Becoming a Pet-Sitter with Very Important Pets

Professional Pet-Sitters are at the heart of our business and we take pride in selecting the very best people to work with.

We provide a premium service and our clients expect high quality care for their pets, so the requirements and expectations we have for our pet-sitters are equally high.

The Person

  • You will be an experienced pet owner, professional animal carer or veterinary nurse.
  • Be able to work most of the year and accept 80% of the jobs we offer.
  • You should be available to work at peak times, Easter, Summer Holidays, Bank Holidays, Half Term, Christmas, and New Year.
  • Flexibility is important as you will need to be able to commit to a range of times depending on the service.
  • Be a supportive and engaged member of the VIPs team.
  • You will need to demonstrate an expert degree of aptitude in animal services.
  • Be reliable and honest.
  • Have a high degree of fitness and be capable of undertaking most of the services we offer – except specialist horse care.
  • Have a criminal records disclosure and a clean criminal record.
  • Be fluent in spoken and written English.
  • You must be a non-smoker or commit to not smoking during an assignment.
  • You will have access to email and be capable of responding to our messages and phone calls quickly.
  • It would be desirable if you have a driver’s license and own a car although not essential.

Our services

Generally all boarding, day care and live in services require you to commit to a set amount of time – anything from 4 hours to 4 weeks.

Feeding assignments have more flexibility and can be completed throughout the day.

However there are times when you might need to visit a client’s pet more than once a day and therefore you will need to be available in the morning and evening.

House and Pet live-in sitter

As a live-in pet sitter you will have to live in a client’s home and walk, feed, play with, groom and love their pets.

You will be expected to maintain a client’s home by doing light domestic duties such as mail collection, fish feeding, watering house plants, turning on/off lights, and pulling curtains and blinds.

You are expected to keep the clients property as clean and tidy as when they left.

Dog, Cat and Small Mammal home boarding

For our home boarding service, a client will drop their pet off at your house, and provide food, bedding, toys, medication, lead and collar, food and water bowls. You will be expected to provide a loving family home for the client’s pet, and maintain their feeding, grooming and exercising routines. You’ll be required to have a secure garden, ideally with grass, and have a well presented pet friendly home. Dog boarders will be required to obtain a dog boarding licence from their local council.

Cat Feeding and Small Mammal visiting service

As a pet feeder you are required to go to our clients’ house and feed, water, groom, clear/change litter, and play with the pet for a period of no less than 20 minutes, either once or twice a day. You may also need to perform light domestic duties such as mail collection, fish feeding, watering house plants, turning on/off lights, and pulling curtains and blinds. You are expected to keep the client’s property as clean and tidy as when they left it.

Dog Walking

As a dog walker you will be expected to collect the dog from the client’s home, do a one hour walk in the area selected by the client, and then drop the dog back off home. You may also be required to clean or dry the dog, or feed him, after the walk. The client will specify if the dog can be walked on or off the lead and which area they would prefer the dog to be walked.

Doggie Day-Care services

The doggie day care service can be either in the client’s house or in your house and lasts for up to 12 hours. You would be required to care for the dog during this time by walking, feeding and playing with it. You would not be permitted to leave the dog alone during the doggie day care service as this service is charged at an hourly rate.

Horse Care

We would only put extremely experienced horse carers on this service as it is a highly skilled job. You would be required to do the following duties:

  • Morning feed and general health check
  • Evening feed and general health check
  • Turning out and Bringing in
  • Changing rugs
  • Mucking out stables
  • Grooming
  • Watering – both in the stable & paddock

How long do pet sitting assignments last?

We have a minimum two day policy on all our boarding and live in bookings, but no maximum policy. So a booking could last anywhere from a long weekend to two months; although the average assignment lasts one to two weeks.

How often can I expect assignments?

We require you to work with us for at least 1 year, and to be available to take assignments most of that year. You can take holidays but you would need to inform us of this in advance so we can block you off our database. Assignments are available all year around but we tend to be busier in the summer months, school holidays, Christmas and bank holidays. Over time you can quickly build up a regular client base, which means consistent work with familiar pets, and regular money.

How do you allocate assignments?

VIPs’ support team takes great care in matching your skills and interests with that of the client’s requirements; we also take your location into consideration to save the client travel costs. We’ll always try hard to find you an assignment where you’ll have a pleasant and rewarding time with a client’s pet.

What is required of me during an assignment?

You will be required to care for the client’s pet as your main priority, and you must be prepared to keep to their daily exercising and feeding routine. You will also be expected to keep the client’s property as clean and tidy as when they left it, and perform light domestic duties such as mail collection, fish feeding, watering house plants, turning on/off lights, and pulling the curtains and blinds.

Do I meet the client before the assignment starts?

Yes, the preliminary meeting with the client is very important as it allows you to discuss their pet’s needs in more detail. This meeting is also your opportunity to ensure that you are happy to undertake the assignment. It also gives the client a chance to get to know you.

How long can I leave the pets alone for?

For our dog boarding and live-in dog services, we have very strict rules in place: A dog should not be left unattended for more than four hours maximum each day and only with a client’s prior consent. Some clients may not allow you to leave their dog alone for four hours and may request a maximum of two hours. For our cat feeding, dog walking and day care services, the time spent with the pet is the time paid for by the client.

Are my travel costs and parking paid?

Travel expenses are charged at cost or 45p per mile. If you are using public transport, your train or bus fare will be reimbursed. The client is responsible for paying your parking and congestion charge at cost. For our cat/small mammal visiting services and dog walking we charge a key collection fee of £5 instead of travel expenses, this is paid directly to you.

What if I have a problem whilst on an assignment?

VIPs’ support team is available during office hours 9am to 5pm weekdays to help you with any questions or problems you may have. Outside office hours you would be expected to handle any issues relating to the pet or the client’s house by either calling the vet, the client or their emergency contact person. VIPs do operate an out of hours messaging service for when a client cannot be contacted in an emergency.

Can I take my partner on an assignment with me?

If you’d like to have your partner staying with you on an assignment, you would need to get the client’s prior permission, before the assignment begins.

What money can I expect to earn?

A pet-sitter with great client feedback, able to undertake all services and who is available at the right times, can earn an average of £9,000 a year. Many earn much more than this. It depends on how committed and flexible you are. You’ll always know, in advance, exactly how much you will be paid. VIPs take an agency fee on every booking from our clients plus the VAT, and you receive the balance. You will be paid directly by the client, not by us, before the last day of the assignment. VIPs pet sitters are all self-employed, it is your responsibility to declare any income you earn to the Inland Revenue.