House Sitters: Help for Holidaying Hobby Farmers

by PetCloud / Pet Owner Advice / 3 Jun 2018

House Sitter feeding Horse

The peace and serenity of a hobby farm in the country can be a life-changing move for many Australians.  However, have you considered where you will find experienced and trusted help to care for animals if you take a holiday away?

Whether you are due for a holiday, semi-retired, or travel to compete in horse training competitions, finding an experienced, police checked, and insured House Sitter can go a long way towards putting your mind at ease while you're away.

Regardless of what pets you own, a daily supply of clean, fresh drinking water needs to be available for all animals at all times and the bowl or drinkers (in the case of birds) must be cleaned daily. Body checks should be done daily, and food provided daily.

1. Consider the types of Pets you own, and the type of Services you’ll need

A cute pot belly pig - one of the many gorgeous pets we've had the privilege of caring for.

  • Horses – at a minimum, the trough needs filling up, they might need some lucerne, or oat pellets, or switching to a fresh field of grass to feed on.  Depending on weather, they may need locking up in stalls, or their coats put on. Their coats will need brushing down. If any further work than this is required, we recommend a professional Horse Pharrier.
  • Cows – We recommend experienced professional Farm Hands for large scale, commercial farms as they may require daily milking.  This is not a service that PetCloud provides.
  • Chickens, Geese and Ducks – need letting out in the morning and locking up in the late afternoon to protect them from predators such as foxes. Eggs will need collecting. Grains or fruit will need dispersing and water filling up.
  • Other Birds – Will they have cuttlefish and bird seed objects to nibble on? Are there feeders to daily wash and refill?
  • Goats, Sheep, and Alpacas – will they sleep in a stall at night and be let out of a morning daily? Is there adequate grass or do troughs need to be filled with hay and feeding oats?
  • Working Dogs – Will they need to be chained up to their dog house at night? Or will they sleep unchained on the veranda to protect the property?
  • Pigs – will need to be feed twice a day with suitable pig food, suitable for their age and breed. 
  • Rabbits & Guinea Pigs – will need to be given fresh lettuce and grass and carrots to nibble on and they need to have the hay changed regularly in their cage. Their cage may be placed out in indirect sun while this is done, but they will need to ensure they don’t overheat during hot weather or become too cold during winter weather.

Horses have been one of the many animals our Sitters have looked after

2. Frequency and type of care needed

Booking a House Sitter is one who comes and stays overnight and full time at your hobby farm from the time you leave until the time you come home.  

Read: How To Make Your House Sitter’s Stay Comfortable

Hiring a House Sitter to stay is appropriate if you live a long way out from town, and you will be away longer from your hobby farm than 2 days, or have pets that need around the clock supervision and care, or have expensive pets at risk of being stolen or poisoned such as race horses, bison, miniature ponies, miniature pigs, french bulldogs, chow chow dogs, Samoyed dogs or exquisite birds such as macaws.

3. Another consideration is the Length of time you’ll be away for

Booking a Pet Sitter to do Daily House Visits is okay for short periods away.  House Visits (they don’t stay overnight) is where Police Checked Sitters just call in to your hobby farm to feed and water all the pets, do body checks, pat them and lock them up over night if necessary. This is appropriate if you are only away for a short amount of time.  If you own dogs on your hobby farm - dogs are pack animals, and prefer to be in company, so if you are away longer than 2 days – the RSPCA recommends a House Sitter is a more appropriate form of care.

4. Consider the Age of the Pets that need Care

Older pets (from 7 human years of age upwards) have unique needs that require special care and attention.  Due to mental impairment, blindness or hearing difficulties, senior pets may be confused.  You will need an experienced House Sitter to speak to them at all times before touching them so they aren’t startled and to reassure them.  Accidents can also happen. Older cats and dogs may occasionally soil floors and carpets if their bladder and colon muscles are weak, and they cannot get outside or reach a litter box in time. You will need a patient House Sitter who does not admonish them.

All PetCloud’s House Sitters are police checked and insured.

Hobby Farm Pets and Horses are happy at home, knowing that a loving House Sitter is there for them, giving them a sense of security at a time when they may feel anxious about their Owner's departure.

So take that trip away from your hobby farm, worry-free, and sign up to PetCloud free, create a Profile, then Post a Job for a House Sitter on PetCloud's Pet Jobs Board today!