house in Ajijic Mexico

House Sitting Jobs: Everything You Need To Know

This post was most recently updated on October 14th, 2019

Have you ever thought about getting a house sitting job?

Or possibly you’ve never heard the term house sitter before.

Maybe you could use the services of pet sitters yourself.

This whole community of house and pet sitting jobs has grown by leaps and bounds over the last couple of years. With more and more companies coming on board all the time for this well needed service. Even though it’s gaining in popularity, still a lot of people have never heard about house sitting.

What is The Definition of House Sitting?

It is when a home owner leaves their home for a certain length of time and entrust another person to take care of their property while they’re gone.

This frequently involves taking care of the home owners pets while they’re away. Sometimes there could be yard maintenance involved. You will not get paid, but you’ll have a free place to stay. All house sitting assignments will be different.

Jerry with 3 dogs in Ajijic Mexico

Who Can Be A House Sitter?

Basically anyone can join one of the sites and become a house sitter. It’s very popular with the retired crowd, long term travellers, and digital nomads who are able to work from anywhere in the world.

It works well for the retired crowd because you need to be somewhat flexible when you’re available to house sit. Or if you’re someone who can work from home, why not try house sitting in London, New Zealand or Barcelona and see some sites in your down time.

What Exactly Does House Sitting Involve?

There are plenty of different types of sitting assignments. There is luxury house sitting jobs, long term house sitting, cat sitting jobs, dog sitting jobs, and occasionally paid house sitting jobs.

Most of the jobs don’t involve getting paid though. But you do get free accommodation in exchange for your pet care. If you like to travel slow and stay in one place for a while, this could be perfect for you.

For some sitting jobs the property owners could be just looking for someone to keep an eye on their house or condo. Maybe they need someone to water the plants and look after the yard. Or to possibly maintain the pool.

Other owners could need a cat sitter. Or maybe they have horses and chickens that need taking care of. Just be sure to read each profile thoroughly to find one that suits you. You don’t want to find out they have 3 cats when you get there and you’re allergic to them.

cat outside in Ajijic Mexico

Is House Sitting Right For You?

Free accommodations all around the world.

Sounds great doesn’t it!

This is definitely a great way to save money while you travel. But it doesn’t come completely free. You will still have to pay for your flight to get to the house sit. Then your food and other expenses like sight seeing while you’re there.

Do you like to live like a local and experience a different culture? Then a house sitter job might be right for you. There’s nothing like getting the feel for a city than staying where the locals live, grocery shopping at their stores, and meeting your next door neighbours.

Do you love animals?

This is obviously the number one requirement if you want to pet sit. Jerry and I have always loved all kinds of animals. And spending some time cuddling with the home owners cute pets is a perfect relaxing day.

Why Do People Get A House Sitter?

Anyone that owns pets knows how upsetting it is to leave your fur babies in a kennel. Both for the owner and the pets. We’ve had to leave our two cats in a kennel a couple times, and neither times went well.

Besides the fact that kennels are expensive, why not leave your pets at home where they’ll feel save and secure. Animals have their regular routines, and right off the bat they’ll be missing their owner. Being able to stay in their regular environment will be a lot less disruptive to their lives.

If pets aren’t involved, it still makes perfect sense to have someone stay at your home to keep an eye on it while you’re away. Maybe just to cut the grass, bring in the mail, or water the plants.

How To Get A House Sitting Job

First you need to join at least one of the sites. Costs range anywhere from $25 to $150 for the year to sign up. We joined one of the largest pet sitting sites called Trusted Housesitters.

Make sure to create an amazing profile and fill in as much information as you can. Add lots of photos of yourself and of you with your pets.

Some sites require a background check. Fill in any experience you might have looking after other people’s pets. Then write a great message to the home owner you’re applying to.

You’re competing against plenty of other applications, so you need to get the home owners attention. Tell them why you’d like to sit for them, and fill in as many details as possible.

In certain popular cities like New York, competition is tough. Don’t get discouraged though. It took us three tries before we got our first house sitting job. You could always apply for house sits close to home first. That way you can get your references built up on your profile.

cat and palm tree in Ajijic

Tips For A Successful Pet Sitting Experience

So you’ve accepted a job. Now what to do?

Make sure to communicate all of your questions ahead of time to the home owner. Having a video chat is always a great idea. This can put both you and the home owner at ease before you arrive.

Will you have use of a car while you’re there? Or do you need to rent one if the area is rural and buses aren’t available. How close are the grocery stores and restaurants?

Obviously you would have made sure to see photos of the home and pets before you’ve accepted the sit. And if you’re deathly afraid of snakes, haven’t taken on a house sit that involves one.

Finding a sit that best suits you can make all the difference. If you’re a cat person, find one with just cats. And try to recognize any signs that a house sit could potentially be a disaster beforehand.

Treat the house like it’s your own, show up when you say you are going to and follow all the home owners instructions. This will ensure you have a successful pet sitting job.

Before The Home Owner Leaves

Even though you’ve secured free accommodation, you still have rules and are responsible for their babies. Get all the info you need before the home owner leaves.

  • how long of a walk can their dogs handle
  • where do you take the garbage?
  • what are the animals likes and dislikes
  • how much to feed the animals
  • do any of them need medication?
  • what is the vets phone number?
  • do you need to collect the mail?
  • are their plants to water
  • how to contact the home owner

Some home owners will want daily updates or even photos sent of their pets. Pet sitting jobs aren’t for everyone. But you are providing a valuable service for the home owner, and it can be a wonderful opportunity for the right people.

House Sitting Websites

There is a cost involved to join the sites. But considering the cost of accommodations, it can definitely be worth it.

Who Pet Sitter Jobs Benefit

House sitting has it’s benefits for both the home owner and the person staying. Some people house sit full time and have no real home base.

It’s great for people who work from home. Just make sure the home owner has a strong enough internet connection.

Who wouldn’t love staying in a chateau in France? Or maybe on the beach in Costa Rica. It’s all available if you sign up on one of the many sites.