House sitting and pet sitting is becoming a very popular way of travel for many people. There are house sitters who offer their services free of charge, and those who charge a surprisingly high fee. Some homeowners expect to pay nothing, and others expect to reward their house sitters handsomely.
The truth of the matter is that if the homeowner wants to go away, the sitter is not receiving an entirely free holiday, especially if the owner is gone for a long period of time. How long is pet sitting really depends. I have been in the same house for a week and other times it has been six weeks.
Pet sitting is not like doggy daycare and it is better for your pets than dog boarding. Both, along with dog walking require being paid for. So, if a pet sitter is doing these things (and a lot more), why should they not get paid? There are more responsibilities for pet care and taking care of your home than these three things. A pet sitter (a dog sitter, cat sitter, bunny sitter, and any other animal (fish, chickens, farm animals, birds, etc.) are also a house sitter.
Did you know???
Most homeowners’ insurance Will NOT cover any damage or theft to a home if someone has not been in it and check that everything is ok at least every three days. In some cases, it’s every 48-hours.
Pet Sitter Responsibilities
Paying guests at hotels and B&B’s can come and go as they please. They leave the accommodation unattended all day and/or night so they can go sightseeing and completely enjoy the destination with no responsibilities. Holidaymakers don’t have to answer the house phone (and sometimes be tactful in their responses), fix minor repairs, check and forward the mail, pick up packages or be around for deliveries. They don’t have to keep anything clean or feed and take care of any animals, nor brush a dog’s teeth.
A house sitter must be up early to feed and walk pets, no matter what the weather is like. People on holidays don’t have to be in a home to give medications to pets or back at specific times to again, feed and walk the animals. Housesitters must set the house alarm, be completely responsible for the property, maintain the yard/garden, clean the entire home to a spotless condition, and perform any other agreed pet care and home care obligations. Home sitting and pet sitting jobs are jobs. They require trusted house sitters to take care of and love your pets and your home.
Homeowner’s Peace of Mind
Homeowners would need a pay a potentially high fee to place their loved fur babies in a kennel. This causes stress and anxiety. Many pets do not like the disruption to their routine, going to a strange place with strangers hopefully taking good care of them. This care is usually not as good as having a pet sitter in the comfort of the pet’s home. You love your pets and want them to get lots of love and care while you are away. You don’t want just anyone in your home and you may not want them to invite their friends or family.
Professional house carers will cat watch, dog watch, and include other pet services keeping everything consistent in your home. These things include giving medications (oral and injections), grooming, and potentially some pet training. Free house sitters are not always professional. I’ve heard some stories of a home being a disaster when the family has come home. Additionally, I have heard of pets not being cared for, items missing from the home, and several last-minute cancelations.
Additionally, most homeowners’ insurance companies require someone must be in the home every two days for the insurance to cover anything that may happen in their absence. You pay a lot of money in house insurance and would not want it to be void because no one has been in your home for a couple of days. Having someone in the home also adds additional security by reducing the chances of someone trying to break in.
An Equal Evaluation
This is for both the homeowner and the house sitter.
What are your pet’s happiness and wellbeing worth?
How much are a person’s time and all responsibilities worth? Pet sitting rates vary on the jobs required. They may include all of the following things (and more) that people get paid to do.
- Pet Boarding / Doggy daycare
- Dog walking
- House cleaning
- Home security
- Homeowners’ insurance compliance
- Gardening and yard maintenance
Exactly where you would like your house and pet sitting services to sit upon this economic continuum is, of course, an agreement made between both parties.
It is very important to consider that a conscientious house sitter often carries a great deal of responsibility and should be compensated for this accordingly. I take the view that almost any service provided for nothing is…… well, you get what you pay for. Think carefully before proposing your services or requirements.
Professional house sitters and pet sitters provide a valuable service and should be paid accordingly. It’s important to be clear about the ‘freebie or casual’ sitters by offering much more than them, for example, but not limited to:
- A legal agreement, guaranteeing a contractual obligation to turn up. I have had clients contact me because the free/casual sitters have canceled with short or no notice.
- Impeccable references
- Offer drop-off and pick-up at the airport. It will save them time and money.
- Proven competence, reliability, and complete peace of mind for the client.
Homeowners – What is it worth to you to have your fur babies happy and comfortable in your secured home?
House Sitters – What are your time and your responsibilities worth to you?