Home and pet sitting offers animal lovers the opportunity to spend time with unusual pets
Posted on: 25 March 2019 by Alan Irvine
Becoming a home and pet sitter appeals to people’s sense of adventure
The number of pet owners in the UK is growing, almost half (45%) of the UK population now owns a pet[i], an increase of 5% since 2016.
The most common pets are dogs, with over a quarter of people in the UK owning one, however, our employees also look after a wide variety of more unusual pets.
In fact, over half (55%) of homesitters surveyed last year said they had chosen to look after an unusual pet including pet pigs, bearded dragons, tortoises, peacocks, alpacas and a pygmy hedgehog. Chickens are popular too, with 31% of homesitters saying they were their favourite creatures to look after.
Becoming a home and pet sitter appeals to people’s sense of adventure, it gives them the opportunity to explore the UK and spend time caring for people’s dogs, cats and if they choose, other less common pets, whilst earning a modest remuneration to supplement a pension.
Tim and Jill Clark, a retired couple from Gloucestershire, have been home and pet sitting through Homesitters since 2003 and are passionate about all kinds of animals. Tim was raised in Kenya and, as a boy, he had pet monkeys and snakes. While the majority of Homesitters’ clients own dogs and cats, some have more exotic animals and these kind of assignments appeal to the Clarks.
Tim says: “We are an adventurous couple. For our holidays, we like to travel to places like Cambodia or Costa Rica and during my career in international sales and marketing, we were lucky enough to live in South Africa and America. When we retired, one of our main plans was to explore as much as possible. I spotted an advertisement for Homesitters and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine our love of animals and nature.”
“We have looked after many different breeds of dogs as well as race horses, emus and even a pig that lived in the kitchen that we had to tuck up in a blanket before bed. We’ve really had some great experiences.”
Another homesitting couple who like to look after a variety of pets is Sue and Roy Strangeway from Lincolnshire. They live in a gated retirement development where pets are not permitted, but becoming homesitters has enabled them to spend plenty of time with animals.
Sue says, “We mainly look after dogs and cats, but we love learning new things and how to look after different animals so we are open to looking after all creatures, great and small.
“On a recent assignment we looked after 17 parrots and a dog! Most of the parrots were in aviaries but there was one in the house, he was beautiful, but every time we went into the room he’d bombard us with questions, ‘where are you going?’ and ‘what are you doing?’ but he didn’t take the slightest bit of notice of our answers!”
For more information on becoming a home and pet sitter visit Homesitters Ltd at www.homesitters.co.uk