You have a passion for animals and more particularly for dogs. Discover the profession of dog sitter or baby sitter for dogs. An activity coming straight from Anglo-Saxon countries, dog sitting in the owners’ homes or at home has become more than a trend. It is a real profession which must meet certain standards and legislation. We tell you everything in this article!
What is dog sitting?
A dog sitter is a trusted person to whom dog owners entrust the care of their companions. He will be in charge of the animal: grooming, walking, feeding and cuddling. To be clear, as a dog sitter you will need to take care of the welfare of animals in the absence of their owners.
Dog guarding place
Depending on the requests of the owners and the equipment of your home, you will have to keep the dog (s) at the owners’ homes or at your home.
Guarding with the owners
Whether for a short time (a few hours a day) or for a longer period (a few weeks of vacation), some owners will ask that you come to their home to take care of their dog. Several reasons for this:
- Do not disturb the dog and leave him in an environment he knows
- In addition to taking care of the animal, they will require some additional services such as collecting mail or watering the plants.
- When it comes to caring for the animal when owners are working, babysitting will consist of walking the dog and looking after it for a few hours during the day.
Guarding at the dog sitter
In this case, the animal will reside with you in the absence of its owners. Strict regulations govern the keeping of animals in private homes. Indeed, you must respect health standards that will guarantee the safety of the dog. It is also recommended to take out professional insurance. The latter will protect you from the damage that the animals kept could cause to a third party or to protect you against the disappearance of the animal (theft, flight, etc.).
Good to know
Your insurer can advise you on the most suitable cover for your situation. Indeed, there is a difference between babysitting consisting of walking the dog and a boarding activity. In the latter case, in addition to the legislation and health standards to be respected, you can ask your insurer to advise you on additional cover depending on the type of dog you will have to keep..
How to become a dog sitter?
In general, taking care of others requires great listening skills and infinite patience. A dog is like a human, it takes a lot of love and constant attention. You would have understood it, there are many qualities required to exercise this profession. Above all, you need to be versatile, because in addition to taking care of one or more animals, you will have to run a business. Then you need an infallible passion for dogs and a great availability.
Like any professional, to practice the profession of dog sitter, you must obtain a knowledge certification. It replaces the capacity certificate for pets of domestic species (CCAD) which remains valid if you obtained it before 2016. One condition, you must update your knowledge every 10 years and provide proof.
Other state-sanctioned diploma courses also allow you to exercise the dog sitter profession such as that provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
Other state-approved bodies also provide training.
These last between 14 and 20 hours. They are validated by the issuance of a certificate of knowledge.
For shelter and boarding activities, you must:
- Respect the legislation in force, in particular that of article L-214-6 of the Rural Code. It stipulates that a declaration of your activities is required from the DDPP (Departmental Directorate for the Protection of Populations) and DDCSPP (Departmental Directorate for Social Cohesion and Protection of the Populations). To do this, contact the authorities located in the department in which your activity will be carried out.
- Bring your dog home to health standards.
- And finally, you need to make sure that at least one person in charge of dog supervision has a diploma attesting to their knowledge in the matter.
Do not hesitate to contact unions and other associations of Pet-sitters. They will provide you with essential advice to start your activity in the best conditions. Some examples of organizations you can contact:
- National Union of Dog and Cat Professionals.
- The Collective of Professional Pet-Sitters or CPSP
Good to know
For pension activities, some additional rules must be observed:
- Obtain consent from a sanitary veterinarian, then send the consent form to the Ministry of Agriculture.
- For journeys of more than 65 kilometers, you must have a vehicle compliant with standards for transporting dogs. This is the CAPTAV or Professional Aptitude Certificate for the Transport of Live Animals.
How much does a dog sitter earn?
The salary of a dog sitter is extremely variable. They are generally set freely by the professional. It will depend on:
- the request and the duration (during or outside the holiday period, for an hour or a few weeks)
- the place of guarding and the distance to be covered: at the owner’s, in a pension or at your place
- animal size: small dog or large dog
Note that the prices charged vary between € 10 and € 20 depending on the services requested.
You can offer packages according to the length of custody and / or increase the prices by 10 to 15% depending on the distance to be traveled, the desired guard period (weekends or holidays) and demand (off-peak or high season). In any case, do not hesitate to discuss with the owners to offer them the price that best suits their needs.
As we have just seen, the salary of a dog sitter fluctuates according to the season and the demands. During the lean season, the remuneration drops. To overcome this, do not hesitate to offer additional services such as mail collection, garden maintenance, home surveillance, etc.
To exercise this profession in addition to another, careful management of your calendar is required. Indeed, the guarding of animals is time consuming. And to retain owners, you must take great care of their companions.
How to find clients?
Many sites connect dog sitters and dog owners.
All you have to do is create your profile on the site and the platforms offer you assignments according to your criteria.
The other solution is to build up a network of partners who will recommend you to their clients: veterinarians, animal centers, etc.
Finally, know that word of mouth remains a very good way of canvassing.
A satisfied owner is one who will recommend you to friends and neighbors. As a result, pay special attention to animals and be sure to provide quality service.