14 Pros and Cons of Being a Pet Sitter

Pet Sitter

Being a pet sitter is a fairly stress-free job with a relatively good hourly wage if you are just starting out in the working world or in retirement.

On average, pet sitters make between $22,000 and $32,000 per year.

In addition, this job is neither mentally nor physically demanding and there are no special educational requirements to get started in this field. 

If you love pets and enjoy working with animals, pet sitting may be the perfect job for you. 

Pros of Being a Pet Sitter

There are several benefits associated with working as a pet sitter.

We will discuss seven benefits of this job. 

1. Become Self-Employed

One of the biggest advantages of working as a pet sitter is that you do not necessarily have to work for anyone.

You could start your own pet sitting business and work for yourself. 

There is very little upfront cash required to set up this kind of business and you will be able to determine your own working hours.

It may be advised to initially start by working for a pet sitting company, in order to gain some experience and make some contacts or build up your clientele. 

This way, when you do decide to start your own business, you will hit the ground running with a few clients and some great experience.

2. Making Your Hobby a Full-Time Job

There is an old saying that says: find something you love to do and you will never work a day in your life. 

That is true if you are someone that loves pets and spending time with animals.

This is a great way to combine your passion with earning an income.

Many pet sitters have stated that working in this field does not feel like work at all.

It simply feels like enjoying your leisure time. 

Of course, not every day will feel like a walk in the park (no pun intended), but for the most part, the job is pretty relaxing. 

3. Stress-Free Job

It goes without saying.

Pet sitting can be a very enjoyable and relaxing job if you are someone that loves animals. 

While there are instances where pets may misbehave or not listen to instructions, the majority of your time will be spent taking leisurely walks in the park or somewhere out in nature. 

There are no deadlines associated with this job or difficult managers/co-workers to endure during the day.

Your only requirement is to ensure that the pet has been walked and any “business” is cleaned up during the walk. 

4. Decent Working Hours

As a pet sitter, you have full control over your schedule and working hours.

Of course, this will also depend on whether you work for yourself or for a pet sitting company. 

Most pet sitters work less than 40 hours per week.

But, this will also depend if you have any savings goals.

You could scale up or down with working hours and increase your hours when and if you want to make more money. 

This makes working as a pet sitter a very flexible job. 

5. Gain Knowledge

You will be working with pets for most of the day, depending on how busy your schedule is.

If you start out with a pet sitting company, you may initially receive training before you take your first pet out for a walk.

During your time as a pet sitter, you may even gain valuable experience in how to manage and care for pets.

This knowledge can then be applied to your own pets.

Or, if you have never owned your own pet, and are now considering getting your own pet, you will be much more equipped for dealing with animals.

You may even assist family members and friends with their pets and teach them what they should always avoid when caring for their pets. 

6. No Hard Manual Labor

One of the top reasons to become a pet sitter is that you will not be subjected to any hard labor.

Whether you are male or female, many industries involve hard and tiresome work.

As a pet sitter, the most demanding part of your day may be putting the leash on your animal.

Prepare yourself for some cardiovascular exercise though, as you may need to walk and sometimes jog a fair distance when taking your pets out. 

7. Excellent Job for Retirees or Students

While you may not necessarily be able to run a household on this income, those that have fewer financial needs, such as young adults or retirees, may find this job pays rather well.

In addition, the flexibility of working hours means that students are still able to attend school and retirees can still go to that Wednesday afternoon bingo game while still maintaining their job as pet sitters. 

Cons of Being a Pet Sitter

Believe it or not, there are some disadvantages to this job.

Here are seven disadvantages to being a pet sitter.

1. The Salary is Not That Great

While this is a great part-time job for many people, as previously mentioned, the money is not good enough to sustain a family. 

In fact, this income may be more suited to students or retirees.

However, as a business owner, there is the possibility of earning a fairly good income.

But this will depend on how many employees you are able to hire and how many clients you are able to secure. 

So, if you have serious bills to pay for or enjoy splurging on luxury items from time to time, this may not be the best option for you.

2. You Need More Than One Income

As previously mentioned, this income may not be sufficient to sustain you, especially if you are only doing it part-time. 

You may need to get a second job in order to supplement your income.

This is especially true in regions where the cost of living may be higher. 

Having more than one job, in and of itself, brings disadvantages.

For example, you will have much less free time to get around to chores or errands.

In addition, you will have less of a social life or barely enough time to do the things you love.

3. You Cannot Buy a Home

If pet sitting is your full-time job, you may struggle to purchase a home. 

Banks are not motivated to loan large amounts of money to candidates who do not have a stable income or earn less than a certain amount. 

This means that you will not be able to own your own home. 

4. Your Future Outlook

Planning for the future may be somewhat tricky.

Some months you may be busier than other months.

This means that your income is rarely stable or consistent. 

Planning for any future event may be quite challenging as you never know if you will make enough money to support these future goals or ideals.

Due to the nature of the industry, and lack of job security, you may find that you are unable to plan for even the smallest events as you will be spending most of your income paying for your day-to-day necessities. 

5. No Job Security

Due to the fact that this job requires no formal education and that almost anyone can start working as a pet sitter, there is very little if any job security. 

You will be competing against many other candidates and you will also be easily replaceable.

6. Pet Allergies

If you are someone that suffers from things like pet allergies, you may find it impossible to do this job.

If you plan to work in this industry, make sure that you do not have any kind of allergies related to animal fur or allergies that may be aggravated by animal fur before applying for this job.

7. Difficult Clients

When you work in any setting where you are exposed to having to deal with clients, you may find that some people can be extremely rude and more difficult to engage with than the pets they are hiring you to watch.

This is part and parcel of the job.

Granted, not all clients will be difficult, rude, or arrogant, but you may experience one or two every now and then.

If you are someone who finds it difficult to engage with these kinds of clients, then pet sitting may not be for you.

Pros and Cons of Being a Pet Sitter – Summary Table

Pros of Being a Pet SitterCons of Being a Pet Sitter
Become Self-EmployedThe Salary is Not That Great
Making Your Hobby a Full-Time JobYou Need More Than One Income
Stress-Free JobYou Cannot Buy a Home
Decent Working HoursYour Future Outlook
Gain KnowledgeNo Job Security
No Hard Manual LaborPet Allergies
Excellent Job for Retirees or StudentsDifficult Clients

Should You Become a Pet Sitter?

This will inevitably depend on what your financial needs are, your current situation, and your future outlook.

If you are a student that requires a bit of extra cash and you have the time to invest in this type of job, then yes, it would be a great fit for you.

If you are looking to pay off student debt, on the other hand, and earn a living, this may not be the ideal job for you.

If you are a retiree that would like to supplement your current income, then yes, this may be a good fit for you.

But, if you are a retiree that is unable to walk for long distances, then no, this is not the job for you. 

In addition, if you plan to start your own business, hire some employees to work for you, and have great client prospects, then this may be a good fit for you as well. 

Jamie Willis