These frequently asked questions about pet sitting will help you to find out everything you need to know to start house and pet sitting.

What is the difference between a Pet Sitter and a House Sitter?

Basically Pet Sitting and House Sitting are the same thing except you don’t have any animals to look after when House Sitting. 

With both Pet Sitting and House Sitting you stay in the persons home and look after their house for them. Depending on their requirements they may ask you to look after their garden or pool etc. as well as any pets that they might own.

While it is everyone’s dream assignment to supervise an empty house and occasionally clean the pool you will find that pet sitting assignments are a lot more common than house sitting assignments. For shorter holidays most homeowners find that their pool and garden are generally able to look after themselves!

Will I get paid?

No, generally house and pet sitters do not get paid. House-sitting is normally a free exchange of services, with each party benefiting from the exchange. You receive free accommodation in exchange for the loving care that you will give to someone’s home, pets and garden.

How do I know if pet sitting is right for me?

Take this easy ‘should I do house or pet sitting quiz?‘ to find out if pet sitting is right for you.

What if something breaks when I am pet sitting? Am I insured?

The insurance policy of the homeowner should provide cover to any accidental damage to a property while you are there. However, this should be one of the questions you ask of the homeowner during the application process.

You should also see what insurance protection is provided by your house sitting site:

As a member of Trusted Housesitters, we provide an insurance backed guarantee that keeps homeowners covered throughout the duration they have a sitter in their home. It offers cover for a number of circumstances such as accidental damage, theft, and loss.

Trusted House Sitters

What happens if the pet becomes ill while I’m looking after it?

Before your pet sitting family go away on holiday you should have a discussion with them via Skype/email etc. to find out what to do if their pet becomes ill. You should also find out what arrangements have been made to pay any pet bills that occur while they are away.

In case of an emergency, and the vet is closed, you should be aware of what service is provided to you by your pet sitting site. We use Trusted House Sitters and they provide expert veterinary advice through a free 24/7 Vet Advice Line.

Click here to receive a 25% discount when you sign up with Trusted House Sitters.
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As a house-sitter, can I invite friends or family into the home?

House-sitters should always assume no that they cannot bring friends or family into the home. 

Some homeowners may make exceptions to this, but whatever the situation, you should always seek permission from the homeowner prior to inviting any of your friends or family to visit or stay with you.  

How do I know what the homeowner wants me to do?

The homeowner should provide detailed expectations when they advertise for a house sitter. If this still is not clear then you should ask for additional information throughout the application process.

Before you accept the house sitting assignment, you need to be aware of whether the animal/s needs to be supervised constantly or can be left alone for a few hours at a time.

You also should be aware of the feeding and exercise routines as well as any medical requirements. Some owners want their animal walked or fed three times a day whereas others are happy if the animal is given a long walk in the morning and evening then left on its own in the middle of the day.

What is generally expected of a house-sitter?

A house sitter should treat the home they are staying in with the utmost respect at all times. Basically, the house should be in a better condition when you leave than when you arrived.

Before they leave, you should check with the homeowner and get them to clarify any requirements they have to avoid any misunderstanding. At a minimum, you should make sure you have washed any towels or bedlinen that you used and folded them neatly. You should also sweep or vacuum any rooms that you used as well as clean the bathroom and kitchen.

At no time should you invade the private space of the homeowner.

If you would like to learn more about house sitting you should read the beginner’s guide to house and pet sitting.


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Do you have any more questions about pet sitting? Leave a comment below and I will add them to the FAQ about Pet Sitting.