If you have heard about digital nomads, you might be experiencing a bit of envy. After all, this is an ever-growing group of people who can make a living from anywhere in the world as long as there is reliable internet service. They are freelance writers, bloggers, affiliate marketers and others, and they choose where to go based on any number of factors. They might want to see one part of the world or they might be trying to make the most of their earnings and moving to a place where the dollar buys a lot.
They might spend a month or two in Eastern Europe, head to a more tropical area in the Pacific after that and make a brief appearance in the U.S. as a sort of vacation. And they can do it because their jobs are tied to the digital world.
Yes, it is an enviable scenario, and yet almost anyone can get in on the digital nomad gig, and especially if you are eager to earn money from pets.
How You Earn Money from Pets
Now, I am not saying you are going to put a pet to work, but instead, I mean that there are legit pet jobs that can support your goals of becoming one of the lucky digital nomads. Even more interesting is that you might be able to do it domestically as well as internationally.
In this article, I want to consider the different ways you can start to earn money from pets, including writing about them, caring for them and even providing them with luxury services.
A Model to Follow for Legit Pet Jobs
As my readers know, I am a huge fan of blogging and affiliate marketing ventures. This is because they represent a nearly endless array of opportunities. You can blog about almost anything, and there is always some form of affiliate marketing component to go alongside it.
Of course, blogging about pets is a huge, pre-existing industry, and if you are thinking about becoming a digital nomad with legit pet jobs, you can actually make them the focus of the blog.
This is because one of the best ways to earn money from pets is to serve as a formal pet sitter. If you build a blog for people eager to learn about “how to choose a reliable pet sitter” and “tips for hiring a pet sitter” in addition to videos, podcasts and other content for those shopping for pet sitters or worried about pets while away, you will have a large and ready audience. To this crowd, you can market eBooks you have written about pets and pet care tips, affiliate market pet “nanny” cameras and pet based products, and so much more.
Is this a group ready to open their wallets for information and products? Absolutely! The pet industry earns billions each year, and that includes pet care expenses. And they are often most eager to pay the most than when it comes to providing care for their pets during vacations and holiday seasons.
Letting the Numbers Speak
According to the Care.com website, people doing their holiday spending budgets often find that a large portion of it is hiring someone to take care of their home and their pets during the days or weeks they are traveling to visit family or friends. In fact, they say that “During the holidays, pet care jobs for cats make up a larger share of pet care jobs than at any other time during the year” and yet they also say that pet-sitting jobs for birds and dogs earned the highest hourly rates.
Yes, you can get paid an hourly wage for tending to someone’s animals. How much, you wonder? According to that same site, the average per hour rates were a pretty astonishing $16.45 to $17.81 per hour, though some areas went to nearly $20 per hour. The U.S. cities that had the highest hourly rates and demand for pet sitters included Louisville, KY; Greensboro, NC; New Orleans, LA; Buffalo, NY; Ogden, UT; Las Vegas, NV; Anchorage, AK; Manchester, NH; Birmingham, AL and Columbia, SC. In those cities, the least you might earn per hour was $25.19.
That is fairly astonishing and could be your sole reason for heading to one of those American cities during the holiday season. After all, most of them would role house sitting into the pet sitting, and even if one did not ask for house sitting, you are quite likely to find two or more gigs with one supplying free housing and the other a remarkably good wage.
All the while, you can be using the affiliate marketing and blogging to bring in passive income and ensure you are a highly competitive earner (and digital nomad of sorts).
Building a Reputation
Keep in mind that if you want one of these legit pet jobs that pay so well, you need to have the skills and credentials to ask for such rates. That means getting yourself listed at the top pet sitting sites and doing jobs that net you positive feedback and experience. Being a pet sitter is not about sitting on a sofa and waiting for the time to pass. You need to tend to the animals, and many pet sitters are tackling multiple jobs at once.
Even if it is just a single household, you have to make sure that the property and the pets are kept safe and content at all times. Remember, if you are going to look specifically for holiday gigs to earn money from pets, you are going to be walking dogs in colder climates or ugly weather. It can mean you get stuck indoors and away from family and friends during the holiday season.
Yet, it can be a great way to experience a new city and earn a great wage as you do so. This is even more accurate if you are looking at pet sitting gigs in foreign locations. This is because most pay a good wage but also need you to be a house sitter, too.
If you want to have the instant appearance of a professional, you may want to join organizations like the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters or Professional United Pet Sitters (and you can even start to find jobs through their site).
The best sites to establish your reputation and start getting legit pet jobs abroad and domestically include:
They each have subscription fees, and some may not provide you with an actual income or means to earn money from pets, but they can give you a wonderful place to stay, adorable animals to care for, and the opportunity to live like a local in a new locale. If you have established some sort of passive income, then it is an ideal way to see the world.
There are a few apps that can help you get legit pet jobs in the U.S. specifically, and which guarantee that you will work with animals. They include:
Signing up can get you jobs when you arrive in a new area for a pet sitting gig and be a secondary way to earn money from pets. For example, you might get paid to do some dog walking, popping in to provide some affection or attention to housecats and other pets, and more.
More Creative Ways to Earn Money from Pets
Is that the only way you can use legit pet jobs to earn income? No, there are a lot of options remaining.
After all, you might also want to consider the ways you can use your phone’s camera (or a good DSLR) to snap shots of the animals you care for, and then start earning some income selling stock photos and even doing pet photography. In my article, “Earn Money from Basic Photography…And We Mean Basic”, I looked at the different websites through which you can earn regular income on “microstock” photography.
Go to the top sites, such as iStockPhoto, Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Fotolia, Freedigitalphotos and MicrostockPhotography to see what they have listed as the top photos of dogs, cats, fish, gerbils and other domestic pets. Look at livestock if you tend to those types of pets, too. While you are talking with the animals you are providing care for, you can also snap lots of photos and post your best for sale – allowing you to earn income from legit pet jobs long after you have moved on to the next gig.
You can also let any and all of your clients know that you offer pet portraiture. Maybe even make that a separate part of your website or blog. For example, why not write a blog about a specific session, such as “An Afternoon with Meg the Labradoodle” and take great shots, describe her in a humorous way (as if you were having a conversation or date) and so on. Most pet owners would relish their pet becoming the subject of a blog (as long as locations and names are not published) and would also likely buy prints of the best photos.
Do this enough and you can have a gallery or portfolio that helps you to earn money from pets in yet another, unique way. You can even start to write blogs about pet photography tips and sell photo sessions, consultations or lessons, workshops and more. This could be a sort of sideline from legit pet jobs, but could easily turn into a very lucrative sort of work. Many businesses are now starting to use skilled pet photographers, and you might find yourself being hired by shelters to photograph pets available for adoption, animal “day care” to offer “parents” portraits of their fur babies, and more.
Even if it goes no farther than reliable income from microstock, it still translates to an easy way you can earn money from pets.
You can also find legit pet jobs in which you are simply pampering or petting an animal. Pet sitting is the sort of baseline level of this, and you may find many people happy to pay you to sit with their dog or cat for a few hours per day while they are away (in addition to walking and feeding). If you want to take it a bit farther, you can get training in animal massage. This is a real thing and there are formal schools offering training. If it sounds silly to think of yourself offering services as a masseuse to a dog, you might feel differently when you hear what it pays. The average earnings are roughly $50 per hour.
Imagine what it would mean if you can get a pet sitting gig in a popular foreign city. It would give you a free place to live, perhaps a small income, and pets to love and look after. During your down time, you might book massage sessions, do some portrait work or take jobs walking dogs using one of the pet care apps. In this way, you’d be earning income and living for free in a far away land.
Add your blogs and affiliate marketing to this (which you can do in a few hours each day or night) and you can easily become one of the many digital nomads. Only, your work is not as isolated or lonely because you are always meeting new furry friends who need your attention and care and who show you lots of affection and friendship.
Naturally, this path is not for everyone, but if you are looking to get out of the rat race and start providing rat care instead (yes, there are gigs looking after pet rats, hamsters, gerbils, mice and others), this is a great opportunity. With a bit of effort and organization now, you can develop a unique career that lets you work from home comfortably or go out and see the world one furry face at a time.