How To Schedule Pet Sitters and Get Two Days Off Every Week

Picture of By: Kyle Haubrich

By: Kyle Haubrich

Dog walker and online course creator

How to offer 7 day per week pet sitting while having days off

Do you know how to offer a 7-day per week service and get two days off every week? 

Although, as an owner, it may seem like credible feat to work 7 days per week, it is not sustainable over the course of years (trust me, I tried it). Also, it is much harder to hire talented sitters when you require them to work 7 days per week — at all hours of the day — sometimes at a moment’s notice.

Before I revised my scheduling policy, I had sitter after sitter quit. Then I would hear the same thing at the exit interview. My new hires loved the job but they hated the 7-day per week schedule. 

It was clear my scheduling policy was holding my company back. So, my team and I developed a scheduling model that allows for 7-day per week service and every sitter gets two days off per week. 

How to schedule pet sitters

How Does It Work?

Two sitters work as a team to cover each set of visits. One sitter covers more of the AM shift, while the other sitter handles more of the PM shift. Each shift has:

  • Three “Regular Days” 
  • Two “Big Days”
  • And two days off every week

When one shift has their “Big Days” the other shift gets those days off. In the example below, Kate has the AM shift and Sean has the PM shift. 

We look for sitters who have consistent availability during our designated AM or PM shifts. Currently, we are hiring for both the AM shift and PM shift.

AM Shift

On a Regular Day for someone on the AM shift, they would be completing scheduled visits from the morning timeblock to the evening timeblock (see our timeblocks below). 

On a Big Day the AM shift would have visits scheduled from the morning timeblock to the bedtime timeblock.

  • AM Shift – Regular days: Tuesday, Friday, Saturday
  • AM Shift – Big days: Sunday, Monday
  • AM Shift – Days off: Wednesday, Thursday

PM Shift

On a Regular Day for the PM Shift person, they would start with the late morning or mid-day timeblock. 

On a Big Day, they would have visits from the morning to the bedtime timeblock. 

  • PM Shift – Regular days: Tuesday, Friday, Saturday
  • PM Shift – Big days: Wednesday, Thursday
  • PM Shift – Days off: Sunday, Monday

Example Timeblocks

Below you can see our timeblocks for pet sitting and dog walking visits. Visits need to be completed within the designated timeblock. On your busiest days, you would have 2-3 visits during a timeblock, and breaks throughout the day.

  • Morning: 7:00am – 9:30am …………. (Pet sitting only)
  • Late Morning: 9:00am – 12:00 pm … (Pet sitting and dog walking)
  • Mid-Day: 11:00am – 2:00pm …………(Pet sitting and dog walking)
  • Early Afternoon: 1:00pm – 3:00pm … (Pet sitting and dog walking)
  • Late Afternoon: 2:00pm – 5:00pm …. (Pet sitting and dog walking)
  • Evening: 4:00 – 6:30pm ……………… (Pet sitting only)
  • Bedtime Visit: 7:30pm – 9:00pm ……. (Pet sitting only)
  • Flextime: 8:00am – 8:00pm ………….(Cats only)

For more information about scheduling with timeblocks, check out our article:

Cute Cat

Two Sitters Work as a Team

So, as you can see. This scheduling model relies on two sitters working as a team. Each sitter works longer days two days per week to give their teammate two days off every week.  

Dog walking online training and certification

Two Sitters at The Meet & Greet

You might already be thinking, this model requires you to send two sitters to the meet & greet (initial client interview) and you are right. But I actually prefer to send two sitters to each meet & greet because then I have a backup sitter right from the start for every visit. Also I think having two sitters going to a meet & greet is safer.

When to Schedule Meet & Greets

This schedule has three overlapping days where both sitters are working. These are the days you can schedule meet & greets.

  • Tuesday
  • Friday
  • Saturday

Generally, I’ve found, when using the example schedule and timeblocks shown above, sitters are available for a meet & greet during these times. 

  • 2:30-3:30pm
  • 10:00 – 11:00am
I will also sneak in a meet & greet whenever it works.

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