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5 great pet jobs for animal lovers

Pet sitter
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Pet Sitter

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.




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