Spotlight on Professional Pet Sitter Amanda Anderson
Read in PSI member Amanda Anderson’s own words how this expat found success pet sitting in the Middle East.
“I am a British expat living in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and have to say without our business I don't know where we would be. Having travelled around the Middle East for nearly 18 years with my husband, we have finally settled for the foreseeable future in Dubai. Having worked as a Practice Manager at a leading vet clinic here, I saw the need for home pet care. The kennels/catteries here are pretty poor and it was very hard recommending clinic clients to put the pooch or kitty in a box whilst they went on holiday.
"Long story short, I started to do pet sitting for a few friends, then it expanded and eventually we formalized the company with a partner here (only way to have a business here) and Homely Petz was formed. We started with a simple website and within a year had done very well, and our regular clients loved us and what we did.
"Pet sitting before we came along was pretty much unheard of unless a client had used a pet sitter in the home country (i.e. western expats). Five of my pet sitters were clients, which is a great testament to what we do. We now have over 20 ICs working with us, two dog trainers and four coordinators to manage key areas of the business.
"Having a pet in the Middle East can be very difficult because the temperature for five months of the year is over 35 Celsius. Preconceived ideas of dogs can be a challenge when our dog walkers are out and about and we have strived to educate those around us of the wonder and joy of owning a pet. We have made many expats comfortable in knowing that the pet is being looked after lovingly, properly and with a great deal of expertise. I'm sure this makes it easier on a family who may not have brought the pet along with them from the home country.
"The business was only a part-time 'pocket money' part of my life three years ago; today it supports our family entirely (family being husband, son and 4 Great Danes!). We so enjoy working with animals day in and day out. It is our life and passion and I feel humbled that we have been given the opportunity to have such a company overseas. This year we were invited by the biggest pet show in the Middle East to run their agility ring and we have also recently ventured into another Emirate (similar to a state), Abu Dhabi. This is scary to do, but very needed as we get constant calls from pet owners there.
"Although it's hard work ensuring all our clients, pets and ICs are happy, I wouldn't have it any other way. The joy of working with pets just cannot be beat.”
–submitted by Amanda Anderson, Homely Petz, Dubai