Pros and Cons of Pet Sitting Jobs for Kids

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Elementary-aged kids often like to help out and earn a little bit of money, and parents have many teaching opportunities when they let their kids take on an age-appropriate level of responsibility through a part-time job.

Pet sitting makes a great job that works well for elementary-aged students. The pay might be less than some other jobs for kids, but the kids will have a great time, a low time commitment, and furry friends to hang out with.

Pet Sitting Jobs Pros

  • Low time commitment: Jobs will only take a limited amount of time to feed, water, and exercise the pet each day. They can check in on the pet, and then do other activities in the same day.
  • Great introductory job: If your child hasn't held a job yet, pet sitting makes a great way to introduce her to working.
  • Fun: If your child enjoys pets; she will likely love pet sitting. A fun job helps your child maintain interest and take the work more seriously.
  • Works for busy kids: Even if your child has a full calendar with schoolwork and extracurricular activities, pet sitting can be a quick job that fits in with other commitments.
  • Leads to other opportunities: If a family has pets, they often have children. A pet sitting job now could turn into a babysitting job in the future.
  • Nice customers: In general, people's pets are friendly. Have your child get to know the animal before the pet sitting job so the pet recognizes your child.
  • Various ages: Depending on the tasks involved, pet sitting can be an appropriate job for various aged kids, including younger children.
  • Your child can remain close by: She can pet sit for neighbors and relatives that you know and feel comfortable with. In addition, you can usually accompany your child to check on the pet.

Pet Sitting Jobs Cons

  • Variability: The number of jobs your child gets and how much she earns can vary.
  • Hard to find: Pet sitting jobs may not be as plentiful as other jobs. Your child may have to ask around a lot and search a little harder to find them.
  • Conflicting times: Jobs may coincide with your planned vacations. Because many families travel while school is out, if you are traveling too, your child may not be available to pet sit. Consider a "co-op" with a friend of your child and you can exchange pet sitting schedules.
  • High level of Responsibility: Your child will be caring for a living creature, so forgetting to take care of the pet could have a terrible outcome. Be sure your child is responsible, or plan to either remind them or keep the schedule and accompany them.

What Kids Learn From the Experience

  • Advertising: Your child can take a very active role to get a pet sitting job. Get started by hanging posters on local bulletin boards, handing out flyers to neighbors, and telling friends with pets.
  • Budgeting Money: Your child will have money to spend from her pet-sitting income. She can practice important skills like saving up for things she wants to purchase, or budgeting her money to learn to spend within her means.
  • Working for the Love of the Job: Even if pet sitting doesn't pay as much as some other jobs, if your child is a pet lover, she may realize that she enjoys it more than the tasks required for those other jobs. Encourage her to keep paying attention to job skills that she enjoys, rather than working just for the "paycheck."