I was just wondering how you find pet sitters when you need them? Through word of mouth? On Craigslist? A local newspaper? I'm an experienced pet sitter hoping to find some additional work for the summer, but I just moved to a new area and am trying to determine the best way to advertise. I have some signs up in tack shops and pet stores, but was wondering where people look for pet sitting ads? Thanks everyone!
I see you're in western Mass. If you're near Smith, Mt. Holyoke, or Amherst, go put up flyers on campus or find out how to post an ad on the student internet bulletin board.
I live near Wellesley College and work at another college in Boston, and have always gotten my petsitters from college kids. They miss their dogs and want to play with yours!
Okay, I am incapable of reading for comprehension. I just gave you the reverse advice you were looking for. I'd go to local vets and ask to put up flyers in their offices.
I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry
We just discovered a site called care.com - lots of pet sitters listed on there, as well as posts for people looking for pet sitters!
Otherwise I would say tear-off type flyers at pet stores, feed stores (horse feed places - lots of dog owners in and out and many sell dog food too, like Southern States). I always stop at our post office's bulletin board to look at flyers too.
I tried the vets' offices and people I knew in the area (only a few as we had just moved here). I was desperate, so I tried Craigslist. I posted an ad saying something like:
Looking for farm sitter to take care of 5+ horses, 4 cats and 1 dog. 2-3 day weekends common, occasional longer vacation. Please send a description of your experience, your rates and your availability.
The first 3 people who emailed me flunked the test - they didn't send me what I asked for. I figured if they could not follow simple instructions, they could not take care of my critters. The 4th person sent me everything I asked for, asked if we could meet so she could see what she would be doing, and was fabulous when she came out. Our test run was just a day trip - feeding and watering in the AM and PM. I figured if she did not show, my guys would survive one day of not getting fed or having waterers refilled. She did fine, so we did a weekend next and she did fine. Then we did a 4-5 day trip (I was a little nervous on that one and checked in with her daily).
She's been farm-sitting for us for two years and is now a friend, too.
If you have friends/family nearby, I would have someone stop by and check on your place a time or two the first time you use a new pet-sitter. Make sure the animals are getting cared .....
I work for a service. They get a cut, but I get a ton of work through them. The rest are mainly people I know from work.
Most people who use our service either seem to have difficult/care intensive pets (by that I mean that they are gone for 3 weeks and need a dog let out 3x a day or something you would not ask a friend to do!) or had a bad experience with a "friend" or "craigslist" sitter. Most of those were due to petsitters just not showing up or messing up in a major way.
We have people all the time call the clinic asking if any of the techs pet sit. We also get ask in the room by clients. Its kind of a hard situation as we do boarding at the clinic too. However some animals just dont do well. Call your local vet clinic!
--Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--