A few days ago, I was one of the (un)lucky ones that tested positive for this nasty Coronavirus that continues to rear its ugly head in many Families, towns, states, this great nation, and the world as a whole. It’s unbelievable how much damage this one little virus, virtually undetectable because it cannot easily be seen, heard, smelled, or tasted, has caused so far. Regardless, by having to quarantine, I found myself with time to attend a conference that I may not otherwise have been able to attend.

As a Company, we have been members of Pet Sitters International (PSI) for a number of years and have also gotten our certification as Professional Pet Sitters through this group. PSI offers multiple educational opportunities as well as marketing and other resources for pet care businesses. Odds & Ends, LLC also carries its general liability and bond coverage through this wonderful group of caring individuals. Clients wanting to hire a pet care professional can go to the PSI web site and by entering their zip code, pull up a list of professionals in their area (credentialed by PSI). The PSI world conference has been held in various cities in past years but has been held virtually for a couple of years now, in an effort to keep folks safe but to still be able to learn and collaborate. I spent last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, several hours a day, participating in the conference and am so glad I did!

There were several hundred virtual attendees at the conference, most as pet business owners and several as presenters, sponsors, or otherwise affiliated in some way with either Pet Sitters International or the event itself. Regardless of attendee location or types of pet care products or services offered, I noted several commonalities. First, most pet care businesses have experienced growth, some significant growth, since things began opening up again after several weeks of pandemic shutdown. To support the growth, more and more pet care businesses are recruiting qualified pet sitters. Ironically, though, most are having trouble finding qualified help. Sadly, some are having to turn away new clients and business opportunities because there is not enough staff. Where has the labor force gone? Why aren’t people interested in working? 

Price increases were another commonality amongst those attending the conference. Most pet care businesses have had to raise their prices due to increasing overhead costs (insurance, gas, supplies), and sometimes quite a bit. While not necessarily pleasant to have to implement, it is necessary to stay in business and most clients understand and support that.

The conference was very beneficial and I’m so glad I got to participate and learn several new things about cat care, dog care, dog training and behavior, reactive dogs, staffing strategies, client retention strategies, and marketing. At Odds & Ends, LLC, we continually strive to learn and improve our offerings and services for our valued clients. Opportunities such as the Pet Sitters International Virtual conference enables us to do this and we appreciate it!

Also, please note: with Thanksgiving and Christmas rapidly approaching, please remember to book your pet care services as soon as possible, as we are quickly filling up! Contact us today for a quote, for more information, or if you are ready to book services!