When leaving the house for days on end, whether it be for work or for pleasure, those who have pets face an additional problem in planning. Someone has to feed the critters and make certain that they don’t leave any stinky surprises. Japan offers a number of different services for traveling pet owners, but one man, Mr. Haruna from Okazaki City in Aichi Prefecture, hated to see how upset his pet became after being left in a pet hotel.

In order to limit the stress of lonely pets, Haruna quit his job as a salary man and started the Pet-Sitter Gentry. “It’s the pet version of a babysitter,” he explains, and although the business has seen some hardships, the recruitment of additional staff has now allowed him to expand his pet-sitting service area into eastern Nagoya City.

The job of pet-sitters is to visit a person’s home and feed the animals while their owners are away, as well as clean up their droppings and take them for walks, if necessary. No special equipment or certification is required, so it’s a fairly simple business to start up. However, accumulating new customers can be difficult, as a great deal of trust is necessary for people to open up their homes and entrust their pets to a virtual stranger. In that way, business can be very unstable.

The perfect person for a pet-sitting job is not one who acts as the pillar of monetary support for their families, but rather someone with a flexible schedule who would like to simply supplement their family’s income. Pet-Sitter Gentry has welcomed a number of additional employees in the past, but the majority of whom were housewives who eventually had to stop work for newborn childcare and the like.

This time, with the help of Makiko Kudou, manager of the new Eastern Nagoya branch, and two other supporting staff, Pet-Sitter Gentry will be able to operate long-term in the areas surrounding Okasaki in a 15 km (9.3 mile) radius from Hane-chou, as well as the eastern and middle districts of Nagoya, including the Chikuso, Mizuho, Shouwa, Atsuta, Tenpaku, and Meito Wards.

Pet-sitting rates are based predominately on the size of the animal and frequency of visits. Discounted rates are available if the pet requires multiple visits on a single day or if the client will be gone for an extended period of time. The rate for dogs ranges from 2,000 to 3,000 yen (US$20.14 to 30.21) for one visit per day and includes an hour-long walk. The rate for cats and large rodents, like bunnies and ferrets, is 1,800 yen for up to two animals. In the case of caged animals, such as birds, hamsters, and reptiles, the daily rate is 1,800 yen per cage.

As mentioned before, it can be hard to entrust someone you do not know with access to your home, so a preliminary meeting is always required. This gives the clients an opportunity to meet the workers  and gives the workers a good opportunity to earn the client’s trust, as well as meet the animals requiring care.

If any of our readers have a pet and live in the area around Okasaki or Nagoya, perhaps you should give these guys a try? No animal likes to be torn from its regular home, and hiring a pet sitter is far less expensive than taking your animal to a pet hotel, making the service both cost-effective and stress-limiting for your beloved pet. The initial meeting is free, so it’s at least worth a call!

Shop Information:
Pet-Sitter Gentry
Okasaki Branch – Okasaki-shi, Hane-chou
TEL 0564-83-7576
Nagoya Branch – Nagoya-shi, Chikusa-ku
TEL 080-4152-5444

Source: Okazaki Keizai