Fatten The Wallet

How to Start Your Own Dog Sitting Business

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.

You’ve heard of babysitting, house sitting, but how about dog sitting as a side hustle or even a side business?

If you love dogs (sometimes more than people) and just can’t get enough of them, then this side hustle/business idea is for you.  Pet sitting or dog walking can provide companionship as well as extra income.

My friend recently got this beautiful and expensive Samosa puppy.  That dog is so spoiled – eating only organic food.  Definitely living a better life than me.

People are willing to pay good money to give their dogs the best treatment.  And when there’s a demand, there’s money to be made.

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How to Start a Pet-Sitting/ Dog Daycare Business?

You don’t need much to get started with Rover.  You must be 18 years old and pass a background check through Checkr, which costs $10-$35 based on the services you want to offer.

What is Rover?

Rover is a pet matching app that will do most of the work for you. They offer boarding, walking, sitting, drop-in visits, as well as doggy daycare.  It’s a great way for animal lovers to make extra money offering these services.

Rover also offers 24/7 support which includes vet assistance.

You set your own schedule, rates, size limitations, age, and any other pet preferences.  All payment is done through Rover and you are paid 2 days after the services are complete.  You can request payment via PayPal (no fee) or by check for a $2 fee.



How Much Money Can I Make Pet Sitting?

You’d be surprised at how much people are willing to pay.  The average cost is around $60-$100/day for pet hotels and my friend pays someone $100/day to give her dog that extra attention.

Pricing Rates of Services

These are rough general ranges since location, season, and experience vary.  Take home is 80% while Rover collects a 20% service fee.

  • Dog Walking: $20 to $30 per walk.
  • Dog In-Home Visits:  $20 to $30 per visit to let the dog out and exercise with them.
  • Dog Daycare: $25 to $50 per dog for a regular workday. Most daycares offer a monthly package, which cuts down the per-day cost.
  • Dog Overnight: $30 to $75 per dog per night.

You have to check what your competitors are setting their prices at.  Prices vary depending on experience and local demand.  Big cities with working professionals such as NYC, San Francisco, etc would have the highest demands.

The average doggy daycare charges between $20 to $40 dollars depending on the size of the dog. You could charge more if you live in a big city and there is a high demand for it.

If you charge $40/day per dog and you have 5 dogs for your daycare, that’s $200/day or $1,000 a week or $52,000 a year.  Not bad considering how you don’t even need that many dogs to earn a full-time income.

Things You Will Need To Be A Dog Sitter

You don’t need a lot of things to get started as a dog sitter or to run a doggy daycare.  Work with what you have and then go from there.

As your business grows,  your list will also get longer.  But here are some of the things you need to get started:

  • Toys – lots of toys to keep them entertained
  • Extra Leashesno tangle leashes to walk multiple dogs at the same time.  Rover allows owners to request a walk for their dog within 30 minutes to an hour.  If you’re out and about, you can accept a request at a moment’s notice.
  • Treats – who can say no to treats
  • Poop Bags – probably the worst part of the job.  Buy them in bulk on Amazon to save money.
  • Crate/Beds – for the doggy daycare or overnight stays.  Pet parents will love you for this because it’s not fun having to carry the crate around
  • Fenced-in Backyard – if you plan to run a doggy daycare


Rover FAQs

Starting a new dog-sitting business can be exciting, but before you jump in with both feet, here are a few things you should be aware of.

Do I Need to Pay Taxes?

When you work for Rover, DoorDash, Uber, or any of those companies as an independent contractor, you are required to report it on your income tax.

If you are a U.S. taxpayer and redeem earnings via check, Rover will require you to complete a Form W-9.  You won’t need to submit a W-9 if you choose to withdraw your earnings via PayPal since PayPal is responsible for handling your tax documentation.

The minimum threshold to receive a 1099 form is $600, but it is still your responsibility to keep track of your income and report it regardless of how you get paid or the amount.

All 1099s will be mailed on January 31st and you will also receive an electronic copy of your 1099 via tax1099.com

Nobody likes to pay taxes, but as an independent contractor, you can write off certain business expenses such as toys, crate/beds, leashes, etc that you use for Rover.


What Are Performance Scores?

Performance scores influence your profile ranking in the search.  The higher your score, the better your placement on the search results.  However, your scores are private and only you can see your scores.

There are two types of scores:  Booking Score and Repeat Score

dog sitting business

Booking score –  This number is calculated based on the number of new clients who contact you for the first time and how many of them end up booking and leaving you a positive review. 

You can improve your booking score by regularly updating your calendar to reflect your availability, responding to requests in a timely manner even if you’re unable to accept, creating a thorough profile that details your preferences, booking as many as you can accept, and encouraging clients to leave reviews.

Repeat score –  This number tells you how often your first-time clients book with you again. You can improve your repeat score by being accessible and always giving your clients a heads-up about your availability.


What If I Need To Cancel a Booking?

While it’s not ideal, every once in a while you have to cancel a booking due to an unforeseeable event.  You want to avoid canceling as much as possible to keep your business growing.

Before you cancel the service on Rover, you need to reach out to the client to explain why you need to cancel.  Give them as much time as possible to find a replacement if you can.

If you cancel within 7 days of an upcoming stay or within 14 days of a holiday, your account might be subject to account review.


What If There Is An Emergency?

It can be a scary situation when you have an injured, sick, or lost dog situation.  Nobody wants to be in this situation, but it’s nice to know that Rover has a 24/7 emergency support should an emergency arise.

Every time there’s a situation that you think you cannot handle, call Rover emergency support and they will help resolve it as quickly as possible.


What Is Rover Guarantee?

The Rover Guarantee is another benefit and is there to protect you in the rare instance that something goes wrong during a booking.  Rover will reimburse you for costs from certain injuries to the Rover pet or resident pet that occur during a service booked and paid through Rover.

Coverage does not include:

  • Damage to the property
  • Injury to you or anyone related or residing with you
  • Treatment costs for preventive care, medical, or veterinary bills resulting from an illness, a chronic, or pre-existing condition
  • Injury or damage that happens during the Meet & Greet outside of the confirmed service dates.
  • Preventable conditions such as fleas, ticks, or parasites
  • Bookings made outside of Rover.com


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