According to the company, walkers can earn up to $1,000 per month. Average prices vary depending on the job you do. For example, boarders make about $28/night, house sitters bring in $25/night on average, and drop-in visits land $25 per visit.
Wag! is an online community that connects dog walkers, trainers, and sitters with pet owners. You can make money walking and dog sitting or boarding them for longer stays.
With Wag!, you can set your schedule and the company provides a convenient app that features instant pay, automated report cards, and even live chat for communicating with pet owners. The company also has a 24/7 customer support team and offers up to $1 million in damage protection.
Payment is hourly, and the rate varies depending on your location. On average, you can expect to earn around $12 for walking dogs and $26 for boarding per night.
Care.com is an online community for caregivers. Among the company’s many services, it also provides pet care opportunities.
To start, you’ll have to provide your name and contact information, work experience, skills and certifications, and pay range.
The average pay on Care.com is $11 per hour, but you can make more if you have special experience. For example, a certified dog trainer can make an average of $20 to $25 per hour.
Learn More: Care.com Review
Fetch! provides dog walking, sitting, overnight care, pet taxi services, and pet medical administration. The company services all types of animals, including birds, lizards, fish, gerbils, and even farm animals like horses and chickens.
When working for Fetch!, you can build a clientele and take on various jobs depending on your availability and what you want to work on. Income varies depending on your level of expertise and the types of assignment you choose.
For people with specialized animal knowledge, Fetch! is a great place to search for gigs.
PetBacker is a global pet care service that dog walkers, boarders, groomers, and sitters can use to connect with pet owners. As a service provider, it’s free to list your services on the site, and you can set your own rates. However, once you land gigs, the company takes a 15% to 25% service fee from your total earnings.
If you’re a world traveler and want to find petsitting gigs wherever life takes you, PetBacker is ideal.
PetSitter.com is an online marketplace for petsitting gigs available in most major U.S. and Canadian cities.
Pet owners can post their pet care job and caretakers can create a profile to showcase their services.
You can set your own rates as a provider, but you’ll want to keep them competitive with what other people are charging. Also, some gigs will have a fixed price, while you may be able to negotiate the rates on others.
According to PetSitter.com, most pet sitters are charging between $14 and $19 per hour.
Meowtel is a premium cat sitting service, so if you’re a cat lover, look no further.
However, it’s not that easy to qualify, as the company accepts less than 10% of applicants. If you make the cut, the service is flexible, and Meowtel lets you choose your rates and availability.
To start, create an account at Meowtel and go through the onboarding questionnaire. Then, you must clear a background check and schedule a 15-minute call with the company. Pay runs from $22 to $25 per hour.
Nextdoor is a community marketplace where you can connect with local community members to find petsitting jobs. To be clear, Nextdoor isn’t a petsitting service. Like Craigslist, Nextdoor is a publicly available website where any community member is welcome to post jobs or ask for pet care.
To view opportunities in your area, sign up by providing your name and zip code and build a profile that shows the services you provide (e.g., dog walking, bird-sitting, or cat sitting).
Nextdoor is completely free to use, and you can set your own rates. If you’re looking to find clients directly, without going through a middle-man, Nextdoor is a great place to start.
9. Bay Area Pet Pals
Bay Area Pet Pals is another option if you’re in the San Francisco Bay area. This is a family-owned facility offering dog walking, petsitting, and dog boarding services as well as round-the-clock checks for people traveling. The company serves places like San Mateo, Atherton, and Belmont, among others.
Pay is $500 to $2,000 per month depending on availability, client demand, and the hours you work. Applicants need to fill out an application, pass an interview, and commit to at least one year of service.
10. Sniff and Go LLC (San Francisco)
Sniff and Go is a premium San Francisco pet care provider. This isn’t an on-demand app, and you’ll have to go through a comprehensive interview process to demonstrate your skill, character, and trustworthiness. But if you prefer having steady work and you live in the city or even nearby in Oakland, this is a great company to check out.
Sniff and Go is looking for part-time dog walkers and puppy taxi drivers at the time of writing.
Payment starts at $21.50 per hour, and you can also receive tips and bonuses for employee and client referrals.
Tips for Maximizing Petsitting Jobs
Work multiple hustles
Most petsitting jobs pay $12 to $25 per hour. To make extra money, you have to line up many different pet service gigs and spread your services around multiple companies. So be careful when taking a job and avoid making yourself exclusive to one company.
In addition, you should prepare to work long days, nights, and even weekends if you want to maximize profits. The tradeoff is that in many cases, you can make extra money just hanging out with fun animals or house sitting.
It can be challenging work, but when the pets behave and the stars align, it’s a breeze.
One of the downsides of working for a pet care app is that the company usually takes a portion of the proceeds. Therefore, it’s usually much more profitable to land clients on your own and set your own rates.
Start with your personal network. Chances are, you already have friends and neighbors that need regular assistance with their pets.
Set aside money for taxes
When taking on pet care jobs, you may work as an independent contractor. Make sure to set money aside for taxes, so that you don’t wind up with a massive tax bill on your hands. Consider working with a tax advisor to set up estimated taxes throughout the year and avoid a large lump sum payment in the spring.
You can also check out my Freelance Tax Guide for more information.
Carefully read the job description
People who are new to pet care often think animal care is nothing but playing with animals and having a good time. However, it’s not always a shower of rose pedals. Sometimes you’ll have to roll up your sleeves and change a litter box or pick up after a dog on a walk.
The work can be messy and difficult, especially if you have a hyperactive or aggressive dog. To minimize surprises, read the job description carefully before signing up so you don’t wind up taking on work that you later regret.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do pet sitters make a lot of money?
It largely depends on your location, who you work for, and how much you work. Not all cat sitter or dog sitter jobs pay a lot of money, but some can pay decent hourly rates.
Pet sitting can be a great side job. It can also be a full-time job if you line up enough solid gigs. But you have to hustle to make serious money. Better yet, why not start your own petsitting business?
Is it dangerous to work as a dog walker?
Yes, dog walking can be dangerous, especially when walking big or aggressive dogs and in heavily trafficked cities. Even docile dogs can sometimes snap if provoked or frightened. Consider getting insurance for peace of mind when walking dogs or visiting clients’ homes.
Do you need a license to provide pet care?
Check the laws in your local area to learn about any restrictions. Most places don’t require a license or certification for dog walking and pet sitter jobs, but some may require special permission to work as a pet groomer or trainer.
The Bottom Line
Those who love to pet sit and walk dogs are benefiting from high demand and steady work. New job postings are always popping up as travel starts to pick up again.
If you have a reputation as a dog lover or cat lover you shouldn’t have a problem discovering clients, especially now that you know about these online resources. And once you start forming relationships with pets and their owners, you should be able to get plenty of referrals and recommendations.
There really is no better job for animal lovers at the end of the day than working in pet care. You can help take pets out of their kennel and provide companionship while also earning extra money that you can use to invest or pay down debt.
Who knows? You may even love the work so much that you decide to start your own pet sitting business.
Interested in more side hustle opportunities? Here’s my list of the 31 Best Side Hustle Ideas.