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Pet Sitter Job Description

pet sitter job description

Do you want to get paid for hanging out with dogs and other animals?

If so, working as a pet sitter could be the perfect career for you. This job mainly involves caring for animals while their owners are on vacation, at work, or in hospital.

Pet sitters can care for a wide range of animals, including cats, dogs, reptiles, rabbits, and birds. Many pet sitters start off working as dog walkers in their spare time and gradually build up a client base.

So, let’s take an in-depth look at a typical pet sitter description and find out if it’s the perfect career for you.

pet sitter job description

Pet Sitter Job Description

A typical pet sitter job description will explain the types and number of animals you need to care for. It will also outline the period a pet sitter is needed for. This could be a few weeks while the pet owner is on vacation or an ongoing position a few hours each day.

The job description will also outline any additional tasks that you will need to perform. This could be light housework, gardening, grocery shopping, and cooking special food for pets. Finally, the job description will describe the skills and attributes that the ideal candidate should have.

Typical Pet Sitter Duties and Responsibilities

The main duty of a pet sitter is naturally making sure the animals in their care stay alive. This job can come with a range of tasks, depending on the animals you are looking after. Let’s take a look at some of the most common pet sitter duties and responsibilities.

Read more: What does a Zoologist do?

Providing food and water

You need to make sure that the pets you are caring for have enough water at all times. You also need to understand their feeding schedule and the types of foods you need to give them. This may include cooking food for pets that are on a special diet or defrosting premade meals and treats.

Exercise and play

If you are caring for dogs, they will need to be taken for a walk a couple of times a day. Larger dogs that are kept indoors may also need extra exercise to prevent them from getting bored. You may need to play with them to keep them engaged and entertained.

Grooming and cleaning

If you are caring for a dog, you may need to brush their teeth and fur every day and bathe them. You will also need to vacuum pet dander and hair off the furniture and carpets. Be prepared to clean little boxes, cages, and/or hutches.

Administering medication

In some cases, you may need to give pets medication. You need to know exactly when to give the medication and how much to give. Trying to get pets to take medication can be difficult, and you should be familiar with different techniques.

Providing regular updates

For many pet owners, their pets are like their children. They may want you to check in every day or every few days to give them updates by phone or email. This means that you need to have strong communication skills to be able to give a detailed update.

Key Pet Sitter Skills and Attributes

You should have a love for animals and be able to establish a rapport with them. If you don’t love spending time with animals, this job could be a real chore. Here are some other important skills that pet sitters should have.


Your clients need to be sure their pets are in good hands. It is essential to stick to set time schedules and take care of all the set tasks. When you start a job with a client, you should continue until you are no longer needed.


You will have free run of your clients’ homes while they are away. Your clients need to know that they can have absolute faith in you. This includes making sure that doors and windows are securely fastened, and alarms are set if necessary.

Knowledgeable of animal behavior

You should be able to recognize if the pet you are caring for is behaving unusually. If this happens, you should let the pet owner know straight away. In some cases, you may have to make a judgment call about whether to take the pet to the vet or not.

Some of the other skills a good pet sitter should have include:

  • Problem-solving
  • Flexibility
  • Remaining calm under pressure
  • Organizational skills
  • Time management

Pet Sitter Education, Training, and Certification

You do not need to have any formal education or training to work as a pet sitter. However, you need to be familiar with all animal behavior and care aspects. In many cases, a new client will ask you to submit to a criminal background check. They are likely to want you to have a reliable vehicle as well as a valid driver’s license.

Previous experience

Being able to provide references from satisfied clients will make it easier to land jobs. Having a background in animal healthcare will make it easier to gain access to higher-paying clients. This includes experience working as a veterinary assistant or veterinary technician.


It is a good idea to gain knowledge of animal first aid and CPR in case of an emergency. It is a good idea to join an organization like Pet Sitters International or the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. These organizations can provide special pet sitting training and certification.

The Working Environment

Most pet sitters work in the homes of the clients while they are away. This provides a stable environment for the pets and helps them to be as comfortable as possible. In some cases, you may be given a small animal in a cage to care for in your own home.

The work schedule

Being a pet sitter means being adaptable to the needs of your clients. In some cases, pet sitters live in the home while the owners are away. This can essentially mean working around the clock. Other times, pet sitters may need to work on weekends or for a few hours during the day.

How To Sart Your Own Pet Sitting Business!

Firstly, we found a few online guides for having your own pet sitting business, such as the Pet Sitting Business Book: How to Start & Finance a Pet Sitter & Pet Daycare Home-Based Business, and The Hiring Handbook for Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers: How to Find, Hire, & Keep the Best Staff for Your Pet Sitting & Dog Walking Business.

Or how about The Balanced Pet Sitter: What You Wish You Knew Before Starting Your Pet Care Business, and my favorite called Think Like Your Dog and Enjoy the Rewards to get you started.

Now that your business is up and running, you’re going to have to stay organized, and what better way than with a Pet Sitter Log Book: Simple Pet Sitting Business, and a Pet Sitter Information Sheets: Petsitter Care Instructions & Emergency Contact Information Notepad, Pet Sitting Checklist w/ Notes to Owners, or the Pet Sitter Client Data & Appointment Log Book, and what about a Dog Grooming Appointment Book 2023, the Pet Sitting Logbook and Scheduler, and finally a Pet, Dog, Cat Grooming Customer Client Clip Cards all available online in 2023.

Final Thoughts

If you love spending time with animals, working as a pet sitter can be a rewarding career. This job is best suited to people who have few commitments and can work a wide range of hours. The average salary for a pet sitter is $12 per hour or $24,000 per year.

If you find that this job is for you, it is best to set up and run your own pet sitting business. Running your own business gives you more freedom to create your schedules and maximize your earning potential.

If you are successful, you can hire a team of pet sitters to work for you while you rake in the bucks.

All the very best working as a Pet Sitter!

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