The Other Side of House Sitting – Getting A Pet Sitter
Why We Decided To Get A Pet Sitter
We had never really put much thought into hiring a pet sitter or looking for one on an online platform. I think we just always assumed that, if we were ever in need, we could just count on our friends or family to take care of our cat. Prior to leaving our 9 to jobs and taking on the location independent lifestyle, we only traveled about once a year. Since we lived close to family, they would just pop in and keep an eye on the cat. It really wasn’t much of a big deal since they would just have to come and check on his food and water and clean out the litter. Cats are not that high maintenance when compared to dogs, so we were ok leaving him for a few days.
We had a rude awakening during the time we lived in Thailand with our cat. Yes, we took him (Milton) all the way from California to Chiang Mai. We loved having him there with us. However, the time came when we had some upcoming travel plans that were too much to take Milton along with us. We decided to leave him in Chiang Mai with a couple friend of ours while we visited my sister in China for 9 days.
Milton, being an indoor cat, had very little interaction with other cats. The couple we took him to already had an outdoor cat of their own who was immediately bothered by having another cat in his territory. Milton had sensed this upon us dropping him off and immediately used his escape tactics to run away.
We were devastated upon hearing that he had run away as we were about to get on our flight to China. We left considering we didn’t really have a choice to go back and look for him. During the entire trip, we were heartbroken and worried that they could not get Milton to return to their home. After those nine, torturous days, we came back and by some miracle were able to find him! This was the moment we decided to get serious about finding a pet sitter. One who could come to our place and take care of Milton in his own, comfortable, environment.
How We Found Pet Sitters
The next challenge was finding the right pet sitter. We were living in Thailand and had no idea how to find one in a foreign country. That’s when I came across TrustedHousesitters.com. It took me a very long time to research what to do and came to the conclusion that this would be the best service based on several reviews I read online. So many people were raving about being pet sitters on this platform and getting “free” accommodations when traveling the world. I figured it would also be a good place for us to be so we could offer our pet sitting services for others as well. Though there is a membership cost, I did not hesitate to sign up, for Milton’s sake as well as our own. This is a decision I am super happy that I made.
Since that day, we have had a pet sitter on four separate occasions and they have all been absolutely perfect. It is a great feeling knowing that your home and your pet are looked after. Knowing that while you are traveling makes the trip even better (as we mentioned our experience on the other end of the spectrum).
Using a service like Trustedhousesitters makes it easy to post your required dates and needs to potential sitters, They allow for a “Welcome Guide” to be posted with details including pet eating schedules, vet information, daily chores that need to be done, as well as details about your home (such as wifi, etc). The service allows for easy communication between you and the sitter. The best part is that you can rate the sitters and they can rate you as well. This can help others looking for sitters or house/pet sitting opportunities to see what others’ experiences have been.
What Are Our Recommendations For Finding House/Pet Sitters
Here are some very basic but important tips we would give:
- Read the ratings of your applicants carefully to see if they are a good fit.
- Try to set up a time to either meet in person (if possible) or on Skype just to chat and get to know them better.
- Try to think of questions you would have if you were in their shoes and try to answer them in an email or make a “welcome guide” or cheat sheet to help them out.
- Get a different method of communication other than email if possible (Facebook, Line, WhatsApp, Telegram are good apps).
- Ask your sitter for updates while you are away. It will help put you at ease and keep them accountable.
- Make yourself available to give support and assistance as needed.
About the Author
Have you ever imaged living in another country? I mean, the essentials are the same no matter where you go. You still need to eat, sleep, work, and have some fun. But how are all of these experienced differently depending on the location around the work?Well, that’s what we’re curious about. That’s what gets us excited in life. We strive to make the ordinary in life extraordinary. The first steps were difficult. But all that mattered is that we took those first steps.
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