1. How did you get into pet-sitting?
I worked with a vet for 22 years and ran a kennel at the Lima Animal Hospital for 3½ years. Then, I was no longer working there, and someone I knew from the kennel asked me if I wanted to do some pet-sitting. It just mushroomed from there. They had people who no longer wanted to board their pets, and they sent them to me.
2. How long have you been doing this?
I’ve been doing this about a year.
3. Did you have to get any special licenses or training?
I do belong to a pet-sitting forum. I have the CPR/first aid training through work at the vet’s. I am insured. I did talk to the insurance company about being bonded because people kept saying I needed to be bonded. The agent did research and when he came back he said I was better off insured rather than bonded.
4. How many jobs can you do at one time?
I’m still in the startup process. It just depends. I can do multiple jobs at one time. I’ve done four in one day. I just stagger them. I won’t neglect the time I spend with the animals though.
5. What services do you offer?
I do pet-sitting. I walk and feed them. I have one client that asked me to go in the backyard to play ball with the dog. For cats, I change litter boxes. I can pill a pet. I also get mail, shovel snow, water plants, feed fish, take the trash out — whatever needs to be done to have the house look lived in, I’ll do it. I spend quality time with the pets on the floor one on one. Most jobs I do three trips a day — around 6 a.m., 2 p.m. and then at 8 or 9 p.m. I am there at least an hour each time, sometimes more.
6. What kinds of pets do you watch?
Cats, dogs and fish so far. We have done large animals. My husband went with me and there were goats, donkeys and chickens. He fed them for me. Before I take on a job, I go to the people’s house twice. The first time is to meet them and their pets. The second time I go back just before the client leaving and take notes that I can then refer to.
7. What kind of equipment do you use?
I always bring my bag. In there, I have the folder which has my consent forms. These are a medical release so I have permission to take the animal to the vet and in extreme emergencies I have permission to authorize treatment — although I will not euthanize. I have the owners contact information. I have a form with information on the dog or cat, any medications they are on. I have notepads and pens. I make notes to the owners about what time I was there, if everybody ate, when I cleaned the litter box or pilled the pet. I have a first aid kit — pretty much anything needed is in there. I have a blanket for transporting a pet and a first aid book. I have leashes and animal crackers. I haven’t found a dog that doesn’t love them. I have a flashlight, a pill gun — just about everything I could possibly need.
8. How do people book you?
They can call my cellphone at 419-231-2952. Most of my clients I’ve gotten by word of mouth.
9. Have you ever been attacked or bitten?
That’s why I go two times and another reason I bring the animal crackers. I’ve never been bitten or attacked, but I never go into a house quietly. When I go in, I use a happy voice and the pets are always very glad to see me.
10. What’s the best thing about this job?
The animals — I get to be with them. I get to spend quality one-on-one time with them. I get to sit and pet and play with them. It’s just so rewarding. I have people on a regular basis who have a dog that is shy. They were so excited when the dog made up to me. I have started to at the end of the night to send pictures of the owner’s pet and tell them goodnight. They get to see their pet and what they’ve been doing. It gives them peace of mind. I love being able to do that.