The Pawsitives of Pet Sitting for a Living
Happy Pet Sitters Week! To celebrate pet sitters and all they do for our furry friends, our residential pet sitting pro, Rachel Leavy, explains why she lives the good life.
While many people spend their days working for “the man,” I spend my days working for the pooch. Being a pet sitter is a great career for those who don’t like spending their days trapped in a cubicle. My days are spent appeasing my clients, who have four legs instead of two. If I have an unhappy client, they bark instead of yell. Here are the best parts of my job:
- Get paid in tail wags: There is no better feeling than having clients happy to see you. Every day I walk into house after house and have animals bouncing around wagging at me. I have always preferred the company of animals to that of people, so this is perfect. The bond I make with these animals is strong – I love them like they are my own. Pet sitters learn their client’s silly quirks, from the mutts who have to chase their tail before going out, to the ones who will only eat special treats.
- Get to spend my days in nature: While it can be ruff to walk in the freezing cold, it’s still better than being stuck inside. Some of my best walks are spent hiking through forests with a dog all too happy to sniff and explore. In the spring I get to watch the flowers bloom – and in the winter I get to see the beauty of snow.
- My clients don’t complain: The nice thing about dogs is that they don’t wear watches. I show up to their houses and they just can’t wait to see me. Whether it’s for a daily walk, or pet sitting for someone who is out of town, as long as they get their walks in, they’re happy. I don’t have a boss standing at the time clock when I’m three minutes late.
- My job is a constant work out: Pet sitters spend their days walking, so we are constantly working out. It’s recommended that the average person walks at least ten thousand steps a day – I usually put that in before noon.
- My human clients love me: I provide the service of exercise and potty to the dogs, but to the humans I provide the gift of peace of mind. Each time I walk a dog, I send the owner a picture and a little note to know how it goes. I have helped people in crisis – I was pet sitting for someone who was running in the Boston marathon the year it was bombed. I was able to keep caring for the pets until the owners returned safely. Since I see many of my clients Monday through Friday, I have been able to help owners notice when something was amiss with their pets.
Being a pet sitter is a wonderful way to make a living. I make my own schedule and spend my day getting puppy kisses and giving belly rubs. The hours can be long, and the weather can be grueling, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Rachel Leavy lives in Rochester, New York with her dog, Virginia Woof. She’s loved animals all her life, and has owned her own dog training and walking company for five years. When she’s not playing with puppies, she can usually be found writing short stories, riding horses or out at a play.