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Pet or plant-sitting... official MoneySavingExpert.com discussion
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# 1
MSE Lawrence
Old 15-10-2007, 3:32 PM
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Default Pet or plant-sitting... official MoneySavingExpert.com discussion

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Pet or plant-sitting


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Last edited by MSE Lawrence; 16-10-2007 at 12:40 PM.
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# 2
my_gorgeous_ellie-belle
Old 16-10-2007, 2:48 PM
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Remember you have to be checked out and insured to look after anyone else's pets - apparently even if you are not charging and you are not doing for family!

A friend of a friend asked if i could look after their dog while they were at work each day, offering 10 a day. Someone got wind of this and reported me to the people who investigate dog sitters to see if they are insured.

Be warned!

x
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# 3
black-saturn
Old 16-10-2007, 7:10 PM
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My daughter is interested in starting up a small business with my help as a pet sitter for small animals such as mice, rabbits, guinea pigs etc. Problem is she is only 13 so anything official would have to be registered in my name. Do you think this is possible. We have 8 small pets in this house at the moment and have had many others in the past which she has looked after.

Is it just a case of advertising and offering our services or is there more to it that that?
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# 4
Skint_Catt
Old 17-10-2007, 11:07 AM
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Are there any companies you can register with to do this on a casual basis? Like the Mystery Shop companies?
New to Comping; 12 tubes of Pringles, Paul Mitchell Travel Kit....
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# 5
barnaby-bear
Old 17-10-2007, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skint_Catt View Post
Are there any companies you can register with to do this on a casual basis? Like the Mystery Shop companies?
I've done this on a live in basis but a lot of the people willing to pay you to live in their house and look after the cat aren't just concerned about the kitty. This was the top end of the market, very posh houses and basically it cut their insurance by having someone there. There are a lot of agencies the bona fide have proper insurance. You have to be a non-smoker. You have to be there overnight and the really top-paying ones insist on things like out of the house no more than 3 hours at a time. I got £100 a week plus a cleaner every day to clean-up after me They prefer older retired type people in general I was only accepted because the homeowner knew a friend and specifically wanted me, but they went throguh the agency to ensure I had a proper contract detailing having to be there and the insurance.

These are pretty typical criteria: http://www.ninasnanniesforpets.co.uk/recruitment.asp
Now I did it in student holidays but it'd be hard to do with a regular job/family.

Last edited by barnaby-bear; 17-10-2007 at 11:53 AM.
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# 6
sdrweb
Old 20-10-2007, 1:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skint_Catt View Post
Are there any companies you can register with to do this on a casual basis? Like the Mystery Shop companies?
Try http://platinumpetcare.co.uk/display.asp?id=5
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# 7
V Chic Chick
Old 30-10-2007, 3:16 PM
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First I've heard about having to be registered. And unless these people coming round to "investigate" are either the RSPCA or the Police, I'm not too worried. And according to the second poster, I have to be checked out and insured to walk my elderly grandparent's dog to help them out :rolleyes:

I do pet sitting. It's fairly easy. I put up a few notices round where I live, stating something along the lines of -
- Experience (I work on a city farm, and have my own chickens, so I said that I specialise in poultry - and you'd be surprised how many urban chickens and ducks there are)
- Based in *insert area here so people realise you are nearby should something go wrong*
- Contact Helena on 07*********

I'd had several calls, and I charge around £3 a visit, depending on workload. No one has ever been unhappy with that I could charge more but I'm only 15 . . . I've seen someone else charging about £7 a visit just to look in on some cats, and £8 to shut up a few chickens!!!!!!!!!!!

Since the end of August, I've made over £70, which I'm happy about, given that in some cases I got £2.50 for opening a pouch of cat food

PS There are certain animals I simply won't deal with, particularly dogs that I can't control, or are vicious, or are of a breed which was bred for fighting (and I don't care how sweet the owners say they are, I'm not endangering myself).
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# 8
tracyburt
Old 31-10-2007, 7:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V Chic Chick View Post
First I've heard about having to be registered. And unless these people coming round to "investigate" are either the RSPCA or the Police, I'm not too worried. And according to the second poster, I have to be checked out and insured to walk my elderly grandparent's dog to help them out :rolleyes:

I do pet sitting. It's fairly easy. I put up a few notices round where I live, stating something along the lines of -
- Experience (I work on a city farm, and have my own chickens, so I said that I specialise in poultry - and you'd be surprised how many urban chickens and ducks there are)
- Based in *insert area here so people realise you are nearby should something go wrong*
- Contact Helena on 07*********

I'd had several calls, and I charge around 3 a visit, depending on workload. No one has ever been unhappy with that I could charge more but I'm only 15 . . . I've seen someone else charging about 7 a visit just to look in on some cats, and 8 to shut up a few chickens!!!!!!!!!!!

Since the end of August, I've made over 70, which I'm happy about, given that in some cases I got 2.50 for opening a pouch of cat food

PS There are certain animals I simply won't deal with, particularly dogs that I can't control, or are vicious, or are of a breed which was bred for fighting (and I don't care how sweet the owners say they are, I'm not endangering myself).
Very useful information and you seem like a very level-headed person. I have used my cousin's daughter, aged 15, who has lived on a farm since birth and done work experience at the vets. I pay 5 a visit which covered feeding a cat, a rabbit & guinea pig, 4 chickens, and watering the greenhouse.
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# 9
vixarooni
Old 31-10-2007, 10:43 AM
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My brother did this for a friend of a friend, Got to stay in this fab house for a weekend and look after this dog. It was great! A little scary as it was in the middle of no where, i think thats why he asked me to come although heaven knows what i would have done aged 13!

i cant remember if he got paid but it was a nice change staying somewhere else.
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# 10
Joyful
Old 31-10-2007, 1:48 PM
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I use a company called Barking Mad who will take my dog to someone elses house to be looked after if I'm on holiday. They are always looking to sign up people who would like to care for dogs in their own homes.
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# 11
black-saturn
Old 31-10-2007, 1:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V Chic Chick View Post
I could charge more but I'm only 15 . . .
So do you think this is something which my 13 year old animal mad daughter would be able to do? She would be interested in looking after peoples small animals such as rabbits, hamsters etc in her own home for about 10 per week.
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# 12
vixarooni
Old 31-10-2007, 6:21 PM
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I guess extending from this dog walking services could be offered?

Do you think that would be a hit or a miss? just thinking of it being a bit colder outside some older people might not want to go out in it. Bit of much needed exercise for myself too!

Trouble is, who reads those little notices put up in supermarkets? perhaps an advert in the newspaper might be better?
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# 13
V Chic Chick
Old 31-10-2007, 6:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black-saturn View Post
So do you think this is something which my 13 year old animal mad daughter would be able to do? She would be interested in looking after peoples small animals such as rabbits, hamsters etc in her own home for about £10 per week.
Of course you know your daughter, and I don't know how responsible she is etc. etc. However, I don't see any reason why not, particularly if you have had animals of that sort before.

I get the people who I sit for to fill in a form containing what they want me to do, agreed price, dates, and a disclaimer (i.e. don't sue me if you cat gets run over / fish dies / dog hurts itself etc. etc.). I'm quite happy to email it to anyone who wants it, just PM me if you want it.

Quote:
I guess extending from this dog walking services could be offered?

Do you think that would be a hit or a miss? just thinking of it being a bit colder outside some older people might not want to go out in it or, as with my grandparents, they are getting too frail to give their dog more than a ten minute walk, and he could do with more. Bit of much needed exercise for myself too!

Trouble is, who reads those little notices put up in supermarkets? perhaps an advert in the newspaper might be better?
Dog walking has a fair amount of money in it (probably £7 an hour, so significantly above min. wage), if you don't mind those cold days yourself! I decided to opt out of dog walking (unless in conjunction with pet sitting) as I'm not around every weekend (divorced parents) and I don't want to be out for an hour every evening, when I'm up to my eyeballs in coursework. But if you do it then for pete's sake don't let it off the lead, as dogs often won't respond to anyone but their owners.

My notices on the village noticeboard were quite successful, but I would guess that an ad in Trade-It (which is free) or the local paper (which may or may not be free) could also work well - if people bother to read the classifieds.

The other option is a leafleting campaign, putting them through doors, but that is expensive in terms of paper and ink (unless you can do it at work) and time consuming.

When I am asked to go into a house (some jobs are outside only) then I will offer to move post, switch lights on and off and water a small number of plants for "free"
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# 14
black-saturn
Old 14-11-2007, 6:10 PM
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Thanks for PMing me that info. I have put cards up in all the local pet shops and a few newsagents windows so we shall see what happens.
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# 15
Pennylane
Old 15-11-2007, 10:09 PM
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I would be very careful who I allowed into my home to pet-sit. I have been unpleasantly surprised to discover that a most peculiar couple living near me are now providing such a service. I have been told that they have had work in various parts of the country. When sober they are well-spoken and seem quite genuine. I know for sure he was bankrupt just a few years ago and since then he has run up debts all over the place. She has mental health problems and they seem to know every trick in the book to get all the benefits going ... even down to supposedly living apart. I did a bit of detective work and actually found their website which looks pretty impressive and as my DH says "Imagine being away on holiday & knowing that THEY were sleeping in your house".
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# 16
LizD
Old 16-11-2007, 1:54 PM
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There's also the option of a pet hotel, where the animals stay with you, but this could be expensive in terms of setup - cages etc. Also more work involved.
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# 17
~Chameleon~
Old 16-11-2007, 4:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black-saturn View Post
So do you think this is something which my 13 year old animal mad daughter would be able to do? She would be interested in looking after peoples small animals such as rabbits, hamsters etc in her own home for about 10 per week.
If you were to go ahead with this where does your daughter plan to put the animals you take in, bearing in mind you already own a number of small animals (what animals do you have, btw?) and does she/you have appropriate transport to be able to take any animal that might become sick/injured whilst in your care to the owner's vet?

Just a couple of things you might want to think about
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# 18
Chollita
Old 16-11-2007, 7:08 PM
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Im toying with the idea of going into this field - maybe specialising in cats, as I am a real cat lover, and small pets. Not sure about dogs - I wouldnt mind walking them, and I live in a city where there are lots of dogs living in flats, so if the owners are out at work all day there might be a demand for walkers during the day. Its just the thought of cleaning up the inevitable mess ....
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# 19
OnceBitten
Old 18-11-2007, 10:30 PM
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I have seen an ad for a company called PALS4PETS who recruit people who are used to dogs but don't have one at the moment to care for them at home during hols, hospital stays etc. I think it's just dogs but it might be other pets too. Don't have a website address but they should be easy enough to find.
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# 20
black-saturn
Old 19-11-2007, 9:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Chameleon~ View Post
If you were to go ahead with this where does your daughter plan to put the animals you take in, bearing in mind you already own a number of small animals (what animals do you have, btw?) and does she/you have appropriate transport to be able to take any animal that might become sick/injured whilst in your care to the owner's vet?

Just a couple of things you might want to think about
We will look after the animals in our home. We have a rabbit, guinea pig and 5 mice at the moment. The vets is straight over the road from me so I won't need transport.
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