More and more people are jumping on the “pet care bandwagon” that proves how much money Americans spend on their millions of pets.
I’m committed to helping pet lovers have great experiences with their pet care operations – so I’ll share some things you should know that distinguish professional pet caretakers from hobbyists. Hobbyists think that pet care is an easy way to earn a few dollars. Professionals are in business for the long haul and realize that it is not easy to make money.
Here are 11 concepts you should consider when looking for animal keepers.
1. professionals have a backup plan. Because they see themselves as business owners, they have procedures and plans to keep all pets in their care – even if they get a flat, have a personal emergency, or get the flu. While interviewing the suppliers of animal care products, make sure you understand them and are satisfied with their “backup plans.
2. professionals are prepared. Every owner of an animal care company had his share in the “emergencies”. These range from dealing with a deceased pet to dealing with keys that do not work. Make sure that your pet keeper has a process in place to deal with any problems that may arise.
3. professionals never overbook. Find out how many visits your pet keeper makes on an average day – then do the math. Ask your pet sitter to be realistic about how many trips he can make each day to ensure that your pet is visited for the duration of the time you have completed. No pet sitter begins by neglecting his customers, but sometimes during peak hours, in an effort to serve all the customers who make requests, they may be forced to shorten the visits. If you book for rush hour visits, keep this in mind.
4. professionals recognize their value. It is difficult to live in this business, and many pet sitters begin with the goal of helping as many pets as possible. However, the cost of running the business can often throw a large pet sitter out of business if he does not demand enough for the value it offers.
5. professionals use a contract. To protect you and the company, keepers have a contract that describes their responsibilities while you are away. It is important to spend time reading the document and ensuring that both you and your pet keeper know what is expected and what is not. I’ve heard of pet specialists who cut nails, cut furs and offer “extras”. That’s great as long as you expect your dog to be trimmed on his return home.
6. professionals put the well-being of the pet above everything else. As a pet care business owner, my goal is that when you come home, your pet is happy and healthy. That’s why we don’t remove dogs from their homes, let them run free or transport them in packs. Even if it is something you would do!
7. professionals have their businesses in order. Make sure that your pet keeper has the appropriate insurance and business license required to provide services in your area. I recently heard a story about a person who had to shorten their vacation because the friend who took care of their house let the water run overnight and flooded the finished basement – where the kittens lived! Fortunately the kittens were fine, but the cleaning was expensive and the destruction was quite large.
8. professionals spend time learning about business and animal care issues. A pet care business owner should be up to date on first aid in pet care as well as on issues affecting business owners in their jurisdiction.