Come dog sitting my home

OK, I am far from suggesting here that you should go away and leave your dog behind when you fancy a holiday. But we all know too well that not always it is possible to take your dog away with you. Home dog sitters is the solution to your problems!! And I want to introduce you here to one of the best pet sitter sites, which will make your travel worries a thing of the past.

 

Name:  Trusted House Sitters Limited

Website:  trustedhousesitters.com

Price:  Annual membership of £90 approximately

Owner:  Andy Peck

Rank:   85 out of 100

 


 


 How it works

It’s very simple.  You join Trusted House Sitters community website and pay an upfront membership fee of approximately £90 per year (and yes, that is the only flaw, as far as I am concerned).  Registering gives you then access to a myriad of sitters advertising their services, their skills, their experience and their personality features.

In turn, you can then advertise the period of the year that you are planning to go away, how long you would like to have the sitter stay at your home, and most importantly, which type of dog and /  or other pets need looking after.  Yes, because there are sitters that may well be prepared to look after coups of chicken, or fish, or even donkeys if you live in a small hold.

You may want to describe extensively your home and which facilities it offers, and the area where you live and what it has to offer in terms of entertainment and sightseeing.  At the end of the day, you must remember that sitters will want to come to look after your home and your dog as part of their holiday, and you want to make your offer of free accommodation appeasing enough.

 


Who is Trusted House Sitters for

This scheme is for those of us that not all the times can take their hound on holiday with them.  We ourselves are a typical example of such circumstances.  With my family in Italy, we have often spent our holidays there, but cannot take our Indy by flight, or by train on Eurotunnel.  And on the other hand, driving from UK to Italy would make it feasible to take Indy with us, but would add extra time we would have to take off work that we cannot afford the luxury of having.

In the past, when we had to go away for short period of times, we would have left our Indy with my parents-in-law.  But they are now in their 80s and, although doing very well with their health, we want to give them the added burden of taking our Indy for walks and to keep him entertained with some play time.

Indy on hols on Camber Sands dunes
Indy on hols on Camber Sands dunes

Other times, when we went out for longer periods of time, we found for Indy a lovely child-minder, where at one time he spent a whole two weeks there, and in the company of another couple of dogs.  Indy has always loved it there, and has respected the pack order he found in place, with the child-minder’s own dog as the leader, and other dogs coming below her, such as Indy.  But again, Indy is older now, and we no longer feel comfortable that we should impose a total change of environment and habits.  And, child-minders are expensive – certainly more expensive than a mere £90 a year!!!

And that’s where the scheme proposed by Trusted House Sitters becomes extremely handy.  Whilst you are away, your dog does not have to leave his or her home environment, their toys, their bed, their habits.  He will be looked after by an experienced and expert person, who will care for him in the same manner as you would do.

Here you can see an excerpt from Trusted House Sitters website, where their mission statement is in fact to ensure our pets are kept happy and safe in their own homes whilst we are away.

In an ideal world, and for as much as we can, we will always take our dogs on holiday with us.  We wouldn’t want to leave our kids behind, so why leave our dogs?  But reality, and the restrictions imposed on dog owners to allow free access to their dogs everywhere and by any means of transport is still something of the future.  Until that happens (if it ever will), I believe no dog owner would ever disagree with such a statement of commitment to the welfare of your hound.

 


Andy Peck, the founder

But how did Andy Peck come up with the idea?

In fairness, house sitting programs have been in place for quite a few decades, although till now most diffused in the States than in Europe.  But it was in Europe that Andy found himself in the unusual position of sitting for cats and dogs in the house he was staying in whilst on holiday in Spain.  This, along with a bout of market research, prompted Andy to found the website back in 2010.  And the rest is history!

A successful history, by the number of accolades in the business and online worlds accrued so far.  Notwithstanding the numerous success reviews reported in the last few years by media authorities such as BBC and The Telegraph, which in an article published in September 2015 reports the site receiving over 500,000 visits a month, and more than 1,500 sits a month.  Such promising figures can only be read as testimonial to customers’ satisfaction with the standard of sitting service received.

 

 


The costs

The only cost involved is the one of approximately £90 per year to join the website.  Trusted House Sitters advertise their membership fee at £7.42 a month, but demand advance payment of £89 for the full 12 months.

The only additional expense you may incur as a home and pet owner are the ones of your sitter using electricity, gas and water supply in your home while you are away.  Then again, I would not expect the costs to become unreasonably excessive.

Otherwise, that is all.  You offer free accommodation to your sitter, who in turn is not going to demand additional payment to render the sitting service.  The way I see it, it’s an all round winner by both parties!

 


The pros and cons

The reason why I am introducing this scheme is because I firmly believe it does work.  To me, there are many advantages to leaving your pet in the care of a home sitter when you go away.  Amongst others:

  • the benefit of leaving your dog in his or her own environment
  • your home gets looked after whilst you are away, hence reducing the risk of break ins
  • you do not have to pay sitters a single dime
  • you can book sitters at short notice or for whichever length of your absence from home
  • you can choose sitters from abroad or from near you.

In fact, I can only think of very few flaws to this program, amongst which:

  • the fact you have to pay upfront for the whole year
  • you must be in a position to offer a spare bedroom to your guest sitters
  • access to the internet is paramount to guarantee security and peace of mind

So, have I tried using Trusted House Sitters?  Not yet.  Would I try it?  ABSOLUTELY YES!!

 


A word on security

I can hear mumbles of discontent amongst the ranks of dog and pet owners out there.  How can I ever suggest that we leave our beloved dogs in the hands of total strangers?

Well, Trusted House Sitters has put in place a vetting system for sitters, which, depending on different levels sitters are prepared to be scrutinised at, gives you guarantees in terms of ID check, documents and even criminal records or DBS check.

Also, ahead of your sitter travelling to your home, Trusted House Sitters advises that you get in touch, possibly face to face by Skype or Facetime, so that you can get to know the person or couple that are going to stay in your home more closely.  And so that they can get to know you.  It is meant to be far from a job interview, but the principle is the same: it is only through a direct contact that you can assess whether the sitter is personable enough to meet your expectations.

Finally, you may want to find out from your home insurance where you are left, should the sitter cause some damage to the house or your belongings.  You might want to draw an written agreement with the sitter, although you should bear in mind that it may not be legally binding.

And last but not least, in case of emergencies.  Trusted House Sitters offers an emergency vet service, which your sitter will be able to reach at all times.  But you will also want to leave a list of emergency contacts with your sitter, which will include contacts for your vet surgery.  And, vitally important, you want to ensure that both you as a home owner and your sitter can remain in touch at all times and on a face to face basis.  I would want to see my dog, and be reassured he is well and happy enough, or if he is under the weather, which symptoms he presents.

 


My verdict

As I said, I have not yet had the opportunity to use this service.  I only moved to a bigger house some two years ago, and to be honest I only discovered Trusted House Sitters a few weeks ago.  But from the onset, I would not hesitate to use the service, should I find myself in the position of having to go away and not be able to take my Indy with me.

And to those pet owners that do not trust leaving their dog with strangers, well they will never trust anybody then, whether it is the child-minder up the road, or the kennel that was advertised in the local paper.  In which case, they will never be able to leave their dog with others, and I respect that decision.

But, if for work reasons, or due to travels limitations, not always you can take your dog with you, Trusted House Sitters is the answer to your worries!!!

 

Name:  Trusted House Sitters Limited

Website:  trustedhousesitters.com

Price:  Annual membership of £90 approximately

Owner:  Andy Peck

Rank:   85 out of 100

 



 


Have you already experienced Trusted House Sitters, or any other pet sitting scheme whilst you were on holiday?  Or do you have concerns leaving your dog with others?  Share your thoughts with me, leave a comment below!!

6 Comments


  1. // Reply

    This is a great idea. I don’t have to leave the fur babies too often but when I do I always feel terrible if I have to put them in boarding kennels while I’m gone. I use friends and family as dog sitters when I can but they aren’t always available so this is a great alternative. Plus we have chickens now as well which need just as much attention. Thank you for this information!


    1. // Reply

      Oh Tennille, you want to check out Trusted House Sitters website. They have testimonials from home owners who have used the sitting service for all sorts of pets, including chickens!! It’s wonderful to be able to go away without the worry of leaving your pets with others in a non-familiar environment ❤❤


  2. // Reply

    Yes, I can see the issues with leaving your favorite furry friend with a stranger… I know I would. But there is a time and a place for this service and I am sure it would come in handy for the certain group of people who can’t travel with their animals.

    Good review.


    1. // Reply

      Yes, absolutely Brent. The last instance when we could have used the service, had I known by then, was when my father passed away. As practical as it may sound, we knew he wasn’t long to go, and making arrangements in good time would have lessened the last minute stress of finding somewhere for indy to stay, whilst my husband and son were reaching me in Italy. So, there are particular instances, as you can see, where it becomes handy to be able to avail yourself of such service, but not without trying it out first when not in emergency circumstances!!


  3. // Reply

    I am seriously interested in this, but from the other end of the spectrum as a sitter. How incredible would it be to be able to travel somewhere and plan a vacation without having to worry about accommodations? Very cool concept!


    1. // Reply

      Eric, if you are interested in becoming a sitter, can I email you directly? I have blogged in my other website on the advantages of travelling and a pet sitter, which are endless! In fact, I have been contacted by a couple who have sold their property and have been travelling the world for the last few years just b y sitting from one place to the other. Very bohemian, very appealing!!!

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