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Pros & Cons of Pet Sitting Insurance Certification

Woman and corgi on the couch.

As a pet professional, you understand how important it is to provide the best care possible. In addition to carrying pet sitter insurance, earning a pet sitting certification is one way to ensure that you’re prepared to face whatever challenges you encounter in your work.

A certification course can help you learn what to do (and what not to do as a pet sitter) when you’re responsible for the health and well-being of your clients’ pets.

When deciding whether a pet sitter certificate is worth it, you need to consider several pros and cons. Things like cost, time, and potential return on your investment are all important factors to think about.

To help you weigh your options, we’ve created this handy breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks of becoming a certified pet sitter

Pros of Pet Sitting Certification

Enhances Your Credibility

Adding your certified status to your profiles, website, advertising, and business cards shows customers that you are a responsible and trained pet professional.

Improves Your Knowledge and Skills

Even the most seasoned pet owners can have knowledge gaps. You can learn valuable information in a pet sitter certification course that will enhance your skills.

Gives you a Competitive Advantage

Being a certified pet sitter allows you to stand out above other sitters in your area, giving you an edge. Plus, you can charge higher rates for your professional services.

Creates Networking Opportunities

Most programs provide a built-in network of professionals and mentors. Earning your pet sitter certificate comes with professional connections that may boost your business.

Prepares You for Emergencies

Safety and first aid are often included in professional pet sitter certification courses. You’ll be prepared to handle a pet emergency thanks to your training.

Access to Resources

When you’re affiliated with a certification program, you gain access to resources like professional development, informational tools, and marketing ideas.


Cons of Pet Sitting Certification


Many certification programs require you to join an organization for an annual fee, plus you need to pay to take the certification test. This can amount to several hundred dollars

Time Commitment

Completing courses, studying, and taking entry exams can be time-consuming, which may be difficult for busy professionals to manage.


Not a Requirement

A pet sitter certification is nice to have, but not mandatory for you to work in the industry. Some customers may not see the value of the extra training.


Program Quality Varies

Not all certifications have the same standards and requirements. Applicants need to take care in choosing a reputable program.

Ongoing Commitment

Once you have your certification, you may need to take continuing education and tests on a regular basis to maintain your certification status.


Limited Practical Experience

While you may gain some valuable training through certification programs, it does not make up for the hands-on experience you gain by caring for animals in person.

woman sitting at computer smiling

Is Pet Sitting Certification Right for You?

Now that you have an overview of the pros and cons of pet sitting certification, it’s time to decide if it’s the right path for you and your business.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Will my customers see the benefit of a pet sitter certification?
  • Do I have time to complete a certification program?
  • Do I have the budget for the certification fees?
  • How will a pet sitter certificate help with my career aspirations?


While there are many benefits to becoming a certified pet sitter, it’s not a one-size-fits-all option.

If you plan to have a career as a pet professional, building your knowledge base and experience is extremely beneficial.

On the other hand, if you’re just picking up a few pet sitting gigs for a little extra cash, it may not be the best investment for you.

How to Earn a Pet Sitting Certification

While there are several online pet sitting certification programs available, only a few have high-quality standards widely recognized in the industry.

Pet Sitters International (PSI) is an educational organization that’s been supporting pet professionals since 1994. PSI offers a paid membership that gives you access to a network, resources, and discounts. You can earn a Certification for Professional Pet Sitters (CPPS) through their comprehensive exam.

PSI offers several online training courses. Though these aren’t required for you to take the exam, they may help improve your chances of passing. The test covers a general body of knowledge about pet care, health, and business operations. Candidates have six months from the date of purchase to complete the exam.

Another great option is the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), a non-profit organization for pet pros. Members can access educational tools, partner discounts, and an online library. NAPPS Certification requires you to complete an online course and pass the exam.

Applicants have 6 months from the date of purchase to complete the course and pass the exam. The program’s content includes information on caring for a wide range of pets, how to deal with behavioral issues, and operating a business.

If you’re looking for a quick certification opportunity that can boost your pet sitting skills, the American Red Cross offers a Cat & Dog First Aid Online Training course that only takes about 35 minutes. It teaches you how to respond if a pet in your care has an emergency.

How Much Does Pet Sitting Certification Cost?

The final cost of earning your pet sitter certificate can vary depending on the program, course costs, and recertification fees.

Organization Certification Cost Recertification?
Pet Sitters International Certification of Professional Pet Sitters Membership (required): $155 + $5 application fee; Exam Fee: $275; Additional Courses: $39 to $125 per class Requires 30 Continuing Education Units every three years
National Association of Professional Pet Sitters NAPPS Certification Members: $245; Non-Members: $395 Requires 30 Continuing Education Units every three years ($75) OR Retake the exam every three years ($175)
American Red Cross Cat & Dog First Aid Online Training Certificate $25 N/A

Note: While there are free pet sitting certification programs available, these aren’t typically recognized in the industry and have varying degrees of reliability.

Woman and dog sitting at a table on laptops.

Pet Sitting Certification & Insurance

Anybody who works with pets knows that animals can be unpredictable. While a pet sitting certificate and dog sitter insurance have two different functions, having both will prepare you for whatever comes your way.

Pet pros face a variety of risks, from injured animals to property damage. The education you earn through a certification program will help you respond quickly and effectively when problems arise.

However, even with proper training and preparedness, accidents still happen. That’s where your insurance comes in. Pet Care Insurance (PCI) offers comprehensive coverage for dog and cat sitters who want to safeguard their businesses.

Pet sitter insurance covers common claims that pet professionals face everyday. If issues like a sick pet or a broken coffee table come up, you could be financially responsible for expenses like vet bills, repair costs, and legal fees.

✅Your pet sitter certification prepares you to face the challenges that come with the job.

✅Your pet sitter insurance protects you when you need backup.

FAQs About Pet Sitter Certification

You are not required to have a pet sitter certification to work in the industry. If you partner with an agency, your employer may require you to complete an educational program before working, but this varies by company.

Pet sitters average around $16 an hour nationwide. As a certified pet sitter, you may be able to increase your rates to $20 to $22 per hour thanks to your experience and training.

Your pet sitting fees may depend on several factors, including:

  • Location
  • Job experience
  • Type of pet
  • Drop-in / overnight care
  • Market demand and competitors’ rates


On average, pet sitters charge around $25 for a 15-minute visit, increasing the rate for each additional 15 minutes. Most pets require at least three drop-ins per day. If you provide overnight service, the average fee is between $45 to $75.

Because each pet owner has different needs, you should discuss fees with your client before booking.

Annual Pet Sitter Insurance Policy

This policy is for professionals who work in the pet care industry.

Starting at:


or $19.08/month

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Comparing Employee Dishonesty Coverage & Bonding

PCI’s employee dishonesty coverage is similar to a bond, but there may be some key differences to consider.

Employee dishonesty coverage:

  • Can be purchased in the same transaction
  • Doesn’t run credit checks
  • Provides $10,000 per occurrence and $25,000 aggregate coverage

Bonds may differ from our dishonesty coverage by:

  • Checking your credit during the application process
  • Having a “Conviction Claus;” Often bonds won’t pay on claims unless there is a conviction
  • Many require you to reimbursement the bonding company after a claim is paid