loader image
House sitting UK: 6 lessons learnt (and ‘must dos’ for YOU)

House sitting UK: 6 lessons learnt (and ‘must dos’ for YOU)

It’s been over six months since we set off on our house sitting UK adventure. We’ve explored terrific destinations in the UK through house sitting, including London, Northampton, the Cotswolds, Bedfordshire and soon Devon and the Sussex coast.

We’ve loved house sitting in the UK, and we’ve also been to Malta, France and Ireland.

House sitting UK: 6 lessons learnt

Leave the toilet seat down!

You hear stories about dogs drinking out of the toilet, right? One night we were sound asleep but awoken at 1am.

“Can you hear a noise, is that an intruder?” I asked panicked (but still tucked into bed)

“I’m not sure… do you think I should check?” asks Cooper, as we hear again… what is that?

“Slurp, slurp, slurp…” 😆

Our beautiful shepherd, Luna, couldn’t be bothered going downstairs to her bowl. Our lesson? Close the toilet lid! It’s true – dogs DO drink from the toilet.

Luna in Northampton on our dog sit where we learnt a house and pet sitting lesson...

Never forget poo bags

We find poo bags in all or pockets now. It’s pretty funny. The bags always come in handy, of course. But what about the one occasion you forget to take them?

In Northampton we had simply popped out to the corner store. When I was inside gathering supplies, Cooper was walking Luna (pictured above) around the block and having a little play with her. You guessed it – she chose this very time to do her business.

And it was no small matter!

Cooper scrounged around to find cardboard and resources to clean up after Luna, but it wasn’t pretty, oh no.

Hence, poo bags in every pocket since that time.

 

Watch what your dog eats

I’m sorry, this seems to have turned into a post about toilets and dogs’ business. You see, we took care of another gorgeous pup, Teal. A Springer Spaniel – about the best behaved and most affectionate creature you’d ever meet. But Teal has a secret.

Teal eats poo. In the depths of fields around the Cotswolds, this innocent pooch will grab a ‘snack’ the second you turn away. At first I thought Cooper was exaggerating because he spotted this, er, behaviour first. I didn’t believe him. Not our lovely Teal.

However, when I turned around after being engaged in conversation with a fellow dog walker, I saw it. Oh Teal. Perhaps he needed some nutrients that are in there?

Whatever the case, we were reminded that dogs are like kids. Keep an eye on them at all times 🐶

 

👉Find out how we got started pet sitting in London

Be mindful of how you’re using treats

We took care of a precious little old man called Monty. He was such a beautiful old soul. A 15 year old Jack Russell, for the most part he was super easy to look after. Except he suffered major senior separation anxiety.

When we arrived he seemed ok, but once his parents left he wouldn’t leave his bed or hid under theirs. It broke our hearts. We kept an eye on him over the 12 hours to come, and we even called TrustedHousesitters pet line for guidance to make sure we were doing all the right things, which we were.

For anxiety, we’ve discovered we need to give dogs in this scenario their space. It’s beneficial for them to be in their own home. If they are not sleeping or eating, then you should contact a vet. One thing we had going for us was that Monty liked his food. We used this to try and coax him to love us 💖 We even got him downstairs by laying out a cheese trail – his favourite treat.

After a while though, we realised we were using treats in the wrong way – we were reinforcing his behaviour to stay in his bed or hide from us. We’d give him treats for it! Instead, we switched it around – gave him treats for coming to us and we got him outside on walks which cheered him right up. Our lesson: consider what kind of behaviour you’re rewarding with treats, or are you giving them to make you feel better?

We’ve shared more on this in our video guides 👇

 

Close doors and check where your pets can go

House sitting in the UK brought many lessons our way. When we took care of Blue, a senior Lurcher doggie in London, we’d been told where in the house he could go. It was pretty much everywhere except the bedrooms. What we didn’t realise is that’s exactly where he’d try to go. Some of the door handles weren’t shut properly and we discovered this after he went missing twice. Blue managed to break into the rooms, have a nap on his siblings’ beds but then got locked in, bless him!

Our Luna in Northampton was known to break into the fridge and eat all the meat, so we had to lock the door to the kitchen if we went out. Luna’s also actually unlocked the front door to go in search of her family 💕 So, we needed to deadbolt it for her own safety from the busy street outside.

A special mention must go to Harley in Dublin who knew how to follow you into the toilet, jump up on the sink and drink water while you wash your hands. His mum said that is entirely his father’s fault for teaching him 🤣

 

Learn to share your personal space

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Travel | Blog | Vlog (@cooperdawson1) on

Polly and Darcy ☝ haven’t been the only babies to want in on our private space. Pretty much all dogs and cats, once they get to know you, will want to be with you – or on top of you, in bed with you…

But you know what – that’s the bit we love the most. If you don’t, then this gig probably isn’t for you.

 

 

Find out more practical tips about house and pet sitting as you travel the world: subscribe to our newsletter for a FREE guide on how you can travel the world house and pet sitting. 

And of course – questions/comments are appreciated below 😸

 

 

House sitting Gold Coast – a surfers state of mind

House sitting Gold Coast – a surfers state of mind

House sitting on the Gold Coast is for many a total Aussie beach-side dream! The Gold Coast is a place Cooper and I consider home – let us show you how to experience it too.

The city is beautiful with many different waterfront suburbs you can explore. If you’re coming to Australia, don’t skip Queensland, how regrettable.

Here’s a quick guide to house sitting Gold Coast and why you might want to apply to come here now!

House sitting Gold Coast – where to start

We’ve been booking our house sits around the world with TrustedHousesitters and we’ve had a wonderful experience so far. It’s taken us to different parts of the UK and Europe.

And you can come to Australia too!

Find out how we got started with house sitting.

 

 

How to get house and pet sitting jobs

Scoring house and pet sitting jobs can be competitive. But with a little bit of strategy you’ll be on the right track and headed for your dream destination in no time.

Here’s our top tips to get you started:

 

We’ve also produced a guide to dog care if you’re keen to take care of fur babies, like we are. Have a read here

 

House sitting Gold Coast

 

About the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast offers you the best of beach side paradise and also Hinterland rainforest. There’s plenty to see and do on the Gold Coast. Learn to surf, go shopping, people-watch while enjoying a coffee. Gold Coasters enjoy an active lifestyle, so if you enjoy the outdoors, this might be the place for you. To find out more about what’s going on in Australia’s sixth largest (and one of its fastest growing) cities, have a read of local magazine, Get it

Capital city Brisbane is just up the road. Here’s a snap shot on how to house sit in Brissy too.

 

Where to stay on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is an aspirational destination and there’s no doubt you’ll love it. Sandy white beaches, cool restaurants and plenty to see and do – you’re spoilt for choice. Transport links have improved vastly over the past five years too, but some areas are still not that well connected.

If you do not have a car I’d suggest basing yourself somewhere along the new tram line that runs from Helensvale into Surfers Paradise. Or, along the train line that runs between Brisbane, Helensvale and Coolangatta.

Our favourite suburbs on the Gold Coast include Coolangatta, Burleigh, Varsity Lakes, Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise and Nobbys Beach.

Find out more about what to do on the Gold Coast.

 

Before committing to a sit, ask a few questions like:

a) Is the house sit in the city, or outside of the Gold Coast? What suburb are they in?

b) What are your nearest transport links, how long does it take to get to your nearest shopping centre, beach or central area with things to do; and how much does that cost?

c) If you don’t have a car, how easy is it to get groceries?

d) Where would you take your dogs to play (if you’re caring for dogs)?

e) What is there to do in the area if you want to go exploring?

f) If you need to work while you’re house sitting like we do, what’s the internet connection like?

If the answers to these questions satisfy your needs, you’re likely to be good to go. That said, any reservations (in particular if you’re without transport), be mindful about where you are signing up for. Don’t get stuck somewhere that’s difficult to get around.

You may like to walk places, but also remember Australia gets HOT, so an hour’s walk somewhere might not be viable.

 

Always check reviews on a house sit if there are any. And do please feel free to drop us a line in the comments if you would like any advice.

 

 

House sitting Brisbane – live in the Sunshine State!

House sitting Brisbane – live in the Sunshine State!

House sitting in Brisbane is a wonderful way to get acquainted with Queensland’s beautiful capital city. Cooper and I lived here a long time ago, and I went to Uni here. The city has really grown up since then. Don’t skip Queensland if you’re coming to Australia, whatever you do 🌞

Here’s a quick guide to house sitting Brisbane and how to make it work for you.

House sitting in Brisbane – where to start

We’ve been booking our house sits around the world with TrustedHousesitters and have had a wonderful experience so far. It’s taken us to different parts of the UK and Europe.

And you can come to Australia too!

Find out how we got started with house sitting.

 

 

How to get house and pet sitting jobs

This business is competitive, but if you are armed with a strategy, you’ll be booking house sits in no time.

A side note: most sits do not pay. This is an exchange for free accommodation in return for you looking after pets and homes as if they are your own.

Top tips to get you started:

 

👉Our guide to dog care might be of interest to you too. Have a read here

 

House sitting Brisbane - live in the Sunshine State!

About Brisbane

Brisbane doesn’t disappoint. It’s a contemporary city that sprawls along the beautiful Brisbane river.

The city is stylish and pretty. It’s brimming with great shopping, restaurants, theatre, shows, and fitness options too. We love walking all the way along the river – there are now dedicated pathways you can take around the city. It’s our favourite way to spend time.

Find out more about what’s on in Brisbane.

The nearest beaches are on the Gold Coast – you can also look for house sits there!

 

Where to stay in Brisbane

Brisbane is spread out. It’s a capital city though, and as such, the transport links are decent if you don’t have a car. The buses and trains aren’t as frequent as some places in the UK or Europe, but that’s to be expected.

Our favourite suburbs in Brisbane would be those in the inner city. If you’re lucky enough to find something within walking distance of the river, or Southbank, you’d be set. But, Brisbane is a lovely, interesting and multicultural city where you can make a home just about anywhere.

 

House and pet sits can be almost anywhere in a city. We’d suggest asking a few questions first:

a) Is the house sit in the city, or outside of Brisbane? What suburb are they in?

b) What are your nearest transport links, how long does it take to get to your nearest shopping centre or Brisbane city, and how much does it cost?

c) If you don’t have a car, how easy is it to get groceries?

d) Where would you take your dogs to play (if you’re caring for dogs)?

e) What is there to do in the area if you want to go exploring?

f) If you need to work while you’re house sitting like we do, what’s the internet connection like?

If the answers to these questions satisfy your needs, you’re likely to be good to go. That said, any reservations (in particular if you’re without transport), be mindful about where you are signing up for. Find yourself a house sit where it’s easy to get around both the area and city.

Always check reviews on a house sit if there are any. And do please feel free to drop us a line in the comments if you would like any advice.