This is a sponsored guest post written by Nat Smith, Rover.com community member. Rover is the nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.
Rover.com is a wonderful community of dog-loving owners and caregivers. The site does all the work of connecting you with clients, getting you paid, and making sure that everyone involved has a wonderful experience. The process couldn’t be easier or more straightforward.
Once you sign up, you’ll be taken through each step of launching your services:
- Create a Profile
This is how dog owners in your neighborhood will get to know you. You’ll describe your experience with dogs, including any certifications you have or are working towards. You can also detail the type of care you want to offer. Will you invite pets into your home? If so, talk about your yard and neighborhood, as well as your kids. You can also note that you prefer to work with dogs who are good around children.
You can browse other profiles to see what others include. Think, too, about what qualities you’d be looking in a pet-sitter for your own animals. You want someone who’s conscientious, caring, fun-loving, and prepared. Play up these strengths and anything else you bring to the table.
- Ace the Meet & Greet
Once you start hearing from owners, you’ll set up a meeting to assess the fit. Be aware of a dog’s body language, and communicate in ways that they understand. Approach the pup gently, and let them make the first move. If the dog is skittish, you can walk alongside them and avoid direct eye contact until they’ve warmed up to you.
The Meet & Greet should be on neutral ground, such as a park or yard. Take notes and ask as many questions as you need, getting a sense of the dog’s personality, likes, and dislikes. Try going for a walk together, offering treats, or playing with a favorite toy to strengthen your bond.
While you’re not required to bring your children to the Meet & Greet, check in with the owner and consider the possibility. Everyone should feel comfortable with the arrangement, and this is a great way to make sure you’ve found a good fit for your family.
- Enjoy Your First Sit
Communication with the owner and dog will help you have a stellar first stay. You can use the app to send regular updates, so the owners get total peace of mind. Many will appreciate photos and videos, as they’ll be missing their pets quite a bit!
Most of the time, it’s best to stick to a dog’s usual routine as much as possible. This will help eliminate separation anxiety. Spend lots of time playing, cuddling, and going on walks. Don’t leave the pets alone with your children; they should always be supervised. However, dogs rarely need intensive one-on-one care all day, every day. Once the dog feels at ease with you, they’ll happily enjoy a chew toy while you’re working on other projects.
Be sure you have any emergency numbers you might need before the stay begins, and keep an eye out for anything concerning or unusual. If you’re not sure whether you should be alarmed, ask the owner for clarification.
After your first stay, don’t forget to leave a review, and stay in touch with the owners for future care opportunities. A whole new world has opened up to you: You’ve become a paid pet-sitter. Over time, you can raise your rates and expand your services. You’re the boss!