London is one of the most expensive cities in the world and most students get a part-time job to survive while studying here.
The majority finds a bartending job at a pub, some get studies-related jobs or a paid internship in London, some other babysit...but why not thinking outside the box?
If you are a pet-lover there is nothing better than earning money while being around animals. Plus the added bonus that dog-sitting allows you to set your own schedule around your other appointments like classes and exams.
What is dog-sitting?
Dog and pet-sitting in general means looking after somesomeone’s pet when their owner aren't around. Very much like baby-sitting, but instead of a child, you'll be looking after a furry friend and not a screaming, spoiled, hungry little human.
Depending on the owner, you will be looking after the dog at your place or their home. Based on your personal schedule, you could be looking after one or more dogs at the same time. You can also choose if you prefer to be a dog walker or to keep company to the pet(s) while the owners are away.
Where can I find a job as a dog-sitter?
Start off by asking your friends' network and family. Then, check your Facebook pages and groups. Posters and flyers in shops and supermarkets in your area could also work.
Otherwise, once again, the internet comes handy as there are a few websites built for this purpose. The dog-owners here at Spotahome have vetted the following:
Holidog claims to be Europe's largest pet-sitting website with sites in France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and beyond.
To become a pet-sitter with Holidog, fill in the form and set your availabilities. You will be visible to clients only when you have the time to take care of their pets.
Max & Kitty
Max & Kitty is the only pet sitting service founded and run by a vet. Dr Oliver Tondusson has created the service he wanted for his own pets. A choice of carefully selected and verified pet sitters, combined with an emergency service and premium insurance.
DogBuddy is another great website to find pet-sitting gigs and dogs to love. It includes comprehensive pet insurance, online payments and constant sitter updates. It features various services, including Dog Sitting, Dog Walking, Doggy Day Care and Home Dog Boarding.
Housemydog is an online community where dog owners connect with dog sitters to find a safe home for their dogs while they travel. Dog sitters can sign up for free and have complete control over their schedule, pricing and type of pet they will host. This service is available also in Dublin.
Care.com is another great website to find furry-gigs in London and beyond. The nice thing about this website is that you can immediately have a look at what's available, without having to register. Care.com is not only dedicated to the care of animals, but also to the elderly, au pairs, children and people with special needs. So if pets aren't your thing you've got other options. Whether you live in Paris, Madrid, Berlin or anywhere else.
How much can I earn as a dog-sitter?
From Care.com, we found out that the average hourly rate for pet carers in London is between £7 and £8 as you can see from the ads below.
Remember that these are just an example and depending on where you live (and the competition) you could earn more or less than this. You could also go the extra mile and charge more while offering additional services like water the plants, pick up the kids from school, wash the dog or take them to the vet.
Is pet-sitting for you?
If the idea of looking after a dog or a cat and getting paid for it sounds like a dream, it's for you. If you are planning to become a vet or working with animals, a dog-sitting experience will look like a plus on your resume. Another plus is that you can skip commuting through busy London tube system by picking gigs in your local area. Remember that having a dog (even if not yours) can be the best way to make new friends in a new city. Or even find the love of your life.
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