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How to Get the Perfect Pet Sitter / House Sitter (Even If They’re Not a Fashion Model)

Got an injured dog, or a sick cat and you have to travel?, my friends.

This is THE MOST incredible service for finding amazing people to housesit or petsit.  We have personally used this service three times to care for our SLED DOG Tookie.

True Story:

Our dog Tookie had injured a ligament around Christmas time.

image of the real tookie, sled dog out in the snow

This is the real Tookie.

Our trusted kennel would not take pets that were ill or injured, so we had to come up with a solution, fast, to find a way to visit distant family while also making sure Tookie was in good hands.

Last minute at Christmas time?  We thought we were screwed.


Find a neighbor Find someone local (stranger) Hire a teenager
All our neighbors had cats; Tookie liked cats a little too much… And come back with the house emptied, Tookie gone. A few neighbors had had their dogs stolen – not an unwarranted fear. Our neighborhood lacked teenagers, and besides, what if said teen got grounded for misbehaving? Who would take care of our dog?

We somehow found and thought: This will never work.   Who would want to come to a little town far from the big bad city at Christmas time with a week’s notice?  

Turns out, a lot.

We went through the list of interested people.  We had other Canadians, an Australian, and a few Americans.  One of the Americans was a real working model from New York City.  We phoned Lucie, the model, and Loved her.  Not because she was a model ….

How to Select the Right Person

Your potential petsitter will likely not be super glamorous.  But here’s how we found all great people:

  • We only went with people who used LOVE when talking about dogs
  • Their background descriptions didn’t set off any alarms – had families from X, retired from Y, etc
  • Offered a good reason WHY they wanted to come to a stranger’s house and care for a dog – Upfront.
  • Some skin in the game. The petsitters we chose all had some kind of good reputation in the world and would not want to screw that up by being bad to our dog.

Guess what happened?

Each time we returned home, we found our dog totally happy (if slightly fatter)!  And the house was in great shape.  One carer even cooked us a gourmet meal for us when we got in.

How it Works

  • Sign up using the link below or here. Free for home owners, small fee for people who want to housesit/pet sit.
  • Post a request for a petsitter on the site, including some photos.  The more personable and specific your ad is, the better.
  • Review the inquiries that come in.
  • Select the one that appeals to you the most. Don’t over-think it but definitely verify that your first choice doesn’t set off any alarms when you chat.
  • The persons involved should be ready to provide references and other markers of being a good person.
  • Take advantage of Self-Selection bias. What messes with scientific research turns out to be a great phenomenon, when it comes to petsitting and housesitting.

The Best Thing

We made friends with our sitters and continue to be in contact with them long after they left our house.

And remember Lucie the model?

She said, “You and my mom should meet.”

8 months later, Maria Laskar and Jennie Shipman Bonwich had collaborated on a kid’s book called Professor Blue Top Secret Lab Journal.


Tookie from real dog to a cartoon dog


We can do nothing but sing’s praises.


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