Trusted Housesitters

(24 Posts)
abbey44 Thu 01-Feb-18 20:27:01

Hi, hoping someone can help me here...

I'm going away in a couple of months and I'd really like to have housesitters in to look after my two dogs and a cat - usually when I go away the dogs go in kennels and a neighbour comes in to feed the cat, but one of my dogs always comes back from the kennels a bit on the thin side and it takes ages to get her back up to weight again. They tell me she's ok (well, they're not going to say anything else, are they?!) but I can't help feeling both of them would be much happier in their own home with company. And of course, there's the security point of view as well.

I've been recommended to try Trusted Housesitters (you pay a registration fee and they provide sitters who will move in and look after your home and pets. The sitters don't ask for payment, but I don't know about travel expenses/food, stuff like that. It all sounds a bit too good to be true, if I'm honest. I don't mind paying at all (I've always factored kennel costs into the holiday anyway), but obviously I want someone I can trust to look after my pets and my home.

Before I take it further with them, I was wondering whether anyone else had ever tried them and were you happy with them? Or maybe there's something similar that you've tried? If it helps, I'm in the north-east, and am finding it hard to find anyone locally.

OP’s posts: |
retirednow Thu 01-Feb-18 20:31:30

We used to use Homesitters for our moggy. It would have been about 15 years ago so costs would have gone up. We paid up front, plus 7.50 a day food allowance She was allowed 2 hours off a day to go out but looking after our cat was very easy. They were mostly elderly women who loved animals, ours was fab, even prepared us a meal for when we returned. Mind you though puss wouldn't speak to us for hours.

tsonlyme Thu 01-Feb-18 20:39:35

I’ve been a trusted housesitter 😄

It was my (then) boyfriend who was a member, he had extra checks done which cost him about £80 I think to make himself a better prospect for people looking for house sitters. I did two housesits with him, one a smallholding in wales and one a more normal house in the Cotswolds, no payment to ourselves but I think one left us a bottle of wine, it was free accommodation for a weekend away for us but I guess that depends on where you live, if you’re in a place people might like to visit you’d have no problem attracting sitters.

Sitters are given reviews so you can check they’re ok that way.

tsonlyme Thu 01-Feb-18 20:42:16

Two hours off a day when you’re looking after a cat?!! 😂

We looked after two dogs, two cats, some fish, two goats and a cow at the small holding and it didn’t take more than three hours a day! Rest of the time was ours to do what we pleased.

retirednow Thu 01-Feb-18 20:44:51

tsonlyme, actually I think it was 3 hours! .... saying that though she was there keeping the house secure, did a bit of gardening, got food in for our arrival home. our cat took to her bed in disgust most of the time so she probably didn't have a lot of pet sitting to do, guess it would be different for a dog.

abbey44 Thu 01-Feb-18 20:51:37

Thanks for the responses.

I've just been looking at the Homesitters UK website - there seem to be loads of ads for both sides of the transaction on both that and the Trusted Housesitters sites - I'd no idea it was such a big thing! Don't know how it's passed me by...

How much do these companies vet prospective sitters? And, thinking about it, do they check homeowners aren't serial axe murderers? Who pays the travel costs for the sitters if they're not local? And do you just have to hope they'll get on with your pets?

OP’s posts: |
retirednow Thu 01-Feb-18 21:11:47

You have to pay mileage with homesitters, I don't know what happens if they don't get on, I know they have 24hr emergency cover so maybe they find a replacement. Sometimes vets advertise but I don't know what checks they run

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abbey44 Thu 01-Feb-18 21:21:17

Thank you - I think I'll give them a call tomorrow and see what they say. You've reassured me - it sounds like a much better option for my pets than kennels.

OP’s posts: |
Toooldtobearsed Thu 01-Feb-18 21:28:03

Just a small word of caution.

A couple of years ago, we organised a mother and daughter house sitting team to look after my 2 dogs, a cat and some chickens. We corresponded regularly and i even organised additional car insurance so they could use my car during the two and half week stay.
We were due to fly to Singapore on a Thursday, had arranged for them to arrive on Tuesday, so we could do a nice handover. On that Tuesday morning, i got an email saying that due to a family illness, they were unable to make it.

Now, i KNOW emergencies do happen, but it did leave us in a blind panic. We never tried it again, could not trust the sitters would actually turn up.

Our dogs go to stay with a dog sitter and next door neighbour looks after cat and chickens. Costs a bloody bomb, but worth every penny for the peace of mind.

We were probably just unlucky, but honestly, have a fall back, just in case!

retirednow Thu 01-Feb-18 21:48:14

Hope you find someone, I am sure there are really excellent kennels but I would always go for homecare] even though it ended up costing more than our own holiday hmm

Els1e Thu 01-Feb-18 22:54:45

I’m interested in this thread because I have considered being a housesitter. It has a level of the unknown. I am reasonably confident with my experience with general animals, dogs, cats, horses, chickens, etc. However I am concerned that I the experience is not as it is portrayed.

coffeecup16 Fri 02-Feb-18 21:02:01

Hi

I have used Mindahome and Housesitters -and it is certainly a way to keep costs down. I have been let down once and the last couple couldn't provide any references and stole a bike from the road , which I reported to the police. I find that a couple is safer than a single person AND I obtain 2 refs, proof of address and their passport. I have found that people's idea of cleanliness isn't the same as mine however , it doesn't stop me using it because it is the cheapest option for me. I just hope for the best everytime

abbey44 Tue 06-Feb-18 15:52:50

Well, I've spoken to them, and have now signed up - fingers crossed that I can find someone to come and take care of my dogs (and house!)...

OP’s posts: |
UptownFunkYouUp Wed 19-Sep-18 23:02:02

Hi abbey44, just found this thread as I’m looking at using trusted house sitters myself so wondered how you had got on?

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Wed 19-Sep-18 23:26:34

I'm considering this as a back up if family dog sitter goes on holiday as not all home boarders could manage my dog in a home with other dogs.

Does anyone have any experience of using them
a) for short periods of time eg 3 days and 2 nights or 2 days and 1 night?
b) with dogs that need a specific set of instructions followed when out and about for behavioural reasons that are at the mild end of the spectrum?
c) if there's still a flatmate around in the property, but not one you could trust to look after the dog?

It would be for a garden flat on the edge of a city centre of a large city (not London) so the location should be relatively attractive. Dog can be left in the daytime within reason.

Eyez Mon 08-Oct-18 10:49:45

Good morning, hoping someone on this tread maybe able to help me. Up until the end of September I was a member of Trusted House Sitters, due to my desire to start a family thus my energy and resources being directed elsewhere I have decided to take a break from house sitting and not renew my membership... the thing is I have a sit coming up later this month and now no means of a way to contact the Pet Owner - if someone with a membership would be so kind to message me, the Pet Owner has another sit listed which you could message her on to provide her my contact details - I would be so appreciative, and I am guessing so would the Pet Owner smile
Thank you.

PoisonousSmurf Mon 08-Oct-18 10:54:48

So how do 'Pet Sitters' get paid? Why are they doing it for free?

DeusEx Mon 08-Oct-18 11:01:39

I LOVE Trusted Housesitters. Used it on about five occasions for my cats and chickens, and had only good experiences.

You pay registration and nothing else. The people I’ve had have varied in their reasons: two sets wanted a holiday in London (makes my sit attractive and allows me to be choosy), the others all worked from home as freelancers so were using it as an opportunity to just travel the world with free accommodation. Both circumstances seem very common on the site.

No extra payment - i leave the house in a nice state and they can help themselves to any food in the cupboards.

There are different levels of security. Some people have none bar email verification - our first had this as we were in a short notice bind, she was lovely and no problems but I probably wouldn’t do it again. Others have full on DBS and criminal record checks. If you have a nice place / a lovely dog, and a bit of time to put the advert out and wait for a number of replies, you can be choosy.

Hope this helps! smile

PoisonousSmurf Mon 08-Oct-18 11:08:01

Would love to do this. Wonder if some owners would like someone who has experience in caring for exotic animals like snakes and reptiles.
I don't mind dealing with the 'icky' side of feeding such pets.

GoZacGo Wed 06-Mar-19 11:29:48

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amelinixon Tue 26-Nov-19 15:32:39

Hi yes I could do that for you- if not too late: (

amelinixon Tue 26-Nov-19 15:35:39

We pay for our own expenses food transport etc.
People ask what do they get in return. For me, I get to travel and to visit London which I love and had lived there for many years.
It is a fair exchange and its a nice thing to do.

amelinixon Tue 26-Nov-19 15:40:04

@eyez Hi yes I could do that for you- if not too late: (

labazsisgoingmad Tue 26-Nov-19 15:47:33

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