You may recently have seen news and media outlets discussing National Professional Pet Sitters Week. Celebrated each year during the first full week of March. National Professional Pet Sitters Week was founded in 1995 by Pet Sitters International. The celebration continues to draw a great deal of attention to the important work of professional pet sitters. Today, we want to cover what makes a pet sitter professional when our industry is entirely unregulated.
What’s a Professional Pet Sitter?
Merriam-Webster defines “professional” in many ways. The ones that stand out in terms of professional pet sitting are as follows:
- characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession
- exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace
- participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs
- having a particular profession as a permanent career
To best understand the difference between a professional pet sitter and others that are merely pet lovers or “hobbyists,” these definitions give us a great deal of information.
With first definition, it’s clear that a professional must follow the standards set forth by the profession in which they participate.
As a professional pet sitting company, Shoreline Happy Paws follows the code of ethics and standards set by the two major pet sitting organizations in the US. In addition to maintaining our memberships with the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters and Pet Sitters International and other smaller pet industry-specific organizations, we are actively involved in both the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut. By being members of these important organizations, we not only maintain set standards but work together with industry and local peers to elevate the service industry at large.
The second definition is about exhibiting professionalism. At Shoreline Happy Paws, we do this by offering “a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner” to clients and employees alike. We also exhibit professionalism by taking our role as pet care providers very seriously.
When our clients engage our services, we do everything we can to make them feel at ease. We provide online registration and scheduling software to ensure that all information provided is secure, thorough, and transparent. We also provide visit updates and consistent communication so that clients feel that their pets are in the best possible hands when they can’t be present due to work demands or travel. Our clients sign a service contract that specifically and clearly outlines our responsibilities and commitments to quality. We also have liability insurance, bonding, and other insurance coverage to protect our clients, our business, and our employees.
The last two definitions above are a very important aspect of professional pet sitting. Many pet sitters out there pet sit as a “side gig” and not because it’s their passion or their vocation, just a way to make some extra cash.
I, however, am in this for the long haul. My team and I are building a business that we can cultivate for years to come. As Shoreline Happy Paws’ Founder and General Manager, this is my career. As is evidenced by my commitment to growing professionally, educating myself and my team, and providing the highest level of service to our clients since 2010, this is where my passion and purpose lie.
To learn more about our services, please visit our Get Started Page to ensure you’re located within our service area. If you have any questions, please contact us.