Conversely, if you need pet care while you’re on holiday, using a house sitter can be a fantastic way to keep both your pets and home well looked after.
I’ve been house sitting full time since 2016 and run a successful pet-sitting business in Sydney, Australia.
- To become a successful house sitter like me, click here to take my free house-sitting e-mail course, which includes all my top advice as well as a free house sitting instructions template to give to homeowners.
- If you’re a pet owner, click here to download your free house sitter checklist and instructions template to learn how to prepare for your sitter.
You can get started with house sitting right away by joining one of the top house-sitting websites below. Otherwise, scroll down to browse my expert house-sitting guides!
- Click here to get 20% off Trusted Housesitters annual membership. They operate in over 130 countries!
- Aussie House Sitters is a great option for Australian house sits. I had great success with them as soon as I joined.
1. Guides for House Sitters
If you’re interested in learning the basics about house sitting, including what it involves, how to get started and the pros and cons, my guides below have got you covered.
I’ve completed over 170 house sits since 2015 and have used my extensive pet-sitting experience to help you find success too.
2. Join a Top House-Sitting Website
If you want to house sit in return for free accommodation, the house-sitting websites that I recommend joining are Trusted Housesitters (click here for 20% off a Trusted Housesitters annual membership) for wordwide sitting and Aussie House Sitters for pet sits in Australia only.
These sites are ideal for travellers or digital nomads, as you can specify a wide range of areas that you’re interested in staying in. You can learn more about these sites below.
Please note that if you join through my links, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you.
Trusted Housesitters: Pet Sitting Worldwide
Trusted Housesitters has been running since 2010 and offers house sits in over 130 countries for their verified sitters!
They differ from other house-sitting sites by offering a range of perks and membership tiers for both sitters and owners. There’s even a combined membership for those who want to both house sit and find a house sitter for their own pets.
Some of the available perks for home owners using Trusted Housesitters include:
- home and contents protection;
- money-back guarantee if you don’t find a sitter within two weeks;
- free 24/7 video calls with vets;
- global airport lounge passes;
- house sit cancellation insurance.
Some of the available perks for house sitters using Trusted Housesitters include:
- accident and third-party liability protection;
- house sit cancellation insurance;
- free 24/7 video calls and online chats with vets;
- global airport lounge passes;
- instant alerts for unlimited saved searches.
Aussie House Sitters: Pet Sitting in Australia
Aussie House Sitters has been in operation since 2004 and is Australia’s largest house-sitting site.
They were the first site I joined when I was looking for free travel accommodation on my Australian road trip. I got my first job almost immediately and continued to find great success with them when I continued pet sitting long term in Sydney!
Aussie House Sitters is completely free for owners, and their membership rates for sitters are reasonably priced.
3. Paid House Sitting Jobs
If you’re thinking of starting a pet-sitting business in your local area like I have, there are a number of websites you can join to find paid pet-sitting jobs in Australia.
These sites allow you to set your own rates, but they handle the money between you and the owner as well as provide insurance.
I have completed over 200 paid house sits through MadPaws since 2016, and also get paid to feed cats, walk dogs and look after puppies in their homes!
My blog posts below explain how much you should charge and why, as well as debunk some misconceptions about paid house sitting.
4. Guides for Homeowners
If you’re a pet owner and want to know how to find a house sitter or prepare for one, I’ve used my seven years’ experience as a pet sitter to write the guides below.
It’s crucial that you take steps to find the right sort of sitter for you, as well as prepare both your home and pets before the sit starts.
Scroll down to the next section for links to my recommended websites for finding a house and pet sitter.
5. Find a House Sitter Now
If you’d like to start looking for a house sitter immediately, here are links to my recommended house-sitting websites for pet owners. Please note that if you book through some of these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, which helps me to keep producing free content for this site!
Option 1. House Sitters Who Don’t Charge
Trusted Housesitters is a fantastic, long-running site with ID-verified house sitters who will accept free accommodation as payment for pet sitting.
Aussie House Sitters is also a safe and legitimate site and completely free for homeowners. As the name suggests, it is for Australia-only house sits. I had great success with this site when I started house sitting.
The sitters on these sites are often travellers, remote workers or those who have decided to house sit to save money instead of having their own place.
Here’s more detail about my recommended house-sitting websites below.
I started house sitting through this website when I was travelling Australia, and found the site very easy to use. House sitters pay a subscription fee to the website, but it’s totally free for pet owners.
There’s no insurance or cancellation protection, but if you’re happy to arrange a sitter on a trust basis only, it can be a big money saver.
Trusted Housesitters is a worldwide site. The house sitters don’t charge, but both owners and sitters pay a subscription fee to the site, and can even have a dual owner/sitter membership.
Perks can include home and contents protection, money-back guarantee, free video calls with vets, sit cancellation insurance and even airport lounge passes!
Option 2: Local, Professional Pet Sitters in Australia
With MadPaws and PetCloud, you’ll find local, vetted sitters in Australia, who will attend a meet and greet before accepting the booking and can work for you time and again to form a relationship with your pets.
These local sitters normally have their own home and aren’t travelling, so they charge a fee for their services rather than working for free accommodation.
The websites provide public liability insurance for the sitter, as well as accident cover for your pet. They also handle the money between you and the sitter, and only release your payment after the job is completed.
You can also book locals for a range of other services, including daily home visits to feed pets, dog walks, doggy day care and hosting pets overnight in sitters’ homes instead of yours.
I’ve personally used both PetCloud and MadPaws but have had the most success by far with MadPaws. I also much prefer how user friendly the MadPaws app and website are.
PetCloud is an Australian business that’s part-owned by the RSPCA, and I’ve had a few jobs through them myself over the years. You can book a large range of services from local pet lovers. To receive $10 credit towards your first booking, just join through this link or use the discount code LISA2754.
The site I’ve used the most for local house sitting in Sydney since 2016 is MadPaws, another great Australian business. Their website and app is easy to use, and they have great customer service. They’ve also really invested in improvements and listening to feedback since I’ve been with them.