Let’s face it, most people are probably not taking the job of being a professional dog walker too serious and some might even kind of look down upon this profession.
The overall prospective is: “Oh, how fun and how easy of a job! No skills needed and making lots of easy money for a fun job.”
Though there is a reason why in this industry there is a rather high turn over on employees in professional dog walking and pet sitting companies and maybe even more so here in our Killeen and Harker Heights service area, indeed because of the Military.
Let’s look at both sides of the coin:
The Pros To Being A Professional Dog Walker
- Though dog walkers of course have their appointments they must meet but it certainly is nowhere near like a stuck up 9-5 schedule and it also is often much more pleasant to speak to the four-legged doggy clients then experiencing the newest drama in an office setting.
- Exercise in fresh air- no running at the gym needed after work
Yes, dog walkers have their exercise built-in their job~ killing two flies with one swat!
- Oh… there is nothing better then seeing the happy faces when arriving with the leash and the dogs are already waiting impatiently for their dog walker, YES they know their schedule very well!
- Happy and grateful dog Moms and Dads appreciating that their fur kids have gotten their exercise during work hours and are much more calm for Mom and Dad when coming home in the evening after a long work day.
When they are happy, it makes their dog walker happy too.
- Living in Military towns like Killeen and Harker Heights often doesn’t allow for having own dogs when renting an apartment or house and out of their love for dogs, people choose the profession of being a dog walker to do what they love most.
But Where There Are Pros, There Are Cons, Too
- The sun isn’t always shining when going on the job or it is shining a tad bit too much. Dog walkers are out there in almost every weather, no matter if rain, sunshine, icy cold or hot as long as it is in the goods of the dogs.
- Dog walkers cannot call in sick as easy as it might be working an office job. They are caring for living beings, fur kids who look forward to their walk and need to go outside for potty. A dog walker thinks twice or three times before disappointing their walking buddies.
- Oh what a dog walker threats….. clients moving away! Again, especially Killeen and Harker Heights mostly means Military related clients and the time is counted before the next duty station calls. Each dog takes a piece of a dog walker’s heart with him.
- Haha, and not to forget why dog walkers carry poo bags. Not to complain but definitely not the nicest or funnest part of a dog walkers job to pick up along the way, right?!
What are your thoughts? Is professional dog walking an easy job or totally overrated?
Not an easy question to answer as it usually leads to several other questions~ one doesn’t fit all and pet sitting isn’t like PET SITTING, ya know.
What and who are YOU looking for and have in mind when searching for a pet sitter online,
what are your first priorities?
A. I tried to board but all kennels in town are already full so I have no other choice as to go with a pet sitter
B. I just need someone to stop by and feed my pets
C. I can’t see my pets being caged at the boarding kennel, I want them comfortably home
D. My cats would be traumatized when being taken somewhere
E. I need care for my pets as cheap as anyhow possible
F. I had pet sitters before, for me the only way to go and the price is secondary
G. I just heard of pet sitters and now I’m curious about this type of pet care
The list could probably go on and on and on
The Various Call Mentalities
When receiving phone calls from interested pet owners, many of the calls start with [no, not a ‘Hi, my name is……, I’m interested in…..], the introduction is “Hi, how much do you charge per day?” and we can almost tell that those callers are to say better off with engaging Craigslist or care.com for inexpensive sole operating private pet sitters who might even be happy to negotiate the price to get ‘a gig’ over someone else. ~~~~Those are B. and E. calls mostly
Then other calls begin with “I want to board my dog for 3 days….how much is it?” … humm.. “I’m sorry Sir, we are not a boarding facility, we provide pet care in the comfort of your own home” … oh, okay [click] ….. [umm…you too have a nice day ] ~~~~ B. and E. and maybe A. might apply to those
C., D. and F’s we love, as the callers which have already utilized the information on our website, know of what we are doing and it often leads to a pleasant and casual friendly phone conversation and usually our free initial consultation lined up for the next couple of days where we can sit in person and chat about what we cherish the most, our pets and it is obvious at first talk, that the priorities are set to that priority is the HOW care is for the pets.
G.’s are fun to talk to too as there is sincere interest in what we do and how pet sitting at home works and being a great alternative with all it’s additional bells and whistles which sets it apart from kenneling, understanding that it cannot necessarily be compared to boarding a pet as our care includes the home as well.
So those are 2 motives for calling a pet sitter or professional pet sitting company~
- the pet as first priority
- the price as first priority
In consideration should also be what you expect from a service like that as it is most definitely and indeed not the cheapest service out there as long as you can’t negotiate with someone from above mentioned websites.
What Comes With Price~ You Get What You Pay For?
Prices reflect overhead costs a company has in it’s daily operations like insurance and bond, scheduling and other systems in place for it’s clients convenience and security.
A professional company like EaseMyMind is actually an employer of a staff of employees so has employment taxes, workers compensation and else to add to the overhead costs which definitely make it more pricey compared to a single operating pet sitter but with the advantage that a professional company with staff can guarantee a backup system when a pet sitter falls out due to illness or accidents versus most sole pet sitter most likely not having a backup plan in place.
Overall a professional pet sitting company runs more sophisticated and serious as a full time service with policies, procedures and employee manuals in place and developed from years of experience, versus offering pet sitting on the side in some spare time.
Though the overall perspective is oh, how cute and easy is it to play with dogs and cats all day but it is actually serious business to care for the various pets and clients homes and no place and no care routine alike!
—> good read: ‘Why I Should Hire A Professional Pet Sitting Company‘
Some Other Things To Consider
Depending on the pet sitter or the pet sitting company, other specifications might be reflecting in price as well as there is
- number of pets in a household
- client’s home location~ within or how far outside of pet sitter’s service area
- are there any medication administration involved
With EaseMyMind those specifications are all included and don’t cost extra but some other companies and sole operating pet sitters may have a different and more complex pricing structure.
Length Of A Pet Sit Visit Is Also Defining The Pricing
To define a pet sit visit by it’s length of time is a common procedure in the pet sitting industry to give the client options to choose from short to extended to long visits depending on the number of pets in a client’s household, their special needs and the client’s preference in how much time he wishes for the pet sitter to allot to his beloved pets. Here again it reflects in pricing.
The National Average
The national average lies at $25 per average pet sit visit but again, it depends on location (state, city), the criteria above and the specifications of each pet sitter and pet sitting company.
Of course a major part is on the pet sitter but you too can do a lot to ensure that your pet sitter can actually do a superb job with caring for your beloved furry family members.
A pet care provider or pet sitter heavily relies on information and instructions given to him or her as everyone’s routine is different and not to forget that pet sitter take care of numerous homes of which each and every is different.
So What Can You Do To Ensure That Your Pets Have A Great Time, You Are Wondering?
1.) The Initial Consultation:
Here you have the chance to let your pet sitting professional know what you would like
them to do and to walk them through your pet care routine so they fully understand
and have to do no guess work in taking care of your pets the same way you do.
2.) Food For Your Pets:
It is important to make sure of having enough food for your pets at home to last for the
days you are going to be gone. While your pet sitter would get food at the pet store
when needed, it will stress the pet sitter first trying to find out if there is more stored
somewhere in the house, then notifying you of being short on pet food and after all it
adds to the pet care bill for a shopping trip plus the cost of pet food.
3.) Treats For Your Babies:
Pet sitters always appreciate if they are allowed to spoil your pets with a treat,
especially to sweeten the end of a visit until the next. [pet love this part too ]
Even more important when you too are giving treats on a regular basis or for certain
occasions, you want to ensure to have enough sitting out for your pet sitter or store it in
the location you have given at the Meet and Greet. Don’t forget to let your pet sitter
know of the acceptable amount your pets can have at a visit or throughout the day.
Please make sure to have things like enough litter to replenish the box, waste bags,
scooper by the litter box, poop bags, cleaner, paper towels and extra bedding and
towels available and easily accessible.
It helps your pet sitter tremendously to not have to search for items or trying to be
inventive but rather spend it with quality time for your pets.
5.) Changes To Pet Care And Home Instructions:
There comes the time when the first Meet and Greet lies far in the past and information
given back then are outdated as things change over time.
Here lies a very common problem a pet sitter often runs into as he or she of course does
not know of these changes unless being made aware of.
Chances are that your professional pet sitter provides an online system especially for
you to keep all your information up to date, from pet care instructions down to where
the paper towels are to be found.
This is very crucial to 1. ensure proper care for your pets and 2. to avoid wasting time in
search for needed items around your home [pet sitters feel very uncomfortable when
having search through your home]
6.) Now, ENJOY Your Time Away!
Enjoy your trip, have a sack full of fun and look forward to your pet sitter’s updates
including pictures of your babies! Know that your pet sitter is taking care of your pets
and your home on a very personalized and loving level and don’t have to feel guilty that
you left your pet at home because actually…. your pets are having a sack full of fun as