Press Release - Demand for home and pet sitters rises as more people head off on festive breaks
Posted on 29 November, 2019
With more people choosing to spend Christmas and New Year away from home and heading off abroad, the demand for home and pet sitters is growing, says Homesitters Ltd, the UK’s leading home and pet sitting company.
Homesitters Ltd have already seen a doubling of bookings for Christmas 2019, compared with Christmas 2018 – with over a month still to go until Christmas. They expect this may rise even further this year, especially given 12 million (40%) of households now have pets[i].
Last December research by cruise agent Bolsover Cruise Club[ii] revealed two-thirds (67%) of Britons would consider spending Christmas away from home, with 42% of Brits willing to go abroad and 25% happy to travel elsewhere in the UK. Top overseas destinations included New York, Melbourne, St Bart’s, Sydney and Berlin.
The Association of British Travel Agents[iii] also estimated last year that 4.7 million people would be heading overseas for Christmas and New Year on the peak travel day before Christmas (21st Dec 2018).
Alan Irvine, Managing Director of Homesitters Ltd says, “There is a growing trend for people to go away for the festive period, but it can present a dilemma for pet owners who may not have their usual network of family and friends available to look after their pets. Increasingly we find pet owners are reluctant to put their dog in a kennel or cat in a cattery.
“Kennels and catteries can be stressful for dogs and cats, especially if they aren’t used to these environments. Family and friends also can’t be relied on at this time of year as they will be doing their own thing at Christmas. This means we are seeing many more people wanting to book a home and pet sitter.
“Benefits include that pets are looked after in their own home, with little disruption to their usual routine, plus the home is kept safe and secure. Empty, dark homes can be vulnerable to burglary over Christmas so having someone staying in the property can be really reassuring for people, especially if they are away for a couple of weeks.”
Employing a homesitter is also a cost-effective solution for those that have several pets, like Nicola Freeman from Surrey, who has two Kunekune pigs who live in a field behind her home and three dogs - a Labrador Pointer, a Patterdale Terrier and a Cocker Spaniel.
Nicola says Homesitters Ltd work hard to match the right homesitters to the right home and if they get on well, they try to arrange for the same homesitter to return each time so they are familiar with the home and pets and can build a relationship with them.
Nicola says, “People may think that using a homesitter is an expensive option, but I think it’s good value for money. If you consider the cost of putting three dogs in kennels and paying someone to come and feed the pigs, the cost is very reasonable. You also have the peace of mind that someone is looking after your home too should something happen. With a homesitter you know what you’re coming home to and that is incredibly reassuring.”
Alan Irvine adds, “We have homesitters throughout the UK so if anyone is still unsure who will look after their pets this Christmas we highly recommend getting in touch sooner rather than later.
“We always arrange for homesitters to meet clients and their pets prior to the assignment, to run through the pet’s routine and where everything is in the home. This is reassuring for both clients and homesitters and ensures everything goes smoothly.”
For more information and to book a homesitter this festive season visit www.homesitters.co.uk
About Homesitters Ltd
Homesitters Ltd was established in 1980 and is now the UK’s leading nationwide live-in home and pet sitting company, available throughout the year. It has looked after 100,000 plus bookings and has an extensive network of employees throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
All homesitters are meticulously vetted and are conscientious, sensible and responsible homeowners. Many have been pet owners and have experience looking after all different types of animals. It’s tantamount to the outstanding reputation and professionalism of the company that 70% of new clients re-book with Homesitters within two years and many have been clients since the 1980s.