Make extra money with a dog boarding side hustle
*Asterisks set out in this article relate to advertising and they indicate that the author receives a small share of sales through the related link.*
One of my latest pursuits of earning extra money has been one of my most fun yet. Like mystery shopping and matched betting, I am kicking myself for not doing it sooner.
So what is the latest idea? Dog boarding*. Before you think ‘nope, not for me!’ – hear me out. It isn’t just dog boarding that you could do – and you don’t even have to work from home.
When I was busy scheming money making ideas I thought about doing dog walking. But I wasn’t sure how to go about it – should I put an advertisement up in a local shop? Flyers? Leaflets? I didn’t know what to do, and honestly, I didn’t want any upfront costs. I’m not sure how I stumbled across them, but I found a website called Tailster*. I love them. You sign up, get vetted to check you are who you say you are, complete your profile and then you can bid on jobs.
Here are some options for you that are on the site:
This is what I am doing and I really enjoy it. My daughter (and husband) have been bugging me to get them a dog, but because we are paying off debt, I have said no. So the next best thing? Borrow someone else’s dog, and have them pay me for the privilege!
Dog boarding is as it sounds – a dog comes to live with you whilst their owner is away. This could be for as short as one day, but I’ve found that generally it is for a weekend or a week. You treat the dog as if they were your own – feed them, walk them, play with them etc. The owners are happy because they know their dog is being well looked after, and we are happy because we have a dog to play with and get some extra cash.
I work from home, so this is a perfect side hustle for me, and for you if you also work from home.
Dog sitting is usually where you stay in their house whilst they are away, so that the dog doesn’t have to go live in a strange home. However as I am writing this I am currently ‘dog sitting’ for a dog where I just have to pop over in the morning, walk him for about an hour and feed him. Simple.
This one is pretty self explanatory. You walk the dog, and if the dogs (and owners) are happy with it, you could walk more than one at once and get more money this way.
This generally relates to the dog being dropped off at your house and staying with you throughout the day and then picked up later in the day.
Cat sitting can either refer to living at their home and looking after the kitties, or popping in to clean their litter tray and feed them. A lot of these I see generally want it done at lunchtime, so this could be something that you could do in your lunch break perhaps.
Small Animal Care
Not just dogs and cats are listed on this site – but rabbits and other small animals too. This could be living in the house, or just popping in and feeding them.
An owner fills out a request and it appears in the dashboard. It says the animal type, date, location etc. You can pick and choose who you want to bid for. I’ve gone into my dashboard and taken a screenshot for you. I have it listed in order of “Newest First’.
You can see the first 4 that have popped up I haven’t quoted for. The first one I’m not sure whether to quote for because it’s quite a long time, the second one is a bit too far away, the third one too far away, and the fourth one I would have quoted for but I won’t be able to make the times they want when you click open the listing, because I am playing hockey on the Saturday. So as you can see, you don’t have to quote for anything that you don’t want to.
You can set your emails up to get emails every time a listing in your area is added, or highlights. I personally have them on for every listing, because I like to try and be the first person to quote.
As you know, I have a 5 year old daughter, so whenever I quote I always ask if they are used to being around small children, and I won’t take any dogs that aren’t. I also generally only take small dogs because I find them easier to look after. I only started about 3 months ago but it has been a really enjoyable experience.
Tailster are great because they cover the insurance for things like emergency vet appointments so you don’t have to worry about any of that. They take 15% of your fee but it is completely free for the dog owners to use.
When the owner makes the booking, they pay the money upfront, but the funds are not released until a couple of days after the booking has finished so that Tailster* can check with both parties if everything went ok.
With recurring jobs such as dog walking, the payments are every week on a Wednesday.
These are the (very) general steps:
- Search for new available jobs
- Quote on any relevant jobs
- Receive a message from the owner wanting to arrange a meet up
- Meet owner and doggy to check they are happy with me and the house
- Owner books through Tailster
- Confirm booking
- Owner drops dog and various paraphernalia off, go on their holiday (lucky things)
- Look after dog – walk them, feed them, give them a lot of love. I send them emails and photos of the dog whilst they are away (there is a Tailster app for this as well which is handy)
- Owner picks dog up
- 1-2 days after the booking Tailster will contact both myself and the dog owner to check everything was ok, then release the funds.
As I’ve already mentioned, dog boarding is something that I wish I had started earlier, because I could have made a ton of money from it and it’s such a fun and easy side hustle to do. Here’s my post where I have mentioned how much I earned last month from doing a little bit of dog boarding.
Check out Tailster and sign up* if you want to make some extra cash doing an interesting and fun side hustle – which many people do as their full time hustle! You guys, I get paid to have doggy cuddles. Best job ever.
I have put together a dog boarding checklist that I get the owners to fill out such as feeding and walking times (you think you’ll remember, but I guarantee you won’t!) which you can download for yourself if you click here.
Ways To Make Extra Money Now:
- Start a blog with Siteground! This can start off as a fun side hustle, and have the potential to turn into a huge full time income (which is still fun!). Yes, you CAN make money blogging, and it’s the best thing that I ever did. To get started, read my post How To Start a Blog.
- Answer simple questions on survey sites! This is a really easy money earner and I love it because I do it when I don’t need to really think too much e.g. Netflix on in the background. Sign up to the best survey sites over here.
- Matched Betting – you don’t need to be good at maths, it’s not gambling, it’s tax-free, it can be done at any time of day and earn you thousands extra per month. All explained here and you can sign up to my favourite site that will guide you through the steps.
- Mystery Shopping – I always thought these were a scam or a pain to do, until I got started! Since then, the free food and other items (e.g. clothes for me and my daughter) have convinced me otherwise! My favourite legit sites are rounded up for you here.