In this article we will explore a few pet care topics, that can put a little coin in your pocket. Our four-legged friends need tons of love and care too. Often times pet owners overlook the emotional and physical care needs of pet ownership. That’s where the side money hustler steps in! If you love dogs and live in or near a major metropolitan area, this could be a great hustle or your worst nightmare.
Dog owners sometimes adopt or acquire mans best friend sometimes without much thought. Our four-legged friends daily, need to be, walked, ran, and play outdoors, these are huge in a dog’s life. Dogs also need to develop socialization skills, by visiting dog parks or hanging out at doggie daycare. Some dog owners might opt for a human surrogate to just come walk their dogs a few times a day, filling the void. Dog walking and Dog sitting are ok side cash gigs, but could set you up for liability issues, and require a semi-rigid schedule; to make both walker and owner happy. Communication is key; if for some reason you can’t fulfill your mission, the dog owner needs to know, forget to tell them, and rover might just do his duty on an expensive rug. Or you forget to lock their apartment after the walk, and they get robbed. I would say if you take this on make sure you are well covered, do your homework there are programs and groups out there that can help you with insurance and professional advice.
My own personal pet experience comes from being a happy dad to two very awesome Austrailian Shepards. My dogs were like our kids, both very easy going and protective animals, but pooped a heck of a lot. In my quest to making scooping dooty easier, I went to the pet supply store one day and saw a very sweet pooper scooper set, with a small rake and a metal tray connected to a short handle. A proud scoop set owner I became, who would have thought a 30 dollar scoop set would bring hours enjoyment and a future hustle? It got me to thinking, this is pretty dang efficient, I wonder if I could make a buck doing this? Some internet research yielded some unthought of directions, other folks have taken their poopy empires. Franchise opportunities and associations, dedicated to the craft, I was hooked. A few craigslist ads later I was in the biz, and roaming the city doing the doo. My kids made up nickname’s for me that might have made cool vanity plates; I was the grand poo-bah or poo master, it really was the beginning of something kinda troubling, I was hooked on poop!
More specifically, I became an official state licensed turdologist; a bonafide mobile, pooper scooper. It was great in a weird sort of way, and a few craigslist ads later I was literally raking in the
dough turds. I was finally on the right track but soon discovered my customers were wanting feedback on their pets poo. They wanted information about firm or loose, wormed or bloody, or anything that came out that was not food. It was an interesting task on top of already making the yard bombs disappear. I had one customer who declined my worm diagnosis and insisted her little guy had never a case of worms ever, photographic evidence was needed and requested. On my next visit, I obliged her by taking photos (extra charge) that she was able to share with her Vet.
I thought I has seen it all when I took on the Pit Bull rescue lady. She had a large backyard and about 5-6 pit bulls that had been rescued from the pound or where ever she could find them. She had a large backyard, a large deck, and hot tub, it was the size backyard most of us would like to have, with mature landscaping and very private. It was sad to see, but she had allowed the dogs to take over the entire backyard, it was a complete mess. As I traversed the poo scape I saw poop everywhere, on the deck, the hot tub cover, even on the yard furniture.
She wanted it gone, but did not want to see any of her dogs go away, and in fact acquired more animals from time to time. I had a hard time deciding what to charge, and the logistics around the cleanup, the disposal, and maintenance. I settled on an upfront payment of $125 to rid the yard of the offending poo and $100 to return a few days later to power wash and sanitize the deck, furniture, and walkways. She paid cash on the spot and got in her car to return to work, as real estate broker. As I moved about the yard during the initial scoop, I could see the dogs inside the house, dismantling her sofa, it was a sight to behold, foam and cloth chewed to bits.
After a few visits, she contacted me, it seemed that one of her dogs, had found his way out of the yard and got stuck by a car. She had thought that maybe I accidentally left a side gate open, which allowed the animal to run into the road in front of her house. The dog had been struck by a car traveling at 40+ miles per hour, he lived but had a few abrasions and a hefty Vet bill. In order to avoid a lawsuit, I offered to bay part of the bill which she agreed to, it was an eye-opening experience, that caused me to hang up my scooper, I was very done. I will tell you, be very careful if you enter into any type of pet care hustles, mistakes can be made that could cost you dearly. Get insured for sure and don’t get in over your head. Above all be safe for yourself and your clients. And have fun!