With Workaway you can find 998 hosts and organisations for pet-sitting and animal care work around the world.
Low cost travel without having to pay expensive agency fees.
There are 6672 reviews for 702 Hosts and organizations.
702 Hosts for Pet-sitting and animal care were rated at least 4.8/5!
I had a great time, I spent 2 weeks there in April 2021 and was soon welcomed by both David and Bryna, as well as the other intern working there. We g...
by Alex , 07/05/2021
I spent only a short time volunteering at this amazing rescue centre but it was one of the best volunteering experiences I have had in Costa Rica. If ...
by Francesca , 06/05/2021
I recently volunteered with Tony and Cheryl for just over a week. I had an amazing time, got to know the flying foxes and spend a lot of time with the...
by Elena , 06/05/2021
The horse sanctuary is an incredible place. I was there for three months and enjoyed every moment. The animals there have a great life, are loved and ...
by Ragna Henrietta , 06/05/2021
The moment I came to the farm, I instantly fell in love with all the animals that are living there! Everyone has a different story and a lot of them h...
by Milena , 05/05/2021
Registering as a Host
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Are you an animal lover? Think you might miss your dog or cat while you’re travelling? Can you see yourself walking a dog through the early morning mist along a deserted beach? Or petting a cat on a shady terrace by a pool? Or feeding horses on a hobby farm? You can find an outlet for your longing for the company of animals if you volunteer to do some pet sitting or animal care while you’re travelling!
Pet sitting is what a volunteer does when someone asks them to look after their pets in their home while they are away at work, on holiday or travelling. The pet sitter can stay in the property for free, in exchange for looking after the owner’s pets. Everyone knows pets are happier at home – and a live-in pet sitter not only saves animal boarding fees, it keeps the owner’s pets relaxing in their happy place surrounded by their favourite toys, familiar smells, and usual snoozing spots, ready to pick up their ears when the pet-sitter comes into the room. And at Workaway, pet-sitting can even include other forms of animal care, like helping out on a hobby farm, working with endangered species or volunteering at an animal sanctuary.
If the owner needs help with a lot of animals or is away from home at work during the day, pet sitting may involve very simple tasks, such as walking the dog, putting out food and water for the horses or keeping the cat company. However, if the owner is going away, then pet sitting starts to look a lot like house sitting, because the pet sitter will have to take on more responsibility and may be asked to do other jobs too, like simple maintenance (including looking after the pool and watering the garden), and generally making sure that everything runs smoothly, just as if the owner was at home. All of the facilities in the house, such as cooking utensils, washing machine, TV and Wi-Fi, are available for the pet sitter to use free of charge.
Sounds like a great arrangement, doesn’t it? It’s certainly a fantastic way to volunteer and travel the world, saving you heaps of money on accommodation, and saving the host the cost and worry of placing their animals in kennels or other boarding options. But let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of pet sitting, before looking at some tips on how to find pet sitting and animal care opportunities on Workaway. (If you want to find out more about house sitting with Workaway you can read more here.)
Once you start checking out pet-sitting opportunities on Workaway, you’ll soon find out that looking after someone else’s beloved animals brings with it a lot of responsibility. Workaway hosts want your loving care and undivided attention to go to their beloved pets. It’s important to know this before embarking on your adventure and to think about the implications of this responsibility. And there may be other aspects of pet sitting that don’t suit you.
So you’ve heard stories of people looking after wonderful animals in amazing places. And after reading the pros and cons of pet-sitting, you're interested in trying it for yourself. Here are some tips for finding pet-sitting and animal care opportunities on Workaway and some FAQ about pet sitting.
Workaway has more than 50,000 opportunities all over the world, among them nearly a 1000 NGOs, all looking for volunteers. Browse our host lists to find incredible opportunities all over the world to help meaningful community projects.
Workaway is the world’s leading community for volunteering and cultural exchange. Lone travellers will find plenty of opportunities to meet and connect with the locals, but Workaway also offers many opportunities for couples, friends and families. Workaway has more than 50,000 opportunities and many of them are looking for pet sitters and other help with their animals – this is the perfect way to make travelling affordable anywhere in the world, or to allow you to travel for longer. Whether you want to visit coastal paradises, inland cities or farms, or get right off the beaten track and immerse yourself in wild nature and local life, the perfect host is waiting to hear from you. It doesn’t matter whether you are exploring during your summer holidays, or seeking a gap year adventure, the volunteering opportunities are almost unlimited and will guarantee you have the time of your life.
Like other volunteering opportunities, Workaway pet sitters save money on accommodation, while travelling on vacation, or when living nomadically. Pet sitters can experience living like locals in different countries and cultures around the world, for anything from a few days to several months, or sometimes even longer. Although there is not a separate list of hosts looking for pet sitters, there are plenty of pet-sitting and animal care opportunities available all over the world that can be found on the Workaway site. When using the Workaway search tool, just tick the “animal welfare” box in the “More Search Options” drop down menu on the host search page and start choosing from the more than 1000 hosts currently looking for volunteers to help with animals all over the world. Some of these are one-offs but others are more regular, since ex-pats often return to their mother countries regularly to visit family members. You can also enter “pet sitting” in the text box on the search page and view host profiles who have specifically mentioned a need for pet sitters in their profile.
If you’re very young, or look like a violent criminal, you’re probably going to find it hard to get a place while the owner is away! But if you’re responsible, trustworthy and a genuine animal lover, you stand a good chance of becoming a pet sitter.
Competition can be steep, as many volunteers like the idea of looking after animals. So when you write to your host looking for a pet-sitting opportunity, make sure you give enough information to inspire confidence. Talk about your knowledge and experience of looking after animals and give evidence of your love for them. It will help if you can offer a testimonial or reference. Don’t forget to ask Workaway hosts that you’ve already stayed with to give you a review.
Remember, although all volunteering opportunities are based on trust and part of the sharing economy, pet sitting involves even more trust than usual, because you will be left in charge of the owner’s beloved animals. Don’t be surprised if hosts ask for more information.
Pet-sitting placements can last from a couple of weeks to a few months. Usually they cover people’s holidays, so one to two weeks is common. However animal sanctuaries or projects with working animals may need volunteers for longer periods.
This will depend on your agreement. Some hosts will provide your food, but others will expect you to do your own shopping. Make sure you discuss this. Pet food should obviously be paid for by the house owner, and the owner should also make sure items like toilet paper, cleaning sprays, clean cloths and dishwasher tablets are fully stocked up before the pet-sitting adventure begins.
It isn’t essential to have your own car, but you might find it difficult to live without one in a remote location if the owner is away. Ask your host about public transport and shops before committing yourself to a pet sit.
Again this will depend on the agreement you make with your host. The house owner’s main concern is usually the welfare of their pets, but it would be very strange behaviour to stay in someone’s house and leave it dirty. If you haven’t agreed to do more, then a basic clean up is advisable before the owners return. If you’ve been sleeping in the owner’s bed, it’s also nice to wash the sheets and make the bed for them, especially if they’ll be getting back at night. Both the pet owner and pet sitter should leave the home clean for each other out of basic courtesy. And remember, if you get good reviews, you will find it easier to get other pet-sitting opportunities!
Pet sitting duties vary hugely from job to job; you could have an easy-maintenance cat that just needs dry food and water topping up (quite rare though), or a whole menagerie of animals that require medication, multiple walks and even special meals. But after you fulfil the obvious duties like cleaning and feeding, remember to give the pet extra affection, by stroking, cuddling and talking. Pets – and especially cats and dogs – are very social and crave human attention, especially when their owners are away.
If you are planning to visit any country as a volunteer and not as a tourist, you must have the correct visa. To find out about the latest requirements, you need to contact the Embassy in your home country before travelling. And please don’t forget to take out appropriate insurance to make sure you qualify for healthcare!
Pet sitting can be a fantastic way to travel and to get to know a new place at a low cost. For hosts who need a holiday, it’s a brilliant way to keep their pets happy while they’re away. For projects such as animal sanctuaries or hobby farms, it’s a great way to get an extra pair of hands at busy times. If you’re ready to expect the unexpected, enjoy someone else’s home and kitchen and love someone else’s animals, then pet sitting could be perfect for you. Why wait any longer? Join Workaway and get planning your trip! And once you’re there, making friends with the animals and making yourself at home, remember to get out and visit the area as much as possible – you’re still a traveller after all!