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How to house sit with your own pet

How to house sit with your own pet

If you’re keen to get back on the travel trail but don’t want to leave your best mate behind, here, find out exactly how to house sit with your own pet! Nicky and her husband Andy travel full time in their campervan around the UK and Europe, and their beautiful Spanish rescue dog, Gus, tags along for the ride.

They now apply for house and pet sits with their dog, which for some pet sitters, feels really complicated. But, if you’re keen to give it a go, take heed of Nicky’s invaluable advice on how they – in the first place – score sits with Gus; and also, the benefits he brings the dogs they are sitting for!
 

Nicky’s top tips on how to house sit with your own pet

As an avid house and pet sitter who has experienced opportunities across the UK and Europe, Nicky advises anyone coming into the business to really have a good think about what type of sits you want. She also says, start now – start in your own city. This advice echoes what past guests, Kate and Dave, shared as their top tips. Have a read here.
 

Rescuing a dog on the road

While sitting in Spain, Nicky came across an animal shelter that – of course – had a dog waiting for his new furever home. As it turns out, they met Gus, “the perfect dog” for them. He was two and had been born in the shelter. A black dog, he had struggled to be discovered for a new home. This happens frequently for both cats and dogs in Europe, unfortunately due to a very old superstition around black animals being unlucky.  

Gus has proven to be quite the opposite: he’s their four pawed travelling best friend.

Nicky took her time introducing Gus to the lifestyle though, so he’d be comfortable. It’s an important lesson for all of us, especially anyone rescuing a dog – give them time and the proper space to understand and feel comfortable in their new environment.
 

House and pet sitting with your dog

Once settled, this trio picked up travelling and house sitting again.

Nicky said one of her best pieces of advice is to ensure your profile on house and pet sitting sites makes it very very clear – front and centre – that you’re travelling with your fur baby.

“The top of our profile clearly says, Nicky, Andy and Gus 🐾”, and in her applications she reinforces, “thank you for considering all of us”.

Another great idea – she’s encouraged the homeowners writing a review to please include a reference to Gus in the review, once again, to reinforce the benefits he’s brought to the sit, and how easy it was for him to be included. This tip was also mentioned by Laura who doesn’t travel and house sit with a dog, but her family of four :) Find out more about house and pet sitting as a family.
 

Finding the right sit for you and your dog

Nicky says that she does do a lot more work now to choose house sits that are right for both she and Andy, and especially Gus. It’s obviously worthwhile in order to score those perfect sits though.

If a profile states that a dog doesn’t get on with other dogs, then of course she will not apply. She says, prioritise your pet when applying for sits – set your boundaries. Some homeowners are so keen to have you as a sitter, that they’ll say “Yes, come along!”, when, the match for Gus and the dogs on the ground, wasn’t right. Be selective in location and situation in terms of other animals there.

Despite the bit extra work around sifting through available house sits and applying for those that match their bigger picture, Nicky reports that they’re in demand! They’re booked 12 months in advance! In fact, they get plenty of repeat business from families whose pets loved the sits with Gus.
 

Travel and house sitting

“Travel is the ability to see other places and immerse yourself in a new culture”, says Nicky. But she stresses that in an application for a sit, they’ll highlight that the pets come first. Importantly, that they plan to be present, and love the pets as if they are their own.

The beautiful thing about pairing ‘travel’ and ‘house sitting’ is that you can live like a local. You can see places you might never have visited had it not been for the house sit! And, you’re constantly reminded of the good in people. That is, inherent kindness despite what we may see on the news.

It’s also wonderful to have the chance to see what the Universe presents and to go with the flow. “It’s wonderful how things inevitably align,” marvels Nicky. We agree.

 

🐕Click here to subscribe on your favourite podcast service

Freedom and Four Paws

Join us on our podcasting adventures as we hear inspiring stories from amazing people travelling the world. They’re living their best life, often with their pets in tow!

In this episode of Freedom and Four Paws, discover how being a dog owner yourself, can add value to applying for gigs as a house sitter where there are other dogs. Nicky is brimming with excellent advice for house and pet sitting with your own dog.

Listen for additional tips on travelling in Europe and being mindful of what visas and health certificates you may need. 

Watch the episode for their complete story and advice. Or listen on your favourite podcast service, search ‘Freedom and Four Paws’.

Find our guest, Nicky, on Facebook and Instagram, @retired.and.inspired2020

~

👉🏻Subscribe now and never miss an episode featuring excellent tips on how to slow travel, successfully work remotely or as a digital nomad, and house + pet sit. We’re on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google podcasts or your favourite podcasting app. Search ‘Freedom and Four Paws’

Freedom and Four Paws is brought to you by Travel Live Learn.com.

As a valued audience member, enjoy 10% OFF at our affiliate partner Cloudy – relieve stress throughout the day straight to a soothing sleep at night, visit trycloudy.com and use the code FREEDOM10.

And if you’re a fellow traveller and pet lover who is keen to share your story and inspire the world, visit exhalemediagroup.com and mention FREEDOM20 for 20% OFF any purchased service including personalised storytelling coaching.

WATCH: Find out more about house sitting while you travel, view the playlist on YouTube

SIGN UP: TO TRUSTED HOUSE SITTERS HERE AND ENJOY 25% OFF! It’s on our VIP mailing list, including other freebies.

SUBSCRIBE: on YouTube for more adventures youtube.com/travellivelearn


 

 

Family house sitting

Family house sitting

From homeless to world wide travel, world schooling and family house sitting. Meet Laura and her family from ‘Forever Family Forever Free’. They’ve been travelling, house and pet sitting as a family of four for six years. This inspiring family has also published a book on their experience called Creatively Homeless. Their story is incredible and while they did initially find they were a little ‘judged’ by family and friends for dropping the 9-to-5, they’re now the envy of all they meet. 

Family house sitting: how to

Laura shares how you don’t have to be a millionaire to take on a life of travel and freedom. They’ve dug their way out of a life of debt, to a life of adventure and free thinking. Laura wants everyone to take away from this conversation that you don’t have to wait for things to be ‘perfect’ before pursuing your dreams – go for it now!

Find our guest, Laura, online at foreverfamilyforeverfree.com and follow on Instagram 

 

 

🐕Click here to subscribe on your favourite podcast service

Freedom and Four Paws

Join us on our podcasting adventures as we hear inspiring stories from amazing people travelling the world. They’re living their best life, often with their pets in tow!

👉🏻Subscribe now and never miss an episode featuring excellent tips on how to slow travel, successfully work remotely or as a digital nomad, and house + pet sit. We’re on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google podcasts or your favourite podcasting app. Search ‘Freedom and Four Paws’

As a valued audience member, enjoy 10% OFF at our affiliate partner Cloudy – relieve stress throughout the day straight to a soothing sleep at night, visit trycloudy.com and use the code FREEDOM10.

And if you’re a fellow traveller and pet lover who is keen to share your story and inspire the world, visit exhalemediagroup.com and mention FREEDOM20 for 20% OFF any purchased service including personalised storytelling coaching.

WATCH: Find out more about house sitting while you travel, view the playlist on YouTube

SIGN UP: TO TRUSTED HOUSE SITTERS HERE AND ENJOY 25% OFF! It’s on our VIP mailing list, including other freebies.

SUBSCRIBE: on YouTube for more adventures youtube.com/travellivelearn


 

 

House sitting and retirement – 9 years of freedom

House sitting and retirement – 9 years of freedom

Kate and Dave share an inspired story with us about house sitting and retirement. They actually retired early and for 9 years have been living a travelling life. They discovered house and pet sitting a year into their travels, and since that time they’ve done more than 40 house sits! Their house sitting and early retirement travel story is filled with inspiration and colour: so much so, Kate is now penning her second book on the experience!

Kate’s first book on house sitting as a way to travel in retirement, Call it Wonder, documents their decision to embrace a life on the road all those years ago. Her upcoming book, Other People’s Houses will share their experiences and tips for anyone else who wants to follow in their freedom-filled footsteps.

In our exciting pilot episode of Freedom and Four Paws, discover what Kate and Dave advise is the best approach for securing your dream house sits, how to make the most of house sitting and early retirement and how to stand out as a pet sitter.

 

🐕Click here to subscribe on your favourite podcast service

 

Top house sitting and retirement tips from Kate and Dave:

On their very first house sit they cared for 40 animals! They laughed and told Cooper and I that it was a great experience, but one they wouldn’t repeat. The lesson they learnt (and we’ve had the same experience), is that as a pet sitter, you can be discerning about the situation you end up in. If 40 animals is too much for you, that’s ok.

Similarly, if you don’t like dogs sleeping in the bed with you and that’s a requirement of the house sit, you should feel free to say, ‘No thank you, this sit isn’t for me’, and choose another assignment. On a side note – make sure you do that before you accept – never commit and back away unless you really need to.

Discovering house and pet sits

Kate and Dave, nine years in, now use a few methods to find their next house and pet sit:

 

House sitting 101: safety, communication and when to take a break

During our conversation with Kate and Dave, we touched on the difference between finding your house and pet sits on a paid site that includes reviews, vs free services like on social media. Like our podcast guests, we’re very discerning when it comes to reviews, and find those helpful in determining what kind of sit it is. If there are no reviews however, and it’s direct contact on Facebook, for example, they advised that connection is important. Find a trail of evidence to support the homeowners are who they say they are, and that their premises is legitimate.  

They also advise to “think about what kind of experience you want to have”

  •       how many and what type of animals works for you?
  •       how much of your time should be involved during a sit?
  •       ask the right questions, for example, we’ve learnt to ask both ‘has you dog bitten anyone?’ as well as, ‘has your dog ever nipped anyone?’
  •       does the pet(s) require special medication, how is that administered?
  •       and where do the pets sleep?”

It’s competitive out there, so start house and pet sitting in your own area to build experience and reviews before launching into international stays.

And finally, when you’re on the road, avoid booking back-to-back house sits: ultimately, you are still working to an extent, so take breaks between sits. It makes it easier to travel to your next one without worrying about delays or setbacks too.

“Living a travelling life means we’re so much more adaptable and flexible than we used to be, and I really like that feeling… We’ve learnt to travel light and live a downsized life – it’s so freeing!

Ultimately, this lovely pair reminded us that on your house-sitting adventure, everything is about learning – there are no bad decisions: it’s just part of the journey. You should absolutely set off as soon as you can.

Find our guests, Kate and Dave online: kateevanswriter.com, Instagram @katenomadicwriter and Facebook page Kate Evans Writer.

 

 

Freedom and Four Paws

Join us on our podcasting adventures as we hear inspiring stories from amazing people travelling the world and living their best life, often with their pets in tow.

👉🏻Subscribe now and never miss an episode featuring excellent tips on how to slow travel, successfully work remotely or as a digital nomad, and house + pet sit. We’re on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google podcasts or your favourite podcasting app. Search ‘Freedom and Four Paws’

As a valued audience member, enjoy 10% OFF at our affiliate partner Cloudy – relieve stress throughout the day straight to a soothing sleep at night, visit trycloudy.com and use the code FREEDOM10.

And if you’re a fellow traveller and pet lover who is keen to share your story and inspire the world, visit exhalemediagroup.com and mention FREEDOM20 for 20% OFF any purchased service including personalised storytelling coaching.

WATCH: Find out more about house sitting while you travel, view the playlist on YouTube

SIGN UP: TO TRUSTED HOUSE SITTERS HERE AND ENJOY 25% OFF! It’s on our VIP mailing list, including other freebies.

SUBSCRIBE: on YouTube for more adventures youtube.com/travellivelearn


 

7 digital nomad tips for balance and routine

7 digital nomad tips for balance and routine

A remote work lifestyle for many of us means travelling and working, and we’ve gathered digital nomad tips along the way in our own experience. It all sounds fun, and yeah the lifestyle it is. But it’s easy to fall into ‘holiday mode’, which means no (or less) income! Which led us to thinking about how exactly, we would develop a routine to achieve optimum work/life balance, while still enjoying travelling, developing our creative endeavours, and often, house and pet sitting.

Cooper and I have discovered that routine is critical when trying to maintain a healthy nomad lifestyle. Falling out of a routine means you can quite easily become demotivated. Hence, ‘holiday mode’, which doesn’t pay for this way of life consistently.

While on our travels, we realised our routine (or lack thereof) was letting us down. So, we refined and redefined it, and began again.

Find out what we learnt and did, in this episode of Freedom and Four Paws. 

🐕Click here to subscribe on your favourite podcast service

 

 

Freedom and Four Paws

Join us on our podcasting adventures as we hear inspiring stories from amazing people travelling the world and living their best life, often with their pets in tow.

👉🏻Subscribe now and never miss an episode featuring excellent tips on how to slow travel, successfully work remotely or as a digital nomad, and house + pet sit. We’re on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google podcasts or your favourite podcasting app. Search ‘Freedom and Four Paws’

As a valued audience member, enjoy 10% OFF at our affiliate partner Cloudy – relieve stress throughout the day straight to a soothing sleep at night, visit trycloudy.com and use the code FREEDOM10.

And if you’re a fellow traveller and pet lover who is keen to share your story and inspire the world, visit exhalemediagroup.com and mention FREEDOM20 for 20% OFF any purchased service including personalised storytelling coaching.

WATCH: Find out more about house sitting while you travel, view the playlist on YouTube

SIGN UP: TO TRUSTED HOUSE SITTERS HERE AND ENJOY 25% OFF! It’s on our VIP mailing list, including other freebies.

SUBSCRIBE: on YouTube for more adventures youtube.com/travellivelearn


 

 

13 things house and pet sitters must know

13 things house and pet sitters must know

We have had the chance to house and pet sit in the UK and Europe, for over 20 dogs, two horses and a cat! We’ve learnt a few good things on our travels. Here, we want to share 13 things that you must know if you’re house sitting and pet sitting. Especially important if you’re planning long term travel in this way.

 

Among our 13 things house and pet sitters MUST know:

👉Communication with home and pet owners

👉House rules

👉Action plan if you or your pet are unwell (especially if you are house and pet sitting overseas)

👉Emergency plan for if you get locked out – are all contacts and information stored on your phone… can you access it?

👉Commit to what you’ve agreed to: can you invite friends over; how long should you leave your pets alone for?

👉What to do if you break something, and the best approach to house care

👉Find out about special care measures for anxious, older and rescue dogs

👉The best way to discover the people and place around you.

🐕Click here to subscribe on your favourite podcast service

 

 

Freedom and Four Paws

Join us on our podcasting adventures as we hear inspiring stories from amazing people travelling the world and living their best life, often with their pets in tow.

👉🏻Subscribe now and never miss an episode featuring excellent tips on how to slow travel, successfully work remotely or as a digital nomad, and house + pet sit. We’re on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google podcasts or your favourite podcasting app. Search ‘Freedom and Four Paws’

As a valued audience member, enjoy 10% OFF at our affiliate partner Cloudy – relieve stress throughout the day straight to a soothing sleep at night, visit trycloudy.com and use the code FREEDOM10.

And if you’re a fellow traveller and pet lover who is keen to share your story and inspire the world, visit exhalemediagroup.com and mention FREEDOM20 for 20% OFF any purchased service including personalised storytelling coaching.

WATCH: Find out more about house sitting while you travel, view the playlist on YouTube

SIGN UP: TO TRUSTED HOUSE SITTERS HERE AND ENJOY 25% OFF! It’s on our VIP mailing list, including other freebies.

SUBSCRIBE: on YouTube for more adventures youtube.com/travellivelearn