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Thread: What to do during extended holiday?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Toowoomba, QLD
    Posts
    1,223

    Default What to do during extended holiday?

    Hi everyone,

    We have a wedding of one of my partner's family members in Vancouver next April (2014) so we've planned and booked a big holiday around the USA and Canada.. we'll be gone for a total of 31 days.

    I'm a little stuck on what to do with our 2 dogs and cat while we're gone... My family are going on a separate overseas holiday around the same time as us so they won't be able to look after the pets and my partner's family are also going to the wedding and have their own travel plans so they won't be able to mind the pets either. I've contacted a few boarding kennels and the general quote has been around $1500-$2000 which I wouldn't mind paying but I worry about leaving the animals so far away from home, in such a foreign environment for so long! Unless there is an exceptionally good boarding kennel/cattery around SE QLD (who won't charge an arm and a leg).

    I'm thinking about maybe finding somebody who can 'house sit', because we will obviously need someone here to feed the fish, collect mail etc. We don't really have any reliable friends (got home from our last holiday a few hours earlier than expected.. found 10 days worth of mail scattered all over the front lawn and soaking wet from the rain... we went to get the dogs from the kennels and when we got home, the friend who was meant to be house sitting was at our house frantically trying to make it look 'regularly visited'). Is there any website or something similar where people come and live in your house, looking after everything.. like a 'house swap' but without you living in their house? They would have to be good with animals though (and it would be a bonus if they could feed my horse too!)... does anyone on this forum feel like a month long holiday to Toowoomba?

    Any other suggestions on what we can do would be very much appreciated, the holiday is still a fair time away but I'd love to get it all sorted and planned early so I have one less thing to stress about!

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    se qld
    Posts
    836

    Default

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,581

    Default

    I'm completely paranoid about these things...

    I have gone and left my evil hound for a month while I was overseas. Two different friends said they'd look after her - one for the first weekend when the second one couldn't. Neither of them coped very well with my dog who barked a lot. Told lies (about getting to sleep on the bed) and also crapped in one friend's room. A sure sign of stress (on everybody's part). She ended up at my Plan B - which was a boarding kennel that had been recommended by other friends, and I visited that place before I left so they would meet her and have all of her details (including proof of vaccination) if plan B happened. According to them, it happens a lot.

    The main thing - is to have a trial holiday before the big holiday - so you don't all end up totally screwed when you're far away and can't do anything about it. Especially for the dogs. If the place is vaguely familiar and they know you will come back... it goes better for everyone.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Mid North Coast NSW
    Posts
    388

    Default

    Wouldn't mind a holiday in SE QLD, but then I'd have to find someone to house/dog sit for me

    Good idea getting organised early, hope you sort something you're happy with so you can relax and enjoy your holiday.
    Last edited by dhru; 08-15-2013 at 06:22 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Toowoomba, QLD
    Posts
    1,223

    Default

    Thanks everyone

    I'll definitely check out that website Chubb!!

  6. #6

    Default

    Some more links for you 'Kristy.Maree' - if that is the way you want to go:

    House Sitters | House Sitting | Pet Minding Australia

    StayMe.com.au - Australia's No.1 website for house sitting and pet sitting.

    House Sitting & House Sitter Jobs | Dog, Cat & Pet Minding | TrustedHousesitters.com

    At least with people from Australia - you can check references easily and make sure they can provide 'police check' documentation for you.

    Happy Hunting !

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Toowoomba, QLD
    Posts
    1,223

    Default

    Thanks everyone

    We went to Melbourne last week and had the mother-in-law house sit, I was worrying the whole time about the dogs barking, being destructive, escaping, running away on walks etc and decided that I don't know if I'd feel comfortable having somebody look after them for a whole month. So I think we might put the dogs in kennels, if we can find some that are 'happy places' and will not charge an arm and a leg.. I've called all the ones around here this morning and they all said they can only give me a 'long term discount' if they're boarded for 3+ months, I might send Nev from this forum a message now and ask him about his place, because I know how much he actually cares and looks after them.

    We will still need a house sitter for the cat, fish and general house duties, bins, mail etc so I'll research all the links you guys have given me

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bunbury
    Posts
    1,378

    Default

    We want to travel next year and i think a good kennel is our best option. Now the research part.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Rural NSW
    Posts
    5,967

    Default

    A friend of mine used a house sit website. First 2 times were great, third time were robbed.
    I would be taking animals to boarding places and fish etc even in big tanks into "holiday" tanks to be cared for at people's places. My birds used to go in a couple of "holiday" cages to a friend's place. Mail can be stopped by the PO. Even plants can be housed elsewhere but someone found/paid to water the garden.

    If bins aren't used they don't need emptying and housework is nil as well if no one is there.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  10. #10

    Default

    Hi there,

    As a house sitter I’d thought I’d pitch in with some suggestions.

    House sitting is a very personal thing and you really do have to feel 100% comfortable with having someone in your home whist you are away.

    However, done in the right way you’ll have peace of mind and your pets get to stay in their home and make some new friends!

    Here are some top tips to help you research what options right for you.

    A recommendation is always best, but if you don’t know anyone I would try these sites:

    mindahome.com.au
    aussiehousesitters.com.au
    stayme.com.au

    I have used them all and looked after some beautiful homes and pets. I would recommend you use an experienced house sitter rather than an acquaintance. I say this, because I do know someone who had a work colleague offer to look after her dog. She accepted, but unfortunately they were careless with her house. Perhaps because they didn’t appreciate the responsibility that comes with not only looking after a pet, but someone’s home too.

    Of course, for many having a friend or colleague works out perfectly, even if they haven’t sat before – so consider every option. It really depends on what works for you.

    You should always request references and should be able to speak to a referee if you would like. We always met home-owners a couple of times, to make sure everyone is comfortable. We like to get clear instructions too. This will often extend beyond pet care into garden and pool maintenance. By clearly thinking and outlining what you want your sitters to do, they will be crystal clear on what you expect. Don’t forget what might be routine for you, probably won’t be for them.

    Hope this helps – happy to answer any questions!

    Louise

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