Traveling with your pets can be fun, but is sometimes unrealistic. Hiring a pet sitter – essentially someone who stays in your home and cares for your pet, is a cost-efficient solution, especially for people with pets who are partial to their own space and routines.
There are also benefits for animal lovers that enjoy travel, but are looking to cut costs. Signing up to a pet sitting marketplace allows suitable applicants to apply for pet sitting jobs all over the globe. As well as saving you big dollars on your next holiday, it means having a furry friend to come home to after a day of exploring. The concept is becoming so popular, some intrepid travellers spend years on the road moving from gig to gig, making four legged friends across the world.
The rise and rise of pet sitting sites
Thanks to the reach of the internet, it’s now easy to match a pet lover looking for accommodation to an owner looking to get away for specific dates or to meet their pet’s special needs. This ease of posting or applying for a pet sitting gig is translating into a rapid rise in the popularity of pet sitting – for owners and sitters.
“Our data tells us we are seeing an 86% year on year rise in those seeking pet sitting services, and 132% rise in those wanting to becoming a sitter or minder,” says Alex Bedwani, CEO of online pet sitting site Pets On Me.
What to ask your potential sitter
Alex recommends preparing a list of questions for a potential sitter to ensure you have the same understanding of what they will and won’t be willing to do, so that your pet gets the best suited carer.
Here’s his suggestions:
- How often can you exercise my dog?
- Where will he/she sleep at night?
- How many hours will you be home per day?
- What experience do you have with pet sitting, or caring for pets?
- If your breed or pet has specific needs, ask if they will be willing to provide for this.
- Can you provide photo and email updates whilst I am away?
Making for a great stay
“We always recommend a meet and greet where the owner meets with the sitter in advance, ideally in the home,” says Alex. If possible, a meet and greet before you go is a good idea – though not essential, unless your pet is not fond of strangers or is picky about who they ‘live’ with. If you can’t meet in person, do ensure the safety of your pet by sighting a police clearance and any certifications mentioned, if relevant. Ask for two references – and check them!
When they arrive, ensure you’ve prepared a ‘cheat sheet’ for the house, including information on how everything works, and who to call if they have questions or need help in a hurry (make sure your emergency contact is relatively close, and available and willing to pitch in if need be.) Leave the details of your pet’s vet, and any relevant paperwork.
Alex recommends you explain your pet’s regular routine to ensure a stress free holiday. And never change your pet’s diet. Keeping their usual feeding plan in place will ensure no upset bellies!
So next time you’re keen to avoid the guilt trip when holidaying away, give pet sitting a go – choose someone who has glowing reviews and plenty of experience for your first try, this will help ease any stress. Alternatively, if you’re keen to give pet sitting a whirl, get your police clearance and references sorted, and include any experience you’ve had with pets, especially any with special needs.