Articles to help you learn more about international pet and house sitting

Interested in finding an in-home, non-paid pet/house sitter or becoming one yourself?  Here are a few articles we've written to help you get a better understanding about in-home, non-paid pet and house sitting.

If you're leaving town for a few days, it's easy to ask a friend or neighbor to stop by and feed and care for your dog.  But what if you want to take an extended vacation, visit your family in another country, or go on a 10-day honeymoon? 

The stress of finding either a qualified boarding kennel or a sitter is like trying to find a great daycare for your children.  While there are wonderful boarding kennels, you often hear and read horror stories about kennels where pets have suffered abuse or contracted transmittable diseases.  Not to mention the stress your dog suffers being in a strange environment.

I'd much rather be in my own home and bed!!!

Even the Humane Society of the United States identifies the "potential drawbacks" to using a boarding kennel.  They caution:

  The stress related to staying in an unfamiliar environment.

   The proximity to other pets who may expose your pet to health problems.

The difficulty of finding a kennel that accepts pets other than dogs and cats.


 The inconvenience of the drive over, which can be especially hard on a pet easily stressed by car travel.


If you still are interested in using a boarding kennel, versus free in-home pet sitting, you might want to read the entire Humane Society article "Choosing a Boarding Kennel."

Another excellent article on pet sitter versus boarding kennel was written by cat behaviorist and star of Psycho Kitty Pam Johnson-Bennett.  She writes, "For some cats, being placed in a boarding kennel, no matter how well run, is terrifying.  Don't get me wrong, there are some state-of-the-art boarding facilities that look better than many of the hotel rooms I've stayed in, but typically for a cat, nothing beats the familiarity of home."  You can read her entire article "Pet Sitter or Boarding Kennel?  Which One is Right for Your Cat? "


1)  Your pet gets to sleep in their own bed, in their own home

2) Your pet won't come in contact with other dogs who may be sick

3) Your pet will be cared for by animal-loving, responsible individuals.  For example, we owned our own pets for 25 plus years before doing non-paid in-home pet sitting.  We LOVE cats and dogs.  In fact the hardest part of doing pet-sitting is leaving our new found friends at the end of the sit.

4) You'll get photos and e-mails from the pet sitter showing how much fun Fido is having while you are away on your trip or vacation.  No boarding kennel is going to do that!

5.  You don't have to vaccinate your dog (even though some boarding kennels do this for you,) you can avoid additional vaccinations if the dog is living in their own "home"

6.  You don't have to worry about your dog catching fleas

7. You don't have to pay the in-home pet sitter anything -- thereby completely eliminating the expense of a boarding kennel

8.  Your pet will receive lots of attention and get to play with his/her favorite toy

9.  Your pet stays on its unique feeding schedule
An in-house sitter will more easily be able to detect any changes in behavior that might indicate an illness

10.  Your pet sitter has information on your veterinarian, so should an emergency arise, your pet will be cared for the vet who already knows your pet's medical history.  Plus the sitter will be with your pet at all times and will be much more aware of any changes in their eating habits, potty habits, energy levels, etc.


DISCLOSURE:  In the spirit of full disclosure, this page contain an affiliate link, which means that we may get a commission if you decide to join TrustedHousesitters.  We only recommend them because we are paying members ourselves and love the many worldwide listings we receive from them every day, so we know you’ll benefit as well.

If you're a retiree, you too can travel the world by house and pet sitting.

We've snorkeled in the pristine beaches of Anguilla in the Caribbean for three months and rode horseback on the pure white beaches.  We celebrated Las Fallas festival in Spain.  We fulfilled a life-long dream of seeing koalas and kangaroos during a three month long sit in Australia.  We walked on an active volcano in New Zealand.  We cheered as 550 hot air balloons took off in the Albuquerque balloon fiesta during a three month house sit in New Mexico and, after years of dreaming about it, we attended the Rose Parade in Pasadena on New Year's Day.  We were in awe at the Easter celebration on the streets of Lorca, Spain.  All of these experiences thanks to house/pet sitting.

Yes, we are responsible for getting ourselves to the house sit, but once there, we enjoy free accommodations, allowing us to spend more time in these cities and countries that we ever could afford.  It's a life style that's perfectly suited for retirees who have a passion for travel, who love pets and have time to give to the communities where they are sitting.

You can travel as much or as little as you want.  House sits vary from as short as a weekend to 3, 6 or 12 months or longer.

To get started, join one of the well-established online websites like  Trusted Housesitters (US)  where you'll find new listings every day in places like France, Australia, Hong Kong, Caribbean, New Zealand, the US, Dubai, etc.  Work hard at writing your profile to convey your personality and why you are particularly well suited to handle a house and/or pet sitting assignment.  We pay for membership with four other house and pet sitting websites including,, and

Some of them offer a daily e-alert where you receive the newest house sitting opportunities directly to your e-mail.  It's a great way to see the latest sits....and get a jump start on applying.

For other tips, click on Travel the World. 


DISCLOSURE:  In the spirit of full disclosure, this page contain an affiliate link, which means that we may get a commission if you decide to join TrustedHousesitters.  We only recommend them because we are paying members ourselves and love the many worldwide listings we receive from them every day, so we know you’ll benefit as well.

You're going to have a stranger in your home for months?  Responsible for both your home and your pet(s)?  Are you crazy?  That's often the first thought people have when it comes to international house/pet sitting.  The prospect of a "stranger"  in your home may seem daunting, but if you do your due-diligence, you'll find that it can be the best solution for both you and your pet.

Here are a few tips to consider:

1)   Join a reputable house/pet sitting website

While the websites can't guarantee the quality of the house/pet sitter you engage, you have access to literally thousands of potential pet and house sitters.  You can see their profiles and read their references.  That affords you a greater degree of protection versus "advertising" for a pet sitter on a site like Craig's List.  Sites like Trusted Housesitters (US)allow you to post your house/pet sit confidentially, meaning you do not have to disclose your name or address.  It's only after you agree to engage with a potential sitter do you share that information.  While there is a fee to join, membership allows you the ability to post your pet and/or house sit and have access to thousands of qualified sitters who, like us, don't charge for their service.  The membership fee is minimal in comparison to the cost of boarding or paying for pet sitting....especially if you're going to be away for any long period of time.

2)  Select your top 2-3 potential sitters

Oftentimes you'll get inundated with responses.  Take the time to read the responses and profiles.  Have the home/pet sitters responded to your specific needs?  If you need someone who can give insulin shots to your pet, did they include that in their response?  If you need someone to care for your salt water swimming pool, do they have that experience?  Be sure you understand if the potential sitters are doing the sit for free or if they charge for their service.  The far majority of sitters on these web sites -- like us -- do not charge for their services.

3)  Skype with your top 2-3 potential sitters

Skype is a wonderful way to "meet" the potential home/pet sitter "face-to-face." Within a few minutes, you'll be able to tell if it's a good fit or not.

4)  Contact references

Ask the potential sitters for references

While there should be current and multiple references on the sitter's profile page, you can also ask for e-mail addresses and/or phone numbers so that you can do a more detailed follow up.  Serious pet/house sitters will willingly provide this information to you.  In addition, you can request of the house sitter a copy of their Police Check.  This is used frequently in Australia and Canada.  Serious house sitters should have a copy showing that they have a clean record.

5)  Select your house sitter

Make your final decision and inform the other candidates of your decision.  At this point, be sure to remove your listing from the housesitting website so that you don't continue to receive responses from interested sitters.  Confirm the exact date you want the house sitter to arrive.  Typically we arrive a day or two early so that we have time to get comfortable with the home and the pet's routines. 

6)  Stay in touch

If the housesit is several months away, continue to stay in touch either via e-mail or Skype so that both parties are comfortable with their commitment to each other.  Share travel and flight plans with each other. 

Can things go wrong?  Sure.  But if you do your due-diligence you will find many very professional, qualified house/pet sitters, including responsible retirees who like us will provide loving care of your home and pet(s) no cost.

DISCLOSURE:  In the spirit of full disclosure, this page contain an affiliate link, which means that we may get a commission if you decide to join TrustedHousesitters.  We only recommend them because we are paying members ourselves and love the many worldwide listings we receive from them every day, so we know you’ll benefit as well.


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Comments or questions? New Thread  

Thread Started Thread Title Comments

by Kathy
Thank you

Thank you! I have wondered about this type of opportunity since retiring. Since I love dogs and travel this seems like an excellent option for me. You did a great job answering my unasked questions. I will sign up soon and hope to encourage ...


by Howdy
Great Site

really enjoyed the site