How to house and pet sit – side hustle series

Pet and house sitting can both make and save money. Here’s how!

I’m excited to have my friend, Melissa, share her tips on house and pet sitting. We met in the US where she is a coach then has a side hustle doing house and pet sitting too! You can check her out on Facebook for sitting or at her site for coaching. If you want to get your own business started, you can book in for a 30 minute session and Melissa can help!

Melissa is the owner of Melissa the Sitter, Pets and Places as her side hustle business. In addition, she is a wife, mom and owner of Melissa the Coach where she is a personal finance coach, speaker and author. Melissa spends her free time travelling to see as many Elton John concerts as she can in the pursuit of her dream to meet him in person!

What do you do?

I am a house and pet sitter.

How much do you make?

It varies. This is a very seasonal job. Over Thanksgiving week, I made over $700.

How and why did you get into it?

I have always loved dogs and have been a dog owner for over 20 years. Currently, we own four rescue dogs!
About 6 years ago, a friend of a friend called and asked, “You have dogs, so do you dogsit?” and I said YES!
I had NO business at that time but that’s how it started. I took care of the dogs for the weekend and the lady (who is now MY friend!) was so pleased she asked if I could be her regular sitter and referred me to other people. That’s how the business started.

What did you need to start?

A reliable car. I did not create a website for this business. I operated by just word of mouth until last year when I made business cards and created a Facebook page.

What are the best ways you have marketed and promoted your side hustle?

Asking clients for referrals and promoting on my personal Facebook page.

What are the pros of what you do?

Spending time with the dogs! Making it so that the owners have ZERO worries about their pets and/or place while they are away. My goal is to take care of everything at home so they can enjoy their time away. And, it’s good side hustle money.

What are the cons of what you do?

Early morning and late nights. It’s not consistent income. And, I’ve been in business long enough that some of my doggie friends have passed away.

What do you wish you had done differently?

I should have started this business WAY before that first phone call!

What tips would you give others?

You can’t get into this business if you know NOTHING about dogs and their behaviour. Dogs are different when their owners are not home.
It helps to have experience with your own dogs or volunteering at a shelter before starting this business.

Anything else you would like to add?

Don’t be afraid to say yes to a request. That’s how I started the house sitting side of this business because someone asked me to.
Also, don’t be afraid to take on unusual requests – I’ve taken care of ducks and a Bearded Dragon!

Don’t forget!

If you want to get your own business started, you can book in for a 30 minute session and Melissa can help!

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