Pet sitting: How it works
For several years now, pet sitting companies have been flourishing online. But what does pet sitting actually consist of? Can anyone be a pet sitter? What type of services do pet sitters offer? Here are a few answers to help you on your way.
The basics of pet sitting
The term pet sitting is modelled on the term baby sitting, as the basic idea for both activities is the same: somebody looks after your pet for the times that you are not capable to do so. More specific terms like "dog sitting" and "cat sitting" come form the same source.
Before you become a pet sitter, however, it is important that you consider the following: if your primary reason for doing this is to make money, move on. Being a pet sitter is all about loving animals. Contrary to what you might think, being a pet sitter is not an "easy" job: you will basically be taking care of a creature that is most likely considered to be a member of the family by the owner of the pet.
Being a pet sitter requires attention and patience. It is necessary to know how to listen, to be autonomous and responsible. You will indeed have the life of another living being in your hands. It is therefore not an activity to be taken lightly.
How does pet sitting work?
It couldn't be simpler. The person in charge of looking after your pet, comes to your home to take care of it, or your pet goes to the pet sitters home. This can take as little as one day or as long as several weeks. Pet sitting services range from a simple walk to extended pet sitting at your home or at the home of the host family. For all pet sitting options, have a look at our complete pet sitting guide.
How do I find a pet sitter?
There are two ways to find a pet sitter. The first is to simply ask someone close. Asking a friend or family member for help can help you avoid letting a stranger into your home, which can be difficult for some people. Another advantage, this time for your pet, is that it will not have to get used to being with a stranger. This is especially beneficial for shy pets or pets that are suspicious of strangers.
If you don't have the opportunity to ask for help from a relative, don't panic. Many companies have been offering private pet sitting services for several years. One great example is Holidog, the #1 platform for pet sitting in the USA.
Holidog allows you, in a few clicks, to easily find a pet sitter near you that suits your budget. To do so, go to the site, enter your postcode, the type of pet you need looking after, the number of pets and the duration, which will lead you to list of numerous pet sitters available for the job in your area.
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At your home or the pet sitter's home?
The choice is yours. Leaving the keys to your home to a stranger can be difficult, especially if you have never done so before. On the other hand, allowing your pet to stay in its own territory has its advantages.
If you can't or don't want to have a pet sitter move into your home, you can choose to have your pet stay with a host family. Pet sitting with a host family is usually not advisable for cats, as these territorial animals prefer to stay at home..
Before entrusting your dog to the host family, you should visit the house or apartment. Ask to see where your pet will sleep. Check if the accommodation has an outdoor space and if the garden is secure. Ask the host family about their experience. Ask if there are other pets living in the house. If so, and your dog is not very sociable, it's best to turn to another family. Take the time to choose wisely.
How much does pet sitting cost?
The average price for a pet sitting service is about 15$ per day. This price however can vary greatly from region to region, the type of animal and the experience of the pet sitter, amongst others.
Guarding small pets such as rabits is much cheaper than keeping a cat or a dog: usually about 8$. Conversely, for animals with very high maintenance requirements, such as horses, fees can be as high as 200$ per day.
Please note that prices in Los Angeles and the greater Los Angeles region are generally higher than in other parts of the country. Last but not least, the most important thing to remember: always choose a person you trust to look after your pet. If a price seems too low to you, it's probably too good to be true. Don't forget that your pet's health and well-being depend on your choice!