One of the most difficult things about long term travel is leaving your loved ones behind, and for all the animal lovers out there that can mean your pets. We had to give our two beautiful cats to a family member to take care of while we are traveling. That was probably the hardest part of leaving Australia for our new perpetual travel life (sorry human family!)
When you’re at home you are used to that unadulterated loyalty and companionship from your pets, and when you leave them to travel around the world it can be really hard to walk away.
Many homeowners will want a house sitter to not only look after their home, but to care for their pets as well. This is the perfect situation for a traveler missing their pet from home, as they can adopt someone else’s for a short while during their time on the road. It might not be the same as having your own animal around, but it’s an experience you won’t find with many other methods of traveling and can make it feel more like a home away from home.
Looking after someone else’s home isn’t quite the same as staying a hotel in the respect that you’re not surrounded by people all the time and you can feel quite isolated. While for many it’s an advantage of housesitting, it can sometimes get a bit lonely especially if you are by yourself. Having a pet around like a cat or dog can give you a sense of companionship that you would feel if you were with your own pet, and it should keep you entertained for days on end. And lets face it, some times the best conversations are with those who can’t answer you back.
Enriching the experience
It’s one thing staying in a person’s home for a placement, but having to care for their pets changes the whole experience and makes it far more interesting.
A house, no matter how beautiful, won’t leap at you when you return home from a day out, or want to curl up with you on the couch in the evening. Looking after an animal can be one of the greatest rewards when it comes to housesitting, and the connection you build with the animal can make that experience stand out from all the others.
One thing that has to be emphasized here is the heightened sense of responsibility that comes with looking after someone’s pet as well as their home. Owners often leave thorough instructions about their pets’ routine, which makes the process a whole lot easier and takes away some of that pressure.
While it can be a little stressful having someone’s pride and joy left in your hands, it is very rare that anything will go wrong if the owner has told you what to expect and how to look after them. If you’re someone who cares about animals, there really is no drawback to finding a housesitting assignment that also specifies pet care.
Looking after weird and wonderful pets
In your ‘normal’ life you probably aren’t the proud owner of a unique pet; lets face it, most of us are dog and/or cat people. But when you are housesitting, you get that chance to care for more unique pets such as a goat, pig, cow or even a llama! Because its ‘out of the norm’, it definitely adds to the experience. Having a cool story about the time you looked after a llama on your travels is not something a lot of travelers have.
Looking after pets while housesitting is a very enjoyable experience, but having to walk away from an animal you’ve been caring for so much, sometimes for months on end, can be a very difficult part of the process.
While it is sad and sometimes you do get attached, we wouldn’t have it any other way and have been thankful for the experiences we’ve had with all the animals we’ve cared for along the way. It’s one of the most satisfying parts of the housesitting lifestyle, and not only does it put the home owners mind as ease, it makes our job a lot more enjoyable.
What weird and wonderful pets have you looked after for a house sit?