Find petsitters to trust for free

5 min readSep 15, 2022

How to find petsitters you trust without it costing you the earth can be a challenge. Our pets are part of our family, we want them to be well cared for ideally at home. But how can you find people who will love them as we do while we are away from home? And how can you make sure that the petsitting doesn’t cost you a fortune?

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Petsitting options for the pet owner

There are various ways to find petsitters for where you live. You can pay a neighbour or neighbour’s off spring, or find a registered and insured professional pet sitter to look after your pets for an eye watering daily fee while you are away on holiday or a work trip. Or you can get creative and join a housesitting and petsitting platform like

Try old fashioned barter with a petsitter

The benefit of using a housesitting and petsitting platform like Housesitmatch is that you work with an established business using a trusted site that checks all members. They facilitate a matching process between you and your pets and home, with the pet lover and housesitter who will care for your family pets and property in your absence. You benefit because you get free home and pet care without paying out a daily fee or a sum every time the sitter opens a can of dog food, and the sitter wins because they get to stay in a comfortable home and care for lovable pets. It’s a win win scenario.

Who benefits from this petsitting arrangement

The beauty about this kind of petsitting and housesitting arrangement is that everyone wins, especially the pets. They win because they get to stay in their own home and maintain their eating and exercise routines, so essential for young and mature pets alike. They experience less separation anxiety and avoid any kennel contagious diseases they might catch among other peoples pets.

You win because you save on the professional petsitter fees, and any kennelling costs you might otherwise have spent. Your pets are safe, comfortable and secure at home. Plus, your home is cared for in your absence, so essential for Snowbirds heading out in the Winter months when cold weather threatens plumbing of all conditions. And in the Summer months you return to a well maintained garden and a property that looks occupied directing the prowling eyes of opportunist burglars to other properties.

The sitters win because they can discover a new location, sometimes a new city or country. This is a great way to travel if you are on a fixed budget and a wonderful way for keen travellers to exchange their experience of home and pet care for free accommodation.

How to start on your petsitting journey

Whether you have one or more pets, or simply a property and garden that needs tending while you are away for security and upkeep, consider this Sharing economy solution. Joining a trusted network, established for some years with good reviews enables you to build trust as you begin this new adventure.

If there is an annual fee to join the site it means the site is professionally managed. This is is a good sign. If there are good reviews on reference sites like Trustpilot, read them to establish the style of management of the business.

It is likely you will be asked to set up a profile, make sure you create an informative profile with information and pictures about your pets and home. Be discrete about your location and ask the site managers what would be useful to add so your profile is optimised in their system.

Petsitting assignment features to highlight

Pets — Depending on the type of pets in your petsitting assignment you should be descriptive about the type of pet. If it is a dog what breed and what are the best features of the breed and your dog in particular e.g. ‘We have a very friendly labradoodle that doesn’t moult easy to exercise and happy to be on her own for up to 5 hours’. Most sitters adore animals and relish the details you offer in your advert. It can make your advert more attractive if they know what they have to do and the level of care required.

Long term sitting opportunity — Then when you post and advert to look for petsitters be clear about the advantages of the housesitting and petsitting opportunity you offer. Some sitters look for a long term housesit i.e. more than a month. This is a huge advantage to digital nomads travelling while they work. Also retirees tend to prefer these long housesitting arrangements because it allows them to spend more time discovering one location and it saves on travel costs.

Location — No matter the location of your property whether you are city based, rural or by the sea, highlight the attractions of your location in your advert and profile. E.g. ‘We are based in a London suburb on a direct trainline to the city centre’. Or alternatively ‘We are a short 10 minute walk from the beach in Marbella’.

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Meet with the petsitter either in person or virtually

It is really important that you make an effort to meet with your sitters either in person if possible or virtually. Technology today offers so many virtual meeting spaces that can make it feel like you are in the same room.

It is worth scheduling a meeting with all the sitters you are considering for the assignment. Prepare and ask them questions about their experience, their motivation and ask them if they have any questions for you.

Draw up a ‘Petsitting / housesitting Agreement’

A good petsitting and housesitting platform will have thought of this for you. At Housesitmatch we have templates formal and semi formal (it is your choice how far you go with this) drawn up by lawyers to establish the core details of a sitting arrangement and an agreement between two parties.

At Housesitmatch there are also briefing templates, guidelines, and a Livechat to support you through your first endeavours. It is worth preparing a petsitting / housesitting agreement with the sitter. It means you go through all the details that are important to both of you and the details of the barter arrangement are clear to all.

Ultimately it will save you a lot of time and money. And you might even make some new friends in the process. For sure your pets will be happier staying at home with a petsitter who is caring for them for the love of pets and adventure rather than a pay cheque!




Lamia Walker is the founder of As a marketing professional for years she was inspired to start a travel business and now loves housesitting!