By Tim Falk
Published: 03/07/2022, edited: 03/13/2023
March 5–11 is Professional Pet Sitters Week 2023. Introduced by Pet Sitters International in 1995, this “pawsome” event honors the hard work of pet sitters who provide loving care for fur-babies around the country.
There’s no better time than now to recognize and appreciate the pet people that help our pups stay happy and safe when we’re not around to look after them. In the spirit of Professional Pet Sitters Week, let’s meet 5 of the top pet sitters on the Wag! app to find out about their love of animals, their favorite parts about being a Pet Caregiver, and how they go the extra mile to keep the wag in your pet's tail.
Professional chef and pet sitter are 2 job titles you don’t often see listed on the same resume. But that’s exactly the career path followed by San Francisco native Vincent, who traded in his pristine chef’s whites for the perpetually dog hair-covered clothing of a Pet Caregiver.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the restaurant where Vincent had cheffed for several years was forced to shut its doors. Out of work and with a lot of time on his hands all of a sudden, Vincent was at a crossroads.
Then a friend mentioned Wag!, which Vincent had never heard of before, and his life as a Pet Caregiver began. “As soon as I looked into it, I knew I had found something I could excel at,” he explains.
“There are so many amazing dogs in this city, and so it’s like a dream come true to be able to spend time with a variety of breeds and personalities. I’ve learned so much about dogs in a short period of time.”
Since his transition to life as a Pet Caregiver, Vincent has performed more than 330 services for Pet Parents on the Wag! app. And those pet parents (and their fur-babies) have clearly been thrilled with the quality care Vincent provides, as evidenced by his impressive average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars.
“I always look at the notes from Pet Parents so I know what kind of temperament and specific needs their pet might have,” he says. “Also, I look for instructions and make sure I’m familiar with the location so that I can be sure to arrive on time! I always have treats, doggy bags and water with me before I go.”
And while he loves being a Pet Caregiver, Vincent says that pet sitting isn’t without challenges. Dealing with dogs that suffer from separation anxiety or behavioral issues can be tricky, while he also acknowledges that caring for someone else’s precious furry family members is a huge responsibility.
That said, the hard work is worth it. “This is a small price to pay for being able to have so much fun doing what I love!”
Read more of Vincent’s story in our Pet Caregiver spotlight.
“My husband and I could not have children, so we became pet parents. I’ve been married to my husband, Ray, for 25 years and we will always be pet parents and we will always, always have them in our lives.”
Julie is quick to explain that she loves dogs and animals of all kinds:
“My love for [animals] started when I was young and it just kept growing and growing. Through the years I have worked with many rescues and the Humane Society of Missouri. Anything I could do to help, I was always the first in line.”
Given her love of four-legged fur-babies, it was only natural that Julie would make an excellent Pet Caregiver with Wag!. And with an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars from nearly 1,500 reviews, she clearly knows how to provide 5-star care to pups of all shapes and sizes.
As far as Julie is concerned, the best part about being a Pet Caregiver with Wag! is connecting with her clients and their dogs. “I love meeting new dogs and developing bonds with both the dog and the client. This is a great platform to be able to grow yourself on Wag! and grow and establish many clients that always want you to walk their pups,” she says.
“To be able to love and help and be around dogs, to be able to grow myself with the dogs and clients, to love and give attention to dogs, and to help parents that need help definitely helps build myself and build a good client base. And because I love dogs so much — why not give back my love to other dogs and families?”
So if you’re a Charleston Pet Parent searching for a Sitter who will care for your dog like one of their own, Julie could be your pup’s “pawfect” match. Check out her full story here.
Seattle-based Kim says that dogs have always played an important part in her life, even when she wasn't a pet parent herself. And with more than 4,750 completed services with Wag!, it's pretty clear Kim simply loves spending time with the fur-babies of Seattle.
Kim believes that just like people, dogs have their own special personalities. She's cared for dogs of all shapes and sizes through the Wag! app, and relishes the opportunity to spend time with each and every pup so she can get to know their own unique quirks and character.
Kim says it's "great fun" getting to know each dog in her care. "The smile I give toward them is returned in duplicated with their love and joy," she explains.
Kim has picked up her 50 Completed Overnights badge on her Wag! profile, so she's got plenty of sitting experience. And with an average score of 4.9 out of 5 from a whopping 4,700-plus Wag! reviews, it's pretty easy to see why she's in such high demand.
When a Pet Caregiver has a flawless 5-star rating from a whopping 1,700+ Pet Parent reviews, it’s pretty clear she’s doing something right. And that’s the sort of impressive resume that retired teacher Janet can offer to Pet Parents in Buffalo, NY.
A proud Pet Parent to a senior rescue dog named Goldie, Janet offers Walks, Drop-Ins, and Sitting services to the pooches of Buffalo. “I love dogs and thought that working for Wag! would be a wonderful way to meet new dogs and bring some joy to their day while their humans are busy,” Janet says.
Take a look at Janet’s profile and you’ll see Pet Parents using adjectives like “thoughtful”, “caring”, “patient”, “attentive”, and “amazing” to describe the level of care Janet provides. So what’s her secret to picking up so many glowing reviews?
“My advice to a brand new Pet Caregiver is to always communicate with the parent,” she says. “Safety and happiness are so important for your client, and asking questions or sharing concerns with the pet parent is extremely beneficial to creating a wonderful experience.”
She always goes the extra mile to learn as much as possible about a dog before a Sitting. This ensures that she can give each pup the highest standard of care and keep them happy and comfortable until they’re reunited with their people.
There’s only 1 major downside: “The hardest part about sitting dogs is saying goodbye!” Janet says. Check out our full profile of Janet to find out more about her passion for pups.
“I feel like I’m still learning about new places around Boston every time I accept a Walk, which has been incredible! There are so many other dogs to meet and unique neighborhoods throughout the town,” she says.
Stephanie has always had an affinity with animals, and even wished she could be Eliza Thornberry (from animated series The Wild Thornberrys) when she was younger. She hopes to one day have a home with chickens, a horse, a dog or two, and maybe even some bees, but for now calls an apartment home.
“Living the apartment life in Boston, I truly missed just being around a dog,” she explains. “There is something about dogs that makes you feel whole. It must be that unconditional love! The opportunity to care for dogs in need of some love, attention (and exercise!) really drew me in and inspired me to sign up.”
Today, Stephanie offers Walking, Drop-In, Boarding, and Sitting services to Boston dogs, and she has an average 4.9 out of 5 stars from happy Pet Parents. She also says that she can’t imagine what her life would be like without pups in it.
“It brings real joy to my life to meet new pups and have some familiar furry faces. Also, it’s a really interesting way to meet new people, whether it’s the pet parents themselves or other dog walkers along the way.”
You can read Stephanie's full story here.
These are just a handful of the many wonderful Pet Caregivers on the Wag! app. And as we celebrate 2023 Professional Pet Sitters Week, all are worthy of recognition. Maybe there’s a special Sitter in your life who deserves a pat on the back too.
Inspired by the sensational sitters featured here? Become a Pet Sitter with Wag! and turn your love of pets into a way to earn some extra cash.
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