Check in with pet sitters. How are you?

The events of 2020 changed everything for businesses, including those involving pets. Pet sitters, I’d love to hear from you.

The covid pandemic changed the world for everyone, including pet sitters. Last March my business was going like gangbusters until the day of the lockdown. I remeber vividly getting a text on my phone, which I think is still there, detailing the shelter in place order. In the days following, my phone didn’t stop pinging with the cancellations until my schedule was a blank slate.

How was your business affected? I have heard from pet sitter network members that the situation varied across the country, with many smaller sitters experiencing radio silence like I did to larger companies in more metro areas continuing almost business as usual.

I recently heard in the news that as many as 20% of individuals working from home due to quarantine may never return to the office. This is a good thing for many reasons, including time spent with pets, but it also means the end of dog walking for many of us. While some folks will continue dog walks even when they are at home, most people can’t afford such a luxury or don’t find it necessary.

My business is primarily vacation based, as there isn’t a huge need for dog walking in my non-metro area. However, I do work for a few folks who can’t walk their dogs due to physical restrictions, recent surgery, etc.

Is your business based ore on vacation care or daily dog walks? Are you in a metro area or more in the country?

Have you pivoted your business? Some sitters are offering new services like backyard poop pickup or pet transport to make up for lost income. Others are promoting other kinds of businesses like pet photography, portraiture, accessories, and crafts. I discuss some of these innovative ideas in 5 virtual pet businesses to start in 2021.

This is a great time to increase your knowledge and skill set through training. There are countless courses offered online in all aspects of companion animals. A quick Google search led me to Natural and Holistic Pet Care, Animal Assisted Therapy, and Pet First Aid. There are thousands of others covering animal behavior and training, business management, disaster response, and much more. You can also create your own courses based on your unique experience and expertise. I teach an online course in lost pet recovery called Becoming a Missing Pet Consultant (Pet Detective).

Since recording the video I have managed to get my vaccine and am looking forward to some semblance of normal in the coming months. Calls are starting to trickle in as clients get vaccinated and are itching to travel. I suspect we will be living with masks, social distancing, and other changes for some time to come, so we may as well get used to it and do all we can to make a good living in the “new normal.”

I’d love to hear from you! You can comment here on the blog or on the YouTube video.

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