A recent survey of house-sitters found that most people want to become a house-sitter because they don’t have any pets of their own and enjoy looking after a families’ animals.
And while seeing more of the UK is an attraction for 95% of house-sitters, looking after animals is another significant appeal. In fact, 72% of the house-sitters surveyed said that looking after people’s pets was the biggest perk of the job.
What a house-sitter does
House-sitters are employed to stay in people’s homes when they go away on holiday or travelling for work to keep your house secure, water your plants and put your bins out. But most importantly, they are there to take care of, feed and look after your pets so that they can stay in their own home rather than having to go to a cattery or into kennels while you’re not there. Animals tend to be creatures of habit so keeping them on their own turf and being a companion to them is a must when you’re going away. I know from experience that my five rescue cats know that I’m leaving home when I get my suitcases out and they misbehave and strop to let me know that they’re not happy that I am abandoning them – again!
Benefits to your pets
Cats may seem to be independent and aloof but they are very territorial so become agitated when they are moved from their home to a new, unfamiliar place, such as a cattery. House-sitters are an amazing help in keeping them happy and comfortable when I’m not there and, even better, they get company from someone who is entirely devoted to them. Separation anxiety is something that happens to some cats who are left in a strange place and means that they’ll develop symptoms including spraying, scratching, loss of appetite and excessive meowing or hiding away and not coming out at all until you come home/back, which can mean a trip to the vets to have them hydrated via a drip. This is also true of dogs!
When you’re away, the kindest arrangement for your pets is to leave them at home in familiar surroundings, following their usual routine. That’s exactly why Homesitters Ltd, who conducted the survey, was set up, over 35 years ago! It offers pet-parents and owners a nationwide live-in pet-sitting service for all manner of pets – from dogs and cats to chickens and pigs. Although Homesitters is particularly skilled with cats and dogs, with over 100,000 bookings’ worth of experience, it will happily care for any animal that you have, big or small. And the company has said more and more women who are over 55 have been joining its ranks as dedicated house-sitters.
Alan Irvine, Chairman of Homesitters comments: “Our research highlights that retired women are relishing being homesitters because it provides the opportunity for a little adventure. They enjoy meeting new people and the fact the role keeps them active, especially if they are looking after dogs, and they appreciate being able to stay in beautiful properties.”
While most house-sitters stated they mainly look after cats and dogs, some assignments have involved more unusual animals including pygmy goats, peacocks, chinchillas, donkeys, bearded dragons, poisonous tree frogs, snakes, tarantulas and even a hawk who was fed on live mice.
Homesitters’ house and pet-sitters can pick and choose which assignments appeal to them, and the company also provides full support and insurance for those on assignment – a key reason why people choose to work with them.
Want to become a house-sitter?
So, if you love pets but don’t have one of your own, perhaps think about becoming a Homesitters’ house and pet-sitter. Alan said: “We are always looking for reliable people to join us throughout the UK. The role offers immense variety; someone could be staying in a multi-million-pound town house one week and a remote farmhouse the next – no assignment is the same.”
For more information on becoming a house-sitter, simply visit: https://www.homesitters.co.uk/application-form/