King, NC (PRWEB) March 03, 2012
Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world’s largest educational association for professional in-home pet-care providers, recognizes the contributions of its professional pet-sitter members and celebrates the growing in-home pet care industry during Professional Pet Sitters Week (PPSW), March 4-10.
Introduced by PSI in 1995, PPSW is an annual observance that honors professional pet-care providers, educates the pet-owning public about the advantages of professional in-home pet care and encourages pet-loving entrepreneurs to explore professional pet sitting as a viable career.
The latest U.S. Census results indicate there are now more households with dogs (43 million) than children (38 million).
“With pet ownership at an all-time high and continuing to grow, the need for pet-related services, including those of professional pet sitters and dog walkers, is on the rise,” said PSI President Patti Moran.
In fact, the American Pet Products Association’s 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey found that U.S. pet owners spent an estimated $3.65 billion on pet services last year, up from $3.51 billion in 2010.
Professional pet sitters benefit from this increased demand.
When Theresa Overbey, owner of Paws and People Too! in Middletown, Del., left her career as a registered nurse to start her pet-sitting service in 2001, she never imagined her passion for pets would take her so far. Yet, a decade later, Overbey has more than 600 regular clients and nine employees. She has achieved her Certified Professional Pet Sitter (CPPS) designation and has expanded her business to include a retail pet spa with grooming.
“When I first started, business was slow,” Overbey said. “But, I hung in there, saw more and more pet owners begin to travel and use my service and now have hundreds of clients although I live in a fairly rural area. I have discovered if you love animals like I do, there is a world of knowledge and growth that is almost limitless.”
“Just ten years ago, the pet-care services industry was virtually unknown or thought to be the job of a neighbor or kid down the street,” noted Moran, PSI founder and author of the book Pet Sitting for Profit. “In the last decade, however, the profession has been legitimized as both highly reputable and profitable.”
“This change in perception is most likely the result of an increase in qualified pet-care professionals, their consistent use of sound business practices and the high demand for the educational and marketing services we provide to industry professionals,” added Moran.
PSI has more than 7,000 independent members and its member businesses performed more than 18.5 million pet-sitting visits last year.
In honor of PPSW, PSI asked members to share their pet-sitting success stories. Select stories can be viewed at petsit.com.
“A commitment to professionalism, sound business practices and continuing education differentiates professional pet sitters from other pet-care options, such as relying on neighbors or friends,” Moran said. “PSI pet sitters have access to insurance, bonding, Certification and a host of business and educational tools to help provide the best care possible to the more than 740,000 pet-owning households they service.”
To find a local PSI pet sitter, search the Official Pet Sitter Locator™ at petsit.com/locate. To learn more about pet sitting as a career and to download a free copy of the 2012 Pet-Sitting Industry Forecast, visit petsit.com.