People often hear what I do for a living as a professional pet sitter and respond by saying “Oh, what a great job! You get to be around animals all day and play with puppies and cute kittens!”
Dogs and Cats are about 1/8 of what it entails being a business owner, and not every dog is nice and not every cat is friendly. And don’t get me started on the pet parents. As in life, some people are amazing and some people…. well, often times I’ve wanted to say “Can you please put the dog on the phone?”
When I started my dog walking and pet sitting business in Kenosha in 2008, I had no clue. I admit it. I THOUGHT that it was simply hooking up a dog to a leash, walking, and everything would be easy-breezy. Boy, was I wrong. When word got out about my services, in two years’ time, I was working from 5:30 am to 10 pm 7 days a week. Along with that, I was trying to build a business, do marketing, attract new clients, do the very best I could, have a relationship with my family, and oh, I almost forgot-get some sleep.
Aside from the business build, I had no clue about reading canine body language, feline body language and so on. Medications? You simply stick it in the animal’s mouth. What could go wrong?
In the first year, I experienced bloat, seizures, cat bites and scratches, reactive, fearful, shy, stranger danger dogs and cats that would attack me. I had no idea of how to handle this, but I kept going. I had to. I had no other choice.
Why am I writing about this? Because there are literally 1,000’s of the same person I was, 9 years ago, saying they are professional pet sitters. People “who grew up with cats and dogs!” People who will fail a drug test, who will not be criminal background checked, people who will not have a back up plan, and so on. People who will be putting your peace of mind in danger, and people who have no idea of what bloat is.
Is your precious dog or cat worth the savings by using a neighbor kid or someone who has his or her shingle up on Wag or Rover? We don’t believe so. For a few hundred dollars (average savings for a weeks pet sitting) you can have a team of skilled, trained, bonded, insured, pet first aid and cpr certified you can have a team of professionals who look at crisis as a way of daily life and who know how to handle it.