Do you want extra cash to help support your freedom or travel lifestyle?
Do you want to become part of the growing community of people who are starting to live life and work on their own terms?
Are you looking for an alternative remote income stream that would allow you to work from home, or even remotely as you travel or house sit around the world?
Can I Get Paid as a House Sitter?
Many people in the house sitting community prefer to offer their services without charge. They choose instead to value the free accommodation and utilities as a fair exchange for their help.
But, for others, house and pet sitting services are part of a booming industry and are charged for accordingly. This happens more frequently when a business operates locally, servicing a town, city or rural location.
Aside from house, pet sitting and dog walking services, there are many other pet related businesses. And they are thriving and providing good local and remote incomes.
In this article, we delve into this thriving industry to provide some fascinating statistics. And we look at some of the reasons for this unprecedented growth.
Why pet related businesses are flourishing
One of the many benefits people expect from a house sitter is that someone will be on hand to look after their precious pooch or cute kitty while they are away. Whether the pets suffer from separation anxiety, or the owners just want the peace of mind that their animals are being well taken care of, house sitting definitely appears to be a popular choice.
In the United States alone, people spend over US$3.65 billion a year on pet services like dog walking and animal sitting. This industry is also on the rise (expected to increase by 4.4% in 2016) and is one of the few business sectors expected to achieve this level of growth.
Last year (2015) Euromonitor predicted global spending on our pets across all products (including food) and services, would break the US$100 billion barrier for the first time.
Small business – big profits
The majority of pet-related businesses are individually owned and operated, which makes these enterprises more sensitive to the needs of this growing industry. They have noticed that while the demand for standard types of pet products have remained the same, specialty products and services are on the rise.
Therefore, they are able to provide their customers with what they want, in the form of more unique items and different types of individualized and personal services.
More and more people are owning pets
Pet ownership is obviously the reason for growth in this industry and the number of people purchasing and adopting animals is also on the rise.
In Asian countries like China, where a wealthy middle class has rapidly come to the fore, the desire to keep animals domestically as pets is also increasing.
Another trend said to be a contributor to the growing number of pet owners is something that has become known as “pet humanization”, where pet owners are increasingly treating their cats, dogs and other animals like members of the family.
This growth gives way to a whole new market of products and services that cater to the special needs of pets.
We can expect to see an increase in the need for more personalized pet services, like animal sitters and dog walkers. It is also anticipated there will be a larger market for specialty items like premium pet foods, accessories and toys.
Luxury pet items
Again, with an increase for some in discretionary income, many of those people are choosing to spend their extra money on pets. Services like pet therapy sessions and animal massages are also gaining popularity.
Pets are now more commonly accepted in business establishments, like hotels and restaurants, all over the world.
In the US, the well-known luxury chain of hotels, The Ritz Carlton, offers a “pampered pooch package” which includes their own bed, a customized dog tag and even their own menu from which to order specially prepared foods, made in the hotel’s kitchen.
With the growth of animal ownership and pet services in general, there is another new market gaining ground quickly – the adoption of exotic and non-traditional animals. While caged animals like rodents, rabbits, hamsters and mice make up a large proportion of a pet sitter’s “clients”, some more interesting creatures like sugar gliders (a type of possum) and other so-called “pocket-pets” are starting to appear on pet sitting assignments.
Emergence of the hedgehog
If you’ve been following social media lately, you’re likely to have seen pictures and videos of these controversial critters. They were bred in captivity in Africa during the 1970’s, from where they were exported as pets to many other countries around the world.
Many of their owners affectionately refer to these primarily nocturnal creatures as “hedgies,” and their popularity is growing among animal lovers everywhere.
So if you are looking for an additional income stream, a part time job or an interesting online business, you could find your future success by offering products or services in this lucrative sector. If you love animals and pets then this could be the perfect choice for you.
Amber Kingsley is a freelance journalist and writer who has donated countless hours supporting her local animal shelters in Santa Monica, California. Her main writing focus is the pet and animal care field, including pet-related food, health and training.