“I have never done this before,” she said to me as though she was about to carry out a rite of passage. And yes, it usually is a ‘she’ who organises the pet care. It can be a bit daunting to think of a stranger coming to live in your personal space and care for your pets while you are away. So how is a pet- house-sitter selected?
“She” seems to be the main animal carer and therefore L prefers a female house sitter. L’s Sydney Silkies are important to L and G who have visited many kennels to find the right one to board their dogs – even to the extent of flying the dogs to a kennel in Christchurch. As the dogs got older L thought it would be less stressful if the dogs stayed in their own environment and a pet sitter stayed with them.
It was important for L & G to meet the pet sitter to see how they interacted with the dog. In one meeting with a prospective pet sitter L felt the sitters may have been afraid of her dog and this can only be seen with a face to face. Gut feel was also an important indicator when choosing a sitter.
key priorities were to find a sitter who respect their privacy, were trustworthy and for their dog to have a good time
J also follows her gut feel, though R seeks someone with the practicalities of looking after a property and animals. Trustworthiness was paramount. A work colleague recommended their first house sitter, a local person in between houses. Another time, an English couple responded to an ad placed by J & R on a housesitting website. As the English couple were travelling to New Zealand, a face-to-face meeting was not possible. J relied on instinct and the articulation of the email correspondence. Also critical in the decision-making were photos and references.
References are important to D & J. A housesitting website was recommended and J did the computer stuff, profile and messaging. It was not a difficult process. They got four replies – two were young travellers, one was a south islander and the other was in the north island. D & J thought young travellers would be interesting but they were looking for someone local who they could meet and use again. D & J’s key priorities were to find a sitter who respect their privacy, were trustworthy and for their dog to have a good time.
References, recommendations and a face-to-face meeting are all important aspects when a pet sitter is being selected.