Four Paws Up for Peace of Mind Pet Sitters

Business Q & A

Pictured: Caryn Hodge pictured with her beloved dog, Hannah.

Marketing veteran and local entrepreneur Caryn Hodge invites pet owners to experience Peace of Mind Pet Sitters, her newest business concept. Peace of Mind Sitters provides animals with the comfort of of staying in the familiar surroundings of their own homes while their owners are away.

A Virginia native, Hodge moved to Florida in 1990. Pursuing a career in marketing, Hodge has spent the last 20 years working for agencies like the Chiles Group and Mattison’s Restaurants and Catering. After her elderly dog Hannah passed away, Hodge was asked to dog sit for her friend. Working remotely, she accepted the request with open arms. “I needed a dog fix,” says Hodge. “I hadn't had a dog around for a while and I needed some dog love.” After that, a light bulb went off. “I thought, well, everybody else is getting a side hustle. I want to give the pet peace of mind that they get to stay in their own home. They're familiar with the environment. They're such creatures of habit. They know our schedules better than we do, and they know when you take them out of that environment.” Hodge says some dogs require more attention, “A lot of dogs, especially older or younger dogs, get very anxious and disoriented. I like to keep them in their home where they're comfortable.”

Four months later, Hodge set up her website and was quickly booked and busy. Her devotion to animals is apparent, and she soon had to hire more people to keep up with demand. “I'm individually owned. I have to be the scheduler and the hiring person, all while marketing and advertising it,” Hodge says. “I rely heavily on my marketing and PR background to help get the word out about my pet sitting business.”

With a team of qualified animal lovers, Peace of Mind Pet Sitters specializes in drop-ins and overnight stays. Developing her own marketing agency Create and Connect Marketing Services this past October, Hodge’s ability to work from home allows her to pet sit during the day, ensuring the animals are comfortable and cared for. She has also grown a team of sitters she can deploy.

Hodge’s commitment to animals doesn’t stop there. As a board member of the nonprofit organization, Friends of Manatee County Animal Welfare, she organizes fundraisers for Manatee County Animal Shelter. In seven years, they have raised over $700,000.

“Animals inspire me.” Hodge says, “They live in the moment. They don't have greed and regret, and they don't hold a grudge. When you leave your house, you can leave for five minutes or five hours and that dog’s just happy to see you when you come back.”

 

Pictured: Caryn Hodge pictured with her beloved dog, Hannah.

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