The most rewarding things about being a homesitter
Posted on 20 November, 2017
There are many reasons people choose to become homesitters. Some do it because they want to explore more of the UK or just like spending time with animals. For others it’s a way to keep busy and active in retirement and a chance to meet new people.
Interestingly, according to our own research earlier this year, it’s having a little adventure that is attracting many retired females to take on the role. Our research highlighted that a growing number of women are becoming homesitters to stay in a variety of different locations, travel and explore the UK.
While seeing more of the UK is a huge appeal, so does looking after animals. 72% said that looking after people’s pets was the biggest perk of the job. Cats and dogs are the pets homesitters are mostly likely to look after, but some assignments can involve looking after more unusual animals such as pigs, donkeys, goats, bearded dragons and even poisonous tree frogs!
Keeping fit is also a priority for many older people who become homesitters. Walking dogs or simply having the opportunity to get out and about exploring a new area can give people the excuse they need.
Other top benefits include the chance to break away from the usual routine and to stay in nice homes, and the majority say they appreciate the extra income home and pet sitting provides for their retirement.
One couple, Paula and Gavin Rose from Dorset, both 51 years old, became homesitters over three years ago when they no longer needed to work full time and wanted to try something new.
Paula says, “We wanted a lifestyle change - to live in different parts of the country and meet new people and we researched different ways to do this. We discovered Homesitters Ltd and it sounded perfect. We love animals and are keen walkers, and being a homesitter involves travel and the new experiences we were looking for.”
They take on around 12 assignments a year, varying in length from three or four days to a month at a time. They usually look after dogs and cats although they’ve also looked after chickens and a tortoise, and one of their assignments involved working at a hedgehog sanctuary.
The job involved feeding rescued hedgehogs that were sick and injured and weighing them to check they were progressing well. Once the hedgehogs recovered they were reintroduced to their natural habitat.
“It was a really interesting homesit” said Paula, “we enjoyed learning to handle and care for the hedgehogs, it’s not often you get to see these little creatures close up and we took great pleasure in helping with their recovery.”
Paula and Gavin prefer to be in the country rather than a town, and many of the homes they stay in are surrounded by land or woodlands where they enjoy walking. Sometimes, there are swimming pools and table football or pool tables, so there is always something to do whatever, the weather.
Paula recalled one of her favourite homes, “It was like staying in a National Trust property, the gardens were very well kept and beautifully laid out, there were ponds and statues. It was such a pleasure to stay in that beautiful setting.”
We are currently recruiting so if you’re interested in finding out more about home and pet sitting please click here or call us on 01296 630 730.