Pet Sitting Business

How to Recover from Pet Business Burnout

If you were struggling with business burnout before the pandemic and now you’re slowly but surely (or maybe quickly!) getting back to running your pet business, you may be feeling anxiety around being so busy again.

My new book is the antidote to that anxiety and busyness!

Whether you’re a pet sitter, dog walker, dog trainer, pet groomer or dog daycare owner, my new book will be the guidebook to take on your back-to-work journey!

Click to find out more and get the How to Recover from Pet Business Burnout eBook.

Prefer paperback version? Click to find out more and get the How to Recover from Pet Business Burnout paperback.

Happy reading, learning, growing and building your post-pandemic pet business!

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How I Worked Less and Made More Money in My Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business

I recently wrote an article for Thrive Global (Arianna Huffington’s online magazine) and wanted to share it with you pet sitters and dog walkers. I’ve had a lot of you ask me how I went from working 7 days a week to working 3 days a week in my pet sitting and dog walking business.

Here’s the article that addresses that topic. (Click on the link below to read the rest of the article.)

In 1995, I started the business of my dreams with lots of passion but no business experience of any kind. That first year I had lots of time but almost no money. A few years in, I had plenty of clients but hardly any time. Friends and family often complimented me on my business success, but I didn’t feel successful. To me, success was having both time and money. I was working 12-14 hour days seven days a week and still not making much compared to when I worked full-time as an employee.  

I was exhausted, frustrated and ready to call it quits, but instead I committed to one more year and to making fundamental changes in how I ran the business. If I didn’t have both time and money by the end of that year, I decided I would just walk away. Having nothing to lose freed me to try both traditional and nontraditional approaches to create more time and more money. CLICK TO READ THE ARTICLE..

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How Hiring Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers is Like DATING

I had an epiphany a few years ago when I realized how similar hiring is to dating.

  • You have to be clear what you want so that you can recognize that person when they show up.
  • It’s important to notice yellow and red flags.
  • Clear communication is crucial.
  • You both have to want the same thing (each other).
Here’s the thing: Anyone can hire someone.
But just like dating to meet the right person, hiring really great people requires skill. The good news? This hiring skill can be taught.
I’ve honed my hiring mojo through having hired over 250 pet sitters since I first started hiring pet sitters and dog walkers in 1997. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t when it comes to hiring pet sitters and dog walkers.

I’ve successfully taught over 1,500 pet sitters from across the country how to hire really great people.

I’ll teach you too.

I’m leading a “How to Hire Great Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers” webinar on September 24 and will be sharing powerful tips and tools that I’ve used to find, hire and keep my own wonderful staff members.

If you can’t make the webinar, no problem. Simply sign up and let me know you need the replay link and I’ll get it to you by September 25.

Please note: This webinar is now over but you can buy the webinar recording and watch it within 60 seconds upon ordering it!

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Short Video of Kristin Morrison at NAPPS conference

A short snippet of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) conference.

What a joy it was to meet (in person!) a few of you dear coaching clients.

I will be at next year’s conference and hope to see ALL of you there!

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Pet Sitting Business Tips for February


Want to start off on the right foot in your business this month?

Here’s how:

1) Take one marketing action a day to ensure that the calls come rolling in by the end of February. Drop your business cards off at vets, groomers and pet stores. Begin listing your business on as many websites as you can (links on other websites will help you come up higher on the search engines). Join a networking group. Get out there and market. Soon clients will be calling you saying, “I see your business everywhere!” (When that happens you know you are doing the right kind of marketing.)

2) Do you have an accountant ready to help you with your 2010 taxes? If not, February is a great time to find one before they get booked up at tax crunch time. Ask your business-owning friends for a recommendation.

3) Make self-care a priority this month. Put yourself in your appointment scheduler. If not now, then when?

4) Were you short-staffed in 2010? Spend the month February hiring even more people than you think you will need. Having an overflow of staff members will help you say YES to all the clients that contact you this year. Be clear in your communication with new staff members about how much work is/is not available; Let new staff members know that you may not call them for a few weeks but that as business grows their workload will grow.

5) Set a clear financial goal for February. Put your goal on your computer where you will see it daily. Write it on a sticky note in present tense: “I earn $_________/ month easily and effortlessly.”

6) Write your top 10 goals for February 2010 where you can see them. What do you most want to accomplish this month? What did you want to do in January that still needs to be done? You want your Top Ten Goals for February to be where you can see them daily as that will help you stay on track. In goal setting it’s especially important to remember: ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Put those goals in your car, in your office, on your bathroom mirror…wherever you will see them each day.

7) Set aside money for 2011 Q1 Taxes NOW. A lot of pet sitters that I’ve worked with the past few weeks have been surprised at the money they owed for 2010 and/or their 4th quarter tax payment for 2010. To avoid being surprised when taxes come due try this: split each quarterly payment into thirds and pay monthly so you aren’t hit with a large sum of money to come up with for your first quarter payment in 2011 (due April 15).

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5 Tips for Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business Success


Creating pet sitting and dog walking business success can be easy.


Here are 5 simple steps you can take TODAY to create more success in your pet sitting and dog walking business:

1) Begin to accumulate business savings. Even the act of starting with $10/month is progress. Your business savings account will help get you through the lean times, especially when you are first starting out.

2) Create an action plan to ensure that your pet sitting business bookkeeping records are clean, orderly and accurate. Get accounting help if and when you need it. Pay someone to help you learn Quicken or Quickbooks. Knowing how much you make each month will help you set financial goals which will keep you focused and intentional in your business actions.

3) Develop a yearly business plan and create goals and visions for yourself and your business. Review it quarterly and adjust as needed. Having a map will help you get to where you want to go in your business.

4) Budget your time realistically and focus on income-producing activities. Get clear on how many minutes it takes to actually takes to drive to your dog walking/pet sitting jobs. This will help you get clarity about how many clients you can take in a given day and how much time you spend driving. Setting a timer for those business tasks that are challenging can help keep you on track. Focusing your daily actions on income-producing activities such as marketing and answering the phone directly will cause your profits to rise.

5) Let go of difficult-to-work-with clients and staff members. Difficult staff and clients can eat up as much as 95% of our energy which leaves only 5% left for the majority of our (easy) clients and staff. If you notice your thoughts consumed by a particular client or staff member then it might be time to let them go. Talk it over with someone whose opinion you value and once you get clarity about how challenging they are, be willing to let them go sooner rather than later.

Want more tips on how to create success in your pet sitting and dog walking business? Purchase the Secrets for Pet Sitting Business Success Recording now.

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Petz Check In


When clients call you while you are tending other pets it can be distracting, can’t it?

And it’s worse when they call you during your free time. What if you have pet sitters working for you, and the client calls you claiming your pet sitter did not show up for a scheduled appointment? It becomes a case of “he said, she said.” Worse yet are those moments when a client ‘thinks’ she called to schedule care but actually forgot to call and consequently her pets have not had food or water for at least 24 hours. This can be reality in the life of a Professional Pet Sitter.

Thanks to some cool technology, Pet Sitters can communicate with their clients automatically, letting them know they arrived at the client’s home in a timely fashion; this comes with the added benefits of limiting liability for pet sitters and the ability to provide a guarantee of service. This convenience also has benefits for your clients. You see, the truth is, even if unspoken, pet parents do worry about their pets when they are away.

In a survey over 120 people, pet parents were asked about which method of pet care they used and why. Of the most telling responses was “I only travel if I can take my pets with me because I’ve had bad experiences with boarding and pet sitting.” (Kelly B, Tucson, AZ).

Terry O. of San Francisco wrote, “ I had a friend use a recommended pet sitter for her cat when she had the opportunity to travel abroad. Fortunately her daughter went to check in on things about 3 days after she left. It did not appear that the pet sitter had even been there once……..When confronted she claimed she lost the key to the house….but never bothered to try contacting the homeowner who did have access to her vm [voicemail] while gone…..this gal has been doing pet sitting for years according to the info received…a fluke? took on too much business? I don’t know how you can protect your selves and animals from someone like that. “

You know you are not going to do something like this and you hope your clients know this isn’t going to happen. And while your clients do trust you there is an unspoken truth…we are all human. We get sick, we have car accidents, we forget and ‘stuff’ happens. And when it happens, pets and others in your care can be negatively affected. When you are upfront about the ‘what ifs’ and when you provide a solution, you will gain the trust and affection of your clients very quickly.

Managing employees is one of the biggest challenges of any business, especially when they work in locations that are remote. Your reputation is at risk each time you hire someone to represent you. Using a method to be alerted if they do not show, a method to provide proof to clients who question their presence at their location (no more ‘he said she said’), and a method by which you can measure their performance is just smart business.

The solution comes in the form of a new web service called allows you to provide a guarantee of service (a true guarantee, not one in name only) plus automate your client communications, and provides a way for you to expand your business with little risk. You will have decreased fiscal liability when you can provide 3rd party proof you were at a client’s home and the duration of time you spent with the pets. Contact the folks at PETZcheckIN today and they’ll send you a code for a free trial of the service.

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Coach Kristin will be leading NAPPS teleconference: Monday, May 17

Hello pet sitters,

I will be leading the next NAPPS teleconference on Monday, May 17 at 5:00pm PST / 8:00pm EST.

My topic will be “How to Recover from Pet Sitter’s Burnout”. This is a topic I have successfully dealt with in my own pet sitting business. I’ve also coached hundreds of pet sitters from across the country on this very prevalent issue.

It’s a topic that I’m very passionate about and I’m really excited to ‘see’ NAPPS members on the call.

Please note: this teleconference is only open to NAPPS members.

If you are a NAPPS member and need information on how to access the May 17th teleconference please contact NAPPS directly at: (856) 439-0324. They will be happy to give you the conference call number.

I look forward to “seeing” you on the teleconference,
Kristin Morrison
Founder, Six-Figure Pet Sitting

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January Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business Tips


It’s usually pretty slow in the pet sitting industry in January. After the hustle and bustle of the holidays that have just passed this can be welcome relief. For others you may be wishing/needing new business now to keep up with expenses that ocurred over the holidays.

No matter where you are: busy or not busy, glad it’s slow, not glad it’s slow, there are some very specific tasks that you can and should do this month to insure business success all year long.

Here they are:

1) Pay your Q4 2009 estimated tax payment by January 15 for both State and Federal taxes. It’s important to get in the habit of keeping current with taxes for each calendar year or you will be faced with hefty penalties and interest if you have not paid enough for 2009 taxes.

2) Begin to set aside money now for your Q1 2010 estimated tax payment that will be due by April 15, 2010. How do you do this? Put an envelope on a bulletin board in your office. Get in the habit of putting a minimum of 10% of whatever total from checks that you receive into that envelope. Next create a tax savings account and every month deposit that money into your tax savings account so when it comes time to pay your quarterly payments you will be breathing easy because guess what? You have the money.

3) Place an ad for staff now and spend leisurely time hiring the perfect staff members. This time of year is the best time to hire people–you are not in a hurry and probably don’t desperately need staff members the way you did, say, over the holidays. You want to hire people when you don’t need them. That way they will be ready to go when you do get busy and your judgment will not be impaired by an intensity of need to fill particular pet sitting jobs.

4) Get those 1099s out in the mail to your staff by January 29, 2010. The government will charge you $50 for each and every 1099 that is not sent out by the end of January.

Next make sure to send your information to the government no later than the end of February or same thing: you will be charged $50 for every 1099 that is received by the government after the end of February. Ouch!

5) Write your goals for this month and for the New Year. Setting goals is one of the most powerful actions you can take in your business. It sounds simple, right? It is. The simple act of writing your goals will help you take actions that will enable you to create what you want this year.

I did it last year at this time as I do every year. But last year I wrote:

I will go on a two month trip in 2010.

I saw that goal there day after day on my bulletin board (it’s very important to post your goals where you can see them) and I began to take big and little actions to support that vision.

A year ago taking this trip was just a pipe dream.

Six months ago I started seriously considering it.

And now I’m going.

You can read more about setting and achieving business goals in my goal setting for pet sitters blog post below.

6) Take the word ‘recession’ out of your vocabulary. That’s right. I know…you turn on the news and it’s recession this and recession that but STOP. Don’t allow yourself to go there or engage in conversations that take you into a downward spiral about the economy.

I can tell you this: for myself and those pet sitting clients that I drilled this into last year: we all had the best year ever!

In a supposed recession.

Why? Because we refused to engage in the conversation of the recession and instead focused on what tasks needed to be done in order to succeed in our businesses.

YOU can have a financially successful year no matter what the media says.

Here’s how: turn off your TV when negative economic news comes on, let friends and family know that you are committed to having the best financial year ever and that you don’t want to talk about a poor economy, when you do get discouraged remember that there are hundreds of other pet sitters across the country who had the BEST YEAR ever in 2009 and that you can create that experience for yourself this year.

Happy 2010 everyone!

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Bali Sandwich


In exactly three weeks I’ll be heading to Bali.

I just got back from my annual New Years retreat in Santa Cruz and have a massive to do list before I leave at the end of January. Yesterday I decided to extend my trip for an extra two weeks so instead of being gone for two months like I’d planned, I will be gone for two and half months! Wow.

I’m thinking back to that fateful conversation about travel that hot August day in 2009 in my friend Peter’s peaceful office…with his great questions…gently probing me with words to get me to my truth around my desire to travel…and now here I am. Getting ready for my trip.

Amazing how one decision six months ago can create a new adventure like this.

But that’s how life changes happen. One foot in front of the other until there you are-where you wanted to be six months earlier.

Things are falling into place. I found a subleaser to rent my house for two and half months. She gave me the deposit last week and tonight she gave me the balance for the rent. I can tell she’s going to take good care of the place and I’m excited to have her stay here and experience the healing energy of my tranquil, retreat-like home.

My managers are stepping in to manage my business with such love, caring and an excitement for my going away. I cried at our business meeting last week as I thanked them for their steadfast support around my trip. It was an unusual business meeting. Crying at a business meeting? It was beautiful.

We all got a little teary.

I’m nervous and excited. Going away for two and half months feels like a bit of a dream right now. Surreal.

I’ll be in Bali for 2 weeks then India for 5 weeks then back to Bali for 3 weeks.

A Bali sandwich.

This blog’s topics will switch for a short time from my pet sitting business tips and tools to my writing about my travel adventures. I don’t know how often I’ll check in and post as I have decided NOT to bring my computer with me.

I need and want to unplug.

I don’t know about you but one of the best ways for me to unplug is to leave my cell phone and computer behind.

There are always internet cafes along the way…

I’m hoping my travels will inspire some of you who haven’t had a vacation in years (very common in the pet sitting industry) to open your mind to the possibility of having time off. If I can do it, anyone can. I used to be a total control freak about my business. I still am very particular about the way it runs but I’ve also learned how to let go on a deeper level in the last few years.

Having great staff members makes all the difference in the world, folks.

And for those of you who aren’t interested in travel adventures on this pet sitting business blog, no worries.

I’ll be back in action again in May with business-related blog posts, exciting teleclasses, pet sitting business coaching, and my continued commitment to your pet sitting business success.

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