Author Topic: Have you used trustedhousesitters.com as a home/pet owner?  (Read 574 times)

Unique User

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Have you used trustedhousesitters.com as a home/pet owner?
« on: February 07, 2019, 05:22:30 AM »
We're going away for a week in June and our kennel just raised their prices to $48 per day.  Since we have to do a day on either side, a week will be around $450.  We'd like to pet/house sit once we are living in an RV, so I thought it might be good to test out trustedhousesitters.com from the home/pet owner side.  Any horror stories?  Any advice on what to ask, how to set up?  As far as asking someone we know, I've thought about that and we don't have any family nearby and all our friends have busy lives.   

SKL-HOU

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Re: Have you used trustedhousesitters.com as a home/pet owner?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2019, 10:17:46 AM »
Not that site but I have found my current pet sitter from Rover.com. She comes and stays in my house so technically house and pet sitting. I have never heard of the site you mentioned but I haven't had issues with Rover.

sailinlight

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Re: Have you used trustedhousesitters.com as a home/pet owner?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2019, 10:22:25 AM »
We used it about a year ago to find a young couple to stay in our house and watch our two dogs for about three weeks. It worked out well. We Skyped with each other beforehand to get to know them and show them the house and dogs. I'm not sure I'd use it for a short trip of just a week, since it was quite a bit of effort to handle messages and weed through people who didn't seem like we'd want them staying at our house, but for longer trips I would use it again.
To save $450 at the kennel, maybe. Did you try asking the kennel for a weekly discount?

jamaicaspanish

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Re: Have you used trustedhousesitters.com as a home/pet owner?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2019, 10:46:20 AM »
We have been on trustedhousesitters for three years as sitters.
All of our experiences have been lovely (or at least acceptable).
Several homeowners (pet owners) have contacted us directly for follow-up sits; those are very positive relationships.
Agree with the skype / phone conversation recommendations:  you can learn a lot from that personal contact.
If previous reviews of sitters and your own gut feeling after personal contact are all positive, then go for it.

bacchi

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Re: Have you used trustedhousesitters.com as a home/pet owner?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2019, 10:52:21 AM »
We used that site for 2 months. It worked...ok. They ruined some nice pots and we woke up one day at 9am with a call from an emergency vet wondering how we were going to pay. That was pretty shocking. As it turned out, they took a cat in because of an animal attack. That was cool. The downside is that the cat was mostly blind and shouldn't have been outside at night, when the attack happened. That was uncool.

It saved us a lot of money but we should've been more selective.

Mtngrl

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Re: Have you used trustedhousesitters.com as a home/pet owner?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2019, 01:09:56 PM »
I've used HousesittersAmerica.com for several years -- and most of the people we have used with them are also listed with Trusted Housesitters. We have had four different couples stay about 7 times over the past three years, as long as five weeks and as little as one week. We have two dogs, a big house and a big garden and greenhouse. Everyone we have had has done a great job. Two of the couples were especially good with our dogs and they have been repeats -- one is coming back to sit for us for five weeks this fall.

I think these services are a win/win on both sides -- the sitters get to come stay at my nice house in a beautiful area, and I have someone looking after my place and my pets while I'm away. I'd say ask questions about their previous experience and go with your gut. Usually when I post an ad I get several replies and there are invariably one or two which don't appeal to me at all. Call and talk  in person and ask for references if you're uncomfortable. Also, I leave detailed instructions for everything I can think of. Sitters have told  me they appreciate this. Especially when it comes to pets -- I tell them everything I can think of about their schedules, habits and idiosyncracies. Don't assume anything.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Have you used trustedhousesitters.com as a home/pet owner?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2019, 12:55:04 AM »
When I was a student, I was asked to pet sit a friend's cat. I was to let it out of the house in the morning and let it back inside in the evening. And feed it. I did it for free, as they were good friends.

Maybe you can find a young person in your neighbourhood who wants to feed your pet, and walk it, if it is a dog? A teenager might work, but it has to be a responsible one.

Unique User

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Re: Have you used trustedhousesitters.com as a home/pet owner?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2019, 05:16:01 AM »
@SKL-HOU - Thanks for the point to Rover, I'll check it out. 

@sailinlight - Unfortunately our kennel doesn't do discounts.  I've asked in the past for a ten day trip.  We could switch, but all here seem to be in the $45 to $50 per day.  We could pay the $450 and it wouldn't hurt our budget, I like the point about the hassle may not be worth the time. 

@bacchi , @jamaicaspanish , @Mtngrl  - Thanks for all the tips.  We've had rental properties for years and DH had a pretty darn good bs radar.  I tend to believe everyone.  I like the idea of leaving detailed instructions for everything. 

@Linda_Norway  - I thought about the idea of paying a teenager to come over to the house and walk and feed her, but I work from home and our dog is used to us being around as I work from home full time and DH is usually in his home office at least 2 days a week.  I'd be concerned about her being alone for a week with just a couple daily stop ins. 

JanetJackson

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Re: Have you used trustedhousesitters.com as a home/pet owner?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2019, 10:58:33 AM »
Hi there!

I know a few people who have used Trusted House Sitter, but more who have used Rover.  I work through Rover.  Well, I own a dog walking business and I use Rover to onboard new clients and then move them over to my platform, but long story short- I use Rover.  Ha.

There's an option on there for house sitters and also one for boarding, if you wanted your pup to stay in someone else's home.  I'd opt for the house-sitting as it's generally more cost effective, plus your dog gets to stay somewhere she is comfortable.

You'd generally schedule a Meet-And-Greet with the sitter prior to make sure that ALL expectations are very clear and that they have any emergency information, etc.  If you have a hard time matching up times for a meet and greet, do it via Zoom or Skype or FaceTime.   
Check their reviews, testimonials, and background check.  All of that is on Rover.

Be sure they are very clear on what is expected of them, that you know when they will/won't be in the home (roughly) and let them know what amenities they can use.  You will have to pay for their services, but generally, if you offer great amenities, they will be willing to trim their prices back depending on what they have going on.
Questions to ask:
Roughly when will you be home and away?
Have you house-sat before?  Tell me about that experience.
Are you insured?
How long have you been caring for pets?


Things to discuss:
Amenities - can they eat your food?  Can they use your Netflix account?  Can they do laundry while there?  Where will they sleep? Etc.
Expectations - do they need to bring in the mail?  Mow the lawn?  Can they have guests?  Do they have a contact sheet for a nearby neighbor just in case and ALL of the local emergency numbers (including the nearest emergency vet and your pets local vet too)?


I know that in the next year or two I will be trying to schedule a "Vacation" Pet Sitting somewhere warm or coastal so that I can get away, and any extra I'd make for taking care of the house would be a bonus.  Generally, during the rest of my work year I'd charge normal rates, but in a home with a pool or free food or a hot tub, etc I'd probably be willing to cut my rates in half so that I could have some small respite during my stay.



Just some thoughts! 

LateToTheParty

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Re: Have you used trustedhousesitters.com as a home/pet owner?
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2019, 09:36:24 PM »
I am a sitter thru Rover, as well as a sitter thru TrustedHousesitter.
I have used TrustedHousesitter to arrange to have sitters come and stay in my home with excellent success.

My advice:
1.  Be selective. Interview the person as if you were hiring them for a job. Read their reviews. If you arenít feeling it, move on. I have used Skype to do my interviews and it works well.
2. Detail everything out in a contract. Will they be using your car?  Pulling mail?  What to do in event of pet illness?... TrustedHousesitter has templates that are good starting points.
3.  Donít expect them to mow the lawn unless you have clearly outlined that in advance. That is beyond the typical scope.

TrustedHousesitter has saved me thousands of dollars in pet boarding and I have not had a single bad experience. Maybe I have just been lucky, but I have found it to be a win/win.