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Self Care for Pet Sitters

Episode 174: Self Care For Pet Sitters Over the Holidays

Do you think it’s impossible to maintain self-care for pet sitters over the Holidays?

Tis’ the season for a booming business, kids asking when Santa will come multiple times a day, family festivities and holiday cheer. Yet, you’re stuck worrying about your business, keeping your head above the water and possibly planning for 2020.

Don’t let being an entrepreneur ruin your holiday spirit, instead tune in as I hand out some advice on how to maintain self-care for pet sitters over the Holidays!

Self Care for Pet Sitters

Biggest Takeaway You Don’t Want To Miss

As pet sitters, self-care is something that needs to be taken more seriously. The Holiday’s are full of hustle and bustle but it’s imperial that you remember you are the most important person in your business.

 

Treat yourself as such.

The best thing you can do is allow yourself time to relax and properly schedule block in your calendar events/times that you want to focus on self-care.

 

Whether that’s

  • Reading a book
  • Decorating the house
  • Spending time with friends/family
  • Getting a massage

Whatever it may be, make yourself a priority this holiday season.

Self Care for Pet Sitters

Show Highlights

  • Time for Family [1:00]
  • Time for Yourself [5:15]
  • Plan Ahead on Gifts [9:20]
  • Decorate Your House [15:10]
  • Remember Why You’re in Business [16:25]

Links

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Pet Sitter Holiday

 

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Holiday Pet Events You Can Copy in Your Town

One of the best ways to gain exposure to your pet sitting or dog walking company is to host or participate in a holiday pet event. But oftentimes we have no idea what to do, where to do it, or just feel like it takes way too much energy. When I used to have my company, Bella’s House & Pet Sitting for 14 years, I would participate and host many events.

These events became known in the community and offered me a lot of exposure and reason to walk up to people and talk about my company in a nonsleezy way. The events were successful and through lots of trial and error, I got them running smoothly. We had all sorts of prizes, giveaways, even a celebrity photographer at one event taking pictures of people and their pets. We had alcohol sponsors, rescue groups getting piles of money, and signs prominently hung outside of businesses with my logo on them.

The holidays are the ideal opportunity to host events and I am going to show you just some of the magic that you can create in your hometown area.

Here are 5 Holiday Pet Events you can host in your town:

  1. Yappy Hour
  2. Mutt and Mingle
  3. Dog Walking Club
  4. Dog Hiking Club
  5. Santa Paws

 

Pet Events

Yappy Hour/ Mutt and Mingle

Host the happiest of happy hour events with Yappy Hour or Mutt and Mingle. It’s a lot of fun to go to the local bar with your dog and especially for a holiday pet event. It can be an indoor or outdoor event. This is a great way to get your community together with their pups and strike up conversations about your business.

All you have to do is:

  • Find a local bar or venue to host the event
  • Get a liquor sponsor through the venue (they always have some)
  • Designate a photographer
    • You could either hire one for a couple of hours or have someone assigned to take pictures on their phone.
  • Decorate
  • Chat it up with all the attendees!

To take it a step further, you can add cute decorations like dog treats in shot glasses and host a raffle or giveaway.

 

Dog Walking Club

This great event doesn’t have to be just a holiday pet event, but can be a year-round, once a month event.

Here is how it works: Humans and their dogs walk all together in a pack, creating a community where you can get your brand out there to relevant people. Often times it is a one or two-mile loop.

The dog walking would typically work best in a subdivision or where there are a lot of apartment complexes, anywhere where you could walk a big circle. You may even be able to do a mile loop where you “pick up” and “drop off” people along the way.

The biggest advantage is all the advertising that comes with it at each apartment complex once they agree to it.

 

Holiday Pet Events

Dog Hiking Club

Are you a little more of an “off the beaten path” type of person? If so, a dog hiking club may be a better fit for you and your community than a typical walk around the neighborhood.

To do this, it would be very similar to starting a walking club but you would want to find hiking trails best suited for large packs and pups of all breed and ages.

If you have already created a blog with the best dog walking trails in your area, you might want to start with that. Consider reaching out to hiking clubs and see if they wanted to partner with you on an event with a twist… with the dogs!

 

Dog Park Date

Create a holiday pet event within the community you’ve already established and invite your clients to the dog park for a date!

With this event, it’s up to you to be creative on what the event will entail.

Will you host a raffle?

Will there be a flyball or find the treat contest?

This event is perfect to meet new people.

In doing so, you’ll be reaching out to the happy hour crowd who already goes to the dog park but now you’ll be able to get your name out there. While there, you may even meet people outside of your clientele.

 

Santa Paws

The classic Christmas celebration, taking a picture with Santa. No matter what you celebrate typically this type of holiday pet event attracts all types of people.

Host the event yourself by:

  • Partnering up with a local Pet Store
  • Get a trainer to dress up as Santa
  • Hire a Photographer or do it yourself
  • Order a Christmas backdrop off Amazon
  • Make the pictures available on your Facebook page
  • Invite everyone you know!

The Main Idea of Pet Events

The main idea of these pet events is to bring more exposure to your brand. You have to remember that not everyone is going to be ready to buy your services immediately, but getting to know you and what you stand for will make you memorable when they do need your services or even their friends.

Also, remember that these events are not about how many people show up to the event but all that you get to do to attract them to the event. All the promotions, fliers hung in the elevators or put in the pet store bags. All of this helps to ensure that your community gets to know your brand in a fun way that you are giving back and celebrating their bond with their pets!

 

11 Unique Gifts To Give To Your Pet Sitting Clients

The holidays are a great time to let your clients know just how much you appreciate them by giving gifts to your pet sitting clients. Whether you choose to do it for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or even New Years, they are sure to appreciate it. Many pet sitters take to the Facebook Groups to ask what others have given to come up with new ideas. So I thought I would compile an awesome list of 11 Holiday Gifts to give your pet sitting clients, so you didn’t have to struggle through the process! 

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11 Gifts You Can Give To Your Pet Sitting Clients For the Holidays:

 

BarkBox

Send your dog or cat a fun box each month full of quality toys and treats. Prices start as low as $20 a box depending on the length of your subscription. With this gift idea, you don’t have to do the buying or wrapping, just purchase this box and have it shipped. Use this link to get a month for free! 

 

 

Dollar Store Galore!

Squeakers, chews, balls, and wands oh my! If you have a lot of people on your list, the dollar store is a perfect place to get holiday gifts. Be cautious of the treats, but most of the cat toys are fabulous to give as gifts. What cat doesn’t love balls with bells and fake mice? 🙂 

Big Store Stock Up 

Stores like Costco, Home Goods (one of my FAV places!), or PetSmart are a smart go-to tactic for holiday shopping throughout the year. Look for sales and stock up on items like medium to large-sized stuffed toys, pull & chew toys. And it’s great not only for the holidays but also as appreciation gifts for those without religious holiday affiliations, or “just because” throughout the year. Costco always has some great tough pet toys, candles, candies, even Starbucks gift sets sold in multiples. Might just be the perfect thing for the top 10% clients, eh? 🙂 

 

Classic Holiday Picture Card 

Sometimes a great gift is as simple as a company picture thanking them for their business. Gather all your employees for a sweet group picture and add business-friendly holiday message. Have an employee party where they all sign the cards while you are listening to festive music and enjoying each other’s company while sharing stories! Your clients will love the personal touch!

 

Gift Certificate 

This is great if you have a good relationship with a pet shop or groomer looking fo a new business that is willing to donate or discount gift certificates to your patrons. This way both business benefits, as well as your clients!  This is a great idea that you can use throughout the year as well during your networking efforts around town!

 

Make a Donation In Their Name

Go to the humane society or other local shelter or pet charity in your area and make a donation in your client’s name. Not only will you be giving your clients a token of appreciation, you’ll be helping animals in need too. You can do this either as individual donations or as a lump sum for “Clients of XYZ Pet Sitting Company.” It is the best gift that can keep on giving!  

my dog eats first

This charity was started by a pet sitter to help the pets who belong to the homeless have food to eat.

Free or Discounted Services

When you’re strapped for time or extra money, some pet sitters and dog walkers still want to give their clients something but can’t afford to. So they give a gift that they can provide. Services for free or a discounted rate. Think something like 10% of off monthly services or a free walk some have done. (I would only recommend this option if your profit margin can afford it!) 

 

Throw Holiday “Pawty” 

Take the tricks you learned from the How To Have A Howling Pet Event In Your Area and make it happen in real life. Add even more fun by having someone dress up as Santa so that clients can take pictures with their pets. Provide homemade dog treats and snacks for the humans. It’s sure to be the hit of the season.

 

Unique Gifts from Etsy (in bulk)  

Trinkets and homemade items from an Etsy store is always a thoughtful idea when showing your clients how grateful you are. Take a look at this unique wood carving that is a Christmas Ornament with your pet’s name on it. Pretty unique, huh? 🙂

 

pet sitter holiday gift ideas

 

Pet Rocks 

I have to admit, when Carol Preuett first told me that it is what she has done for her clients, I got a good chuckle. Then, she showed me a picture!  Find a local artist that can paint a rock in the likeness of your client’s pet. This one can be a little pricey, so it’s best to limit it to your top 5-10 clients. 

Carol says she has a local artist who paints these for her. The painter bases the portrait on pics Carol provide her for $35 medium rock & $40 large rock. “There’s no way a pet parent wouldn’t love one of these adorable pet rocks,” says Carol. I agree! 

 

dog walker client gift ideas

 

Photo book from Shutterfly, Simpleprints, or Photobook America 

Snap a few adorable pics of your pet clients and compile a cute little picture book. Be on the lookout for deals, sometimes you can even score one for free. You can also get great deals for these companies from time to time on Groupon. This is a truly thoughtful way to show your appreciation and love for your clients.

 

No matter what it is you decide to do for your clients, it is important to give back and it doesn’t have to always be at the holiday season. The world is full of options and they’ve chosen you to provide care for their loved ones. It’s always good to let them know that you are someone who truly cares and values their patronage.