How to choose your pet-sitter

References, recommendations and a face-to-face meeting are all important aspects when a pet sitter is being selected.

this picture (taken in 1940's) shows three children with a much loved family dog“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.

In New Zealand, I use Kiwi House Sitters and The HouseSitting Company

and for international house sits I use TrustedHousesitters – this link provides 20% of your membership.

Author: Karen M

house sitter, mother, daughter, kiwi, artist, blogger, multi-potentialite, science writer, dancer, analyst, food lover, accountant

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