Yes, it is possible to make money by just sitting at home. By advertising and performing house sitting and pet sitting services, you will technically be earning money while sitting at home. The caveat, of course, is that the home you’re sitting in may not be your own.
However, if you like to travel but don’t want to stuck paying for expensive hotel stays, doing occasional house and/or pet sitting may be perfect for you. Alternately, if you can travel in-town to your house locations, you may be able to run your work-from-home business simply by bringing your laptop- and all while earning additional money as a house and/or pet sitter.
And if you’re debating about starting an at-home dog day care business, pet sitting is one way to find out if you’re cut out for this line of work.
So, how can you get absolute strangers to trust you enough to let you sit in their houses and watch their pets? The best method for quickly winning some starter sitting gigs is to sign up with online sites that advertise these types of jobs. Here are some of the most well-known and trusted online sitting sites:
House and pet sitting websites
Although this site is advertised as a house-sitting service by its title, there’s a heavy implication here that you will be watching over pets while house-sitting. However, this is still a worthwhile site to sign up with simply because of its size: there are nearly 9,000 worldwide members on Trusted House Sitters, so someone is bound to have a gig you can take and do. And if you are considering taking a vacation anytime soon, this site can certainly help you decide just where you’d like to travel.
To register as a house/pet sitter with Trusted Home Sitters, you do need to pay a small monthly fee of either $7.99, $14.99 or $23.99/month for an annual, six, or three month membership, respectively. Many site members also post their background checks and personal photos in order to provide ease-of-mind to potential clients.
This U.S.-based sitting site is free to join and offers almost twelve thousand homeowners to sit for. As a registered sitter, you pay $20/month for being a member on this site and receiving inquiries about your services. Keep in mind that some homeowners will ask to see your references, which can be tricky when you are just starting out.
To score a gig with Mind My House, invest some time in creating as complete of an online profile as possible. Don’t just mention your sitting services; let homeowners know if you have any pets of your own, whether you’re employed and/or what you do for a living, what your educational background is, etc. If you own or operate any websites, that’s certainly a feature you should advertise because it helps establish your history. In short, you must get personal if you’re going to earn the trust of a stranger who’s about to leave her home (and animals) in your care.
Rover is a huge U.S.-based dog boarding, sitting and walking service with over 25,000 members. There is no fee to become a Rover sitter; the site simply deducts 15% from your earned fees. Thus, if you’re worried about having few clients at first or only being able to dog sit every now and then, this site is a good match for you.
With Rover, you can opt to have clients drop off their pooches at your home, go to clients’ homes and dog sit there, or simply walk client dogs. One really great Rover benefit is the free premium pet insurance. Thus, should anything happen to Fido while he’s in your care, you and/or your client needn’t worry about receiving a huge veterinary bill at the end.
This U.S. and Canada-based site matches pet sitters with pet owners and deducts 15% from sitter earnings once their gig is complete. With Dog Vacay, you may be requested to undergo a Meet-and-Greet with a prospective pet owner prior to taking on an assignment. Like Rover, Dog Vacay also offers pet insurance to cover unexpected events while you’re pet sitting.
As the name states, Pet Sitters International is a worldwide pet sitting service that contracts with over seven thousand pet sitters. As a pet sitter with PSI, you can opt to take a criminal background test- if you pass, that credential goes on your member page. PSI also offers pet insurance and certification programs.
In the U.S. and Canada, first year membership in PSI is $150 and $135, respectively. Internationals pay $85/year. The site also charges $10 for an application fee, but the fee is rolled into your yearly membership if you purchase it.
Protecting yourself while ‘sitting’
There are certain legal hurdles to think about before you opt to house or pet sit. Consider what might happen if you are held liable for property damage or some kind of harm to the pet you are watching. To protect your interests, you may wish to create and sign a contract with your client before you perform any services. Likewise, you may wish to download and fill out a sitter agreement such as this one prior to taking on a sitting job. After all, even sitting is still work.