When I was living in Switzerland I had a friend who had a wagging Ridge Back named Romeo, and boy when he wagged his tail…whew things could go flying! Anyhow that’s another story, the reason why I mentioned Romeo, was that his peeps used a house sitter when they travelled. And it got me thinking…
What does a house sitter do?
I was lucky enough to be in contact with Andy Peck from Trusted House Sitters and decided to ask him a few questions about what you need to know about this service and if it’s a good fit for pets.
First of all, Trusted House Sitters connects home and pet owners with other people who are willing to live in their home and look after their pets and house while they’re away. Trusted House sitters are based all over the world and you just might get an experienced house sitter from New Zealand or someone right around the corner.
So Andy, Thanks so much for letting me interview you and find out a little bit more about you and house sitting.
Andy can you tell me a little about yourself and your business?
Well, I have travelled extensively, have a wealth of house sitting experience and have discovered some fabulous local communities, house sitting is great for that!
A few years ago I was finishing off a screenplay and needed somewhere quiet to put my head down and work for a while. I stumbled across someone in Northern Spain who needed a pet sitter. After an exchange of emails, I took on the pet sit, met a lovely dog called Dave and finished my screenplay. Both Dave’s owner and I realised how beneficial the exchange had been for both of us (and for Dave) and so the idea really came from there.
I started Trustedhousesitters.com after realising the need for a comprehensive house sitting website where homeowners could search for ideal house and pet sitters, view references, photos, relevant house and pet care experience, police check information, and even video profiles.
Why is house sitting a good option for people who have pets?
It’s great for the pets; they get looked after in their own home by caring individuals, couples and families. No need to send your pets to a kennel or cattery; you can find someone who will give them proper one-on-one attention while you’re away.
Hmmm… love the one-on-one attention, but it sounds expensive.
Joining our service can be as low £19 for a one month membership but the big bonus is that most of the sitters who use Trusted House Sitters don’t charge for pet sitting. For them, it’s a great opportunity to travel.
How do I know if the house sitters are trust worthy, qualified and know about pets?
Getting accepted for house and pet sitting jobs is naturally competitive and so in order to get accepted for an assignment sitters should have a well-filled out profile with police background checks, references (especially from other TrustedHousesitters.com pet owners) and information about their animal care experience. (You can get an idea of the calibre of the pet sitters here.)
And lastly, I always ask…
Best advice on owning a dog?
It’s a cliché, but a pet is for life, not just for Christmas – maybe you had a pet when you were younger, but spend time walking other people’s pets before getting one of your own – and of course, pet sitting helps ‘test the water’ with pet ownership too.
Oh, and if possible, check out the RSPCA and local Dogs Trust centre before getting a pet elsewhere – there’s a lot of great animals that need re-homing.
What would you suggest in regards to travelling with a pet?
Vets do tend to suggest that pets are less stressed in their natural environment. If you do need – or want to take your pets with you, try to avoid stressful environments. And if it really is impractical, getting a pet sitter is recommended over kennels (and we’re not just saying that because we run Trustedhousesitters.com) we set the business up to help people find ideal sitters when away as many pets don’t like kennels, and it is not always practical for owners to travel with pets.
Thanks so much Andy, I really learned a lot and I think a house sitter would be a great idea. It sounds like a win-win situation, my peep’s house is cared for while she is away and I get one-on-one attention, plus best of all I get to sleep in my own bed…unless the house sitter would like to share! I think this video sums it up perfectly.
Finding a house sitter with Trusted House Sitters
Check Them Out
Website: Trusted House Sitters
Location: Brighton, UK (but works globally)