Register a Company
- Register your company with Lawpath in just 10 minutes.
- Simple step-by-step process with instructions
- On-demand phone, email and chat support
We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!
Starting any business can be like watching a puppy take its first step. You're nervous but excited to take a running start. Tempted as you might be, there are steps in starting a business you cannot sprint past. Our guide will navigate you through the steps you need to take to open a pet sitting business, leaving no stone unturned.
A pet sitting business is one that takes care of animals while their owners are away. This may be a temporary arrangement while a pet's owners are away on holiday, or a regular arrangement to keep a pet entertained while its owners are at work.
Ask yourself: can you handle an animal if it's anxious or gets too playful? A pet sitter should have an understanding of animal behaviour and be able to be gentle and assertive with animals when they act out.
If you can, gaining experience at boarding kennels, groomers, doggie daycares or other related employment can help you understand what may be required from a pet-sitter on a day-to-day basis.
While each animal is different with unique personalities, all pets share the same basic needs. Familiarising yourself with Australia's legislation governing animal welfare will help you to better understand these needs, which includes:
In some cases, you may be hired to pet sit at the owner's home. At this point, you will need to prove yourself trustworthy and reliable for the owners to feel safe leaving you in their home.
Not all pet sitters need a qualification, but having one can add credibility to your business. Luckily, there are plenty of online courses out there that you can complete in your own time.
Here are a few useful courses to consider:
Before you open your doors to paying customers, you need to name your business. While this is a very exciting point, don't let your excitement take away from making a good business decision. Remember that your business name not only needs to reflect what you do, but it also needs to be catchy and memorable for customers. Here are a few tips for picking the right name:
Once you've got your perfect business name secured firmly under your belt, it's time for the fun stuff, like designing a logo and building your website.
The business structure you choose will need to fit your needs and the vision you have for your business. After all, this will determine who makes the key decision in your business and how you pay tax. Check out two of the most common business structures for a pet sitting business:
Once you have established your business structure, you will need to register with the Australian Taxation Office and apply for an ABN (Australian Business Number). An ABN is a unique 11 digit number that identifies your business to the government. You can use it on invoices, tax payments to claim goods and services tax, and get an Australian domain name.
Putting together a business plan before you jump into the world of pet sitting can be extremely beneficial. It will help you think about your business's long-term goals, set realistic milestones for its growth, and consider the money side of things.
Your business plan doesn't need to be pages and pages long, but it should cover the following for starting a pet sitting business:
You shouldn't need to invest too much money in equipment for your pet sitting business in the initial stages. Typically, pet owners will provide you with everything you will need, including:
It can still be useful to have some spare equipment on hand as well. Here's a quick list of essential bits and bobs:
Making sure you have all of the right legal documents in place before you start your pet sitting business will give you the best chance of succeeding when you open. Here are a few legal bits to get in order before you open for business:
Just like any other business, it's best practice to organise a service agreement between you and your clients. It's always a good idea to go over this contract with your client before any business commences.
These are some essential clauses to include in your pet sitting contract:
Before you agree to care for an animal, you should also ensure that the owner has microchipped, desexed and vaccinated their pet. This should be included in the contract and signed by the client.
To avoid being liable for damages or injuries to another person or property, you should invest in Public Liability Insurance. In fact, this is required by law for all pet sitting businesses. The insurance covers events such as if a pet escapes or gets injured while in your care, veterinary treatment or if the pet injures another pet.
You will also need to check in with your local council regarding the number of pets you can legally look after. In some cases, you may need to apply for a permit.
If you are setting up a website, a website disclaimer can limit your liability to any claims that users and clients could make against information that you provide.
If you need any help with legal requirements for your business, you can compare and use the online legal services below.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
The growth of your customer base relies heavily on glowing reviews. Consider your target audience and try to figure out the most effective way to reach them. You can print out flyers and business cards to pin at your local bulletin board or hand out in your local area to get started.
Online marketplaces are hassle-free and useful platforms to connect with clients.
You can also look at Facebook and Google ads from competitors to get an idea of how to market your business online. If you're looking to attract a wider audience, it's worth investing in a well-designed website that's SEO friendly. This means that it shows up in the first pages of search engines and can be found by more customers.
A pet sitter's service is not the same for every client. Before setting a price, you should consider the needs of your client. Here are some criteria to keep in mind when selecting your prices:
Browse through local listings or apps to find the average cost and set yours accordingly.
The average cost for a pet sitter ranges from about $60 to $200, but you can choose to raise the price for overnight pet sitting or boarding. A walk in the local neighbourhood may cost $10 - $25 per hour. For services such as bathing and grooming, you can charge a set fee of between $20 - $40.
If you are new to the business, you may choose to set your prices slightly lower than the average. As you take on different clients, your rapport will grow. You can raise your price once you have an established clientele.
What services does a professional pet sitter include?
Professional pet sitter services include feeding the pet, exercising them, cleaning up after them, grooming and bathing. Some pet sitters have experience with providing medical assistance such as daily injections and giving oral medications.
Can pets stay at the pet sitter's home?
This depends on the pet sitter's services. Some pet sitters do offer boarding services. However, this is limited to certain types of pets. The pet sitter will need special licensing and additional insurance to be able to offer this service.
What are the benefits of a long-term pet sitter versus a boarding kennel?
A boarding kennel can be quite expensive for many people. Being near other animals can also be stressful for animals, especially when they are in an unfamiliar environment. By hiring a pet sitter, your clients can ensure that the pet is comfortable and their routine remains the same. Having personal contact with a pet sitter can also be beneficial for your peace of mind.
Here's how to use your IT skills to start your own network engineering business.
Get all the important details on starting your own curtains and blinds business.
What you need to know if you're looking to launch your own auto electrical company.
Start your own signage business with this step-by-step guide on how to find a business niche, pick the right business structure and market your products.
How to set up a thriving tutoring business in Australia.
Ready to start your online clothing rental business? Here are the most important steps to take.
From finding the right niche to marketing your business, here is a comprehensive guide on how to build a profitable fencing business.
How to start a not-for-profit organisation that your community can depend on.
What you need to know before launching an alterations business.
Love working with numbers and helping businesses? Here’s how to start a financial auditing firm.
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We compare from a wide set of banks, insurers and product issuers. We value our editorial independence and follow editorial guidelines.
finder.com.au has access to track details from the product issuers listed on our sites. Although we provide information on the products offered by a wide range of issuers, we don't cover every available product or service.
Please note that the information published on our site should not be construed as personal advice and does not consider your personal needs and circumstances. While our site will provide you with factual information and general advice to help you make better decisions, it isn't a substitute for professional advice. You should consider whether the products or services featured on our site are appropriate for your needs. If you're unsure about anything, seek professional advice before you apply for any product or commit to any plan.
Products marked as 'Promoted' or 'Advertisement' are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment when you click on those buttons or apply for a product. You can learn more about how we make money here.
When products are grouped in a table or list, the order in which they are initially sorted may be influenced by a range of factors including price, fees and discounts; commercial partnerships; product features; and brand popularity. We provide tools so you can sort and filter these lists to highlight features that matter to you.
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad-based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labelling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
Providing or obtaining an estimated insurance quote through us does not guarantee you can get the insurance. Acceptance by insurance companies is based on things like occupation, health and lifestyle. By providing you with the ability to apply for a credit card or loan, we are not guaranteeing that your application will be approved. Your application for credit products is subject to the Provider's terms and conditions as well as their application and lending criteria.