So you’ve decided to go housesitting. Great! Welcome to the house sitting family. Now before you jump right into sending out all your perfect applications, please take a moment to actually visualise yourself housesitting. Because finding nice home owners, a cool place to house sit for a while and for an amount of time that fits your travelling schedule is one thing, but maybe one of the biggest things you have to be thinking about is: what kind of animal will I be looking after?
It may sound logical, but every type of animal has its own needs. House sitting in a city apartment with one cat that can’t go outside requires different attention than house sitting on a farm with three pigs, five cats and two dogs. You have to wonder to yourself if you will enjoy spending two hours every morning feeding, walking and playing with animals, or if you are more a 30 minutes a day caring person who is happy to snuggle on the sofa with a cat for a bit, but then wants to spend some time by yourself.
Dogs need both physical and emotional attention. You need to provide both in some way. A dog needs nutritious food, shelter and some clean drinking water. Next to this a dog needs to stay happy by providing exercise and play time. Although the amount of exercise also depends on the breed, it will be sure that you have to walk the dog at least 1 or 2 times a day. Caring for a dog is a big responsibility and before you take on the job you have to be sure you are willing to do this. For example: if you will be out of the house most of the time, maybe it’s best for everyone not to housesit a place with a dog that has issues being alone.
Cats often do have a playful personality, adorable faces and shows of affectionate behaviour. With all of these characteristics they can be the perfect pet for a house sit. Often they are a bit less time consuming than when it comes to a dog, which comes in handy if you are planning to be a bit more away from the house during the day. But to keep your cat happy and smiling, this small furry friend needs some daily interaction. Although you don’t have to walk the cat, it does probably have a litter box that needs to be cleaned. Instead of running around a cat can be also very happy just to have you around and sit next to you on the sofa.
Even a bit lower in maintenance are small animals like guinea pigs, hamsters and gerbils. These kinds of animals usually live in an enclosed habitat like a cage, but they like to spend time outside their caged environment. Their size and cage-pet status can make them seem like a less expensive or easier pet-keeping option. However, rodents still require an investment of time, attention, and resources in order to thrive and provide the best companionship for their owners. So if you are afraid of holding a gerbil, don’t opt-in for a house sit where you might need to cuddle a gerbil on a daily base!
It’s actually not that hard. I bet that if you read the blog, you might have felt a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when reading about dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs and birds. Naturally you will have a preference for a type of animal. Just be fair to yourself, the home owners an animals. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
Have you thought about your ideal animal? Then let’s start the search for your perfect housesit!