What qualities do you need to be a good home and pet sitter?

Posted on 28 June, 2022

Homesitters look after people’s homes, possessions and pets when they go away. It’s a role that tends to attract retired people looking for something new to do with their time after they’ve stopped work.

The attractions of the role include having the chance to explore different parts of the UK, spending time caring for pets and enjoying a break away from the usual routine.

So, what does it take to be a good homesitter?

The role requires a high degree of responsibility so homesitters we recruit are trustworthy and responsible. They need to be confident and good communicators as they will be dealing with clients, and other people on their client’s behalf such as gardeners, and other trades people.

Our clients want reliable, easy going and friendly people. They need to feel reassured that they will return to a neat and tidy home and that the homesitter has respected any instructions they leave.

Most of our assignments include looking after pets, so homesitters also need to be animal lovers. In fact, we find that it is often because they love animals that people are attracted to the role in the first place.

Having experience of having a pet or looking after other people’s pets is ideal. Many of our homesitters have lost a pet and decided they would not get another, either because it was too heart breaking for them or they want more freedom. Being a homesitter provides the best of both worlds - the chance to spend time with pets, without the commitment of owning one.

Some clients have unusual pets too and therefore a willingness to learn is essential as not everybody will have experience of all types of animals and clients will have to provide their homesitters with instructions about how to look after the pet (s), which you’ll also be able to discuss during a preliminary visit.

One of our homesitters, who joined us after taking early retirement, is Sharon Payne from Milton Keynes. Before retiring at the age of 55 Sharon talked to a financial adviser who advised her it would be wise to continue earning some money for a while and her friends were worried that she would get fed up if she did not have a job.

She came across Homesitters and thought it sounded the ideal job for her. She would enjoy the travel and spending time with pets whilst earning a modest remuneration.

She says, “I was impressed with the level of detail Homesitters went into in the interview. It may sound like a low-key job, but you are looking after the most important things in people’s lives, apart from their children. Looking after animals with different needs and people’s homes is a responsible job so I appreciated the process I went through to get the job.

“The company is very professional and caring. They carefully match up clients and homesitters, so the right people are assigned to the right assignments. They arrange preliminary meetings for homesitters and clients so they can discuss the brief. They also call homesitters while they are on assignment to check everything is running smoothly. As I home sit alone, I was very reassured by these processes.”

Sharon loves homesitting and one of her memorable assignments was staying in a gorgeous Tudor mansion in Cambridgeshire with landscaped gardens and a swimming pool, and looking after an extremely well behaved dog near Chelmsford who, when he got muddy, would sit by the door and lift his paws one by one for Sharon to wash and wait to be towel dried off before venturing into the house!

She says, “The dogs are all lovely, they tend to follow me everywhere and they all have their own funny ways. I looked after a miniature schnauzer puppy, she was very cute, and I had so much fun with her – and when I went back to look after her again, she remembered me. Her owners are completely besotted with her so while they were away, I sent them pictures of her and told them what we’d been up to each day, which they really appreciated.”

Sharon appreciates the income she receives and has noticed that the job is saving her money. She explains, “It’s not so much about what I earn but what I don’t spend. I have noticed that since I started home sitting my gas, electric and water bills are significantly lower – my water company keeps reducing my monthly payment. I also get a food allowance, so I eat for free while I’m on assignment.”

A keen golfer, she always takes her golf clubs with her to play a few holes if there’s a golf course nearby, and on one assignment the grounds were so large that she was able to practice her swing without leaving the property - and the dog collected all the balls!

Sharon is also a keen photographer and enjoys taking her camera out on walks with the dogs, there’s always something new for her to photograph. She says the day just flies by while she’s on assignment – her friends certainly don’t need to worry about her finding retirement boring!

We are currently recruiting homesitters throughout the UK, so if it sounds like the role for you, please get in touch. You can find out more and apply by clicking here.


Share this: