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- 30-year-old Vee Weir made an extra $16,000 this year from dog-sitting.
- She used a pet-care app called Rover, and found clients in an affluent neighborhood.
- Weir has three tips for beginner pet-sitters looking to make extra cash for holiday gifts.
When 30-year-old Vee Weir moved to Longmont, Colorado from Columbus, Ohio in September 2019, she joined a pet-care app called Rover to make extra cash.
“I’ve been watching animals my entire life,” Weir says. “I got paid to watch an animal for the first time when I was 10. I’ve worked on two different farms. I’ve had all the animals you can think of, from guinea pigs to tarantulas. I knew I could make money doing this.”
According to records reviewed by Insider, Weir earned an extra $16,118 from her dog-sitting side hustle so far in 2022.
“It’s basically become another business for me,” says Weir, who already owns her own digital marketing firm. “I now have a fully-funded emergency fund.”
While she earned $5,841 from Rover, Weir says she made the bulk of her side-hustle income from word-of-mouth clients. Once she got settled in Longmont, she met new friends in an affluent apartment complex nearby who asked her to take care of their dogs. Her clients started recommending her to their friends, and soon she had amassed an extra $10,277.
If you’re looking to make some extra cash during the holidays, here are three tips Weir has for beginner dog-sitters who want to start as soon as possible.
1. Get testimonials
Pet-sitting apps like Rover and Wag! ask clients to leave testimonials for pet-sitters and dog-walkers. The more positive testimonials, the more likely it is that you’ll get booked for jobs.
However, if you have prior experience caring for animals outside of the app, Weir recommends getting your friends and family to vouch for you to strengthen your profile.
“If you don’t have verified reviews and testimonials [on the app], your testimonials are just an email that you send to friends and family vouching for you,” she says.
2. Update your calendar frequently
“Make sure the times and dates that you’re available are accurate,” says Weir. Clients booking dog-walkers and pet-sitters on apps are often doing so because of last-minute travel or scheduling conflicts. An outdated calendar can lead to last-minute cancellations, added stress, or poor testimonials, she warns.
3. Leave a hand-written thank-you card
“What I did at the very beginning — and what I still do for new clients — I get a thank-you card and a treat from a bougie pet shop,” she says. “I’ll leave a thank-you note that says, ‘Please make sure to leave me your review. Thank you for trusting me with your fur babies. Can’t wait to watch your pet again!”
Above all, Weir credits her love of animals as the reason she makes so much money from her pet-care side hustle.
“It’s about the personal touches,” she says. “I really do care about these fur babies.”