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Do you want to work as a pet sitter?

  • Read about the most important info you need to decide on following this career.
  • ​Follow the 7 points below and search for a tertiary institution near you for future studies. If you already are graduated, you may also search through our list of Jobs in the main menu.
  • If you want to PLAN the way you need to prepare, then join our community where you will learn everything, while chatting with other potential sitters and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!

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UPDATED: 29 August 2020

1. What is a Pet Sitter?

Pet Sitters care for pets while owners are traveling or are unavailable.

​In most cases the pet sitter will take care of the animals by feeding them, grooming them and sometimes stay with them so that they have company.

2. What does a Pet Sitter do?

Career Categories:

The Pet Sitter career can be found within the following OZT career categories:

  • Animal Care
  • Business

What does a Pet Sitter focus on?

Most Pet Sitters work with all kinds of domesticated animals (pets), but you can specialize by only working with specific kinds of animals, such as cats, dogs, birds, rabbits. When you do decide to work with specific animals, good knowledge and understanding of that animal and its behaviour is extremely important. One Zoo Tree has information on all these animals to help you learn more about them.

What are the daily tasks of a Pet Sitter?

  • Feeding the animal
  • Making sure the animal has enough water
  • Cleaning the sand box, cage etc.
  • Playing with the animal

3. The working environment of a Pet Sitter

Where does a Pet Sitter work?

Environment –

Mostly indoors

Places of Employment –

Most will be self employed on a contract basis by pet owners, but there are opportunities to join large pet sitting businesses as an employee.

What is the average annual salary of a Pet Sitter?

A good pet sitter can make around US$30,000 per year. But this income will depend on many factors, such as the country where you are located in, and whether there is strong competition.

Can a Pet Sitter be promoted?

Those employed as Pet Sitters within an established business might move along a basic promotion path, as most of these businesses have a flat hierarchical structure. One of the examples:

pet sitter -> senior pet sitter -> section manager

Pet Sitters with relevant years of experience may also move on to other animal care careers, such as animal caretakers, kennel workers, or rescue center staff. 

What difficulties can a Pet Sitter face?

​The most difficult part of this career is being able to work with difficult pets. Certain animals can get difficult and temperamental when they sense a new person in their space. Learning to deal with such animals is important to make Pet Sitter your ideal career.

4. Which Skills are required?

The skills required for a career as a pet sitter can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills:

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship

Career Skills:

  • ​Good animal handling and care techniques
  • Basic business skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Entry level computer literacy
Life Skills
60%
Career Skills
40%

5. Which subjects must I have at School to help prepare for this career?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

6. What will I need to Study to become a Pet Sitter?

Minimum educational requirements:

Generally, pet sitters must have at least a minimum of a high school diploma, when working for an established business. This might not be necessary when starting your own pet sitting business.

Although further education is not necessary, the best pet sitters learn additional skills on the job, or acquire skills through completing short courses.

Study Focus:

When you do decide to further your skills, you might want to focus on short courses that specializes in caring for pets (cats, dogs, parrots) as well as dealing with pet behavioral issues.

Study Duration:

The duration of short courses differ, but can range from a few days to a few weeks.

Possible Career Preparation Paths:

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A Preparation Path is like your road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

Possible Combined Career Paths:

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternative(s):

Stepping Stone Career:

Being a pet sitter can also be used as a stepping stone career. A stepping stone career is one which is used to help you get to another career, normally because the other career is too difficult to reach (sometimes due to things like high fees etc). You can begin as a pet sitter after basic short courses and expert guidance (maybe working under a mentor). The money made can then be used to pay for studies towards a promotion or another career, and the experience helps in gaining knowledge. One paying to help get to the other.

Some of the possible paths:

Training and apprenticeship:

Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal caregiver careers, most of the skills you will need will be acquired through on-the-job training. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.

In some cases entry level positions (or junior positions) working for an existing business, require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the place of employment, after you have successfully applied.

Apprenticeship is also possible where you need to learn skills from a more senior person or expert within a business. The more hands on careers, such as animal trainers might require apprenticeship.

Join the Pet Sitter Group to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!

Average level of education of those entering the career:

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

7. Licenses, Registration, Certification and Professional Associations

Certain animal caregiver careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and do it well. For example most animal groomers use their certification to prove to their customers that they can work on their animals, without disastrous consequences!

For some careers there are extremely important certifications, without which they wont even be able to perform their daily duties. For example, most aquarists will require certification in scuba diving.

Licenses are issued by government and shows that a person is legally allowed to perform specific animal care duties, or open a place where animals are kept and looked after. Most countries do require some form of registration and license to operate an animal business.

Most countries do not require any specific legal requirement to be a pet sitter, but if you do want to set up a business, then you do need to register it with the local government for tax purposes.

Professional Organizations:

8. Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards animal care.

Do you want to contribute to the career information? Please click on the red beetle to learn about being an OZT Mentor or contributor.

Pet Sitter Career2

JOIN our OZT Community

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming a pet sitter.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
  • Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
  • Make friends around the world and share knowledge
  • Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!

If you have decided on being a pet sitter, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, and non-members will be assisted to register first.

If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu to start a new search and learn about a different career.

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