The Full Story - Being a Professional Pet Care Specialist

Mar 4, 2024   ComfortAtHomePetServices   Hiring a Pet Sitter

Being a Professional Pet Care Specialist often feels like less of a job and more of a lifestyle - a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week lifestyle. Those of us that do this work, love doing it and wouldn't trade it for anything, but to say it is all laughter and puppy kisses wouldn't be doing it justice. Thankfully, the pros far outweigh the cons but that's not to say there aren't any cons. This is a perfect time to refresh all that is involved in being a Pet Care Specialist during Professional Pet Sitter's Appreciation week (March 3 - 9, 2024). By the way, have you thanked your professional pet care specialist? How so?

The most important positive aspect of this job is without a doubt my clients – both human and furry. This job allows me to make friendships with people from all over the area and to make a true difference in the lives of their pets.  I spend hours, days, and sometimes entire weekends with pets and to be able to care of them the way they need, I have to form a bond with them. I have to want the best for them. I couldn't do this job as well as I do if I didn't have their best interests at heart. I enjoy the time I spend with the pets and I get to experience all their life stages, laughing at their play, watching the heartwarming tail wag when a pet sees me again and giggling at their antics. It's a shared bond, we truly enjoy being in each other's company. The double edge sword to bonding with so many wonderful souls is the amount of loss I have experienced in this business. It's an unfortunate truth that our pets don't live as long as we do, and the number of furry clients only increases the odds of that loss. There have been instances of back-to-back loss or a loss a week and I barely had time to mourn one loss before the next tore at my already broken heart. In addition to that, I never feel I have the right to mourn. Did I care for those pets? Yes. Did I bond with them, help them, heal them, feed them and spend time with them. All yes. However, in the end they weren't mine. Often, I push it down and continue on because I can't bring that to the next pet. I'm reminded of the quote: ”How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”  I am blessed by their presence and devastated by their loss. 

Another pro is I get to own my business and in that I get to decide what this business will become. Through my hard work alone, I have grown this into something I can be proud of and know I'm giving my 100% to clients and their beloved pets. However, as any business owners will tell you, it can be difficult. There are no days off, no sick days and I can't call off for bad weather. Those pets still need me.  Even when I'm not taking care of pets, I'm taking care of my business and all that goes along with it. 

I want the pets in my care to thrive! I want them to have the best I can bring them, whether through knowledge of food diets, medications, diseases or training. I want to be able to answer any questions my clients might have and to do that I have to educate myself constantly. I must stay on top of new medical breakthroughs, products, and training. I scour the internet looking for food recalls and try to share my knowledge with as many people as I can. I share knowledge to benefit as many animals as I possibly could. I can't say doing this is a con, but it does take away my off time. 

I gave up a career and set aside 2 degrees to start this business and it's because I wanted to do what I loved. Even with the heartbreak and loss, the 24/7 of owning a business, of last-minute requests and middle of the night emergency phone calls, there still isn't anything else in this world that I would rather do. 

Jen Sybol, Owner
Comfort At Home Pet Services, LLC
Certified Professional Pet Sitter
PetTech CPR & First Aid Certified
PPG Badge
Pet Sitters International
National Association of Professional Pet Sitters
Angieslist 2015 Super Servica Award
Angieslist 2016 Super Service Award
Shock Free
Pet First Aid/CPR Certified
Pittsburgh's Professional Pet Sitters Network
Bite Prevention Educator
Doggone Safe
2020 Nextdoor
Fear Free Logo
National Association of Professional Pet Sitters Certification