Publié le by NmNomador
Petsitting For Many Animals: Why You Should Embrace The Menagerie
We’ve all seen the listings for house sits in the perfect city, in a stunning home, and with affordable transportation to boot. You’re about to click “apply”, when you notice that the numbers next to the cat and dog icons are astronomical or there are 4, 5, 6 or more types listed and it immediately gives you pause.
Suddenly, your ideal pet-sit doesn’t seem so idyllic.
You start asking yourself, how could you possibly handle that many animals?
Don’t be deterred! These assignments aren’t always as overwhelming as they can seem.
How I Embrace the Menagerie
My first ever petsit was in a small Turkish mountain village with 4 cats and 3 dogs. The homeowner, who is now a good friend, sent me a message that said, “Do you want to care for my small menagerie in the mountains of Turkey?”
The answer was a resounding, Yes!
But I’ll admit, it did seem like a big responsibility at first, especially for my first sit. But once the homeowner introduced me to all of her lovely animals and walked me through their routines, it was easy peasy and an incredible experience. In fact, I’ve been back three more times to care for that wonderful crew of animals.
Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to care for a wide array of dogs, cats, chickens, and even fish. My personal record is 20 cats and 4 dogs at one time. Honestly, those figures were pretty daunting at first. But it turned out to be one of the most stress free sits I’ve ever done. It helped that I had my partner with me, but I easily could have done it on my own. The cats were very independent and many only showed up at feeding time, which was quite a sight to behold.
The Benefits of Petsitting for Many Animals
For starters, you wouldn’t be a petsitter if you didn’t love animals. Isn’t a home office with three cats better than a home office with one?
Caring for a mini-zoo can also be really fun. Imagine opening a can of tuna and witnessing 20 cats run into the kitchen all at once. Plus, if you’re on your own, having a pack of animals surrounding you will give you a feeling of security. At the very least, you’ll never be lonely.
This experience will also help you grow your confidence. If you can keep more than five pets fed, watered, and happy at one time, you can handle just about anything.
Having a glowing review for a petsit with many animals on your profile will also give you a huge edge over other applicants for future sits. Homeowners will see that you can handle a lot of animals at once, so caring for their one cat in a luxury apartment in Amsterdam will be a no brainer for you.
Know What You’re Getting Into
Before committing to a petsit with half a dozen animals or more, ask the homeowner to give you a rundown of the daily tasks and how long they usually take. Then ask yourself if that gives you enough free time to enjoy yourself.
If you’d hoped to get in lots of sightseeing, but the list of animal responsibilities looks more like an ad for a farm hand, you may decide to not take that placement. Unless a peaceful farming placement is what you’re looking for, of course.
But don’t let the number of animals alone scare you off. Half a dozen chickens might sound like a huge undertaking, but daily duties like feeding and collecting eggs can take as little as 15 minutes. And in exchange, you get free eggs! The same goes for four-legged friends. Feeding time and litter box scooping may take significantly less time than you think.
Even walking three dogs en masse isn’t so bad. I’ve gone on many mountain hikes with a tiny pack and they were some of the most enjoyable petsitting experiences I’ve had.
To ensure that your experience with “Noah’s Ark” goes smoothly, take detailed notes! This applies to all petsits, but when you’ve got multiple animals on different medications and diets, your chances of forgetting something increase. It’s best to have a separate notebook page for each pet. Also, bear in mind that the homeowner may be stressed getting out the door for their trip, so it falls upon you to ask lots of questions about each animal’s routine. You can even begin this process before arrival if that helps to streamline the process!
If it all feels like a bit much, take a breath. Remember, that the homeowner cares for their brood on a daily basis, without batting an eye. You can do it too.
But if you do forget something, the homeowner is only a text or phone call away. They’ll be very understanding (and probably appreciative!) if you want to double check something.
Before becoming a freelance writer, Laurel Steele worked as an English language teacher in South Korea, Nepal, and Turkey. She then lived in Istanbul for three years, writing about the city professionally. Since October 2016, she’s been living the digital nomad lifestyle, house sitting around the world, and overstaying her welcome on friends’ couches in between. She chronicles these adventures on her blog and Instagram account @laurel3d.