Pet owners - Getting away made easy

I discovered the Trusted Housesitters website some years ago… it was like regaining my freedom!

While many of us may not take a holiday abroad this year, if you’re planning a getaway of some sort and have a pet (or a menagerie like me), take a note of this website address:
I have twice used Trusted Housesitters and both times I couldn’t have had more pleasant or more responsible people looking after our two dogs, three cats, plants and vegetables. 
I discovered the website some years ago having finally exhausted the possibility of yet again asking neighbours, friends and family to house sit.  Finding the site was like regaining my freedom!  
IT IS A FANTASTIC idea allowing pet owners to go on holiday without first having to laboriously find and check out a good dog or cat kennels (which can cost a fortune and also be a very harsh experience for animals unused to being away from home). It means one’s house is not left empty in one’s absence and it provides the perfect opportunity for animal lovers – most of whom seem to be retirees or IT professionals - to travel around the world, sometimes even hopping from one sit to another, entirely rent free.
The annual subscription to Trusted Housesitters is very reasonable (at circa £90) and it has a very well organised and user-friendly website. There are references for all house sitters – based on feedback from their previous sits – and likewise there are references from the house sitters with regard to the home owners and their animals.
I imagine most people, like myself, would choose a sitter with a history of sitting (which must make it difficult for first-timers), but it’s very reassuring to read endless rave reviews as to a person’s reliability and empathy for the animals they have cared for.
The website is global with people from all over the world offering their services. Sits can be for as short as a week or even for months at a time. Cortona would appear to be a very popular destination which means anyone looking to find a house/pet sitter here, will be spoiled for choice, but wherever you are based in the world, there seem to be lots of travel-hungry people open to most any kind of setting.
As a suggestion, I would say it’s best to make your post some months in advance of your holiday so that before you book your travel dates, you already have a confirmed sitter: Your initial post can be flexible i.e. one can request a sitter during the month of July; once you have decided upon your sitter, you can narrow the timelines down as and when you book your holiday.
There are clear guidelines as to what is expected from both parties, as there are for cancellations etc.. To roughly summarise: You are requested to provide your sitters with a space of their own i.e. a cleared out bedroom with wardrobe space, a clean and tidy house and a ‘manual’ of what to do with your pets inclusive of diets, medications, emergency numbers etc…
From my own experience, all sitters have come the day before departure in order to ‘bond’ with the beasts and be shown where things are and how they function. One can request daily updates on your animals’ well-being or request just the occasional phone call.
 Apart from the Trusted Housesitters annual subscription, there is nothing else to pay for this quite literally ‘liberating’ service: the sitters pay for their own travel arrangements and car hire (should you not have a car to lend them) and in exchange they stay rent free in your home albeit while looking after your furry friends.
All of the photographs above were taken by Wiebke and Boris, our wonderful house sitters last summer whom – as you can see – our animals obviously adored;  Wiebke and Boris with whom we remain in touch, assure us the feeling was mutual!
Alison Koetser, 29/06/2020 08:21:20
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