The Side job: Nicole is a dog sitter

'Taking care of dogs also helps me bring some structure into my life.’

Who: Nicole Samioti (24)
What: Dog-sitting
Why: ‘Simple: I love dogs’
Pay: Varying, e.g. 15 euro for a day’s dog-sitting

You’ve got to make ends meet somehow. We can all borrow from Uncle DUO, but there are also students who earn money from unusual side jobs, like Nicole Samioti (24), a Bachelor’s student of Food Technology who is a dog sitter.

‘Through the Petbnb platform, I get in touch with dog owners who could use some help. I offer different services, such as just a one-off walk, pet-sitting at their house, or having the dog to stay at my house for a few days. The rate depends on the service too. For a walk, it’s just six euros, while an overnight stay is 20 euros. There are both cats and dogs on this platform, but I just do dog-sitting.

In Greece we’ve got 15 dogs, all strays we kind of found somewhere

I have a profile in which I introduce myself and describe my experience with dogs. Owners then contact you. Sometimes we meet first to get to know each other and talk about the dog’s needs. I started doing this in 2020 alongside my studies. It’s easy to combine with my degree programme, which requires quite some self-study. I often work from home in the morning and go to the university after a lunch-hour walk.’

‘I’m from Greece, where I live in the countryside with a big garden. We have 15 dogs there, all strays that we kind of found somewhere. Some of them have some kind of trauma and can be nervous or bark at every noise. I’m not a therapist who aims to “fix” those dogs, but I want to give them a better life.

‘So I grew up with dogs, but I didn’t bring a dog with me to Wageningen. To keep a dog myself, I would need more space than my current student room. Especially when a dog gets the zoomies, they need more space to run around. To be honest, I would also need a steadier income and a more settled life in general to give a dog the care and support it deserves. Right now, taking care of dogs also helps me bring some structure into my life.’

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