Pet Sitting- just Googled it
An empty mind gives an idea for Google search. Out of the tonnes of things that I Google for, today I decided to Google “petsitters”. Happy to say, that I was found in the top three search results (currently grinning wide), I also found a wiki page on petsitters. Made for some interesting read and also an eye opener of sorts for how far we have come as an industry, in India. I started way back in 2008 and with a small 6 kennel setup. Industry was new and slated for some crazy growth, in fact it’s still growing at a crazy rate. Trained employees was a far fetched idea,coz there just weren’t any. But to even get people who like (forget love) dogs to work at the kennel was a daunting task. Clients who have known me since then, know my staff related woes. Over the years, we got the people, things bettered. Clients, affectionately called pet parents, over the years have a changed outlook while keeping their pets at a kennel. They are more responsive and cooperative in understanding how a kennel operates and why we insist on certain rules, regulations and paperwork. Kennels are also becoming more professional in their approach and the client is appreciating it.
As I read the wiki article which dates back 2014 and (obviously) is US based data, we are still a long way behind. Insurance, licensing are areas totally untouched in India.
But today, a whole lot of people from various age groups and backgrounds are interested in this field. I, have career counselled 3 bright young students (always laugh out loud at that thought that I was asked to career counsel).
The other very big aspect is the reason for a family to board a pet. Be it a festival, pest control, too many guests at home for dinner or just a weekend break, pets are boarded at a kennel. My understanding of the situation is such that, we had festivals even 20 years back, and we had pets too, but now, thought goes into the fact that, ‘let’s not disturb the pets schedule. Let’s board him at the kennel’. With the mindset changing, the industry grows too. Professional set ups are preferred. The families find them expensive, so they do try cheaper home sitting options, but by the 2nd or 3rd stay, they come around to getting the job done theu professional kennels or professional home sitters.
But at the same time, new pet parents are doing their research and I am so happiest when I meet this category. There is a thought, there is an understanding, there is homework done and there is finding what’s available research done.. And for me, these are the people who are going to make us change. Be more responsible. Be more responsive. Be more professional.
As I write this today, I have come a long way from checking in pets at any hour to giving out a time slot. I talk from pet perspective and people respect that and then are willing to adhere to that. Me and my organisation have been taken for granted many number of times. But me and my team stood ground. We ruffled many feathers, but came out unscathed as we knew we had put in 100% effort.
Going back to the article, we do have a long way to go as an industry, but as I grow with the industry today, I know, I feel that we all are in it for a long haul. We will grow with the industry and so will our client.