Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Very Exciting Things!

I just returned from the Annual Conference for the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. Wow - what an event!

If you're unfamiliar with NAPPS, I recommend checking out their web site and learning a little more about them. Sadly, some people think pet sitting is an easy gig and they invest $5 bucks in some home-printed business cards and think that qualifies them to access people's homes and care for their furry family members. Granted, those folks usually aren't around for long once they realize that it really is hard work, and more and more customers insist on insurance, bonding, and some kind of qualification in order to hand over the keys to their home to a stranger!

This is where NAPPS comes in. Being a member of a professional pet sitting organization, networking with other pet sitters across the country, learning from them, and having access to a wealth of information can set apart the "pet checkers" from the professional pet sitters.

At the conference, I attended 2.5 days' worth of educational seminars led by leaders in the industry (as well as professional speakers and educators from other industries who lent their expertise). I talked with dozens of other pet sitters who shared their ideas on how I can improve my service to the clients I serve and their wonderful pets. I took 20 pages of notes! By investing in my business, I am investing in all of the pets I care for. Everything I learned will be used to make me a better pet sitter, to delight my clients with my service, and to provide top-quality care to the animals entrusted to me when their Mommies and Daddies are away.

Some of the things I learned include:
  • How to help keep clients' homes secure and safe
  • Helping clients deal with the end of a pet's life in a loving way
  • Training tips from the experts
  • Stellar customer service and communication skills
  • Laws affecting animals and their caregivers
As you can see, there is so much more to pet sitting than "how to walk a dog"! And I am delighted to be able to share what I learned with my clients.

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