Pet Sitter: How Does It Work?
Pet sitting has become very popular in the last few years. But what is it exactly? Can everyone look after pets? What kind of job can you find? We’ll tell it all in this article.
What is a pet sitter?
The term "pet sitter" is a derivative of the term “babysitter”. The pet sitter looks temporarily after a pet in the absence of its owner. You might also find similar terms such as "dog sitter" or "cat sitter".
Before you become a pet sitter, you need to make sure you have the right motives. If you’re just looking at an easy way to make money, you may want to look elsewhere. Pet sitting truly requires genuine love for animals. Contrary to what some may think, looking after pets is not an easy job. On top of being careful and patient, you have to ensure the pet’s safety, cater to its needs and provides enough distractions for it to deal with its owner’s absence as well as possible.
Being a pet sitter requires attention and patience. It is necessary to know how to listen, to be autonomous and responsible. You will indeed have the life of another living being in your hands. It is therefore not an activity to be taken lightly. Have a look at our complete pet sitter guide for more information.
What does a pet sitter do and how to find one?
It couldn't be simpler. The person in charge of looking after your pet, comes to your home to take care of it, or your pet goes to the pet sitters home. This can take as little as one day or as long as several weeks. Pet sitter services range from a simple walk to extended pet sitting at your home or at the home of the host family.
How to find a pet sitter?
There are different ways to find one. You can start by asking close friends or relatives to help. That’s a good solution, especially if you’re not comfortable with having a person you don’t know live at your place. It’s also worth considering if your pet is shy and doesn’t like strangers.
If no one can help, don’t worry! You can find cat sitting or dog sitting ads online. Lots of specialized companies offer those services. Just look for a company that has been in business for several years: you’ll have access to more profiles and will be able to read more reviews to help you decide.
Holidog is one of the leading companies. The website allows you to find a pet sitter near you in just a few clicks. All you have to do is to enter your postal code, the type and number of animals that need to be looked after, and the length. That’s it! Now it’s up to you to check all the profiles and get in touch with the persons who suit you best.
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At your home or the pet sitter´s home?
It depends on what you prefer. Giving your keys to someone you don’t really know may be a difficult thing to do, especially if you're not familiar with how it works. On the other hand, plenty of dogs and most cats do not like leaving their own familiar environment.
If you cannot or don’t want someone to stay in your home, then boarding your pet with a family is the go-to option. This works especially well for dogs. Before boarding your dog with a family, do go and visit his/her house. Check where your pet will sleep and eat. If the house has an outdoor space, make sure it’s secured.
Make sure that you ask the potential pet sitter all questions that need answering. Think about the pet sitter´s experience and whether s/he has other pets living in the house. Not all pets get along with everyone. If your dog isn’t the most social of pets, it’s best to look for a place where it’ll be the only one around.
How much does a pet sitter cost?
The average price is around £11.00 per day. The cost can vary by a few pounds depending on the area, the type of animal, the level of experience, etc. Smaller pets such as rabits are usually much cheaper, around £6.00. Conversely, larger animals or those that require lots of care like horses can cost £200.00 per day.
Furthermore, prices in in highly urbanised areas are usually higher than in rural areas. And even between cities, there can be quite significant differences. A pet sitter in London will usually be more expensive than a pet sitter in Bristol or Manchester. Also take into account other additional costs such as pet sitter insurance or travel expenses that should be covered by the pet owner.
A final piece of advice: always take your time when choosing a pet sitter. Never rush and use common sense. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is!