When you are a pet parent and a lover of travel, it is hard to balance both worlds. Boarding houses can be a little scary when you are putting your loved fur babies into boarding with a bunch of other dogs and strangers.
So, what do you do? You could choose not to travel or try to travel with your pet? How would you manage that – not impossible but much more difficult.
Have you investigated a sitting service? There are several options for pet sitting, one we found specifically useful is TrustedHousesitters.
Pros and cons of using a house and pet sitting service
Con: A total stranger is living in your home.
Pro: Housesitters ensures that each of their sitters goes through an extensive background check.
Much like sifting through employment applications, first, you start by creating an “owner” profile about you, your animal(s), and your home. The specifications and details of the care you require for your animal and the dates of your travel – now, once that information is filled out, you can start reviewing the caretaker’s proposals and profiles. This is where you are much like an employer for a company, you are looking for a profile that stands out to you and you can see a good fit with personality traits, recommendations and other unique ways for the “sitter” to blend with what you and your pet’s needs care while you are away from them.
Con: Lack of information about the amount of experience.
Pro: You can see their availability for sitting on the website’s calendar – so before you reach out to them, you already know if the person is free or not.
If a “sitter” doesn’t specifically include how much experience they have sitting with certain types of animals, you could be talking to someone who “has experienced” but really, just likes turtles, for example. Before you start “interviewing” these applicants, it is good to have a list of specific questions that you need to know, reassurance, experience, things of that nature. Start prepared, so the applicant knows right off the bat what the expectations are for them and the care needed for your pet.
Membership and costs
Con: TrustedHousesitters is a site you have to pay to be part of.
Pro: You know that a paid membership helps weed out the “rift raft” and generally only attracts people who are both serious if you need your pet cared for or if you are someone who wants to be the caretaker.
I’ve noticed that when you are asking for a paid subscription, most scammers are deterred because they don’t want to pay a fee to scam on people. Same with many sites of this nature, sometimes you get what you pay for, and since TrustedHousesitters is something you have to pay for – you know that you have a better chance to start with quality applicants from the start.
When it comes down to it, you are going to find what works best for you, your home, and your fur baby when you are traveling. If you want peace of mind for both your home and your animal, using this service or one like it might be the perfect fit for you! There are lots of options out there for traveling animal parents, whether you use this service, a boarding service, or even have a friend help you out – ultimately, it comes down to you.
You can compare peace of mind, costs, duration of time, and of course, how will your pet be while you are gone. It is a great and wonderful thing to have options when you are traveling. I call it a backup plan and then a back up to my backup plan. Sometimes you need to have these contingencies in place because someone could cancel on you right before you leave, what do you do then?
Instead of being left in the lurch, you can have options and backups in place prior to leaving. Also, TrustedHousesitters has many additional perks of being a member. You know that when you leave town, your sitter will have 24/7 access to a vet, customer service, and membership help, so if they have any issues with your pet, they can get immediate help.
There is a great big world out there, and you shouldn’t feel like you can’t experience it because you have obligations to your animal. In this great big world, there are fantastic options – thank goodness for the 21st century!
Check out our article on BabyQuip: How Not to Pack for Your Next Family Trip