We used trustedhousesitters.com twice recently to find pet sitters for our animals while we go away travelling, so we decided to write an honest review of trusted house sitters and share our experience. We have a dog called Liquorice and a cat called Jammy, both are rescues and in their older years, so it was hugely important to use that they would be happy and well cared for while we were away. Liquorice is also blind and absolutely loves a cuddle, so for these reasons we'd never put him in a kennels while we travel as he'd find it quite traumatic. We felt much more comfortable knowing that our pets would be staying in their own home, going about their usual daily routines. So, with this in mind, we embarked on our mission to find the perfect pet sitter.
The question most people asked us when we said we had booked a house sitter was 'What if they steal things from your house?'. Not the most supportive question when we'd already decided to go ahead with a sit, but it is something we took into consideration before we looked for a pet sitter. The word 'trusted' is in the name, and part of the trust is built up through previous reviews the house sitters have received. We felt safer booking house sitters who had lots of previous glowing reviews, as many people talk about the way the sitters cared for their house as well as their pets. Trusted house sitters definitely has a community feel to it, and we found the review on there to be very helpful. We also decided to video call our shortlisted sitters to get an idea of their character, as well as confirming their identity. Having invited sitters to stay in our house twice, we're happy to confirm that nothing was stolen and we felt completely at ease leaving them in charge of our home. In fact, the security aspect of not leaving the house empty was definitely a huge positive factor.
Top of our concerns was the question 'Will my pets be cared for properly by a house sitter?' Like most pet owners, we already feel a huge amount of guilt and sadness any time we have to leave our animals, so it was extremely important that we found pet sitters who would look after them and love them just as much as we do. The biggest thing you can do from this point of view is to be honest and upfront about your pets needs. Trusted house sitters gives you space on the listing to talk about your pets, their personalities, and go into detail on their daily routines. This way, sitters who feel they would be unable to carry out these routines know not to apply. We're lucky that Liquorice and Jammy get along with anyone, but we still made sure to talk about our expectations with our shortlisted sitters. For example, telling them about how many walks Liquorice needs a day, how long these should be, and how long he can be left alone in the house. On both occasions we used pet sitters from trusted house sitters we came home to happy and relaxed pets, which made us feel much better about leaving them!
Finding the right pet sitter for your pets is simple on trusted house sitters. The website will walk you through the steps to create an account, then guide you through filling in your profile with all the information needed to find the right pet sitter for your holiday. We completed ours with lots of information about Liquorice and Jammy, along with some photos of them and some information about the house. We didn't include photos of our house on the public listing due to privacy concerns, and still got lots of applications, so this didn't seem to have a big effect on people's decision to sit for us. After speaking with the people who applied, both via messaging on the site and by video call, we selected our favourites and booked them in for our dates. After this we put together a house guide, which includes everything from the pet's dinner times to where to find the electric fuse box. Trusted house sitters very helpfully provides a template for this too.
There is a cost to signing up to trusted house sitters, but after you've paid the annual fee you can use the service as many times as you like throughout the year. Even if you only use it for one holiday it's still likely to be cheaper than putting your dog or cat into kennels or a cattery, and they'll have a much nicer time staying at home too. Sitters and people looking for pet sitters both pay to appear on the trusted house sitters website, which makes it less likely that you'll find time wasters on there. You can also pay a small amount extra to be both a homeowner and a sitter, meaning you could also benefit from free accommodation and new pet friends when you go travelling. Overall we've found it great value for money and have been very pleased with how our pets and home were cared for.
As you may have guessed from the hints and tips we've given in the points above, we were extremely pleased with our experience using trusted house sitters and would recommend it to anyone having to leave their pets for a holiday or trip. After seeing how happy and relaxed Jammy and Liquorice were when we returned home, we knew they had been looked after extremely well. On both occasions our house was also left very clean and tidy (our house sitters had even washed their bedsheets before we gogt home!) We will definitely be using trusted house sitters again in the future. If you have any other questions please feel free to ask us!