Q&A ON THE PET SITTING BUSINESS
Mar 30, 2021 | PET CARE
Meet our sponsor Nicole Bruder-Gillis, owner of Lucy Goo Pet Sitting. We wanted to find out more about what is happening in the industry and introduce our readers to her quality-driven, safety-minded services where all dog walkers and pet sitters are insured, bonded, and Pet CPR/First Aid certified.
Q: When did you start Lucy Goo Pet Sitting? What were your goals, and how have things changed over the years?
A: I started Lucy Goo in 2009. The pet industry was definitely different then. People without pets would kind of grin at the term ‘pet sitter’ and visualize me walking a dozen dogs at once, like in the movies and say ‘that is an adorable thing to do, now let the grown-ups talk’. But, I kept at it. This is a serious business. When I started Lucy Goo, my goals were not only to provide the best quality and care for pets, along with the safest dog walking practices, it was to create work for other pet lovers just like me. The pet sitting industry really started booming in 2011, and the growth snowballed, and all the while I was also able to witness the enormous growth of people’s love and attention to their pets. It’s been an incredible journey!
Q: Then along comes 2020 and Covid…
A: Who could have seen that coming?
Q: How has the pandemic affected your business?
A: The pandemic has definitely affected pet sitting and dog walking businesses, including ours. There has been an incredible decrease in pet sitting needs because people have been home more. We have crafted different services in response to this, such as DoorSide Dog walks. This has been helpful for people while they are working from home. They may be involved in Zoom meetings and busy, or would just like help at exercising their pup. It’s a fun change-up in the day for our furry friends, and peace of mind for their humans to ensure their dogs aren’t getting bored while they work.
Q: I’ve wondered how pets will react when their owners decide to take a trip, given that many have been working from home. Have you seen a difference in pets’ behavior?
A: Pets have definitely become more attached to their parents this past year, and their routines have changed. They are experiencing separation anxiety which can be seen in chewing on themselves and objects they wouldn’t normally gnaw on, protest potties in the house, and depression. In order to make a smooth transition back to having a pet sitter, it’s good to recognize that, and discuss the plans/options they offer, and how to prepare. For instance, we offer plans that range from solid round-the-clock care, to 24 hour ‘Flex’ care, to multiple visits.
Q: Any quick closing advice to pet parents preparing to leave on a trip?
A: Start to get your pet used to you being gone by leaving for outings that gradually get longer. Their reaction to this will help in choosing the best plan of care for them. Stay peaceful and calm as you plan and pack. Pets are very adept at reading body language and picking up on their human’s stress levels.