Retirees Take Up Pet Sitting Careers in Growing National Trend

25-Mar-2011 | News-Press Release

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. March 24, 2011 – Turning from the 9-to-5 to the woof-to-meow, man's best friend is now serving as an exciting second career option for many retirees. Trends show an increasing number of retirees are becoming pet sitters, combining savvy business skills from a previous career with a love for pets. The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), a nonprofit association equipping members with the tools and support to foster success, is helping retirees blossom into the world of pet sitting.

“With increasing economic demands, shifting industries and declining retirement funds, individuals are considering unconventional post-retirement careers,” said John D’Ariano, President of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters and retired public service officer.

Pet sitting allows retirees the freedom to operate on a flexible schedule and work load, and grow at a pace that best fits their lifestyle. “After retiring from a long career, my wife and I – both proud pet parents – were searching for an activity to keep us busy,” described D’Ariano. “After attending a pet first aid training session and meeting a professional pet sitter, a lightbulb went off, and I began exploring this new and exciting career option.” D’Ariano’s business started small, operating only on referrals from veterinarians. Ten years after launch, he and his wife now manage over 400 clients.

In addition, pet sitting allows retirees control over their business services. Sherry Suhosky, President-Elect of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters and retired Marine Corps officer, offers overnight stays at pet parents’ homes, making her an excellent choice for individuals who travel frequently. Suhosky explained, “Pet sitting is the perfect blend of my passions for business management, customer service and giving furry companions the care they deserve. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy my retirement!”

Becoming a pet sitter after retirement is not only a fun and satisfying activity, but provides additional income to supplement retirement benefits. Launching a pet sitting business can be managed inexpensively, with basic start-up costs estimated at less than $500.

As a member-driven non-profit association, NAPPS provides retirees the business tools, marketability, and education to establish, strengthen, and promote their pet sitting services. Additionally, membership provides pet sitters with access to over 2,000 industry peers committed to mutually supporting, encouraging, and mentoring their fellow NAPPS members.

Resources provided by NAPPS membership include:

  • Step-by-step guides on how to start and grow a pet sitting business, along with other tools, forms, and marketing/public relations resources
  • Inclusion in the NAPPS “Pet Sitter Locator” online directory for pet parents
  • Monthly mentoring teleconferences and exclusive listservs in which pet sitters discuss business challenges and solutions
  • Quarterly magazine, Professional Pet Sitter, with informative and educational articles
  • Group pricing for pet sitter insurance, credit card processing, and background screening
  • Member pricing at the NAPPS Annual Conference and Small Business Forum

NAPPS is a national nonprofit trade association dedicated to promoting the welfare of animals. The Association aims to help the pet owning public, those interested in pet sitting, and professionals engaged in the in-home pet care industry by fulfilling its vision statement, serving as “the most respected authority in professional pet sitting.” It does so by providing the tools and support to foster the success of its members. Additionally, pet parents can benefit from NAPPS’ free resources including a disaster preparedness guide, tips on how to select a pet sitter, nationwide referral service, and quarterly teleconferences aimed to educate the pet owning public. To find a pet sitter in your area, check out NAPPS’ nationwide “Pet Sitter Locator” at For more information on NAPPS, please follow @TheNAPPS on Twitter or join us on Facebook at

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Liz Cies
(856) 380-6811

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