Creative ways to thank your pet sitter!
Updated: Feb 26
Many people join the pet sitting and the pet care industries because they love animals. It doesn't take long for most to realize that this line of work is closely related to the SERVICE industry, and that at the end of the day, it's just as important to take good care of the human client and not just their pets!
If you are reading this blog article today, it's probably because you hired, or are considering hiring a professional pet sitter for your pet care needs. Most professional pet sitters go above and beyond for their clients, pouring their heart and soul into their work, while working most weekends, holidays, and even overnight. It can be thankless work, and many pet sitters won't pursue this career for too long because of this.
If you think your pet sitter deserves a little more love beyond your cat's affectionate purring and your dog's slumber, here are a few suggestions for you!
1. Recommendations on Facebook.
Oh boy, we simply can't stress this enough. According to Bizrate Insights, 91% of their 2021 survey respondents say they read at least one review before making a purchase decision on a product, business, or service. That's massive! It means that in order to generate a constant stream of new business, a service provider needs to have quality reviews readily available online.
A Facebook Recommendation, detailing how your pet sitter took great care of your pets and gave you peace of mind, is an amazing way to thank your pet sitter for their good work, while encouraging potential clients to use their services in the future. It's like a virtual pat in the back in front of the whole office and everyone in it. We all need one from time to time!
2. Reviews on Google My Business.
If you are not on Facebook or Social Media and still want to leave a review for your favorite pet care provider, Google is the way to go!
Reviews on Google are extremely important as they help increase the legitimacy of your pet sitter's business on the internet. These quality reviews give a boost in local SEO (Search Engine Optimization rating - basically how visible it is on the internet) and exposure, which is also priceless in an online world where ranking is often determined by the amount of money invested in advertising and marketing. As you probably know, your local professional pet sitter is busy caring for pets in the neighborhood, and not spending thousands of dollars in an attempt to rank #1 on search engines.
3. Mention your pet sitter's name in your favorite online community groups, and distribute their business cards at work or at church.
Every now and then, people will ask for a pet sitter recommendation online, in a Facebook or a Reddit group, or in person, at church or at work. There's nothing like a little bit of word-of-mouth to help a pet sitter reach more pet owners in your community! If you can pin their business cards on the local corkboard, that's even better!
Even if not all referrals work out, your pet sitter will be grateful that you thought about them when asked for a recommendation. For certain pet sitters, word-of-mouth is their primarily source of new clients - and will accept new clients by referrals only!
4. Cash tips.
One of the most appreciated ways to reward and thank your pet sitter is to give them a little bit of extra cash.
The workload, and ultimately the earnings of your pet sitter, fluctuate greatly depending on the season, their overhead costs and the ability of people to travel (pandemic, hint hint!). With the increasing costs of running a business and day to day expenses, pet sitters don't always make a lot of money at the end of the day. A little extra on the invoice or in an envelope on the first pet sitting visit is always welcomed and will make your pet sitter do a happy dance :)
5. Gift Cards.
Another amazing way to thank your pet sitter is to offer gift cards.
I will always remember this particular client who would generously give me a gift card from this well known steakhouse every Christmas for years, to the point that we made it a family tradition to go dinner at that restaurant once the Holiday rush was over. There was also this other client who knew I had a young daughter and would always include a "Toys 'R' Us" gift card with her payment.
Here's a special tip about purchasing prepaid credit cards, should you so desire: Before buying gift cards at your local store, ask around if a child in your social circle is having a gift card fundraising campaign. Depending on the retailers, a portion of the purchase (1 to 10%) will go towards the fundraising campaign. It's a win-win-win for all parties!
6. Cupcakes and treats! Alcohol too!
It is not uncommon for pet sitters to gain a few pounds during the Holidays, and it's not because they indulged at a Christmas dinner. It's also because of all the yummy, sometimes homemade baked, treats left by their clients!
Pet sitters absolutely LOVE to show up to a client and find cupcakes, cookies, banana bread, or a nice bottle of wine graciously left for them. Who wouldn't?
Like many of the ideas suggested above, leaving sweets and alcohol for your pet sitter is an amazing reminder that they are greatly appreciated for the work they do.
7. Personalized gifts.
Many years ago, I was working as a pooper scooper for another business. This kind of work is mostly anonymous in a way that you visit your clients' yards every week to remove the dog waste (not very glamourous...), then move on to the next one. You rarely see or interact with your clients - and it is hard work, especially with the snow and ice. One Christmas, a client left a nice cheese cutting board with my initial engraved on it on their front steps. I was deeply touched and still use that cutting board to this day.
We've had clients give us arts and crafts, homemade cards and Christmas ornaments. We've heard of pet sitters receiving spa treatments and massage vouchers from their clients! These are great ways to make your pet sitter feel valued and important in what they do!
8. Children's drawings.
Children's drawings can hold a special place in your pet sitter's heart (and office wall!).
Usually, these drawings represent your pet sitter with the kids' pets along with kinds words like "best pet sitter ever". It is not unusual for children to be a bit anxious about leaving their furry best friends behind, even when going to Disneyland or on a cruise! Knowing your children trust us with your pet care needs is very rewarding.
9. Consider doing these littles things to make your pet sitter's life easier!
There are a bunch of little things that clients can do to show their appreciation to their pet sitter that doesn't involve money, cupcakes or gifts!
For example, you can offer to pay your service invoice by e-transfer instead of by credit card to avoid the transaction fee, which can be up to 4% of your payment!
You can interact and participate on their social media posts. As Facebook keeps decreasing business pages' reach as time goes on, interactions from fans (likes, share, comments) can go a long way to ensure your pet sitter's posts are seen by as many people as possible!
We published a blog article a while ago about how clients can prepare for their pet sitter before leaving for vacation. It has great tips that ultimately will make your pet sitter enjoy working with you and your pets a lot more.
10. Use their services AGAIN!
At the end of the day, pet sitters know they have done a good job when a client reaches out to them again.
Just like it is the case for most service providers, a pet care business will not grow on clients using their services only once. In order to generate a sustainable income and ensure the survival of the business, clients must return.
There is no better way to show your appreciation and thanks to your pet sitter, than to use them again each time you need to leave your pets at home. :)
We hope that this article has helped you to find creative ways to thank your pet sitter the next time you leave town!
This list is mostly based on our own personal experience. If you have any other ideas that are not listed, please share!