Having a House Sitter is a credible alternative to putting your pet(s) into Kennels or a Cattery. You may also have a pet(s) that isn't easy to send away to be looked after, such as Chickens, Reptiles, Fish, Horses to name a few.
Enabling your Pet(s) to stay in its familiar environment, will help reduce any separation anxiety that it may have with its owners going away.
Maybe you have previously enlisted the help of family, friends or neighbours to look after your pet(s) and they aren't always available when you need help.
In addition to the above, not only will your Pet(s) be cared for, your home will be occupied whist you are away, which helps reduce the risk of a break-in during your time away. Small routine maintenance, such as cutting the lawn, trimming hedges, watering the plants for example are jobs you could ask the Sitter to undertake for you. A House Sitter is likely to undertake those types of jobs, in return for the opportunity to stay in your home free of charge. You save the ever increasing costs of Kennels or Catteries for example, plus the time needed to take them there before and collect them after your trip, when there are lots of other things to focus on
At Worldwide House Sitters, we are building a membership of animal loving House Sitters who are interested in travelling around the World to enjoy the experience of different locations.
A good start is to produce an eye catching profile on the website which will capture the interest of potential sitters looking to visit your location. Provide as much detail about your pet(s) and what you are wanting the House Sitter to do for them, along with being open about any specific needs the pet may have, such a medication being given, or special care needs.
Provide accurate, up to date photos of your home, so the House Sitter is aware of what they are going to be looking after and detail any routine jobs you may like the Sitter to undertake for you.
The more information you provide, the more likely you are to receive multiple enquiries from potential House Sitters.
You can also search the website though the "Find a Sitter" facility and if you see a profile that looks suitable for your needs, message the Sitter through the website to ask if they are available and interested in discussing sitting for you.
If you receive responses from experienced House Sitters through the website, they may have references on their profile from Home Owners they have previously House Sat for. The reference(s) will be a reflection of their past performance and the thoughts of the previous Home Owner(s) , similar to Trip advisor.
If they are new to House Sitting or in addition to the existing references, it's a good idea to request personal references from friends and or employers. Request contact details for such people from the House Sitter and make direct contact yourself by phone or email to satisfy yourself of the suitability of the House Sitter.
The House Sitter may be able to provide a criminal record, police clearance or similar document from their home Country to show they have no criminal history.
Request copies of ID and or Proofs of address, such as a Passport or Driving Licence to help validate the House Sitter matches their Profile on the Website.
It is suggested that in addition to the communication through the website messaging system, you have direct telephone, Skype or FaceTime conversations with the potential Sitter, so you can speak directly to them and even face to face using the Skype / FaceTime type of communication.
You need to feel comfortable and happy with the Sitter(s) suitability prior to finalising the details of the House Sit.
The better prepared you are, the better the experience will be for all involved.
There is an advice section at the bottom of the website page, which includes guidelines for Home Owners and a separate section containing suitable documents that you can use in preparation for a House Sitter's arrival.
Be mindful that they are likely to be unfamiliar with the pet(s) and property. The more information you can provide on the pet(s) and property, the more settled they will be on your return and the better looked after the property will be.
If circumstances allow, it should be considered having the House Sitter arrive the day before you are leaving, to allow them to become familiar with the property and especially with any Pet(s) and for the Pet(s) become familiar with them. Especially if the Pet(s) are not used to interacting with different people and the longer the handover period, the more settled the Pet(s) with be with the Sitter.
Generally from our research, most insurance companies will be happier that the house is occupied during your absence, as it reduces the risk of a break in and a quicker response should an unforeseen emergency occur. Especially if you are away for a long break, some insurance policies don't cover you after a certain amount of time the property is vacant, without specific considerations.
It is recommended that you make contact with your insurers to check the policy terms in regards to this, for peace of mind and to ensure you understand your type of cover.
Leaving contact details with the House Sitter for your insurance provider is helpful in the event of an unforeseen situation.
Due to the Win-Win situation, the majority of House Sitters are happy to House Sit for free, in exchange for looking after your pet(s) and property, whilst enjoying free accommodation. This is one of the details that is important to clarify with the House Sitter prior to confirming and finalising the House Sit arrangements, so there are no misunderstandings. It is generally understood by House Sitters who join Worldwide House Sitters, that they are offering to sit for free, unless they specifically otherwise mention in their profile.
As with the House Sitter sitting for free, unless you are offering an extended period for the House Sit of a number of months for example, it is generally expected that the House Sitter wouldn't be expected to contribute to any costs, except their own food and drink.
If this is something that is a concern for you, due to the risk of experiencing high costs for TV network providers and the House Sitter watching pay-for view programmes or you have an internet package that incurs costs after set data amounts being used as examples, it is recommended that you highlight this in your Home Owner profile and have an open discussion with the House Sitter during the preparation stage, to clarify any specific terms and costs that you wish the House Sitter to pay or be liable for, if pre-agreed limits are exceeded.
Open discussions and clarity on any terms are the best method to avoid any misunderstandings after the event.
Your membership with WorldWide House Sitters is not restricted as just a Home Owner who needs a House Sitter. You are also able to create a House Sitter profile too and enjoy the benefits of experiencing House Sitting yourself and travel the World and experience new places without the cost of expensive Hotels along the way.
Maybe you will House Sit for someone in the future who has House Sat for you?