The Four Main Roles in A Pet Sitting & Dog Walking Company
There are four main roles in a pet sitting agency. In the early days of an agency, it is possible for just two people to cover all four roles. Usually, one owner who organizes everything on the business side, and one employee or independent contractor who handles office admin work alongside relief pet sitting and dog walking duties. As your company grows, you can hire more people to continue spreading out the workload.
Owner: Creates and communicates procedures and policies. Coordinates marketing. Makes decisions about the direction of the company and sets guidelines around services offered. An owner usually starts off doing all roles in a company, before building the company into an agency.
Office Admin: Handles sales as well as day to day communication with both clients and sitters. An office admin might also write the schedule. Does some pet sitting and dog walking in addition to being an office admin. May have been an outside hire or a previous dog walker or pet sitter.
Dog Walkers: Handles dog walks during the day, usually between 9am – 5pm. Usually walks one client’s dogs at a time. In larger cities, professional dog walkers might walk multiple clients’ dogs simultaneously, known as group dog walks. Group dog walks are possible when multiple clients live in the same apartment building, or are close neighbors.
Pet Sitters: Take care of dogs, cats, birds, and pretty much every other type of pet while clients are away on vacation or traveling for business. Pet sitters come to the client’s home to give meals and medications, complete household chores, and to play with the pets. They are also usually dog walkers. Pet sitting often has a higher demand than dog walking, especially outside of large cities.
I would also add a virtual assistant to this list. A virtual assistant may live in another town, state, or even in a country on the other side of the planet. You can meet with your virtual assistant over zoom or another screen share software, and train them to handle routine tasks such as invoicing, or keeping track of messages from the team in Slack, a team messaging app.
For more information about starting a pet sitting and dog walking company, check out our guide for How to schedule 7-day per week pet sitting service and get two days off per week. Also, be sure to read our guide that covers what kind of services will work in your area and this guide to help you figure out how much to charge for pet sitting and dog walking and how to offer standard timeblocks for your service.
Know the Difference Between Dog Walkers and Pet Sitters
When you are getting started in the pet sitting and dog walking industry it can be a little confusing what the differences between a pet sitter and a dog walker are. For the purposes of this article and our online course, we define the jobs in the following way.
Pet Sitters care for pets in the client’s home while the client is on vacation or traveling. Pet sitters prepare meals, give medications, complete basic household chores, send regular updates to clients, and of course play with pets! Pet sitting is for dogs, cats, birds, and pretty much any other pet. Pet sitting is the perfect (purrfect) service for cats. Most pet sitters are also dog walkers.
Dog walkers usually offer dog walking services when a client works long hours away from home, but the clients will be back home that night. Dog walking services are often booked on weekdays between 9 am – 5 pm.
Companies that offer only dog walking services (not pet sitting services) are usually only sustainable in large cities. Companies in smaller cities and towns generally need to offer pet sitting services in addition to dog walking.