How do I Become a Dog Sitter?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 17 February 2019
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To become a dog sitter, you must not only love dogs but be able to control them. For instance, if you can't control large, powerful dogs when walking them on a leash, then you should limit your dog sitting service to smaller breeds only. Caring for dogs differs from looking after cats and other pets in that they typically need walking several times a day. If a dog in your care breaks free from the leash and bites a person or another dog, you may face a lawsuit and could be found responsible for any damages. Being a responsible dog handler is a must if you want to build a business looking after dogs.

You may need to have insurance or a license to become a dog sitter, depending on where you live. It's a good idea to spend some time with the dog before you plan to visit and take care of the animal while the owner is away. Even a normally mild-mannered dog may become more aggressive if a stranger is suddenly in the home rather than the owner. If you're staying in people's homes while looking after dogs, you may need to be bonded as well as insured or licensed.


Check on all of the legal requirements involved before starting your dog sitting business to avoid any inconvenience to you as well as pet owners for whom you've agreed to provide a professional service. To become a dog sitter, you'll likely have to start your own business. You should have a business plan as well as experience in caring for dogs. You should be familiar with basic dog training procedures and understand that dogs are pack animals who follow the leader of a home. Following the dog owner's instructions and leadership routines is important if you want to become a dog sitter.

Many dog owners have set routines, such as walking and feeding times, that you'll be expected to follow when caring for the pet. For example, not giving the dog table scraps that the owner doesn't permit is crucial or you may be faced with caring for a pet with an upset digestive system. Giving a dog in your care good quality pet treats or a rawhide chew stick may help the animal become more agreeable to your presence in the home. You should check with the owner before giving his or her pet any type of dog treat. Paying attention to details can help you to become a dog sitter with a reputation for quality care.



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