Today, pet sitters have become a full-time profession. No longer for the “kid down the street” or “pet lover looking for extra cash,” 90% of full time pet-sitters have completed at least some college, and, more and more professional pet sitters are talking advantage of industry-specific training for certification in professional pet sitting.

Certifications and licenses can be confusing for many people. The key difference is that a license is awarded by a governmental licensing agency, which gives legal authority to work in an occupation, and requires to meet predetermined criteria like passing a state-administered exam. A certification is awarded by a professional organization other than a governmental body, and is not legally required in order to work in an occupation, however, requirements of demonstrating competency in a specific job through an examination process.

Some states and cities do require a business license, so contacting your Secretary of State and your city or town hall is your initial task. Whether or not your state requires a business license, be sure to do your research on local regulations. It’s a good idea to be insured and bonded, as these items are essential for giving your pet parents extra peace of mind. And, while certifications might not be required, it’s still a good choice. What’s more, continual education can demonstrate that you are committed to the craft, and upholding specific professional standards. Obtaining certification can assist you in learning relevant skills and offer training that you may not have achieved otherwise. And, additional benefits like displaying a badge on your website or social media, and also may give you access to discounted services, and more.

Benefits of being certified:
• Shows your customers that you take your profession and welfare of their pets seriously
• May provide access to resources and communities
• May provide first aid that can be critical to saving a pet’s life
• Helps you to stand out from competitors
• Stay on top of new trends
• Grow your business

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