Pet-Sitting Leader Cautions About Today Show’s Five Ways to Earn Extra Cash

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Pet Sitters International President Patti Moran urges pet lovers to think twice before haphazardly entering the pet-sitting industry.

On the Jan. 2 edition of the Today Show, CNBC personal finance correspondent Sharon Epperson recommended pet sitting as one of five ways to earn extra cash in 2012. With more U.S. households having pets than children, pet sitting is certainly in demand and pet-related businesses are faring better than most in this economy. But, if you’re thinking of becoming a pet sitter just to earn extra cash as suggested, Patti Moran, president of Pet Sitters International, the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters, says, “Not so fast.”

“Pet sitting is more than simply loving animals and having a business card printed up or registering with an online sitting service,” cautioned Moran. “Pet owners entrust pet sitters with the care of their pets and access to their homes—and this means there are serious business and legal implications for pet sitters.”

Moran recommends that anyone interested in offering pet-sitting services research their local requirements to legally operate a business and obtain pet-sitter liability insurance and bonding. Without this protection, the pet sitter could be personally liable for any damage that occurs to a client’s home or pet while in their care. Likewise, pet owners should be wary of using any pet sitter unable to provide proof of these credentials.

“While fulfilling, pet sitting can be a physically and emotionally demanding job,” said Scott Black, 2010 Pet Sitter of the Year™ and owner of Personal Touch Pet Sitting Inc., Kingwood, Texas. “Pet sitting includes early mornings, late nights, unusual requests and the strong likelihood of becoming attached to clients’ pets. This career has so many rewards, but can take its toll when a pet dies or must relocate with its owner.”

PSI has educated thousands of professional pet sitters for nearly 18 years and strives to promote high quality standards within the industry. Its nearly 7,000 member businesses service more than 740,000 households and perform more than 18.5 million pet-sitting visits annually, according to its 2010 State of the Industry Survey.

“Most people entering the professional pet-sitting field do so because of their love for animals,” said Moran. “PSI tries to help these pet lovers see that there’s far more to running a successful business. Possibly the biggest reason individuals leave the industry is because they did not look at the big picture of what pet sitting entails before starting their services. If it was as simple as a quick way for pet lovers to earn extra cash, everyone would be a pet sitter!”

PSI offers current and aspiring pet sitters access to pet-sitting resources, industry trends and the 2012 Pet-Sitting Industry Forecast. To learn more, visit


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Beth Stultz
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