Petsitting: How I Became a Better Petsitter

Illustration d'une nomade avec un chat et un chien faisant du Petsitting

Written by Mylene C.

Entrepreneure nomade. Yogini. Hypersensible et perfectionniste.

May 6, 2024

Have you recently heard about Petsitting? Just imagine… you can stay free of charge anywhere in the world while taking care of adorable animals! And this practically free of charge? Do you think it’s too good to be true? Today, I’m talking to you about Petsitting. And how did I manage to combine business with pleasure?

How did I discover Petsitting?

Just imagine… you can stay free of charge anywhere in the world while taking care of adorable animals! You take care of doggies and kitties (and other animal variations…) and in exchange, you benefit from great accommodation. It’s truly incredible and with good will, it brings such a great feeling of wellbeing! I’ll explain everything I learned while testing this new way of traveling.

There are online Petsitting platforms that allow you to find owners who are looking for someone to look after their house and their animals while they are away. During my trip to Indonesia, I met a nice girl who did this and I was immediately won over and a little jealous!

This was good because as soon as I returned to Quebec, friends were going on a month-long trip, and it greatly reassured them to know that I was available to help them take care of their cat. It was from this moment that my career as a petsitter began.

As I move around often and, as you know, accommodation is extremely expensive in many places, I jumped at the chance. But honestly, my love for cats and dogs is much more important to me than the money I save. I really miss being able to take care of an animal when I travel. Anyone who knows me knows that I never miss an opportunity to cuddle a cat. And what’s more, if I can be of service to someone, that’s even better. I know the anxiety of going on vacation and not knowing what to do with my four-legged love.

Anyone who knows me knows that I never miss an opportunity to cuddle a cat.

Petsitting: how it works

The best-known Petsitting platform is certainly TrustedHousesitters.
It’s quite simple: you register on the site and choose an annual subscription from the three plans offered. This gives you access to all ads for 12 months. You then create your profile by adding photos and information about yourself.

On the other hand, when I wanted to register last year, I found that the $200 requested was still considerable. So I put the project aside.

But once registered, you can search for accommodation anywhere in the world using their search engine. You can even specify your criteria like city, dates, etc., or just let yourself be guided by their offers. Did you come across an ad that you like? Perfect, but be careful, you haven’t won yet! The animal owner will study all the applications and choose the one that suits him best. This platform is an exchange site based on mutual aid. Therefore, no monetary transaction is accepted between the parties.

The other Petsitting option, discovered just a few weeks ago, is Pawshake. I’ll give you the Quebec link, but you can also register from another local site. This platform is free, but you must prove your willingness and experience! This is serious.

Here, it’s quite the opposite. These are the service seekers who come into contact with you. You update your availability calendar and add your daily rates. You can also offer other services such as dog walking for example.

In my case, for 30 CAD per day (this is the minimum you can ask for), I only offer one service: taking care of animals in exchange for shelter.

A responsible stay

If you are selected, let’s go for a new adventure! But be careful, there are a few things to take into account.

  • You have to stay there to take care of the animals and the house. No question of going out and about whenever you want.
  • Then you have to be flexible on the dates, it’s the owner who decides. Remember that you are there to help!
  • And finally, you must be ready to deal with unforeseen events, such as pet injuries or domestic problems.

So, does this make you want it? If so, treat yourself, but keep in mind that it’s not always rosy. It’s a great way to travel without spending too much, but it still requires a minimum of organization and responsibility. Since the start of my short career as a petsitter, I have taken care of two cats, a dog, a bearded dragon, two guinea pigs and a few turtles! As well as three houses, two gardens and lots of plants. Who knew you could find such cool plans, huh?

In addition to having access to free accommodation, it gives me a quiet place to work and rest in good company.

How to become a trusted Petsitter?

  1. Have a passion for animals: rule no.1, you must really enjoy spending time with furry friends. Otherwise, the animal risks smelling it and being stressed. It would ruin both of your stays.
  2. Demonstrate flexibility: it is important to be available according to the client’s schedule. It’s ideal for digital nomads and solo travelers.
  3. Be empathetic: know how to understand the needs of the animal and respond to them gently.
  4. Be trustworthy: clearly, the person is trusting you with their keys and their pet, so this is not the time to do anything. Be respectful, don’t empty his fridge or go through his drawers.
  5. Show your know-how: especially if the animal has specific needs or health concerns.
  6. Remain responsible: you must respect the rules of education and the house.
  7. Do, proof of reliability: no last minute cancellations!
  8. Stay caring: pay attention to the animals in your care and give them love, but respect them if they are fearful.
  9. Become a keen observer: it’s super important to detect the animal’s signs of discomfort, to fully understand its needs.
  10. Be available: you must simply be there for the animal when it needs it.
  11. Stay calm: Keep your cool, even when things don’t go as planned with an animal.
  12. Autonomous: you must be able to make decisions in the absence of the masters, but if possible keep in close contact with them.
  13. Pay attention to your motivations: you really have to be there for the wellbeing of the animal, not just for the money.

May your stay be most enjoyable!

There you have it, with all these qualities, you will certainly become the ideal Petsitting candidate! Let us remember that the very essence of Petsitting lies in the well-being and happiness of the animals that we take care of welcoming into our lives temporarily. It is by offering your time, your love and your attention to these four-legged companions that you will create unique bonds and that you will contribute to their development.

And beyond this altruism, doing an act of kindness towards these gentle and vulnerable beings will certainly give you incomparable satisfaction. Knowing that you are useful, contributing to the happiness of an animal and receiving all their affection in return is a deeply gratifying experience that can enrich your daily life in an inestimable way.

A little extra that always pleases the owner of the animal, when possible, every morning, I send a photo or a video. This is very reassuring and appreciated for him.

So, to travel while taking care of yourself, never forget the positive impact you could have by performing acts of generosity towards our friends and animals.

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