If you started summer with the goal of picking up part-time work, you might wish you had started searching sooner. While it’s still possible you’ll pick up some seasonal employment, most summer job openings have come and gone – at least until next year.
But, there are other ways to earn money, some of which don’t require working for someone else. If you could pick up a gig as a dog sitter or house sitter, for example, you could earn money on the side during your spare time, and all on your own terms.
How much will you earn? It depends on where you live and the type of work you find. Most pet sitters charge $19 to $50 per night, or more for multiple pets, although they lose some of their earnings to fees. House sitters can charge rates in that range, although you may earn more if you’re watching pets and a house at the same time, or taking care of household chores. Simply put, it depends on the job.
But since many families travel during summer, it’s not too late to throw your hat in the ring. The key to getting your foot in the door is to get the ball rolling now.
Best Websites for House Sitting and Pet Sitting Jobs
But, how do you find work as a dog sitter or house sitter? There are numerous websites that promise to connect pet and homeowners with individuals willing to help out. Here are a few of our favorites:
Founded in Seattle in 2011, Rover.com is the top resource used by people searching for pet care jobs in their area. The service now boasts 85,000 pet sitters in 10,000 different cities. Further, 95% of their profiles list five-star reviews.
Rover.com makes it easy to set up a profile and set parameters for your work. You create your own calendar and set your availability and rates. From there, your profile becomes searchable for people in your area. Rover does take a percentage of your pet-sitting profits (15-20 percent of the booking total), but they provide customer support, website support, and liability insurance for pet sitters who use the service.
Joining Rover is easy and setting up a profile is free. You do need to pass a background check and keep up with ongoing sitter education, however. While Rover.com focuses on pet sitting jobs, you can offer additional services on your portfolio including pet walking, drop-in visits, and house sitting.
Care.com connects caregivers with local families who need babysitting, childcare, and other household help. Services offered through the site include house sitting, pet sitting, child care, housekeeping, errands and shopping, senior care, and transportation. You can create a profile that includes all of these services or just a few. Either way, the profile you create will become searchable for people looking for help in your area.
There’s no cost to create a basic membership profile on Care.com. However, the functionality of the basic membership is very limited. Unless you’re a paid member, you can’t communicate with people directly or view their contact information. With a free profile, it appears you have to wait until a paid member contacts you.
A Care.com membership isn’t cheap, but it can pay off if you make the right contacts and use it regularly. Currently, you can buy an annual subscription for $147 or pay $37 monthly.
Petsitter.com is another up and coming website where animal lovers can connect with pet owners who need help. This website lets pet sitters post a free profile. “You can include your pet sitting rates, experience, type of animals you work with and the services you offer,” notes the website. “This allows your profile to be found when local pet owners search for pet care providers that match your qualifications.”
Since PetSitter.com isn’t quite as established as Rover, you may not find as many (or any) pet owners who need help in your area – at least for now. However, the website normally has more than 8,000 job postings at any given time, making it worth the effort – especially since creating a profile is free.
TrustedHouseSitters.com is the top website for homeowners and house sitters looking to connect. The website offers an array of house sitting opportunities around the world, including popular vacation destinations. Since many homeowners also have pets, TrustedHouseSitters also has many jobs that require both house sitting and pet care.
Both homeowners and house sitters need to pay an annual membership fee to use the website. The same $119 fee applies annually whether you’re seeking care or looking for a job. Both subscriptions qualify you for unlimited care opportunities, website troubleshooting, and member services support.
The downside that comes with TrustedHousesitters.com is that many homeowners are looking for “free help” in exchange for lodging. This is especially true in popular international destinations people visit often. Their website even admits as much: “From Tuscany to New York, pet lovers enjoy home comforts world-wide in exchange for caring for an owners’ home and pets while they’re away.”
If you’re hoping to make money, make sure to seek out jobs that offer pay. Otherwise, you could at least score free lodging while you travel. That’s not the same as earning money, of course, but it can help you save money if you’re hell-bent on a vacation anyway. Keep in mind, however, that you’ll need to pay airfare and other travel expenses.
Housesitter.com is another website that promises to connect homeowners with house sitters in their area. The difference is, this portal focuses on connecting individuals with house sitters in their area, as opposed to TrustedHousesitters.com, which focuses on connecting people who live in different parts of the world.
Posting your profile is free, and you can be fairly picky about the job opportunities you pursue. You can set your rates as high as you want, although you’ll need to be competitive with others in your area to get jobs.
In addition to house sitting gigs, many jobs on Housesitter.com also require pet care. If you’re a house sitter who also loves animals, you might have a leg up.
The Bottom Line
While the bulk of part-time summer jobs are already spoken for, there’s no timeline to get started as a pet sitter or house sitter. Just set up a profile on one of these websites and wait and see what happens. You never know when a neighbor or someone in your area might be looking for someone with your exact availability and skill set.
Also keep in mind that many pet care and house sitting jobs can be found via networking and social media. If you let your friends and family know you’re looking for this type of work, they’ll know to keep their ears and eyes open. Many times, word of mouth is the best kind of advertising. Best of all, it’s free.