A couple of nights stay and puppy time for free? YES, please! That my friends are what house sitting gets you!
I was only exposed to the term ‘house sitting’ when I was travelling in South Africa back in 2006. I started to meet all these people who were house and pet sitting. I thought it was simply amazing to be able to get free accommodation, play with their pets and travel the world. I had no idea that people did this or people were willing to let people come into their property and live like locals.
When we moved to Australia we were offered the opportunity to house sit and we grabbed it with both hands. Since then we have house sat and pet sat in different locations around Australia and in Europe and we love it.
In fact, its a win-win situation the owner get someone to look after their pets and house free while you get free accommodation and of course time to spend time with a pet!
We always wanted to have a dog, but it simply wouldn’t be fair with our lifestyle. So looking after other’s pets is absolutely great. Noah gets to experience life and responsibilities of looking after pets and just loves it. It’s great!
Handy tips for new pet sitters
1 | Get practising
if you haven’t done pet sitting yet you might have to pet sit around your neighbourhood first to see if you like it and what it feels like.
2 | Check out some websites
There are a few websites around that will help you connect to families looking for pet/ house sitting. TrustedHousesitters has been around since 2010, and news of the smart concept continues to spread. If you’re interested in pet sitting through the service, you’ll need to create a profile, clear the site’s identification and criminal background checks and pay the membership fee, which can be done in monthly instalments.
3 | Know before you go
Know before you go! Meet with the client and the pet, in their home, before you begin to look after their pet. Develop a rapport with both the pet and the pet parent.
Make sure you understand the detail in the owners brief to you. Ask for detailed instructions – this will make your life easy and ensure everyone has a good experience.
If the owner asks you to feed their dog only a particular food or a particular time, make sure you do it – they know their dog better then anyone. You don’t want to be going to the vet on your holiday with someone else’s pet! Record all pertinent information, including emergency contacts, veterinarian information, feeding instructions, medications, alarm codes, etc.
4 | Check-in
Don’t wait for the pet owner to “check-in” with you. Instead, proactively communicate with him. Text them when you arrive at their house and give a status update, reassuring them everything is in order and their pets are doing well.
At the end of your stay make sure you leave everything impeccable – depending on the length of time I stay at a property I either choose to do the cleaning myself or I hire a professional cleaner. This makes such a difference for the owners – returning to their place and everything is just how it should be!