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Pet sitter license: there’s no such thing!!

by Therese on October 28, 2008

in Pet Sitting, The Pet Care Biz

Earlier today I came across a website for a “university” that claims to have accredited licensing programs for pet sitters and other pet businesses such as groomers, dog trainers, breeders…just to name a few. This so-called university offers the training and licensing that’ll prepare anyone to jump right in and start a pet sitting business and make a six figure income in no time.


First of all…there is no such thing as a pet sitter license! And second…six figures is possible, but definitely not overnight, which the website suggests.

The part that irritates me the most is the licensing issue.

Schemes like this like this don’t do the pet sitting industry one bit of good. Like I said, there is NO “pet sitter license.” A person does not have to obtain any training, certifications, or go through any testing to open a pet sitting business.

Many people who take courses like these and obtain a “license” may actually believe they are a “licensed pet sitter.” Sadly, they’re a victim of the company selling the bogus license, but they’re not the only victim. That’s because, out of their pride of being a “licensed pet sitter,” they’ll advertise themselves as such and inadvertently mislead potential clients.

In reality, the only type of license a pet sitter can, or needs to obtain (in the US anyway), is whatever business license that may be required of their local entity. And, in some areas this may not even be required!

The whole licensing issue is a real pet peeve of mine and I cringe when I see “licensed pet sitter”. Anyone who says they’re licensed should state specify that the license is a business license, if indeed that is what they have. If they’ve gone through some sort of training and obtained a certificate of completion, that’s what it should be called.

If you’re a pet sitter and have the word licensed on your website or marketing materials, please…I beg of you…clarify that for your potential clients. If you’re thinking about starting a pet sitting business and want to take a class, check the company out that’s offering the classes. There are some good ones out there but there are also some very shady ones too!

If you’re a pet owner and meet with a pet sitter who says he or she is licensed, get some clarification. Ask if that license is with the local government or if it’s actually a certificate of completion from a pet sitting course.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Gina- RoseThistleArtworks October 29, 2008 at 12:30 am

Very interesting blog article. Thank you for pointing it out.

Do you recommend people interested in pet sitting get bonded? insured? If so, for what amounts.


jan October 29, 2008 at 10:48 am

Amazing how many ways people can come up with to bilk other people out of money


Carla May 4, 2011 at 1:01 am

Thanks for clarifying that. I’m just starting my pet sitting business and was trying to figure out how to build a website when I stumbled across this article. I had seen other pet sitters say they were “bonded, licensed, and insured”, and I didn’t know where they were getting this “license” from. It makes me feel better knowing what is possibly meant by that, not only for my sake, but to explain it if it ever came up with a client. Thank you!


Toni February 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm

I know there’s no such thing as a pet sitter license, but most of the ads I see requesting a petsitter are requiring one who is licensed. I rarely get a petsitting job because I’m not ‘licensed’.


Therese February 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm

I’m guessing you’re responding to ads from pet owners wanting a pet sitter. Is that right? If so, I’d do my best to educate them about the fact that there is no such thing. If you have a business license and insurance, let them know. That may be all they need to be reassured.

It really irritates me that so many pet sitters say they are “licensed” which leads people to believe there is such a thing. I understand many of them are licensed to operate a business, and there’s nothing wrong with saying so. However, it should be crystal clear that it’s a business license.


Toni February 3, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Yes, you’re right. It’s ads from pet owners wanting petsitters. I’m retired and I’ve only been doing this for a few months. Thanks for your response and advice.


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