As a House Sitter / Pet Sitter on a House Sitting assignment you become responsible for the property along with the health and well being of the pets.
Here we have included 5 of our top essential questions we ask home owners before accepting a house sitting assignment, so we are very rarely surprised by events, and enjoy the house sits. These questions are part of knowing how to be a house sitter.
1. What are the actual times and dates of the house sit?
It is surprising how many home owners have changed the dates and times since writing the add, which may have just been estimates so due to change in flights, itinerary, etc, their dates change and they may forget to tell house sitters when talking with them. So assuming they are correct can lead to some awkward moments.
2. Are your pets always secure on the property?
Some home owners don't mind their pets roaming the neighborhood, so securing the yards they play in has not been a priority. If you are not of the same mindset then this can lead to a very stressful house sitting assignment!
To give you 2 examples: Firstly, we house sat 3 dogs in a lovely neighbourhood and were told the dogs were secure in the back yard. However the owners had not left the dogs before, and once gone the dogs figured out how to jump the pool fence! (caught in action as pictured below!) The neighbours did not appreciate the dogs running into their property and it became a huge challenge to contain them. (that’s another story for another time! )
However on another house sit, we were advised that the border collie was in the habit of jumping the fence and visiting the neighbours and returning after a short time. So when we witnessed the dog leaving the property we were not concerned because this was accepted practice and both the owners and neighbours were fine with it, so we trusted that it was all ok and just allowed things to continue as normal.
3. Have you used House Sitters before?
We have found that Home Owners who have used House Sitters before don't need as much information or reassurance as ones that have not. Don't assume that all home owners know what goes on.
4. Have your animals been cared for by anyone else?
As a House Sitter you always want to know this because pets act very differently with other people. If you are not experienced with pets then you may not want to do these as they can be very unpredictable, and some pets do suffer from separation anxiety.
5. What are your pets special care requirements?
(e.g. medication, exercise) Home Owners will take a lot for granted when discussing pet care as they do it all the time, so unless prompted will fail to pass on important information. Therefore accepting an assignment uninformed may lead to very unsatisfactory sits.
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