It’s common knowledge that homesteading takes a lot of work. We’ve all chosen this life so we love said-work. However, when you’re looking to go on vacation, finding others comfortable and willing to do our daily chores can be a difficult task. So, what attributes should you look for in a house/pet/livestock/poultry sitter?
Of course this is number 1. You must be able to trust your potential pet sitter’s character because after all, they’ll be in your home.
You must be able to trust their ability. Are they physically capable of performing your normal duties sufficiently?
You must be able to trust their willingness. Do they know that you expect them to clean up manure or the coop? Make sure you make it known exactly what you expect of them, and make sure they agree to those expectations. There’s nothing worse than someone half-ass-ing the job you do everyday. You get home to things not done properly, things out of order or worse, animal neglect.
They also must have some common sense knowledge of animals. They don’t have to be experts, but will they be able to tell that a constantly rolling horse who’s biting at their sides is colicking? Will they know to call if you’re dog seems under the weather? Will they notice a chicken’s looking a little puny and to check their vent for a stuck egg? They may not know the nitty gritty details of every animal’s health, but they must be attentive to the overall health of all your animals. It’s better they call and bother you out of concern than to call too late to tell you you lost an animal while you were gone.
Your potential pet sitter needs to be respectful- of your home, of your belongings, of your animals, of your routine, of your schedule. Animals work best on a timetable. You being out of town already throws some of them off. Their routine shouldn’t change too.
This is a short, straight-to-the-point list of what to look for in a potential pet sitter. It’s not the end of the world if little things get messed up while you’re away, but it is imperative that they honor what you’ve asked and are paying them to do. Once you find one that meets all five of these attributes, pay them well because they are GOLD! 😝<<<<<<