First of all, Happy National Pet Month!
This year, our pets have been there for us and at a time when we really needed it most. As a pet owner, it’s been great to get out of the house, despite what the weather could be doing, and just get outside, walk and get some exercise. I probably wouldn’t have been as active outdoors since Covid started if I didn’t have a cute, fluffy, and very cantankerous reason – named Slonik, our Yorkie, who is 11 years old.
Slonik has also been busy learning some new tricks this year, so as to give a middle finger to the saying “An old dog CAN learn new things.” If you meet him, he’ll be happy to showcase his Sit, Stay, Lie Down, Roll Over, Play Dead, Voice, Jump over mommy’s hand obstacle, Give Paw, Go in and out of mommy’s legs, Bark, High Five, Turn Around, Back Up and some of the aforementioned commands done with just hand signals only. For a tiny brain the size of a golf ball, Slonik always says: ” I ain’t no dummy! ” with an English accent, of course, he is a Yorkshire Terrier after all.
For dog lovers, like my husband and I, it seemed like a no-brainer to join the Trusted Housesitters community, which “helps to connect like-minded pet lovers and exchange pet care for a place to stay.” At first, we were reluctant, not knowing how secure and honest this platform was. But seeing that other friends from South Korea were also a part of it, we decided to give Trusted Housesitters a try and signed up.
Table of Contents
How does it work?
You can choose to be a pet-loving sitter
First, you have to purchase your plan (the platform goes by an annual plan, which I think helps to keep it secure and trustworthy) and create a profile with personality.
Second, search among pet sits near you (or all around the world) and apply for as many as you want.
Third, take care of the pet while you experience home away from home in a new destination.
You can find a sitter for your pet
First, you have to purchase your plan and create a profile for your home/pet with lots of helpful information and pictures for prospective sitters.
Second, post specific dates when you need a sitter and let the applications roll in.
Third, enjoy your time away from home with a reliable sitter taking care of your home and your furry baby.
How safe/secure is this service?
Like most platforms, you can read reviews from owners and from sitters. Sitters are also verified on two tiers of verification – Basic and Standard (which include email, phone number check, reference, as well as identity check, and documents check). As for home protection, Trusted Housesitters offers Home and Contents protection, such as theft, property damage, and accidents. Read more about it here.
In case of a medical vet emergency, Trusted Housesitters has a 24/7 advice line, which members are encouraged to call at any time during their stay. Numbers vary depending on the country you’re in and can be accessed at the bottom of this page.
Finally, Trusted Housesitters are vetted as Excellent on Trustpilot with over 13,000 reviews.
Our experience with Trusted Housesitters
We started using this platform at the end of 2020 and it has become obvious that for Budget and Sustainable Travel-minded folks (like ourselves) this platform is wonderful! We had our first pet-sitting gig on the island of Jeju in South Korea, where a very photogenic 6 year old Pomeranian, cutely named Mandu (dumpling in Korean), was looking for someone to take care of him. We quickly applied through the platform and owners Joey and Kelly accepted our application.
The terms of your sit are dictated by the owners, such as when to come in, how much to feed/water, walks, plays, etc as well as watering the plants or any other home maintenance that could come up during their departure.
We were thankful to get a well-put-together Word Doc, explaining various foods/snacks for Mandu as well as the frequency. Also, any medical issues or concerns to watch out for. Finally, there was a decent list of things to see and do around the island, which we also found very helpful since we were new to the area. A list of nearby markets or grocery stores also comes into handy, to help you feel more comfortable in the area and less like a tourist.
We spent a week taking care of Mandu, taking him on walks twice a day, playing tug of war with his toys and making quick friends when local children recognized him on the street. It was also a great way to experience life like a local/or long-term ex-pat teacher, which we wouldn’t have known if we just stayed in a generic tourist pension/hotel. We discovered a cute Black and White coffee shop nearby which we wouldn’t have driven past otherwise. Near there were also green tea fields, a space museum, and some small restaurants, which we may have missed unless we were staying in that part of the island. Even despite the fact that it was winter, we enjoyed every moment of this unique experience and plan on definitely sitting with Trusted Housesitters again.
“You’re alright, but I’m missing my people!”
Some Pros of Pet Sitting
Experience new destinations available around the world
Meet and interact with someone’s awesome pet
No hotel/accommodation fees, pet sitting fees, other than the annual membership fee
Ability to use services such as laundry, dishwasher, wifi, even car (where available and agreed upon with the owner)
Knowing that there is a support network with Trusted Housesitters, such as previous sitters, 24/7 help or insurance in case of accidents.
Some Cons of Pet Sitting
You’re limited by the location/destination of the pet owner’s house
Your dates are usually dictated by the pet owner’s request
You’re not guaranteed to be chosen, because up to 3 sitters can apply for the same gig
It’s hard to gain initial trust when you’re first joining the platform (our Airbnb experience and reviews helped us)
You may or may not get along with the pet, because you’re a new owner and they may have trust issues
Your obligation is to the pet and the house, so your itinerary has to revolve around feeding/walking/taking care of them (not around what you want to do).
So are you ready to give Trusted Housesitters a go? I hope you do since it can be a great way to discover new small-town destinations (or big cities if that’s your jam), get some cuddles from someone’s pet as you provide love and care and a cheaper alternative to staying in hotels/motels/pensions.
As mentioned earlier, my husband and I had a very memorable time pet sitting for Kelly and Joey in Jeju Island and we can’t wait to sit more. We always love to share our experiences and hope that you give Trusted Housesitters a try. If you join with the link below, you get 25% off your membership and we get 2 extra months FREE! Sounds like a Win-Win!