5 min read

How to Transition from Dog Walking to Sitting and Boarding


Dogs are your life, and you’ve turned your passion for pets into income by working as a dog walker on Wag!. Dog walking is a great side hustle, but now you’re keen to take your pet care career to the next level — so why not start working as a dog sitter or boarder on the Wag! app?

Dog sitters and boarders with Wag! can earn extra cash, set their own hours and schedules, and provide 5-star care to canines of all shapes and sizes. Best of all, it’s easy to get started.

Keep reading for the low-down on all the best bits of being a dog sitter or boarder, and for advice on how to level up from dog walking to providing overnight care.

Why become a dog sitter or boarder?

There are lots of good reasons why you might want to pivot from dog walking to dog sitting or dog boarding on the Wag! app. Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • Indulge your passion for pets. Perhaps the best part about working as a dog sitter or dog boarder is that you get to spend a whole lot of time with dogs. Getting paid to play with, cuddle, and love beautiful dogs — sounds pretty “pawsome”, huh? 

  • Earn an income. Working as a dog sitter or dog boarder on the Wag! app is a simple and convenient way to make money. It’s quick and easy to get started and earn extra income straight away. You could even earn up to $500 a month sitting dogs just 3 times a week!

  • Set your own rates. You get the freedom to choose your own rates with Wag!, so you can decide how much your services are worth. And with the option to offer a range of other services, including quick drop-in visits and dog training, there are plenty of ways to boost your earning potential.

  • Set your schedule. Dog sitting and dog boarding with Wag! also gives you the flexibility of setting your own schedule. This means you can work when it suits you and enjoy a better work-life balance. 

  • Increase your client base. The more services you offer on Wag!, the greater your chance of attracting new clients. This means more work and more income for you, plus plenty of opportunities to make new four-legged friends!

dog biker and friend - sign up to walk dogs as a side gig for income in 2022

Dog boarder vs dog sitter: what’s the difference?

Before going any further, let’s take a closer look at the two overnight care options available for Pet Caregivers with Wag!:

  • If you work as a dog boarder, you care for other people’s dogs in your own home.

  • If you work as a dog sitter, you care for other people’s dogs in their home. 

Working as a dog boarder means you get to turn your home into a safe haven for all your four-legged guests. You can provide high-quality, loving care in a safe environment, ensuring that your doggy boarders get the VIP treatment.

Of course, some dogs prefer staying comfy and cozy on their home turf. And if you’re a pet sitter, you can offer “sleepovers” for your pup clients, allowing them to enjoy the familiar comforts of home while their humans are away.

dog walker near me - at a park in a local neighborhood

Getting started

Want to start offering overnight care services on the Wag! app? It’s easy to get started.

Because you’re already successfully applied to be a dog walker, you’ve already completed most of the steps necessary to become a sitter or boarder.

The next step is to open the Wag! app, access your profile, and select any additional services you want to offer. You can offer dog boarding, dog sitting, or both, not to mention other options such as drop-in visits.

Choose the days and times you’re available, set your rates, then wait for the bookings to start rolling in.

walking multiple leashed dogs on a sunny day - become a dog walker at a neighborhood near you

Top tips for new dog sitters and dog boarders with Wag!

Stepping up to become a dog sitter or dog boarder is an exciting time. You’re probably itching with excitement for your first doggy sleepover, not to mention keen to start earning more money for doing what you love.

And while there are bound to be challenges and setbacks along the way, there are plenty of simple things you can do to maximize the chances of a successful and rewarding experience as a Pet Caregiver.

Go above and beyond.

First and foremost, remember that your focus should always be on providing the highest possible standard of care to your canine charges.

If you make providing a safe and loving environment your priority and offer the same level of love and interaction you give to your own pets, your business will grow. Check out our 10 tricks for dog sitting guide for more useful tips.

Customer service is key.

Boarding and sitting aren’t just about caring for the dog; you also need to pay special attention to the needs, wants, and concerns of the Pet Parent. Leaving their fur-baby in someone else’s care is a daunting and even scary experience, so you’ll need to do everything you can to put their mind at ease.

One way to do that is to be as friendly and responsive as possible, from the very first moment they make contact and especially when you’re caring for their pet. Do that, and you’re sure to earn plenty of 5-star reviews, along with plenty of repeat customers.

Boost your knowledge.

Consider ways in which you can expand your pet care knowledge or services, such as undergoing pet first aid or attaining dog training qualifications. Not only will this give you more confidence when caring for dogs, but it’ll also make you a more appealing choice to Pet Parents. 

Set fair rates.

Take your time to research the market before deciding on how much to charge for your services. Check out what other popular sitters and boarders near you are offering, and consider your own financial needs and goals to find the right price point.

Promote your services.

Make yourself stand out from the crowd by spreading the word about your pet care services. You can share your profile on social media, link it to your own website, and even create flyers to print out and distribute in your local area. 

Be sure to check out our meet and greet checklist for new pet sitters to help you get started. You’ll also find plenty of useful tips in our guide on how to start a dog boarding business.

Regardless of whether you treat dog sitting and boarding as a side hustle or as a major source of income, there are plenty of good reasons why you should consider offering overnight doggy care. So if you’re looking for ways to earn some extra cash, or if you just want to spend more time surrounded by dogs (who doesn’t!), start working as a dog boarder or sitter on the Wag! app today.

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