When you're away from home, the pets miss you and keeping routines as close to normal as possible for them will go a long way toward their happiness in your absence.
The very best option for pet care while you travel is a friend or family member that can come and stay with them ... but families and friends are often busy with their own lives and it's not always possible for them to make the level of commitment that beloved pets need, especially if you travel often or for more than a week at a time.
Hiring a professional sitter to come in daily or live-in is an option, but that gets rather expensive and it's impractical for long term vacations.
You can ask your dog or cat what she thinks of the kennel ... but, I think we already know the answer to that.
The other side of this is that there are scads of reliable individuals and couples who will happily come into your home and look after your pets ... or plants ... or just the house if that's what you want. And - here's the best part - They'll do it for FREE!
Some do it to save money, some for the adventure, others are artists, authors and photographers seeking inspiration but most are travelers who want more than the quasi culture that the all-inclusive vacation has to offer.
These folks are registered house sitters that will come and look after Fido and Fluffy and even farm animals in exchange for being able to stay in your home and explore your little piece of the world.
They choose places they'd like to experience and trade a little pet & home care for a place to live in a region or country that interests them.
The hardest part for you is choosing just one from the vast selection of capable people. Here's how it works.
Start with a reputable business like House Carers or Trusted Housesitters where they have huge databases of pet owners looking for care givers as well as those looking for sitting opportunities.
These sites are hubs where you can "meet" prospective sitters, check references and see what previous pet owners have to say about them.
Scroll through the lists of people willing to sit in your area. Most sites will allow a certain amount of access without requiring you to sign up. Additionally at Trusted House Sitters you can even start a profile for free and only pay a fee when you've found the sitter of your dreams. It's very interesting to see the array of unique profiles.
They've been around since 2000 securely matching sitters with sits around the globe.
When you publish your ad it will be sent only to registered sitters who match the criteria you've set out in your ad. They'll begin contacting you the following day through the site so that your personal information remains secure until you decide to disclose it.
If you're not ready to register yet click on "Find a house sitter" and check out the huge list of sitters available.
With such a large database of people who are looking for placements you'll want to narrow down the prospects. Decide approximately which age group you're looking at and whether you want a couple or single. Browse through the listings and prepare to be amazed at the diversity of people who are eager to come and take care of your pets.
If you're looking for someone who will be available in the future on an intermittent basis here's how to make them want to keep coming back.
Once you find a pet sitter that you and your pets adore you'll be able to relax and enjoy your time away. And you may never have to go looking again.