Never knew about house sitting? You’re about to learn today!
Pet Owners: Do you fantasize about taking that week or two vacation across the world to some far-flung destination? But then, you stop to realize this super important question, “What am I going to do with (insert cute, fluffy, and 99.9% adorable pet’s name)?” Until recently, you either had to drop them off with friends/family, or put them in a super expensive pet boarding facility. But what if your family doesn’t live near you? When saving up for your dream vacation, who wants to shell out tons of cash on a boarding facility?
This was exactly the predicament that my boyfriend, myself, and our cat Professor faced while discussing our trip to South Africa. We had even purchased our plane tickets! My boyfriend’s parents live close by, but are unfortunately allergic to cats. My parents have cats and could watch him, but they live 5 hours from me, so finding the time to take him there and back would be a nightmare. We then researched pet boarding and noticed that they typically cost about $25 a night for a basic plan… meaning for 14 nights, it would cost at least $350- about half the cost of our actual plane ticket to South Africa!
Needless to say, we had research to do…
That’s when I found out this delightful fact: You have options!
That’s right! You don’t have to pay way too much, and you can even have your pet stay in the comfortable environment that is your own home. Welcome to the world of house sitting! Here are some options for you (assuming you don’t have a friend or family member to leave your pet with):
- Trusted House Sitters: This is probably the most popular of house sitting websites, as it is all over the world- but it is great! They thoroughly check the people who are house sitters, and they also have reviews upon which you can decide which house sitter is right for you and your pet. What is the great thing about this program? You do not pay the house sitter to take care of your pet! They will stay at your place for free. This is a great opportunity for a house sitter to travel, while allowing you to travel as well! The cost per year for a membership is only $119. So whether you’re gone for 2 weeks or a few months, the cost is so much cheaper than the traditional pet boarding facility! And your pet gets more attention!
- House Sitters America: If you live in America, and are tight on money, this is a free service for homeowners. The house sitters are the ones that pay ($30 a year). You simply place a free ad through their website, search for available sitters/receive inquiries and read their reviews. Then, you schedule a meeting to set house rules and the needs of your pet, and then leave on vacation, knowing that a responsible person is looking after your pet. Oh, and they also take care of your house and garden too! Not just pets.
You don’t have to pay way too much, and you can even have your pet stay in the comfortable environment that is your own home. Welcome to the world of house sitting!
- House Carers: Similar to House Sitters America, this is another program that is free for homeowners! This has a matching system, where you place an ad, and the website will send you candidates. You can also browse profiles, references, police clearances, etc. Safe and secure- just like your little fluff ball while you’re out on vacation!
- Dog Vacay and Rover: Contrary to the names, these companies provide house sitting services for more than just dog owners. These services are very similar as they provide background checks and reviews, but also charge by the day. While these can range in price, you can make it cheaper by having the sitter check-in daily rather than stay at your home. They can also take the dog for a walk instead daily. The services and daily prices in a medium city include: $20-22 a night for boarding at the sitter’s home, $40-45 for personal home sitting, $12-20 for 30-minute check-ins daily, $17-20 for daycare services, and about $15 for 30 minute walks a day.
Knowing these trusted and reputable house sitting programs exist make me feel a lot better about going on vacation. I know that Professor is taken care of by a wonderful pet lover in the comfort of his own home! You can relax knowing your pet is safe and comfortable. They also have personalized attention and are perhaps enjoying their own little staycation with these convenient services.