Dog walking the neighborhood!: image via animalplanet.comDog walking the neighborhood!: image via Americans spent more money on their pets last year than ever before - $50 million - and the largest growth areas were in pet care, according to the American Pet Products Association survey.  If you love pets, would love a job working with them, and have an entrepreneurial spirit, you might be curious about what is involved in the business of pet sitting, and what it's possible to earn.

According to the pet sitting industry's latest comprehensive survey, conducted by Pet Sitters International of its members in 2011...

1.  In 2010, a pet sitter's average annual revenue was $48,635, with an average clientele of 103, and an average number of pet sitting assignments was 2,606! (That last figure may count the number of pets on each assignment.)

2. 84.5 percent of the pet sitting respondents carry both liability and bonding insurance.

3. Marketing efforts are not terribly costly and include word of mouth, business cards, brochures, car signs, and fliers and posters.  Online advertising through their own websites,  job locating sites, and social networking sites accounted for a large percentage of pet sitter marketing.

4. Pet sitters are predominantly women, aged 41 to 60, Caucasian, married, and a home owner.  They commonly own multiple pets, mostly dogs and cats.

5. The typical pet sitting clients are married couples between 36 and 50 years of age.  Of the married couples, more clients are childless than not.

6. Single females use pet sitters at more than twice the rate of single males.

Pet sitting - not just for dogs and cats...: image via personablepetcare.comPet sitting - not just for dogs and cats...: image via 7. Because 77.5 percent of clients pay by check and about 20 percent pay with cash, there is little need to establish credit card services for your business.

8. Most of the services offered by pet sitters are daytime sits in the client's home, dog walking, special needs care, pet transportation, and overnight pet sitting, although about 40 percent do not offer overnight sits. Most sitters do not offer grooming, behavior or obedience training, pooper scooping, errand service, pet-sitting in their own homes, or doggie day care... but all the more reason to add one or more of these services to your own offerings if you can.

9.  Most pet sitters sit for dogs and cats.  Around 60 percent sit for birds, fish, and cage pets as well,.

10.  About 22 percent of pet-sitters hire full-time employees and another 22 percent hire part-time employees for their businesses.

That's the buzz for today!