Pet sitting is a temporary way of managing the care of your pets when you are not available to do so.
There are many options available for pet owners today, some options are paid for like doggy day care or professional pet sitters, and some are free based on a model of collaborative consumption working with pet lovers, cat lovers and dog lovers who are happy to do pet sitting for you in exchange for free accommodation.
The paid for traditional kennels and catteries suit some pets and owners, others prefer a kennel alternative, a more informal and relaxed approach to in-home pet care like having live in free pet sitters in a ‘pet-sitting‘ arrangement.
What is pet sitting?
If you have pets at home who live as part of your family, or if you have a number of pets either rescued animals or as part of your small holding you will need to care for them on a daily basis, and for extended periods by people other than your self when you are away on holiday or for work projects – this is pet sitting.
For this you will need to find a pet carer or pet minder to step in and look after your pet animals while you are absent.
If you are planning to go away on holiday or for work trips you may find yourself presented with a number of challenges, not least how you can provide pet care for your animals in your absence.
Pets are a responsibility that we must consider carefully, as each animal and breed will have different levels of involvement, engagement, feeding and support. This may require pet boarding or live in pet sitters.
At home pet sitting is an increasingly popular way of managing the care of your pets in order to minimise the stress and anxiety some pets experience with any change of routine and environment.
Websites like HouseSitMatch.com offer a safe and secure environment in which to meet pet sitters who are essentially animal lovers who collaborate to support you with your pet sitting requirements.
Pet sitting services
Finding good pet sitting services can be a challenge for various reasons. The term pet sitting services itself can represent an array of options today from which one must choose.
Whether you need a cat minder who pops in to feed your cat on a daily basis, a short stop dog walker or weekend pet sitters, to a long term house sitter who also cares for your pets while you are away for a lengthy trip you need to consider what is the best choice for you and your pets.
Informal neighbourly pet sitting
We are all familiar with the reciprocal neighbourly pet sitting services traditionally offered by friends in the neighbourhood or in nextdoor’s apartment, popping in to collect the post and feed the cat.
Informal arrangements between friends and neighbours go back some time, with pet sitting like a friend high on the list of neighbourly pet sitting top tips.
Although as many jobs become more transient it can be harder to keep up with neighbours and build the strong bonds we once had. And if our need for pet sitting extends to several animals, perhaps two dogs or more, then the informal petsitting services will need to be more structured with a consideration for the stimulation of the pets.
Pet minding in the owner’s extended absence makes different demands depending on the animals and breed, and certainly the health of the pet.
Professional pet sitting choices
If you are focused on finding and paying for professional pet sitting services you may find yourself paying telephone numbers in pet sitting fees alone for long holidays especially if you live in an expensive capital city like London.
However, likely you will be given a wide choice of professional pet care options ranging from independent pet minders, dog walkers, cat minders, cat sitters all offering professional pet sitting in London or wherever you are.
Pet sitting in London currently costs an average of £50 ($67 US) per day (sometimes per pet).
Sitters in London are not inexpensive. The sheer thought of doubling the cost of your holiday by adding in professional pet care in a capital city can be a stimulus to research a few alternatives.
Pet sitting like a friend – a house sitter arrangement
Other resources available for caring for our pets will vary depending on the length of absence and duration of the petsit, where you and your pets are located, and the type of pets you have at home.
A growing trend is for animal lovers to pet sit like a friend through semi formal arrangements enabled through the internet and facilitated by house sitting platforms like HouseSitMatch.com.
These house sitter arrangements can be beneficial for both parties if through a trusted house sitting network with a good rating. The pets benefit most of all because they are being cared for safely at home. Here are some considerations related to the duration of the pet sitting requirements:
Duration of petsitting
• Daily petsitting services
If you need a professional pet sitter to help manage a pet’s well-being while you are out at work perhaps, most likely you will need a dog walker paid to collect your pet for a walk around the park with other canines for socialisation and exercise.
Alternatively you may choose to use a doggy day care service to make sure your dog has company in the day.
If you have cats then a daily service will be less likely, however, there are services where you can find cat lovers to check in to see if your cat is ok, while you are out, perhaps if your cat is recovering from illness or an operation.
Other daily petsitting services include horse riders. This is where an experienced rider who is either paid or offers a service for free because they enjoy riding, can help an owner by exercising the horse on agreed terms.
People are finding support when they need petsitting services by tapping into online networks like HousesitMatch.com or Nextdoor.com where all participants are declared members of either an online or local neighbourhood and have some vested interest in collaboration for mutual benefit.
• Longer term pet sitting services
If you are looking for longer term petsitting services to care for your animals there are several options to consider both paid for and free.
– Kennels – Most local kennels are equipped to take cats, dogs and smaller pets for periods of up to one month. Vets generally advise against extended periods away from home.
– Professional petsitters – There are professional petsitting services that offer a range of experience, qualifications and prices ranges for services included; some sitters offer dog handling certificates, pet reiki and pet first aid which can be reassuring with older pets.
– Live-in sitters for free – A growing trend and perhaps the most flexible and affordable solution is offered by the online petsitting communities like HouseSitMatch that enable you to collaborate with pet lovers who will also care for your home and garden in exchange for free accommodation.
The pet sitting is for free with genuine pet lovers caring for your pets in the pets’ own home minimising pet anxiety. Moreover, this arrangement is considerably lighter on the bank account.
House and pet sitting
Inviting checked live-in house sitters to care for your pets at home can help you in several ways, not simply as an affordable pet sitting solution.
If you are looking for a petsitting resource that is flexible, affordable and fun there are housesitting and petsitting membership networks online like HouseSitMatch.com that allow you to meet and collaborate with pet lovers who will also care for your home, garden and family pets, all in exchange for free accommodation and a good sitter review at the end of the assignment.
The petsitting is for free with genuine pet lovers caring for your pets in their own home.
Moreover, the house and petsitter will maintain your home as you request in your absence – keeping your garden maintained in your absence creates a stronger impression that the house is occupied and so safer and protected from opportunist burglars.
When looking at all the animal sitting options it is worth considering that most vets agree that caring for pets at home with their regular routines maintained, minimises any stress or anxiety that they may experience with a change in their environment.
The change they experience when their owner/s leave the home can be significant especially in the case of young or mature animals, and in particular with rescued animals.
With an expanding online service like HousesitMatch.com offering access to a wide variety of animal sitters you can find care for all kinds of animals and domestic pets. Here are some reference pages you might find useful regarding your own particular pets: