How to build trust as a pet sitter

Author picture Jessica

As a pet sitter, how do I build trust with my clients?

The best way to establish trust as a pet sitter is to step into your client's shoes and think about what matters most to them. Think about it: leaving your pet with someone you don’t know can be really nerve-wracking! As a pet owner, what would you want to know or experience to feel comfortable? These are the questions you should be asking yourself as a pet sitter.

When you are growing your pet sitting business, there are many best practices that you can adopt to make your clients and their pets happy. These are also worth revisiting if you have been pet sitting for a while and want to improve your practices.

Why is it important to gain the trust of my clients?

Trust and safety are the most important values for a pet sitter to uphold. They are the cornerstone of the Pawshake community and central to a reputable pet sitting business. 

Over time, pet owners see their pet as more than just a furry friend. Instead, pets are now a beloved part of the family. Most pet owners have an incredibly strong bond with their pets and worry when they have to spend time away from them. Add the pandemic to the mix, with a lot of us spending much more time with our pets than we normally would. 

Consequently, pets and their owners can feel anxious when they are apart. As a pet sitter, you may need to reassure your client and help them when they first book with you.

What matters most to a pet owner?

What really matters to pet owners is good communication, experience, honesty, clear expectations and attention to detail. 

Many new pet owners may not know what to expect when they book a pet sitter. As such, you may need to help them with the process and offer extra information before they even ask it. Don’t take anything for granted! For example, make sure pet owners are aware of the need to meet and greet before booking. Likewise, ask them questions and let them ask you questions so you can establish clear expectations. And lastly, be honest about your experience and what you feel comfortable with. If you feel out of your depth with a particular pet, it’s better to be safe. Simply explain your concerns to the pet owner and decline their inquiry. 

Pet sitter with dogs and lap top

What are some ways to establish trust with pet owners?

All it takes is a bit of extra planning to give your pet sitting business the edge and establish trust. These tried and true methods are based on feedback from real pet owners, so you can trust that they really work.  

  • Communication: pet owners really want to hear from you regularly, so be sure to send daily updates about how their pet is going. A picture paints a thousand words, so make sure you send some photos of their pet too.
  • I.D: some pet owners might be really nervous about booking for the first time. As such, you might offer to send them a photocopy or picture of your I.D, just to reassure them. Please note, this is entirely voluntary and is not something we enforce.
  • Past reviews: make sure you always arrange your bookings through the Pawshake website. This way, you will be able to collect reviews from pet owners who can endorse your great service.
  • Update your profile: don’t leave details out of your description or gallery. Instead, offer plenty of information about your services, such as how long your visits and dog walks are, what you offer during doggy daycare, etc. And make sure you add pictures of your home if you do any services in your home.
  • Calendar: update your calendar regularly so that pet owners know what you are free. What they see should be what they get!