Hi, from NE Scottish Highlands

Hello everyone. I’m new to this forum and to the idea of a housesitter. It feels a bit strange to have a stranger stay in our house, sleep in our bed, etc!

In October this year our whole family is finally able to travel overseas. It also means that our four little chihuahuas will get their first sitter. I’d never put them in kennels, as they would be so miserable.

Any tips for a newby? I’m worried that I won’t find anyone because we are quite far North. We live north of Inverness, ideally placed for the famous North Coast 500 route. Hopefully this will encourage some interest for someone fancying exploration.

9 Likes

G’day,Morena,morning!

Welcome & you’re in the right place to get all the info to help guide your options.

You’re in one of the coolest parts of the planet (dad’s from Renfrew area originally) & have explored up to The Shetlands when I was a bit younger. I’d be there in a flash but perhaps another time :+1:.

In your ad, ensure to give as much info as possible & know what type of sitter you’re aiming for.

May you find an awesome sitter.

Have a good weekend.

2 Likes

Thank you!

1 Like

Welcome @PaulineW to a great pet-loving community. Sounds like a lovely family trip scheduled for the fall. As new members, since October, I don’t recall seeing many housesits in your neck of the woods. Therefore, I’d say it would be a very popular area, for folks who have never been to that part of the world. Best of luck finding your sitter, and enjoy all the helpful information located on this forum.

1 Like

Hello @PaulineW welcome to our community forum and thank you for joining us from the beautiful Scottish Highlands, a favourite location for many sitters. You have come to the right place for help and advice as a “Newbie”

I note that you have not completed your membership registration, if this is something you’d like help with I can get @Therese-Moderator to connect with you, she will help build your confidence and get started.

The first time using anything new can be a little daunting and inviting a sitter into your home is a little like a leap of faith but when you follow the process, which is tried and true, your choice of sitter is an educated choice made on all of the information available and copious amounts of communication.

Nothing should be agreed until everyone involved is 100% happy and confident that the sitter is right for owner, pets and home and the sit is right for the sitter.

After the first time and when you see how happy your beloved pets are with your chosen sitter, you’ll wonder how you ever managed before.

Welcome again, and please ask any questions and our members will be delighted to give help and advice.

Angela and the Team

2 Likes

Some views of Inverness …

istockphoto-1097556186-612x612

istockphoto-1290775727-612x612

5 Likes

Hi, @PaulineW and Welcome to the Forum.

Peter here, from Glasgow, but dog sitting currently in Bali.

I have done a few sits in Scotland, on the west coast and in Blairgowrie, and they are always very popular sits.

There are currently over 400 sitters registered in Scotland, and due to current covid rules and regulations, and ever-changing rules and regulations, a lot more people are only travelling “locally” or within their own country.

Your sit is still some months away, so when you do list it, I would not worry too much if you don’t get many applications immediately, a lot of people are waiting to see how things, hopefully, improve. Although you might find that in the first few applicants you get the perfect sitter - I wouldn’t wait too long as sitters need to plan ahead too.

I know the North of Scotland very well, I had a caravan in Aviemore for almost 15 years and travelled to Inverness and beyond regularly, so I know it is an amazing part of Scotland, at any time of year.

Some things to think about in your listing - how remote is your property, are you in a town, village, what amenities - supermarket or local shop, pub, restaurant, hotel. Is your home accessible by public transport or does the sitter need a car? How long can the dogs be left alone if the sitter wants to explore? if it is a long sit, what is there to do locally, within a short drive etc. Provide some nice pictures of your home, internal, where the sitter would sleep, living area, kitchen etc - on a long sit a sitter wants to know how comfortable they will be. I am sure that there will be more replies from other sitters on this Forum.

There are several guides to getting started with THS both on the website and on the Forum - some great ideas about what to include in your listing.

Good luck with your adventures, and I am sure you will find a great sitter for your pets and home.

4 Likes

Hi @PaulineW and welcome to our forum which is really more like a community. You will find so much helpful and friendly advice here. I’m retired and an Australian sitter with my husband and we will be in the UK for a few months from December house sitting full time. Our goal is the spend 1-2 months in Scotland from mid January 2023 & are happy to go to remote areas. As we won’t have a car and will be relying on public transport it’s important for HOs to be very clear in their sit listings about whether a car is really necessary. A lot of HOs select the generic “sitters need a car” but we have already secured sits in the UK where this is selected but we don’t need a car. I would prefer a HO to state in their location description that a car is prefered but you can get by without one if you are prepared to rely on public transport or walk x miles to the nearest shop. The other thing that turns me off listings is where there are no or limited inside photos of the property. If a HO doesn’t include several clear photos of kitchen, lounge, bedroom, bathroom and yard where we will be living then I don’t even consider applying. We live in a lovely comfortable home so we want to know that we will be staying in somewhere clean and tidy and whether we are ok taking on the HO’s household responsibilities. Also, describe your location/town through the eyes of a first time visitor. What would attract any visitor to travel to your location? If it’s remote then sell the advantages of that, peaceful, lovely walks, get back to nature etc but also be honest about any challenges e.g. 10 miles from closest shop, no close neighbour, poor mobile phone coverage etc. Yes, you will reduce your sitter pool but you increase your chances of getting the best sitter for your home and pets. I hope this helps. Regards, Jenny

5 Likes

Thank you all for the kind welcome. My son set us our listing, so it won’t be under my name. The listing title is very similar to this topic title though, if anyone wants a gander. Feedback to improve our listing most appreciated, thanks.

1 Like

H again @PaulineW I have just checked out your listing and it looks great.

I had actually thought you may be away longer than the 2 weeks and was going to say that may reduce the number of interested sitters from Scotland/UK but at 2 weeks there will be more sitters able to do that period of time I think.

The only thing I can think to add is do your dates cover your actual leaving/return travel dates? Would you like sitters to come a day early for a handover if you have space to accommodate them? Do you need to leave early in the morning to travel to the airport/arrive home late at night? Is there a local hotel or BnB a sitter could use the day before/after? Some sitters try to do back to back sits so need to know all dates required. Just my thoughts.

3 Likes

Hi @PaulineW, lovely to see someone else in this neck of the woods! I’m in Bonar Bridge and joined this community just about a month ago. I’ve got plenty of trips planned and usually get a match fairly quickly. I’m always amazed at how far people will travel! If you want to chat and compare notes, I’d be glad to help as much as I can.

3 Likes

Hi @PaulineW Ill email you directly from membership services so I can talk everything through with you. Kind regards Therese

2 Likes

Hello Pauline, I will apply for the house-sit in a few minutes, as I love Chihuahuas and I love Scotland! More in my personal message. Here, I just want to add a note for all, regarding your concerns about strangers sleeping in your bed - as this may not be necessary at all.

The “comfort demands” of house-sitters vary from person to person, and if you view their profiles you will get an idea what level of comfort they are used from their own home. While some are really demanding, for others - like myself - a mattress on the floor or a sofa in the living room are perfectly sufficient. Quite honestly, I could even sleep in a sleeping bag on a haystack in the barn!

So, no worries, you will always find a sitter here that suits your needs.

Kind regards,
Romana

2 Likes

Thank you. I received your emails. Details of our listing are under my profile. In my sons name as he received membership as part of Perry’s insurance offer.

Hi and welcome @PaulineW! I had been hoping to travel to the Scottish Highlands this summer and hoped a sit would come up. Instead other sits in England caught my eye and I took them. So, my tip is to get your sit listed fairly early (I think THS recommends 1-3 months). Good luck!

2 Likes

Welcome, Pauline, to the THS tribe! As a housesitter, i would recommend you make sure you get good pictures of your home including the bedroom and bathroom the sitter will be using. I won’t stay at a place unless i know it’s clean, tidy, and pleasant. As many pictures and details you can supply will be to your benefit. Best of luck and safe travels.

2 Likes

We live in the States and have done over 50 pet sits including two in your Highlands. One was looking after a Corgi in one of the two closest homes overlooking Urquhart Castle. You would be surprised how many people who are like us. Adventurous people who like being a little remote in a quiet rural setting. As I write this we are looking after a cat on a farm on the Oregon Coast. The more information you give potential pet sitters the better. Let them know where services are like restaurants and markets. Send photos of the inside of your home and the outside of the home. Perhaps a nice view of the area surrounding your home. As an experienced pet sitter I never even consider a sit where photos are not provided of the home’s interior and exterior. I want to get a relatively good idea of where we will be spending time while pet sitting. Let people know what you expect from them in terms of your pets needs. Do they require walks and how many and how far each day. We personally prefer sits where if it’s a dog they have room to run around during the day so that we can explore a bit of an area. The Highlands is one of our favorite destinations anywhere so I am sure that you will find others like us. Four dogs will be a bit much for most sitters, but if you have the right situation you will find someone. I have talked to many many pet owners and all have been very satisfied to use THS’s on more than one occasion. It’s a win win situation for both sides. Just try and pick someone with good references Through Trusted Pet Sitters. A Face Time or like exchange will give you a pretty good idea if you can relate to someone. With more than one dog I would always want a couple. Remember when you stay in a hotel you are sleeping in someone else’s bed.

3 Likes

Hi there. I lived in Invergorden for a couple of years. One of the best places. Friendly and lovely people. I don’t think you’ll struggle for pet sitters in such a beautiful area.

3 Likes

Lovely photos Glenfinnan Monument a truly beautiful scene and best viewed from a distance in my opinion :smile:

1 Like

Welcome Pauline. I’m in Edinburgh and have been staying local in Scotland since last year and reacquainting myself with Scotland’s beauty.
I don’t think you will need to be worried about finding a sitter.
Enjoy the forum.

1 Like