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As much as we’d love for our pets to travel with us wherever we go, it’s not always practical, possible or safe. If you’re going on a trip without your pet, it can be stressful to find affordable, reliable, quality pet care.
While you can ask a family member, friend or neighbor to care for your pet in their own home or make arrangements at a boarding kennel, these options may not always be ideal, especially if your dog gets anxious in unfamiliar environments.
Thankfully, sites like TrustedHousesitters, a global house and pet sitting network that connects pet owners with verified sitters, are available to solve this problem for you.
The Pet Sitting Industry: By the Numbers
Since the majority of pet parents consider pets as family members, it comes as no surprise that people are spending more on their pets’ well-being. In fact, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), there has been an increase in health expenditure for pet care. In 2017, pet care was a $69.51 billion business, and it’s only expected to increase. This data includes spending on pets’ grooming, boarding, training, and pet sitting.
The pet sitting industry alone was valued at $2.6 billion in 2019, with an expected growth rate of 8.7 percent annually, APPA data shows. According to Google Trends, dog and cat sitting searches were up 40 percent and 30 percent respectively from 2014 to 2018. Pet sitting platforms like TrustedHousesitters are capitalizing on this demand.
What Is TrustedHousesitters?
TrustedHousesitters, which launched in 2010, is a membership-based portal where travel-loving homeowners with pets and house sitters who love animals and traveling can connect. While TrustedHousesitters might seem like a version of Care.com, where users can find care for loved ones (in this case, their pets), it operates as a matching service more than it does as a monetary transactional job listing. Think of TrustedHousesitters as more of a community rather than a marketplace.
Their mission is simple: TrustedHousesitters has created a global community based on trust, respect and sharing. They help facilitate genuine relationships between pet and travel lovers. They want to give people the freedom to see the world on both sides of the opportunities they offer.
Owners can connect with trusted pet lovers who are offering in-home pet care, and sitters can connect with owners who are offering a place to stay in return for looking after their pets while they’re away. In both instances, no money is exchanged, allowing for both parties to make arrangements at no cost. It’s a win-win-win for owners, sitters, and furry family members.
Benefits of In-Home Pet Sitting
For pets: While there is the option of boarding your pet, many vets support that in-home pet sitting is the ideal choice for your fur babies if you’re going to be out of town. Not only will your pet feel more comfortable in their own home, they also won’t have to deal with the anxiety of being in an unfamiliar environment. Depending on your pet’s individual personality, it may be less stressful for them to be introduced to a pet sitter than stay in a completely different space with other pets.
For pet owners: Now let’s talk about the benefits to pet owners. Not only will you not have to pack up your pet’s necessities and drop them off somewhere (which may be stressful for you during a time when you need to focus on your upcoming travel), you’ll also get a baked-in house sitter to look after your home.
For sitters: Simply put, house sitters who are also animal lovers have a place to stay while caring for someone’s beloved pet. You’ll get the opportunity to see the world without having to book and pay for a hotel.
TrustedHousesitters: How it Works
Whether you’re a pet owner, a house and pet sitter, or both, there’s a membership option that will work for you. TrustedHousesitters charges an annual membership fee, but there’s no money exchanged between members. The membership fee includes access to their services so you can connect with members in the community.
Homeowners with pets pay a one-year membership for unlimited pet care from reviewed/verified sitters of their choosing. There are three tier options available:
- Basic Owner = $129
- Standard Owner = $169
- Premium Owner = $259
Standard owners also get home and contents protection, a money back guarantee, dedicated member support, unlimited free video calls with vets, boosted listings in search results, and access to who saves their listing as part of their membership.
Premium owners get all of the above, plus two global airport lounge passes, cancellation insurance, and a premium badge on listings.
House and pet sitters pay a one-year membership of $129 for unlimited access to house sitting opportunities, plus free verification, member support, alerts for saved searches, and free 24/7 vet advice.
If you want to join the TrustedHousesitters community as both an owner and a sitter, you can upgrade to a combined membership. There are three options for this type of annual membership:
- Basic Combined = $189
- Standard Combined = $229
- Premium Combined = $319
The owner and sitter membership perks noted above based on level carry over to the combined plan.
TrustedHousesitters: App Features
The TrustedHousesitters app is fairly simple to navigate. It’s easy to set up a profile whether you’re a pet owner or a pet sitter.
Once you’re a member, you can connect with other members. When you’re ready to book a pet sitter, you’ll have to essentially place an ad describing your needs. And when you’re ready to pet sit (and travel), you’ll have to send an application to one of the placed ads.
Pet sitters’ available dates are also noted on their profiles to help pet owners weed through options. And pet owners’ profiles show information on their homes and pets, including a list of responsibilities if you were to take on the gig.
Worried who you can trust from the mix? TrustedHousesitters offers vetted and reviewed sitters to choose from identified by a Trust Badge on their profiles. Their email addresses and phone numbers are verified, as well as their IDs. Members also provide three external references, which are checked by a third-party that works directly with TrustedHousesitters.
Communication is also key. Once you’ve identified a potential pet sitter or sitting opportunity, TrustedHousesitters encourages members to message each other using their website or app to get to know each other better prior to confirming any appointments, without sharing personal information. Depending on your comfort level, you can then take the next step and arrange a phone call, video chat, or even a face-to-face meeting if you’re local.
And once those sitters are at work caring for your pet, they’ll have 24/7 access to veterinary experts, giving you added peace of mind. The app also allows for sitters to update and share photos with pet owners during their stays.
Depending on your membership, Standard Owners and Premium Members get a money back guarantee if they don’t receive any sitter applications within 14 days.
TrustedHousesitters: Things to Know
From reviewing TrustedHousesitters and all it has to offer, it’s important to know the following:
Things We Like
- Trailblazer: TrustedHousesitters is a truly unique service that offers both pet owners and pet sitters tremendous value. It’s unlike other pet sitting services and apps on the market.
- Trusted: We love that TrustedHousesitters has thousands of verified and reviewed pet sitters so pet owners won’t have to do all the vetting during their interactions with members.
- Robust: Members come from over 130 countries, so the options are more thorough of both locations and sitters.
- Genuine: We also like that no money is exchanged. So while you will pay a membership fee to TrustedHousesitters, the cost of actually paying a house and pet sitter is not a part of the process. That means, sitters are not motivated by money.
- Value: An annual membership is equivalent to a typical one night’s stay at a hotel. If you use TrustedHousesitters at least once per year, your investment is worth it.
- Caring: We appreciate that this process puts pets first. Your pets will be more comfortable on their home turf, after all. Plus, TrustedHousesitters provides services to pet sitters to ensure support when needed.
Things to Consider
- Fee: You will have to pay to be a member. So you should keep in mind your frequency of use based on the membership fee you’ll pay.
- No Sitter Pay: If you are looking to be a paid pet sitter or house sitter, this service is not for you.
- Competitive: Because it is the largest community of its kind, as a pet sitter or homeowner/pet parent, you may experience some competition.
TrustedHouseSitters Reviews: What Owners Are Saying
We found these user testimonials very interesting and insightful. We think they’ll help you decide if TrustedHousesitters is right for you.
“We Have Used TrustedHousesitters Four Times Now”
“We have used TrustedHousesitters four times now with two more future dates scheduled. In all cases, our experience with the sitters we have chosen have been above reproach. We can recommend TrustedHousesitters without reservation.” –Michael Cummings
“Living Our Best Life”
“You have changed our lives. We no longer have to worry about our lovely dog and our home. Trusted Housesitters is a perfect name for the service you provide. Couldn’t be living my best life without you, THS. Thank you.”
“Through TrustedHousesitters, we received over 30 responses to our ad. The quality of the applications were outstanding, and, in the end, we chose a sitter who was PURRFECT for our needs! Easy process and one we would recommend to anyone needing peace of mind for their pet or house sitting needs.” –Jeff Kennedy
TrustedHousesitters: Our Verdict
After reviewing all that TrustedHousesitters has to offer—from its app experience to the actual service it provides—our final verdict is that we love this house and pet sitting platform.
It truly is a win-win. Owners can find reliable in-home pet care, pet sitters get a free place to stay, and it facilitates travel on both sides of the equation.
We find that this service and its members are trustworthy, and its verification program and reviewing and rating capabilities will give you peace of mind.
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