HOUSE SITTING GUIDES
If you love animals and would like to score free travel accommodation or live rent free, house sitting could be a great option for you! Conversely, if you own a pet and need to find pet care while you’re away from home, using a house sitter can be a fantastic way to keep both your pets and home well looked after.
I began house sitting in 2015, at the start of my Australian road trip, and lived in some amazing properties for free in return for looking after pets while their owners were on holiday.
House sitting is so in demand in Australia that I continued doing it in Sydney for over three years. I also registered as a business and charged owners for the service. I now have my own place but still take on regular, paid house sits in my local area.
Take a look at my guides to learn more about house and pet sitting, or sign up to my free e-mail training course below, which includes an instructions template for owners to fill in!
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.
2. Join a Top House-Sitting Website
If you’re keen to start living rent free or want free travel accommodation as soon as possible, here are the best house-sitting websites that I recommend joining. These sites are great for travellers or digital nomads, as you can specify the areas you’re interested in staying in.
Please note that if you join through my links, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps me to keep producing free content for this website. Thank you!
For house sits within Australia only, I’d highly recommend joining Aussie House Sitters, one of the largest sites in the country. I began with them and got my first job almost immediately, plus plenty more during my Australian road trips. There’s no insurance included, but the membership is reasonably priced.
For worldwide house sitting, I’d recommend joining Trusted Housesitters. They have three tiers of membership, which can include sit cancellation insurance as well as accident and third party liability insurance, in case a pet causes damage or injury to another person or property due to your negligence.
3. Paid House Sitting Jobs
If you’re thinking of house sitting in your local area, rather than for travel purposes, I’d thoroughly recommend charging for your services. This is standard in Australia and expected by most home owners.
There are plenty of websites you can join to find paid pet-sitting jobs in Australia. You set your own rates, but the sites handle the money between you and the owner and also 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 some misconceptions about paid house sitting.
4. Guides for Home Owners
If you’re a pet owner and want to know how to find a house sitter or how to prepare for one, I’ve listed everything you need to know in my guides below. 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. Thank you!
Option 1: Local, Insured 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 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.
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.
Option 2. Free House Sitters Internationally & in Australia
Aussie House Sitters and Trusted House Sitters are for house sitters who will accept free accommodation in an owner’s home as payment for pet sitting, instead of charging a fee. The sitters are usually travellers, or have decided to house sit to save money instead of having their own place. Here are 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!