Hi All ~ Julie of Melbourne, Australia recently sent over a dilemma…. she would love to take advantage of home exchanging but feels that she can’t as she has a cat in residence.
For Julie and anyone else who has yet to become involved with trading homes with other travellers because you have a pet, don’t assume that you won’t receive any bookings. In fact, I know of hosts who receive bookings because of the pets! I also know of hosts who receive repeat bookings from the same guests who have ‘bonded’ with the pets on previous stays!
Through exchanging homes with other travellers on your next trip, not only will your accommodations be free (by using the money that a guest has ‘paid’ you to stay in your home) but you will also save on boarding fees for your pets. Boarding facilities in my city charge approximately $20 to $23 plus taxes, per day, per cat. That is almost $50 for two cats which totals $350 for a week. Fees for dogs are considerably more and ranging from $45 to $60 per day.
When a guest agrees to ‘share’ your home with your cat or dog, not only does the boarding fee stay in your pocket, your pets remains in its own familiar surroundings.
Although this may not be for everyone when they are travelling, there are many guests who would be extremely comfortable in a home with pets.
If you do leave your pets behind for your guests to care for, you will need to provide:
– Detailed feeding and handling instructions.
– A supply of food, any medications, litter etc.
– An emergency contact number for your Vet should something happen in your absence.
– Instructions for your Vet to follow in case of an emergency. Ensure that your Vet has your credit card details on file for billing purposes.
It’s recommended that there be an overlap time with you and the guests to allow your pets to get to know their new ‘housemates’, before you depart for your vacation. For dogs, two days is suggested and for cats, one day.
Keep in mind… The care for dogs is more demanding than that for cats. A guest may be willing to stay in your home knowing that your dog is present, but your dog may be left alone while they are out on day-long excursions. A guests’ schedule is different when on vacation than when at home with a normal work/life routine. Caring for your pets may limit their mobility and spontaneity during their vacation and unfortunately the care of your pet may be compromised.
If you are not comfortable with leaving your pets in your home for guests to care for while you are away, the best option is to either board them in a kennel or place them with a reliable friend or relative.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog…. and keep sending your dilemmas!