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7 Tips for Helping Your Kids Start a Pet-Sitting Business

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on January 19, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Siamese cat with kids

7 Tips for Helping Your Kids Start a Pet-Sitting Business

When the kids grow eager to earn a little extra cash, it’s time for parents to foster their entrepreneurial spirit. Any parent can appreciate their children learning the value of hard work, especially when they do it in a way that engages their passions. For animal lovers, one of the best opportunities is a local pet-sitting business!

Setting up this service is low-cost and straightforward. It’s a perfect foray into the world of commerce for your budding tycoons. Here are seven smart tips on starting a pet-sitting business to help your kids find success.

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The 7 Tips for Helping Your Kids Start a Pet-Sitting Business

1. Discuss Their Skills and the Logistics Before Anything Else

Before helping your kid with their pet-sitting business, you’ll have to talk about their goals, service offerings, and how (or if) you can make it happen.

Start with the kinds of services they want to provide and what they envision the job to entail. Can they do dog walking, grooming, and other services beyond basic pet-sitting? Here, you can help them ground their expectations, set reasonable goals, and define the services they’ll offer.

You’ll then have to figure out a sensible schedule. Your child will likely depend on you in several areas, such as transportation. While you want them to succeed, they must work with your routine. Ensure they’re clear on limitations like these before making plans with customers.

girl in headphones with your cat
Image Credit: arisa Stefanjuk, Shutterstock

2. Set Realistic Expectations

A pet-sitting business is a serious responsibility and a test of your child’s understanding of the role. Your son or daughter should ideally be at least 10 years old. Regardless of age, only you can gauge their maturity level and respect for all the job entails.

Responsible kids can manage the basics of pet-sitting. But no matter their competence, you can’t treat this like a typical business. One consideration is that your child won’t have insurance if something happens on the job. You could be on the hook for any liability if the pets get injured or escape while your child is taking care of them.

Your child’s potential client list will be limited in the beginning. They’ll generally look to family, friends, and their networks to build a customer list. Strangers will be more wary of an unknown kid with their animals and home, especially if they’re inexperienced. Your child should work with people you know and who won’t cause a stir if something minor happens while your child is pet-sitting.

Expanding Your Child’s Pet-Sitting Business

If your child is getting serious about their blooming pet-sitting gig, they could start a legitimate business with your help. They’ll want licenses and pet sitter’s insurance to cover liability if something happens to the pet or their customer’s property. With that, the business can expand its marketing and focus on growing its customer base.

Setting up a business entity will take varying levels of effort, paperwork, and investment. It all depends on where you live and the services your child offers. Have them research the laws around registering with the state and how to get the licenses and permits on your city’s and county’s websites.

Fees will be involved, and your child’s income will be taxable once they make over $400. However, the business will be legitimate and have fewer hurdles in staying operational.

Under your guidance, your child can do the research, formulate a business plan, and figure out their business name and services. Let them learn by managing the basic ins and outs of their business.

3. Have Your Kids Reach Out to Friends and Family

When your child is dipping their toes into pet-sitting, starting with one person they know well is ideal. If you can think of a family member or friend with a cat or dog who is willing to let your kid pet sit, they can learn the responsibilities and challenges of the job in a safe, familiar environment.

Starting slowly with close affiliates will also allow your child to figure out what kind of pets they can work with and the services they would like to provide. When they get more comfortable and efficient with the process, you can help them branch out.

Rather than make the appointments for your child, encourage them to contact their potential customers directly. You can bring them the list and give them feedback throughout the process, but this is another opportunity for them to learn business and communication skills.

small cute child with a bald head that embraces with tenderness and love a red cat
Image By: oes, Shutterstock

4. Arrange Meetings With Families Before Setting Appointments

Meeting the pet in the setting where your child will be pet-sitting is a critical step before confirming an appointment. Even if you know the person, you may not know the pet or the place, and you don’t want to toss your child into an unknown and potentially unmanageable situation.

A meet and greet will let your child interact with the pet in a controlled environment to test their temperament and compatibility.

5. Guide the Conversation With Potential Customers

Setting specific and reasonable expectations is the only way to guarantee a positive experience. You don’t want any uncertainty around the responsibilities that may disappoint the customer or put your child in an awkward spot.

Confirm a written checklist of duties during your meeting, and encourage your child to ask any questions they need for clarification. Go over emergency contacts, escape routes, and restricted areas around the house.

Ensure your child has reliable access to the home. As a parent, you’ll appreciate the chance to assess the situation and gain assurance that your child will be safe.

Image By: silverblackstock, Shutterstock

6. Share Your Child’s Services on Social Media

While your child may want to create a separate website once their business gains traction, you can boost their profile from the get-go by advertising services on social media.

Give the business a quick shoutout to make your extended network aware. Instagram, X, Facebook, and other social sites will let you immediately connect with interested pet owners and start conversations.

7. Get Business Cards

If your child has a business name, an email address, and a logo, you can offer marketing help by getting them their first set of business cards. Sites like Canva let you design and order business cards in only a few quick and easy steps.

Your child can create the card and use it as they canvas the neighborhood to network and broaden their potential customer list.

Funny ginger kitten sitting on table where kid is writing
Image By: Sharomka, Shutterstock

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Pet-sitting is one of the best business ventures a kid can jump into, requiring little more than a genuine passion for animals to get started. For us parents, the trickiest part is finding a balance between offering support and allowing independence.

Your kids will need your help to succeed, but you don’t want to control the process of starting the pet-sitting business. Here is an excellent opportunity for your children to grasp new concepts and build skills. While you can lend feedback, you should leave it to them to learn their lessons, make mistakes, and seize the chance for personal growth.

Featured Image Credit: Bear Fotos, Shutterstock

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