long haired tabby cat sitting on a wooden kitchen chair

TrustedHousesitters Review 2024: Pros & Cons from a Pet Sitter

I’ll level with you; If you went back in time, say five or so years, and asked me if I would want to housesit while I travel, I would’ve said, “Absolutely not!” “No way!”  Old me would’ve been uncomfortable with staying in a stranger’s home and having to be on their schedule. To be fair, my travels were never nomadic, and I had a job that required me to punch in and out — I never really had the opportunity to test out unconventional travel options, but then the pandemic happened. 

During the pandemic, I turned my career upside down and, unbeknownst to me, started creating a full-flung vegan travel empire. But empire building doesn’t really pay in the beginning, so I had to get creative with how I would create content and a company on a budget. 

That’s when TrustedHousesitters entered my life (it was serendipitous). 

I listened to a webinar about the company and thought, you know what, maybe I could save some money and make some furry friends along the way! As someone who travels solo often, it’s a lovely bonus not to always come back to an empty space and have a new furry friend waiting for you.

It’s been a fantastic experience and something I wish I had done sooner!

So, if you’re a little on the fence about using TrustedHousesitters or unsure if the platform is for you, this review is perfect! I’ll provide a little background on the company and go into detail about my experience. Hopefully, after reading the review, you’ll have a better idea if you’d enjoy housesitting while you travel!

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TrustedHousesitters Review: A Little Background 

So, before we get into my experience, you might be curious about the company and how it all works, so let’s dive in!

What is TrustedHousesitters?

TrustedHousesitters is a unique housesitting platform that brings people together that love animals. If you aren’t an animal lover, you should really look for something else. TrustedHousesitters connects pet parents with trusted individuals who are willing to care for their pets and homes while they are away. It operates on a membership basis, where pet parents create a profile and then post a listing for a specific sit. After the listing is posted, pet sitters can browse through the listings and choose the one that best fits their needs and apply. After the sitter applies, the pet parent will set up an interview so you can both get to know each other and see if it’s a good fit.

Want to Join TrustedHousesitters & SAVE?

Use code VEGGIESABROAD to save 25% on a new membership!

Can I Just Started Applying for Sits Right Away? How Does it Work? 

No, there are a few necessary steps that you need to take before you can apply for a pet and housesitting gig.

Step #1

Head to the TrustedHousesitters website and purchase a membership (remember to use code VEGGIESABROAD to save 25%). There are a few different sitter membership options that range from $129 – $259 a year. If you have pets, consider getting a Combined membership to list sits too! Combined memberships range from $209 – $399 a year.

Step #2

Once you purchase a membership, your next step is to create a stellar profile and submit your information for an identification check (and if you’re a US-based sitter, you’ll also need to apply for a free background check). When you’re creating your profile, it’s essential that you add photos and provide as much detail as possible. You need to remember that these people don’t know you, so you want to give them enough information to make them comfortable and interested in chatting further. When I was creating my profile, I thought about what I would like to know about the person and what would make me comfortable — so far, it’s worked out well for me!

Step #3

Apply for sits! Woooo, you’ve made it! Now that the ID check and your profile are complete, you can browse sits worldwide and apply. When you apply, you get to include a short message. It’s important to share with the pet parents why you think you’d be a good fit. Take some time to think about it, don’t just send them a message that says, let’s chat!

Who Should Use TrustedHousesitters?

The ideal person for TrustedHousesitters loves animals and is open and flexible to new experiences. If any of that makes you uncomfortable, then pet and house sitting might not be your best option. Also, even if you love animals, this isn’t a good option if you can’t be somewhat flexible and follow the owner’s requests. While this is an excellent opportunity to travel, your most important responsibility is to your new furry friends. 

Does TrustedHousesitters Only Have Cat or Dog Sits?

Nope! You might get to care for horses, pigs, bunnies, birds, and more! TrustedHousesitters is open to various furry and feathered friends, but you don’t have to be experienced or interested in caring for all animals; you can filter based on your interests and previous pet care experience. On the main search page, just click on the filter option and select whichever animals you’re interested in watching. There is also an option for no pets, but there are generally not too many of those posted (but it’s an option). 

Is Using TrustedHousesitters Worth it?

I think it’s 10000% worth using — I’ve had a terrific experience, and it has enhanced all of my travels (and this is coming from someone who thought they’d never do something like this). I wish I had investigated and used the platform much sooner. 

Is TrustedHousesitters Safe?

Yes, I think using the TrustedHousesitters platform is safe for sitters and pet parents. All US-based pet sitters must complete an ID check with their application, and pet parents can see on their profile if it’s been completed. That is an excellent initial safeguard.

In addition to that, you can read verified reviews from other sitters and pet parents. This can give you a good sense of what it’s like to sit for that pet parent. When I look at sits, I always look at the reviews; if I’m uncomfortable with something, I don’t apply.

The last step that helps sitters feel safe is meeting or having a video call before either party agrees to sit. This is an important interview process for both parties. During the call or visit, be sure to ask any and all questions; again, if you don’t feel comfortable, you’re under no obligation to continue the process. 

One last thing, in the beginning, as a sitter, you won’t have any internal reviews, so it’s important to get external reviews from people who can talk about your trustworthiness and experience with animals. If you don’t have any reviews, it will make it harder to land your first sit.  

How Much is a TrustedHousesitters Membership?

For sitters, there are three membership options that range in price from $129 – $259 a year; there are also memberships for pet parents (if you need someone to watch your pets) and Combined memberships for both options. Here’s the sitter membership breakdown:

What it includes
Premium Sitter
Stress-free sits with lounge passes & cancellation protection
Buy Now
What it includes
Unlimited house sits
Free 24/7 video calls & online chats with veterinarian staff
Alerts for saved searches
Dedicated support
Accident and 3rd party liability plan
Sit cancellation plan
(2) Global airport lounge passes
Standard Sitter
Alerts for your ideal sits, with protection & extra support when you’re there
Buy Now
What it includes
Unlimited house sits
Free 24/7 video calls & online chats with veterinarian staff
Alerts for saved searches
Dedicated support
Accident and 3rd party liability plan
Basic Sitter
Enjoy a year of unlimited sits, in return for caring for pets and homes
Buy Now
What it includes
Unlimited house sits

I chose the Standard Sitter plan as it offers all the must-have benefits. If I were utilizing it more frequently, I would probably upgrade as the sit cancellation plan and two global airport lounge passes would be a nice benefit. Just the airport lounge passes alone make the $90 difference worth it!

Want to Join TrustedHousesitters & SAVE?

Use code VEGGIESABROAD to save 25% on a new membership!

TrustedHousesitters Review: My Experience as a Pet Sitter

Now that you have a good overview of TrustedHousesitters and what to expect, you probably want to know more about my experience. So, let’s get to it!

Where Have I Used TrustedHousesitters?

I have used TrustedHousesitters for a year and a half and have completed sits throughout the US, Canada, and the UK. I spent a month in the UK and was able to set up sits for almost the entire time (there were a couple of spots in my itinerary that didn’t line up with available sits, unfortunately). 

Currently, I have a few US cities saved that I hope to visit soon.  

Review: Pros of Using TrustedHousesitters to Pet Sit

There are many benefits to using TrustedHousesitters, but let’s run through the highlights!

Opportunity to save money.

This seems obvious, but house and pet sitting allows you to stay in someone’s home for free (as long as you will care for their pets and home). This can be a HUGE money saver! Over one year, I saved around $5000+ in accommodations using TrustedHousesitters. This was a massive relief to my bank account and allowed me to do other activities or invest that money into my business. 

Opportunity to visit new places, meet new people, and make furry friends.

House sitting allows you to learn about a new destination from a local’s perspective instead of a tourism board. You’ll have the opportunity to find out about places they love and, of course, places they think aren’t worth your time. Don’t hesitate to use them as a resource; for the most part, people want to share and make sure that you have a great experience. 

People have also been so kind and generous with me — way more than I expected. I have had owners leave me special vegan snacks, offer to let me use their car, and give me transit passes. None of that is required; they just wanted to make sure that I felt welcome and had a great stay. 

exploring scotland's green mountains and countryside while housesitting
Exploring Scotland while using TrustedHousesitters

The ease of searching for a new sit.

The app and website are set up really well, so it’s easy to browse through all of the sits in the world or filter down to a specific city and a specific furry friend. If you find a sit that interests you, you can save it as a favorite, which is helpful if you can’t apply immediately.

It’s also really easy to filter for specific animals — I am partial to kitty cats, so I always search for them. I also know that I don’t want the responsibility of caring for a full barnyard of animals, and the filter helps to weed out anything that isn’t a great fit. 

The ability to save cities and be alerted for future sits.

If you really want to visit London, you can save a search with specific filters and get instant alerts whenever a sit becomes available (for Standard and Premium memberships). This is really helpful if you’re actively trying to find something instead of opening the app and checking 19 times a day.  

Sit cancellation plan is included for Premium members.

This is a significant benefit if you plan to do a lot of housesitting. If the sit is canceled, the plan will provide up to $150 a night ($1500 total per sit) to cover other accommodations. 

Free video calls & online chat with vets 24/7

If you can’t get ahold of the pet parents and something doesn’t seem right, this is a great tool to have. Online support can help provide peace of mind or confirm that you need to seek vet support ASAP. I haven’t had to use it, but it’s nice knowing it’s available. I also always ask pet parents for their vet information and ask about medical information before the sit. This way, I know if the pet has a history of issues or a clean bill of health and can be more sensitive to changing habits. 

Review: Cons of Using TrustedHousesitters to Pet Sit

While there are many awesome things about TrustedHousesitters, there are a few things that aren’t awesome, and you should keep them in mind before deciding to do a sit (While there are things that I don’t love about the platform, none of them have stopped me from using it or recommending it).  

US Pet sitters are background checked, but not the homeowner.

This almost stopped me from proceeding with the membership. I was already nervous about staying in a stranger’s home, but then to find out they weren’t background checked as well really amplified my worries. I ended up talking back and forth with their customer service rep, who said they are working on changing this in the future. They also encouraged me to read reviews to put my mind at ease and to keep in mind that pet owners are concerned with care for their pets, not nefarious behavior. 

The background check is also only available for US-based sitters (which seems odd to me). The process is simple; all you need to do is fill out some paperwork and submit your ID then they take it from there. The process is pretty quick; TrustedHousesitters says it can take up to seven days, but mine only took about a day or so. 

You’re committed to someone else’s schedule.

If you like to do your own thing all the time, then housesitting isn’t for you. When scanning potential sits, you have to make sure you’re available for the entire duration and possibly a day earlier to meet the parents and their furry friends. Once you agree, you have to remember that the people and their pets depend on you to do what you say you will do. So if something else pops up, you can’t change plans as it goes against TrustedHousesitters terms and conditions and could lead to having your account suspended. The pet parents can also leave a review saying that you canceled or didn’t carry out your duties, which will affect future sit opportunities. So, if you can’t commit, don’t do it!

You also need to be aware of your new feathered or furry friends’ routine and stick to it. This could mean getting up earlier than usual or coming home earlier than you would like. They are your priority. If you think you can just do what you want all the time, you need to look for hotel rooms, not house sits. 

tabby cat sitting on a kitchen table

As you can imagine, some cities are very popular, which is good for pet owners but challenging for pet sitters. Sometimes, a sit will become available, and within an hour, it’s gone because of the number of applications the owners receive. If you want to visit a city like London or NYC, it’s best to save it as an alert so you get a message from the app every time a new sit becomes available. This will increase your chances of getting your application in quickly. 

Low availability of sits in certain cities. 

While some cities are very popular, other cities are not! You may not have anything available while traveling, which can be frustrating. 

Always have to have a backup plan.

You know what they say about the best-laid plans, right? Well, that applies to pet sitting too! Things can change overnight, and that can totally disrupt your plans. I was once headed to Brighton in the UK for a week-long sit, and right before I was supposed to show up, their cat passed away. Obviously, it was incredibly awful for the owners, but it meant that they no longer needed me, which meant I had nowhere to stay. Luckily the owners were very kind, and since I couldn’t find another sit, they let me stay, but they didn’t have to do that. If they had just canceled, I would’ve been on the hook to find my own accommodations, which would’ve meant a sizeable unplanned expense (the Premium sitter membership does include a sit cancellation plan which can help in situations like this). 

For the most part, sits will go off without a hitch, but you always have to be prepared that plans can change.

Don’t Forget to Save Money on a Membership!

Use code VEGGIESABROAD to save 25% on a new membership!

Tips for Landing a Great Pet Sit with TrustedHousesitters 

Now that you have an excellent overview of the company and what to expect, there are a few things that you should keep in mind to increase your chances of getting your application accepted. 

#1 Make a killer profile

I already mentioned this earlier, but it is important enough to repeat — make sure your profile is complete! This means having photos, providing lots of info about yourself and your previous pet care experience, and getting a few external reviews. You have to keep in mind that these people don’t know you, so you need to make sure that you provide enough information so they think, yea, this person seems fantastic!

In the profile, make sure that you share related experiences, why you want to house sit, and if you have any furry friends. In my profile, I shared about my travel business and how house sitting helps me save while building it, and I talked about how stressed I was finding a pet sitter for my kitties and dog. I wanted to make sure that they knew that I understood how important their pets are to them. 

#2 Read the pet parent’s post completely before applying & don’t get their pet’s name wrong.

Most owners will be very clear with responsibilities and expectations in their profiles, so you must read all of it before applying. If you can’t commit to their requests, don’t apply. I was once looking for a sit in Portland, and the owner wanted the sitter to mow the lawn; I don’t mind medicating a cat or cleaning up poop, but mowing the lawn was a step too far for me. So I didn’t apply and looked for something else. 

On top of knowing what you’re getting yourself into when you apply, make sure you mention their pets by name and double-check that you got the name correct. Pet parents have shared with me that they’ve gotten messages and the person totally messed up names or, if they were supposed to be watching a cat, called it a dog. These are red flags to an owner that you’re not paying attention. 

#3 Download the app and save the sits you want to visit so you can be alerted as soon as they add new dates

The app can save a ton of time if you’re looking for a sit in a specific city. In the bottom navigation bar, there is a heart; when you click on it, it will take you to a listing of all of the sits that you have saved. Every time that owner adds new dates to their listing, you’ll get notified on the app (if you have push notifications enabled), meaning you can be one of the first to apply!

The app is also convenient for communicating with pet parents instead of logging into the website every time. 

#4 Respond promptly and set up a time to chat 

After you’ve applied, make sure you pay attention to your email. You’ll get a message whether you’re selected or not; if you’ve been selected, you’ll want to respond immediately and set up a time to chat. If you keep people waiting, they will move on to a new person. It’s also a red flag that you might not be a great communicator and might not be responsive during the sit. 

Make sure you always set up a chat before agreeing to do the sit — even if it sounds perfect. It’s crucial that you’re able to make sure you’re comfortable with them. If you’re not, even a little, just decline the opportunity. 

#5 Start with a local sit first

If this is your first house sit, or you’re nervous (like I was), look for something local first. This way, you don’t have to travel very far to find out whether this is for you. For my first sit, I chose one in Toronto, which is just about four hours away by car, and it was only for a long weekend. This gave me the comfort of knowing that I wasn’t far from home, had my own transportation, and if I hated it, it wasn’t for very long. 

#6 Ask the owners for a welcome guide

The TrustedHousesitters platform has some excellent tools for both pet parents and sitters, and one of them is the welcome guide. The owners can fill out details about their homes, pets, emergency info, and more. This is really handy to ensure you have all the details in one place.

I’ve had owners who didn’t fill this out and gave me something on paper instead when I arrived; that’s fine too. It’s just important that you get all of the details in writing!

Review Wrap-Up: Do I Recommend TrustedHousesitters?  

10000% yes, I definitely recommend using TrustedHousesitters! It has allowed me to travel in ways I hadn’t before and meet some fantastic people. I am so glad that I took the chance to try it out.

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