House Sitting Checklist: How to Prepare for a House Sitting Job
Updated: Feb 25
You got a House Sitting Job!
So after sending out lots of application on house sitting websites, you have just been accepted to do a house sit.
The homeowners have most likely contacted you and you have already begun discussing the details of the housesit and building a relationship with the owners.
To ensure everything runs smoothly during a house sit, you need to be prepared. It all begins with clear communication with the home/pet owner that needs their house looked after. Be clear and concise when you ask them about the details of the job.
No question is a dumb question when starting a house sit. It's better than a stressful situation arising and you not knowing how to deal with it.
You will need to discuss transport, know the pet's requirements, know the regular household routine and any jobs you might be required to do. It's always a good idea to have an emergency plan and contacts, in case something does go wrong.
Getting free accommodation through house sitting is a great deal. But before you say yes, you need to take some things into consideration. How do you prepare for a house sitting job? Follow our checklist.
Our checklist will help beginner house sitters to feel prepared for their upcoming house or pet sit. If you are still unsure of which House Sitting website to sign up to. Check out our review of the Best House Sitting platforms.
With homeowners looking for house sitters to fill their homes in thousands of locations around the world. After scoring a house sitting job, your first job is most likely going to be organizing transport to the house.
If you are using house sitting as a way to travel while minimizing your costs then you will need to start looking at flights. Kiwi.com and Student Universe are two great sites for minimizing your costs while flying. They always have lots of crazy last-minute deals. Which can be perfect for house sitters who get jobs on late notice.
These are great sights for travelers looking to get cheap flights. We use these two sites or sky scanner to minimize our travel costs between house sitting jobs.
Whether you’re going abroad or house sitting in your local area, you will need the house address and some directions for finding the house. So make sure the homeowners give you clear instructions. You will need transport from the airport to the house and a lot of homeowners are happy to do this for you. Just talk to them.
You also need to ask whether they have a car you can use and what the expectations are around this. Some homeowners are more than happy for you to use a car and explore the new area or take the dogs to the beach, but other homeowners do not allow it.
If you are allowed to use the car, make sure you know all the important maintenance details, you don’t want to be liable if something goes wrong. This means looking into the driver licensing rules of the area you are going to house sit in and seeing if you need to get a special driver's license like a foreign driver's permit. You also need to make sure you are insured on the vehicle.
You need to have an Emergency Plan
Looking after someone's home and pets is a big responsibility and you want it to go as smoothly as possible. However, things do go wrong. An animal could get sick, a pipe could burst at the house or the power could go out.
By preparing an emergency plan with the family before they leave is a great way to create clarity and peace of mind for both parties.
A good idea for the emergency plan is to get contact details of the local vet, and you have 24/7 access to a vet line on some house sitting sites like Trusted House Sitters. This could prevent something serious happening to the pet while the homeowners are away.
I recommend getting the number of a local friend of the homeowner, or someone in the neighborhood that they trust. If for some reason you can’t reach the homeowner but need to know something about the pet, house or the area, they may be able to help you.
Know the Pets Needs
Ask the owners lots of questions about the pets usual daily habits like exercising, how much it needs to be fed, what is the usual personality of the pet, is it aggressive or friendly with other people and animals, what time does it get up, does it like going for car rides or going swimming?
This will help you to build a relationship with the pet much faster and owners will be much more trusting of you if you seem thorough and caring.
If you are doing a dog sit, a couple of small items that you can pack will save you a lot of hassle. Poop bags are so important and sometimes owners just forget to leave them, buy a box before you go, otherwise, you could get smelly hands…
A leash, some dogs are so comfortable walking with their owners that they can be off their leash, so they may or may not have one at the house. When building trust with the animal it's important to be in control, so bring a leash.
A Pet First Aid Kit, these come in super handy and makes me feel much more prepared for if something minor went wrong with the pet. Keep it topped up with treats so you can really get the pet to like you straight away.
Ask About Household and Outdoor Jobs That Need to be Done During your House Sit
Along with looking after the animals, you may be required to do some minor tasks for the upkeep of the household, this could be putting out the trash, mowing the lawns, or watering plants.
Communicate clearly with homeowners about what is expected before you arrive. Have them send you a list of tasks and the dates they need to be done on, then you can create a schedule so you don’t forget anything.
House Sitting jobs that require significant maintenance are often the ones that pay you to housesit. On top of getting free rent! Find House Sitting Jobs that pay.
Important Contact Details you Should Have for any House Sitting Job:
Homeowners have a few different options for contacting the homeowner. They are going to be away on their travels and probably not want to be disturbed. But it's nice to know you can reach them somehow if you need to ask anything.
The House Sitting agency that you are using, whether its Trusted House Sitters, House Sit Match or any other platform with a 24/7 customer service line. They have dealt with thousands of other house sitters and can help you with any issues you may have. From animal troubles to security issues, to problems with the homeowner.
Vet, get the contact details of the homeowner's regular vet. Just in case you have any questions regarding the wellbeing of the pet. The regular vet will be aware of any past medical problems and are often more helpful than an emergency vet line on a house sitting website.
Friends or a local neighbor, if for some reason you can’t reach the homeowner but need to know something about the pet, house or the area, this can be a helpful contact to have.
Organize Your Transport:
Get Cheap Flights:
Rent a Car:
P.S: If you are planning a trip, check out this post on Travel Necessities for your next adventure.