When you start to think about a trip away there are lots of things that you need to plan before you head away on your holidays. Where are you going? Who are you going with? What about the pets? Will you hire a Pet Sitter or House Sitter? These are just some of the questions that you need to answer before you take that long-awaited trip.
We know that your pets are your priority, or you wouldn’t be on this website reading this blog post. So, we’re going to break down the pros and cons of using a House Sitter Versus having a Pet Sitter taking care of your pets, so that you can make the best decision for you and most importantly for your pets.
What Is a House Sitter?
According to Wikipedia
“House-sitting is the practice whereby a landlord (or “homeowner”), leaving their house for a period of time, entrusts it to one or more “house-sitters”, who by a mutual agreement are entitled to live there rent-free in exchange for assuming responsibilities such as taking care of the homeowner’s pets, performing general maintenance (including pools, lawns, air-conditioning systems etc.), keeping trespassers off the property, readdressing the mail, and in general, making sure that everything runs smoothly just as if the owner was at home.”
By this definition using a House Sitter means that you allow someone you don’t know to stay in your home for free in exchange for them taking care of your pets.”
To some people, this might see amazing – free pet care!
But, there are a few things you need to be aware of if this is an option you decide to pursue, as a House Sitter is not there to take care of your pets ALL of the time.
Hiring a House Sitter Versus Using a Pet Sitter in Ireland
How Much Does a House Sitter Cost?
As I mentioned earlier a House Sitter is free. A House Sitter comes and stays at your house in exchange for taking care of your pets.
The problem that you may find with this is that they might not be at your home as much as you would like or at the times you need them to feed your pets, walk them or just generally be there for them.
Unlike a Pet Sitter where you can specify the times they visit, feed and walk your pets, this isn’t the case with a House Sitter.
Do You Need to Give Your House Sitter Guidelines?
When you hire a Pet Sitter you are paying them to be at your home when you specify you want a visit. You give them exact instructions on what to feed your pets, when and how much.
You also have a schedule for let out times and dog walks that mirrors what you normally do with your pets.
This keeps your pet’s routine very similar to what they are used to.
As mentioned, with a House Sitter the arrangement is a little more fluid. If they decide to head off to Dublin shopping for the day then it’s likely you will need to make other arrangements for your dog if they are used to having someone there to let them out to the toilet during the day.
Where Can I Find a House Sitter?
There are lots of people that advertise themselves as a House Sitter on sites like Gumtree or DoneDeal. There are also other directory type sites that allow individuals to list themselves as a House Sitter.
As you would with any service provider it’s important to check the references of a potential House Sitter and make sure that if they are listed in a directory that they have been vetted in some way.
Make sure if you are using a House Sitter to take care of your pets that they have pets themselves, or have had them in the past so that you know they are used to caring for them.
Also, find out what their policy is if they can no longer house sit for you and need to terminate the scheduled stay earlier. For example, if they have a family emergency and need to return to their own home – what happens with the care of your home and pets?
What Is an Overnight Pet Sitter?
If you are hiring the services of a Pet Sitter you can also avail of the option to have them stay overnight with your pets. They would not live in your house 24/7 – much like most people don’t – but instead, they would be at the home through the night and then visit your pets during the day for feeding and toilet breaks.
This option does give you control over the amount of time someone is with your pets, as you specify visit times and days.
It also means that if your Pet Sitter gets sick then the company will take care of backup arrangements so that your travel plans are not disrupted.
Which Is Better? A House Sitter or a Pet Sitter?
Ultimately only you know which is best for you and your pets. If you want control over your home, your pets and when they are fed and walked then a Pet Sitter is certainly going to be better for you.
If you have a more flexible schedule and can cover your own backup in case of sickness/family emergency for the Pet Sitter then a House Sitter could be perfect for you.
In all cases, though I would recommend doing your research beforehand.