It’s a brilliantly obvious idea. There are people who own pets who occasionally enjoy vacations, but can’t take their loved ones. Or the pets. And on the other side, there are those who are foot loose, but reliable folk, who would enjoy vacations in different parts of the country/world, even if it means feeding the loved ones. And pets.
The result is Trusted Housesitters, a cool little service which aims to bring pet owners and would-be vacationers together in one glorious help space. Kind of like AirBnB with paws and feathers.
The idea is nice and simple. Both types of people register on the website for availability and geography, along with their credentials and track record. Often housesitters won’t charge for their services, and the ‘trusted’ bit involves references, ratings, character and employment references, so there’s a good degree of background information available for those lending out their house and pets.
There are also video profiles, police checks and secure messaging as added security, and you can specify that listings be as private as you want, in case you’re of a paranoid or particularly careful type. Of course the cheapest sitters are friends and family, but sometimes this isn’t an option, especially for longer vacations. Both sides pay around £50 /$79 a year (there’s also a combined membership which costs $89 a year, so you can be both a sitter and house provider), which should again keep the membership reliable.
Overall it’s a nice idea, and providing you make the right sort of checks when you’re choosing a sitter (or a residence for that matter) it sounds as though you should be fine. Nice idea! And Fido will probably approve too, since it’s better than kennels.