"Pet Sitter Plus is what my business needed.  I just wish I had done it years ago!" 


Wendy Mackay - Pet Sitters NZ

Stoke, Nelson, New Zealand

Pet Sitters NZ

Case Study

"Pet Sitter Plus is what my business needed.  I just wish I had done it years ago!"

Pet Sitters NZ

Stoke, Nelson, New Zealand


Wendy Mackay




May 2014

"I moved to Nelson, NZ in 2003 as a student, with the aim to set up a backpacker’s hostel.  But when it came to booking a holiday, I couldn't find anywhere for my indoor guinea pig Tinkerbell to stay!   I always had a passion for pets so it made sense when my flatmate suggested to me that I should feed the neighbors cats for a small fee.  I couldn't believe that New Zealanders would pay for such a service, especially in Nelson, but I decided to give it a go.


I started Pet Sitters NZ in 2004, as a part time venture alongside my new position as a conference organizer, but eventually I handed my notice so that I could be a full time pet sitter.


"People thought I was mad, but I have never looked back."


My systems were pretty shabby to start with; it was all pen and paper back then. If I wanted a day off, I needed to write 2 pages of instructions and for several years, I worked 7 days a week.


I then got myself a blackberry and I was able to use Microsoft Outlook to record customer’s information at the consultation and then synch it up to my computer.  Every visit was entered in the Outlook calendar and colour coded for the different areas. However, it didn't take long before I started having problems with so many reminders going off.


"My phone would freeze and if I made too many changes, errors would start to come up when syncing my phone. My admin nightmare had begun!"


I would email my customer’s a booking confirmation that I had typed manually and I had to work out the cost manually.  When emailing these out, whilst everything looked aligned on my screen, I had seen some customers printed copies and it looked a mess!


It was very easy to make a mistake as pricing rules are often complex and we have many different rates based on the number of pets and then the number of visits etc, not to mention having to remember to add surcharges on Public Holidays. 


I also needed another system to keep track of payments which I did in excel, so again it was very time consuming.


I would then draw up the weekly planners for sitters on excel, which I would have to cross check 3 times to ensure I hadn't made a mistake.  I would then drop these off with the customer’s information to my sitters as not all of them had word, excel or printers!


Then if a customer cancelled or changed a booking, you can imagine the frustration of amending all the information and cross checking and updating systems. I knew that to grow the business, I had to get some software but there was nothing available in New Zealand.


I spend a lot of time researching different pet sitting software and then spent 2 whole days over the weekend trialing the different systems.  Most of them provided a video tutorial, but I soon gave up on that as when I had had a question or didn't understand how something worked there was no one to answer that for me.


Most places we’re unable to offer their software in NZ, so that’s when I started digging around in the UK.


"From the moment I made an enquiry and signed up for the 30 day free trial, I knew there was no going back and this is what my business needed.  I just wish I had done it years ago!"


I had a 2 hour Skype session with Richard (who I’m sure never sleeps) and since signing up with Pet Sitter Plus, my business has grown more than I ever could have imagined and I now have the systems to be able to cope with it.  Richard is only an email away if I have a problem.


Sitters can now log in to the system at any time of the day or night and are able to see all their current and future bookings. All the client, pet and visit routine information that I would have to type up manually is now available to my sitters from their phones.


I have now taken on more staff, I don’t have to stress about calculations regarding wages as it’s all done for me and I can see exactly how much I’m paying my sitters as a percentage. As a result I have been able to adjust figures and make my business more profitable.


I can use my mobile phone to add a booking or to change a sitter at the last minute or add diary notes.  I love the diary notes that I can add, so my sitters are able to see instantly if there are any important changes such as medication or the key location without me having to text them all the time.


I can now produce professional itemized quotes at the touch of a button and invoicing takes no time at all. I always know how much I am owed and how much money i have received each month as the reports from the system are great.


I actually enjoy doing the admin side of the business now and love the professional and consistent look of all our correspondence to our customers.  Pet Sitter Plus has enabled me to take a decent holiday and I now even feel that taking a sick day is possible as I can re-schedule all my bookings from the comfort of my bed! 


Thank you Pet Software - I would recommend this solution to anyone running a pet sitting business.


Pet Software Ltd provides a market leading software for pet sitters, dog walkers, dog Boarding, dog daycare centres and kennels. Pet Sitter Plus helps pet sitters to spend more time with pets and less time on administration.

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