A Homeowners Guide
to Finding the Right House Sitter.
House and pet sitting is a service that is very convenient for busy and adventurous singles, couples and families that travel for short and long durations before returning home.
It helps them have a more fun-filled journey, knowing that their home and/or pet/s are safely in the hands of a responsible person.
While there are so many benefits that you as a home and pet owner get to enjoy from house sitting services,
there are five important facts that you need to know.
Just like sick people, sick pets need special care. A pet sitter taking care of sick pets is required to wipe off vomits, mop off urines, scrape off feces and disinfect and clean up any accidents, prepare special meals, administer medication, treat wounds, and visit a vet on a regular basis – and there might be more.
The duty of caring for an injured or sick pet is so much more and should not be expected as regular pet sit services, because your pet is special, and the care they need is also special.
I would advise that you stay a little longer with your pet if at all possible until a time when you feel like their conditions have improved. At least you will feel more at peace when you finally travel, knowing that your pet is in a stable state. Being a pet lover, I always feel terrible when I come across sick pets. Pet owners really do need to disclose up front if there is a medical condition with any animal the house sitter will need to attend to – and this is important as some pet sitters may not be experienced, feel comfortable, or be capable to care for the animals needs.
However, sometimes this can’t happen and you will need an experienced person for the task. Please don’t use anyone that is inexperienced in pet care as this could lead to disaster. The best place to seek this person is from a professional house sitting site on the web like MindAHome.com.au in Australia. This is a great site, with loads of experienced sitters available all over Australia, and a site we use and trust.
A pet may also become ill or have an accident whilst you are away, even though we hope this doesn’t happen! An experienced pet sitter firstly knows many ways to avoid these accidents, and also what to do if there is a need for your pet to require medical treatment – be it a tiny incident or a major concern.
What happens when your house sitter contacts you that he/she wishes to leave weeks before your planned return? Or worse, fails to turn up, or turns up and refuses the house sit?
Major panic and disappointment strikes! Most people are forced to end their vacation plans and if you are already away you must travel back since they never had any backup plan.
Rarely is this so if you have used a professional house sitting site* you would need to have another house sitter on standby before you leave for your trip. This would ensure that you have an immediate replacement anytime you are disappointed by the pet sitter you had earlier engaged.
Another advantage of having a backup plan (regardless) is that you might wish to prolong your trip unexpectedly, and come back at a later date. While you might want to talk it through with the house sitter, some would not be willing or may be unable to extend their stay at your property. Such are the times you call in your backup house sitter.
*Unless there are undisclosed problems.
Unhygienic Pet and House Sit
Incredibly disorganized, messy, filthy, and unhygienic houses are something that is evident among busy people but is rarely a house that we entice a house sitter.
When planning a trip when a pet or house sitter is coming into your home, you might want to ensure that everything is in its right place.
Otherwise, a house sitter would come in, do the job for you, but end up putting everything in the wrong place. If that happens, you will only get confused when you come back, as you struggle to locate your happy socks or favorite shoes. Doing all this by yourself would also help you notice anything that might be missing by just a quick scan of the whole house.
So, please, tidy up the house before you leave for your vacation as it helps the sitter a lot. Leave the sitter a space to unpack and put their things, and room in the fridge and cupboards for food. Discard out of date food so the sitter doesn’t get ill if you allow them to use (I know a sitter this happened to!). Clear your bench tops etc. At least a house sitter then never gets confused. There is nothing worse for a sitter than losing their things on someone else’s clutter.
Engaging the services of a quality house sitter should mean this person is organized, trustworthy, considerate and efficient. They are going to take good care of your home and pet. If the pet needs a wash, clip, ‘de-fleaing’ or similar, it is nice for the house sitter to arrive and the pet is ready for them to care for and love.
We offer a house sitting resume so that you can see our vast experience. We consider ourselves the right people for you to engage if you want your home and pet well looked after. Your home or pet won’t be neglected in any way. Another reason to pick an experienced house sitter.
Safety And Security
Safety and security are something that is very important to everyone. It is important to you as a homeowner since your property is at stake. It is also important to house sitters since they could be put at risk as victims of burglary attacks. This is why I always ask homeowners to repair or replace faulty locks, ensure doors close, and make the windows burglar proof.
Picture this: If your home has broken locks, there would be a high chance of burglars breaking in at any time and causing a lot of damage and this is not a fair thing to place your sitter at risk either, neither is it good for your insurance, and they might not pay up if you need to claim an incident. Just let safety top your list whether you are home or leaving behind a house sitter.
We arrived at a house sit and because the owner was there, we discovered on the first night that the only door to the home did not lock! In fact, it did not even close as the wood had swelled and it caught on the cement floor. As a mother, I need to ensure we are in a safe location especially in the dead of night, or when leaving someone else’s home and valuables when we go out. Unlike someone’s wild suggestion of drilling a hole or fixing a chain, there was actually nowhere to bolt or chain anything safely. Let alone leave a door ajar in winter.
Also, ensure that only the house sitter has access to your property whilst you are absent. Should something go missing and you have given relatives the right to enter as they please then what happens if something should go missing or be broken. Who holds responsibility. So owners really need to trust the sitter and leave the home for them to be solely responsible for. If you have someone popping in and out it can also make a sitter feel really uncomfortable and not trusted, and the sitter begins to wonder why you didn’t just use that person to care for your home in the first place. So trust has to be number one on your list.
Just let safety be added into the top section of your list too – whether you are home or leaving behind a house sitter.
As a house/pet sitter, I have been able to do jobs that range from wood collection to gardening, cleaning out the hen houses, change gas bottles over and much more (see my resume). There seems to be no limit to what I can do and I am pretty good and quite experienced at most jobs requested of me, but realistically there are limits.
House sitters appreciate when you show them a detailed list of what you expect them to do prior to engaging their services. There is a reasonable limit to tasks and both parties need to know what is expected and that the sitter has the skills the homeowner seeks.
This acts as a guideline to the sitter too and would help them never cross boundaries or underperform.
Giving You Our Best
We hope this list hasn’t put you off getting a house sitter but rather to show you why we take house sitting seriously.
Moreso, that professional and/or caring house and pet sitters are there to offer you the best service we can. We want to show you that an experienced house sitter is there with knowledge and care to give you, your family, your home, and also your pet/s all the best possible care.
Then you can have a worry-free vacation or time away and that you can return without any unexpected or unpleasant surprises.
House and pet sitters that are professional are there to take the worry out of your vacation. So an experienced sitter knows just what to do. they know how to treat your pets with love and care, and your home with respect.
So if you are thinking of a vacation, we recommend booking through a reputable and established house sitting site.
What do you think?
Was this list helpful to you in preparing for a housesitter?
If you have any other ideas you feel should have been listed here, feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you for visiting our Exploramum website.
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Note – all photos are used are used as examples only and are not necessarily linked to negative house sitting situations that we might have personally encountered.