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Pet Minding

Set up your own business or work for someone else.

Pet minding involves looking after other people's pets while they are away on holiday. For the pet owner, it is an alternative to a cattery or a kennels, which means the animal is able to stay in their own home and get some individual attention.

A pet minder will arrange to visit the family home once or twice a day to feed the animals, clean out any used bowls, change the litter in a litter tray and give them some attention for 30 minutes or so. There may be some other small duties, like bringing in the mail, watering plants or putting out the bins on rubbish collection day.

This works well for cats, especially the outdoor kind with a cat flap. They are able to stay in familiar territory and still be fed and get some attention while their owners are away. It saves a lot of stress for the animal and means they still have their space to roam around in, rather than being kept in a cage for an extended period.

For dogs, the duties may vary. It might include dog walking duty or some supervised outdoor time in their garden. This could be something that is done not just when the owners are away, but also on a regular basis if they work long hours.

Requirements for pet minding

Obviously you need to enjoy looking after animals. You also need to be trustworthy and reliable, as you will have access to someone else's home. Building up your credibility will be important. Perhaps start with family and friends, looking after their pets while they are away. You should be able to get a series of good references, and it is perhaps useful to have a police check to hand so you can prove you are a good upstanding citizen.

Getting known at the local vets would also be useful as they will be able to confirm that you live in the area and you're honest and reliable.

A professional brochure and website describing your services would be useful, and you need to put together a contract to cover yourself in the event of a mishap. After all, if you are looking after cats with indoor and outdoor access, you cannot be responsible for them wandering while you aren't there.

You also need to know that if something happens to the animal and they require a visit to the vet, that you can take them and costs will be covered.

Look at some contracts from existing pet minding businesses if you don't know where to start with this.

Hours of work in pet minding

Usually home visits are once or twice a day and can be 30 minutes or an hour. It may not be possible to do all your visits during school hours, as the agreement might be morning and later afternoon, but this is one job that your children can do too, and will probably love!









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