My First Interview for Oregon Dog Life.com
I was recently interviewed by Robert Hudson, the creator of www.oregondoglife.com
This website has some great blogs about dogs and he supports dog adoption and education for dog owners everywhere. He had some great questions about Kelly’s Pet Sitting in Medford, OR that I wanted to share with my readers.
How long have you been doing this and what led you to get into this business?
I have been pet sitting in the Medford, OR area for 10 years and am now in my 5 year doing this on a full time basis. 3 years ago I started hiring staff because the demand for our services was more than 1 person could handle. We now have 2-4 pet sitters available at any given time.
WHY I started this business: Years ago, when my husband and I were traveling out of state to visit relatives, we took our dog Kacie to a local kennel. She did not do well there, even though it was a reputable kennel. She was so stressed and wouldn’t eat or play – just shut down. I knew there had to be a better way, so I started Kelly’s Pet Sitting to offer care for pets in their own homes, where they are most comfortable. I have found that pets are less stressed when they are in familiar surroundings and stay on their normal routine.
What do you like most about your job?
Caring for pets is my passion. So, not only am I able to spend my days with cats, dogs, rabbits, birds and other pets, I know I am helping pet parents. So many people have told me that they did not want to leave their pets in a kennel or impose on family or friends to watch their pet. Once they found us, they are so relieved to have the peace of mind knowing their pets have a professional pet sitter caring for them.
Have you ever had to care for an animal that was difficult to handle
The most difficult animals for us are that ones that are afraid of having someone new in their home. We have had cats that are wary of strangers and hide under the bed. We do more than just feed and clean the litter box. We love and understand cats, and in most cases we are able to help the kitty feel comfortable enough to come out and make friends with us. We also encounter dogs who are nervous or shy and we spend the time with them helping them to be calm and confident. Some of these dogs need extra attention to get them to eat. We sit with them and hand feed them if necessary until they begin to trust us.
Another challenge is dogs that pull on their leash during walks. For these dogs, we have been able to help by using positive reward methods or no-pull harnesses which do not cause any pain to the dog. We always try to make dog walks fun, and keep dogs safe on their walks.
Why do you think your customers keep coming back to you
Our clients tell us that they love the peace of mind we offer. They know they can count on us to be trustworthy, and give compassionate care to their precious pets. We send daily text messages to let them know how their pets are doing, so they don’t worry. We do not cancel on them last minute. We are open 7 days per week, all year long – EVEN Holidays! They also like that we are trained in pet first aid and know how to handle sickness or injury and take the pets to their veterinarian if needed.
What is the toughest part of your job
The toughest part of this job is when clients move out of our area or a pet we have cared for passes away. We have developed a bond with the animals we care for and we grieve for them as if we lost one of our own pets.
What area do you service
We are in Southern Oregon and service communities in Medford, Central Point and Jacksonville, Oregon.
Any advice for people wanting to start a business like yours in their area
Having a full time pet sitting business is the most rewarding work I have ever done, and is also one of the most challenging things I have ever done. If you have a genuine love for animals, are willing to often work 7 days per week, including holidays, this career may be the right fit for you. I recommend volunteering at an animal shelter to gain experience with handling many different personalities. You should have a knowledge of animal care, know symptoms of illness, understand dog body language, and have pet first aid training. Operating a professional pet sitting business may require a business license for your city, and you should absolutely have pet sitting insurance and bonding. I recommend joining an organization for professional pet sitters, such as Pet Sitters International (aka PSI) which we belong to. They offer resources and ongoing education to pet sitters and pet business owners that can help you get started on the right PAW!
How do our listeners contact you