5 great animal care jobs for pet lovers
Professional pet sitters care for pets in the pets' own homes, giving them water, food, and attention once or twice daily for about an hour at a time while their owners are away. Some sitters even provide overnight stays.
Income potential: Pet sitters usually charge hourly per-visit fees. Holidays and summer months are the busiest seasons, with early morning and late evening hours typical for these pet jobs, says Ali O'Connor, a pet sitter and owner of Inko's Exemplary Pet Care Services in Naples, Fla. O'Connor charges $35 per hour and more for pets who have special needs and sits for five to 25 pets per week. After barely breaking even her first two years, O'Connor made $32,000 last year working "full throttle."
Startup costs: Because you are entering someone's home and are responsible for the pet 24/7 while owners are away, O'Connor strongly recommends pet-sitting insurance and bonding. Others costs include a reliable car, gas, pet treats and toys.
Check out: The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters in Mt. Laurel, N.J., offers a certification program that includes pet handling, business skills and first aid for these pet jobs.