Planning a trip this Thanksgiving? If, like many pet owners you're planning to spend the holiday season away from home, then you’ll want to make sure you find a pet sitter — one who’ll keep your pets safe, loved and happy at home over the Thanksgiving period.
To help you on your way, your Community Manager, Angela Laws, has pulled together her top tips for Thanksgiving house sits. With over 100 sits under her belt (plus experience as an owner), she’s the perfect person to help you find your Thanksgiving pet sitter...
1. Post your dates early
Thanksgiving is a busy time of year for both sitters and owners alike. Adding your dates as early as possible gives you the best chance of securing a pet sitter with plenty of time to spare. Not only will this be less stressful for you as you plan your trip, but it will also give you and your sitter plenty of time to communicate and prepare for the upcoming house sit.
Depending on where you are travelling to/from, you may also need to factor in some additional time for COVID travel tests. Be sure to secure your pet sitter well ahead of time, and check the necessary travel requirements to ensure a hiccup-free trip.
Angela’s top tip: “Try to arrange a home tour a few days before your sit (this can be done virtually). This, along with your completed Welcome Guide will give your sitter everything they need to know — from your pet’s needs to the best local dog-walking routes — and will allow them to get settled and enjoy some quality time with your pet.”
2. Add some personal touches
Whether your sitter is staying for Thanksgiving weekend or for a couple of weeks, you’ll want to make sure your living space is clean, comfortable and welcoming.
As well as general cleanliness, take some time to clear out some wardrobe space and free up some room for bathroom toiletries. You could even add some thoughtful decorative touches to the house — some pumpkins or a festive wreath — or introduce them to your neighbours. After all, Thanksgiving is a time to share and these thoughtful gestures will help your sitter feel welcomed and appreciated.
Angela’s top tip: “Creating an inviting Thanksgiving scene by adding festive photos to your listing will help draw sitters in. You could also ask ahead of time if there are any groceries they would like you to get in, or simply surprise them with some basic groceries and festive goodies. This isn’t required, of course, but is a wonderful way to give them a warm Thanksgiving welcome.”
3. Be open to your sitter inviting a guest
Although some sitters will appreciate a quiet Thanksgiving, if you’re happy to, why not give your sitter the option to bring a friend or family member? There are many couples and even whole families who enjoy pet sitting together on TrustedHousesitters, particularly over the holidays which offers a welcome change of scenery (not to mention, a furry friend to cuddle on those cold nights!)
Angela’s top tip: "If it's not convenient to have an additional guest stay over, then why not offer your sitter the option to invite a friend or relative for a meal during their stay? Thanksgiving is a time to share meals with close friends and family, and your sitter will surely appreciate the offer."
4. Be flexible with your travel dates
With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, it can be a busy time of year to travel. Leaving and arriving a few days either side of Thanksgiving could be your ticket to a less stressful trip — for both you and your sitter.
Travel costs are another factor to consider over the holidays. Making plans early and being flexible with your dates means everyone can take advantage of cost savings, rather than booking last-minute (which can be costly).
Angela’s top tip: “Be sure to communicate your departure and arrival times with your sitter well in advance. And why not help your sitter by sharing a timetable of the local travel times, or offer to help them find suitable transportation from the train/bus station or airport?”
5. Look up any local parades
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year, but it can also be a lively one! Be sure to research if there will be any local Thanksgiving parades or firework displays in your area. That way, your sitter can arrange to be at home should there be any loud noises that might unsettle your pet, or they can avoid a specific route while out on their dog walks.
Angela’s top tip: “Want your pets to look their best? Don't forget to book the groomer in before you leave... everyone wants to look their best for the holidays, even the most discerning of pets!”
Have your own Thanksgiving house sitting tips to share? Be sure to pop over to our Community Forum and share your thoughts and expertise on everything from pets, travel, house sitting and more!
If you’re planning a trip this Thanksgiving, be sure to add your listing dates today and put some of Angela’s expert tips into practice!