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Thread: Question for pet owners!

  1. #1
    everyone's a critic... holly71's Avatar
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    Question for pet owners!

    I am considering starting my own business as a "pet nanny". I would go to people's homes while they were out of town (or at work if they want) & walk their dogs or let them out in the yard, feed them for however many times a day they want (I'd charge according to how many visits, how many dogs, & the size of the dogs).

    If someone in your area offered this service, would you consider using it?

    I'm trying to decide if this is a good idea or a dumb one, so I really need some input! Thanks!
    Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

  2. #2
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Can you be in Michigan on Monday?

    In Florida when I lived there, there was a lady who was always at the dog park with dogs she was caring for like that. Not a bad gig, if you can get the work.

    Not quite sure how I feel about charging by size of the dog, as an owner of a 125-pound but well-behaved dog.

  3. #3
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
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    I'd definitely use it if I had need to.
    I tihnk it's a great idea, holly.

    Not sure about charging by size either.
    I find big dogs much more pleasant to deal with that small ones.
    Not a fan of the yap.
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  4. #4
    Hypermediocrity Amanda's Avatar
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    I have a friend in Buffalo who is a certified pet trainer, but makes the majority of his money by running a doggy daycare. He isn't really pulling in much money, though.

    My boyfriend's sister also did what you're proposing for several years here in Chicago. Financially she did far better than the guy in Buffalo (even though she didn't do any training), simply because of the size of the potential clientele.

    So that's probably a factor - I don't know where in Texas you live, but is it a metropolitan area large enough to support this sort of "luxury" service?

  5. #5
    Glad 4 Vlad! :) Tigrazhia's Avatar
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    It's a good idea, but I know that around here, I don't think a lot of people would let a stranger into their house while they're gone on vacation, for a variety of reasons that you probably can imagine :-). Most people would have to know a person really well first, no matter how sweet & friendly ya are, you just never know today.... so maybe something to think about.

    However, if you live in a smaller town where everyone kinda knows you, then sure, that's a great idea. I would definitely hire someone I KNEW to come by and take care of my dog while on vacation,l but I wouldn't call up a random service & let a person I don't know in the door, especially if im not going to be here.

    And...on that matter...neither would my dog probably. A lot of dogs get really protective of their territory, especially if they are in charge to guard it :-) Make sure that the dog you take on will be OK with you entering their house.

    Maybe you should consider setting up price packages instead of charging for size etc... just because some dogs requires different care, some have a dog door & don't require walking as much, some require more companionship so ya have to stay with them for longer & price extra services like if someone wants you to take their dog to the groomer, charge a little extra.

    A lot of little dogs are tougher to take care of than big ones in fact, so I dont know if charging by the size is a good idea. Just charge for your time & effort.

    Good luck with your idea
    "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how."

  6. #6
    Mmmmm.. Nice... Terena79's Avatar
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    I never go anywhere so I've never need a dogsitter, but I do pay $55 for a service that picks my dog up, grooms her, and then drops her back off home. It's worth it to me, because my dog is horrible in the car and I cant stand bringing her myself.
    "You better shut your mouth when you're talkin' to me!"

  7. #7
    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
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    When I was a teenager, my sister and I were the unofficial 'pet nannies' of the neighborhood. We mostly did it for the fun of it, so I have no advice on what you should charge.
    However, we found out that a lot of animals need daily medications for various things. I would make sure and find out if the pets need any medication before you quote a price (or have it as a flat fee to add on to your 'package'). Sometimes it can be a lot of extra work to give pills, injections, etc.
    You also may want to draw up a 'waiver' should an animal require emergency medical care while they are in your care. It needs to state how much the owners are willing to spend and that they will be responsible for all charges upon their return. Have the owners sign it before they go.
    Good luck
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

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  8. #8
    An innocent bystander nlmcp's Avatar
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    We have used a pet nanny on and off for years. Sometimes we have used the neighbor kids but many times we have called a service that would not only come a few times a day but water plants, bring in the mail, turn on and off the lights and for an extra fee, even make sure the walk was shoveled in the winter. Every service we have used was great, but I'm not sure how much money they made. It was great for the cat as she hated kennels. The dog did ok in a kennel but she also liked to be home too. The guinea pigs....well when there was one a long time ago we would kennel him now and then (he was the star of the kennel) but it was better to have them at home. I forget how much we paid but most of the time it was cheaper for the cat and guinea pig then the kennel and for the dog, it often would run even.
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  9. #9
    Mmmmmm, cheese tracylee's Avatar
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    If you're going to go into business as a pet nanny, you'd need to be licensed, bonded and insured in order to spend time in people's houses.

    You should also build up a base of references that are willing to be called on to vouch for you. If people are going to pay someone to take care of their 'children', they want to know that they'll be well cared for.

    When you do get started, set up a database of owner information, animal information, vet information, food, etc. Anything you can think of about each pet, so that you can easily reference it the next time they call!
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  10. #10
    1 Spoiled Rotten Dog! RedStickLA's Avatar
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    I have a lot of animals: Dogs, Cats, Birds, Chinchilla, Ferret, Squirrel, Hamster, Hermit Crabs Fortunately my parents live three houses down from me and they care of my inside pets when we are away. But I do hire neighborhood kids to take care of my outside pets. I agree with not charging more for larger dogs. I have small and large dogs. My small dogs would definitely be alot more trouble than my large dog.

    You only mention dogs so I don't know if you are considering other pets or not. But if I did not have my parents I would definally consider having someone come in a care for my birds an Umbrella Cockatoo and an African Grey. I would not kennel them. All my other pets I would consider using a kennel but I would not for my birds. It would be to stressful for them. I think if you offered this service for birds that a lot of bird owners would consider using it.

    If possible I would also get to know the owners and workers in pet shops, groomers ect.. Let them know you are offering this service. A lot of people call and ask them for recommendations.

    Good Luck!

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