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TrustedHouseSitters Reviews: Who’s the house-sitting service good for?

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If you love traveling, boarding your pets can be expensive and inconvenient. Bothering your circle — or finding and paying for a trusted pet sitter — can also be an expensive headache. 

If you travel often or for extended periods of time, staying in hotels and rentals can also eat into your budget. 

TrustedHousesitters offers its members an affordable and unconventional solution by exchanging accommodations for pet and home sitting. It’s a great place to find trustworthy pet/house sitters or sit in exchange for practically free lodging while you travel. 

“As a travel expert and pet owner, finding a way to marry the two together can be stressful and unnerving,” says Cairo Ferguson, a TrustedHousesitters owner member and writer at Journey Junket. “My beloved cat Molly is hard to leave behind when I'm off on my adventures, so finding a trustworthy and reliable sitting service has been a godsend for me.” 

Keep reading for our TrustedHousesitters review and to see how the service works:

What is TrustedHousesitters?

TrustedHousesitters is an online service that connects home/pet owners and sitters via owner, sitter, or combined memberships. 

With a yearly membership, owners can find and hire sitters to stay in their home and provide home and pet care. Owners only pay the membership fee and do not offer the sitter additional pay. In exchange, sitters get free lodging while they watch the owner’s pets and home. 

Sitters also pay an annual membership to apply for sitting gigs and get hired in exchange for free accommodations. They do not collect additional payment from the owner or pay for their stay. 

Pet and homeowners, as well as pet and home sitters, pay for an annual membership starting at ​​$129 per year, which allows them to either: 

  • Hire pet and home sitters for free 
  • Receive free accommodations if they take a pet/home-sitting gig

If you want the perks of both a sitter and an owner membership, l combined owner/sitter memberships start at $189 per year. This membership is ideal for people who want to sit and also have people watch their pets/homes while they’re away.

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Is Trusted House Sitters legit?

TrustedHousesitters is a legitimate service with mostly positive reviews from sitters and homeowners.

It’s difficult to find negative reviews about TrustedHousesitters, other than the odd person who had a bad experience with a specific sitter or homeowner, like this person: 

It seems that as long as you do your homework in selecting a sitter or choosing a place to sit, you should have a positive experience — barring any typical travel headaches.

“I’ve met great pets and people from all around the world,” says Sarah Wilson, TrustedHousesitters sitter/owner member and creator of the travel blog LifePart2andBeyond.com

“I’ve met sitters that I didn’t particularly gel with but my dog adored them, and I came back home to a happy dog, healthy plants, and a clean home, and that’s all you want. I love receiving lots of happy photos of my dog, and when I sit, I always send many photos of their pets, too. ”

TrustedHousesitters reviews on Trustpilot 

TrustedHousesitters is a verified company on Trustpilot with 4.6/5 stars based on nearly 15,000 reviews from both owners and sitters. 

Trusted Housesitters review on Trustpilot.

Many sitter reviews are from families, who shared fond memories of pet cuddles and comfortable (free) accommodations. 

Owner reviewers note how the service helped alleviate stress and worry about leaving pets alone while they traveled. Plus, they found caring and trustworthy pet sitters.

The few negative reviews consistently bring up issues with TrustedHousesitters' customer service department not taking adequate actions against house sitters who are inappropriate or negligent. There are horror stories of pet sitters abandoning pets or trashing homes, then threatening owners for giving them bad reviews. 

TrustedHousesitters does not have a Better Business Bureau profile or rating. 

TrustedHousesitters reviews on Reddit

Questions posted on Reddit about TrustedHousesitters mostly ask if the service is a scam or worth trying. Most responses from Redditors are from sitters who praise the service. One sitter member recounted how he had a great experience watching pets in dozens of countries to enjoy free lodging:

An owner on the following post says they've used the service for more than 10 years and never had a negative experience:

Another Redditor said sitters on TrustedHousesitters are more motivated to do an excellent job than paid in-home sitters like those hired on Rover. They note that positive reviews help sitters book extremely nice homes while traveling:

How does Trusted House Sitters work?

Pet and homeowners pay a yearly subscription on TrustedHousesitters to:

  • Create a profile for their home/pets
  • Post a listing to find house and pet sitters for a specific time period
  • Browse/hire house and pet sitters

House/pet sitters also pay a yearly subscription, which allows them to:

  • Create a profile that lists their credentials, availability, and where they’re willing to travel
  • Apply for unlimited pet and home-sitting gigs from available listings

Once sitters apply to a listing, owners can review their profiles and read reviews. Owners can also exchange additional messages with sitters to learn more about them before hiring. It’s also recommended owners and sitters set up a video chat via a third-party app like Zoom, WhatsApp, or FaceTime. This is another opportunity to get to know each other.

Sitters accept home and pet sitting jobs for no additional pay. Their “pay” is getting to stay at the owner’s home for free and essentially have a vacation in the area they’re staying. Sitters will still be responsible for other travel expenses like flights and food. 

If you need help covering travel expenses, consider signing up for a travel rewards credit card. Compare different cards and see their perks on CardRatings.com >>

Unlike other house-sitting websites, owners and sitters on TrustedHousesitters do not swap homes — the homeowners typically already have a trip booked when they post a listing on the site — though someone can sign up as an owner and a sitter to get the perks of both memberships. 

This video explains how TrustedHousesitters works: 

Who is TrustedHousesitters good for?

TrustedHousesitters is perfect for pet owners who frequently travel and don’t want to board their pets (or pay for pet sitting). Owners who have homes in or near vacation destinations and major cities will likely have better luck connecting with pet sitters. Since pet sitters are unpaid — and have to pay for their own travel expenses like flights and food — there isn't much motivation to pet and house sit in undesirable locations. 

“Part of the reason I felt comfortable using the service was the vigorous checks done on sitters, which include references and background checks,” Ferguson says. 

She says the first time she used the service, she chose someone with a lot of positive reviews. 

“I was so lucky that the couple that looked after my Molly was amazing – and even added me to their WhatsApp and sent me pictures throughout the duration of my trip – which really put my mind at ease,” she says. “I actually always book the same guys now and make sure they are available around booking my trips.” 

TrustedHousesitters is also an excellent service for folks who love spending time with animals and want to save money on travel accommodations. Paying for a yearly sitter membership allows you to book free lodging while traveling in exchange for caring for someone's home and pets. It helps if you have a flexible schedule or can bring your work with you to wherever you travel. 

“Almost all the pet-sitting experiences were fabulous,” says Shelley Ross, TrustedHousesitters sitter member and creator of the travel blog, Lifejourney4two. “I tend to choose those with cats and/or limited to one to two dogs now, which makes life easier and gives me time to explore the area, which is the whole point for me.”

Ross says she has saved thousands in accommodation fees traveling all over the world. 

“One of my early sits was in France, for nine months, and another in South Africa for five months. Just those two meant I paid no accommodation costs whatsoever for over a year. 

She says that while pet and house sitting does have its responsibilities, she enjoys spending time with the pets and being able to explore new places at a greatly reduced cost.

If you are someone with pets who wants to travel to new destinations, you can use the service in both ways with a combined membership, which allows you to house/pet sit anywhere in the world and also hire a pet sitter to watch your own pets while you do it. 

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Trusted House Sitters memberships

There are nine annual membership options on TrustedHousesitters:

What are the 3 types of memberships? 

  • Owner – Owner memberships are for people seeking house and pet sitters while they travel. Owners can post listings and browse/hire pet and home sitters based on their profiles/reviews. Plans get more sophisticated as the cost increases to include additional insurance, features, and travel perks. 
  • Sitter – Sitter memberships are for people who want to pet and home sit in exchange for free accommodations. All plans offer free background checks. More expensive plans offer additional insurance, tech support, and travel perks. 
  • Combined – Combined memberships offer the perks of both of the other membership options. You can house and pet sit to get free accommodations while you travel and hire people to care for your pets and home while you're away.

How much does a TrustedHousesitters membership cost?

These are all of the TrustedHousesitters membership options and their annual costs: 

Sitter annual membership pricing

  • Basic – $129 per year
  • Standard – $169 per year
  • Premium – $259 per year

Owner annual membership pricing

  • Basic $129 per year
  • Standard $199 per year
  • Premium $259 per year

Combined annual membership pricing

  • Basic $189 per year
  • Standard $229 per year
  • Premium $319 per year

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What does it take to become a member?

For home/pet owners, becoming a TrustedHousesitters member is a relatively easy and quick process that requires you to create a profile and pay for an annual membership. 

Becoming a sitter member will require some additional time and work. All sitters must complete ID checks to verify their identities, and all U.S. sitters must undergo a free background check. 

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How to set up a Trusted House Sitters profile

Both home/pet owners and sitters should use a catchy heading that invites people to view their profiles. 

If you’re a pet/homeowner, your profile should include: 

  • Name
  • Photos of your home/pet
  • Description of your home/pet
  • Things to do near your home
  • What you need the sitter to take care of
  • Additional information about your pet’s needs
  • Dates you need a pet/home sitter
  • Why someone should pet/house sit at your home

If you’re a sitter, your profile should include: 

  • Name
  • Photo of you
  • Age
  • Location
  • Career 
  • Why you want to house sit
  • If you're a solo sitter, couple, or family
  • Hobbies and interests
  • House/pet-sitting experience or skills 
  • Character references

Why choose Trusted House Sitters?

If you are someone with pets who loves to travel — and your home is in a desirable location — TrustedHousesitters can be an excellent service to get free pet sitting. Likewise, if you are someone who loves pets and wants to save money on travel, you can get free accommodations using TrustedHousesitters. 

Reasons for owners

  • Required sitter background checks for more peace of mind 
  • Membership costs significantly less than boarding your pet at a kennel
  • Standard and premium memberships include up to $1 million coverage for theft, property damage, public liability, or sitter-related accidents
  • Refunded membership if you can't find a sitter within 14 days of posting your initial listing
  • 24/7 access to free phone, chat, and video consultations with veterinarians
  • Premium memberships include two global airport lounge passes eligible in more than 600 airport lounges
  • Premium memberships include cancellation insurance that covers $150 per night ($1500 per sit) to cover alternative sitters

“The yearly fee pays for itself the first time you get a sitter,” says Libbi Roed, a TrustedHousesitters owner member and travel advisor behind the travel agency, The Gypsea Traveller

She says she typically pays a pet sitter $40-60 per night to watch her dog and cat, so the annual fee is actually less than a week of paying a sitter. 

Reasons for sitters

  • Save a ton of money on travel accommodations
  • Homes are available in more than 150 countries
  • Many owners are happy to allow sitters with children to stay in their homes, too
  • U.S. memberships include free background checks and email, phone, ID, and reference checks
  • Standard and premium memberships cover up to $1 million in pet damages or injuries during your sit
  • Premium memberships include cancellation insurance that covers up to $150 per night ($1500 per sit) to pay for an alternative stay
  • Premium members receive two global airport lounge passes for your travels

“We, of course, love spending time with the animals and are usually sad to leave them.  It's been a fantastic experience,”  says Melissa Rowe, TrustedHousesitters sitter member and co-creator of the travel blog Wandering Through Maine

She says she recently spent a month in Poland and is currently in England for four different month-long sitting gigs. 

“It's incredible that we get to work online (ESL and math), travel the world, stay in amazing locations for months at a time without paying for lodging, and we get to have fun with an amazing assortment of animals.”

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Trusted House Sitters alternatives

If you’re looking for a home swap or more traditional pet-sitting service, these are some Trusted House Sitters alternatives: 

Love Home Swap

Love Home Swap is an online community that lets people swap homes for a vacation — similar to the arrangement in the movie, “The Holiday.” While people who swap homes can agree to watch each other’s pets, Love Home Swap is mainly a service for people who want to swap vacation homes.  

Love Home Swap has three plan options ranging from $132 to $180. You can also purchase points to redeem for stays without swapping homes. Love Home Swap offers a free, two-week trial that lets you list your home and view available home swaps in more than 100 countries. 

Home Exchange

Home Exchange is a home swap site with a similar model to Love Home Swap, with stays available in 159 countries. Annual Home Exchange memberships cost $175, which allows users to participate in an unlimited number of home exchanges. 

You can create a Home Exchange profile for free and find a home to exchange before you sign up. You can also use GuestPoints to pay for stays if you don’t want to host people in your home, which you can earn or buy through the site. 

Exchanges can include taking care of pets. Members can also have their ID and contact information verified. 

Rover

Rover is an app strictly for pet sitting, dog walking, and doggy daycare. Users pay for individual services booked through the app, and there is no flat fee for pet sitting services. 

Like TrustedHousesitters, Rover requires sitters to pass a background check. You can find sitters to come to your home or leave your pets with the sitter in their home. 

TrustedHousesitters FAQs

Do you make money on Trusted House Sitters?

No, you will not make money on TrustedHousesitters. Owners do not pay sitters to stay in their home. Sitters are essentially “paid” for their pet and home care services with a free place to stay. 

Owners also can't make money listing their homes to pet and home sitters like a vacation rental. Instead, both owners and sitters pay a yearly fee to be able to search for and book stays and sitting services.

Is house sitting safe?

There is always a level of risk when you’re letting a stranger stay in your home and take care of your pets. However, TrustedHousesitters requires U.S. sitter members to complete a free criminal background check through an accredited third-party service called Evident. All sitters must also apply for an ID document check through Evident to verify their identity. 

The best way to ensure you’re hiring a safe person to watch your home/pets is to: 

  • Read their past reviews and ratings 
  • Connect on a video or phone call before your trip

How does Trusted House Sitters handle insurance?

You are responsible for having your own home insurance policy as a TrustedHousesitters owner to cover damage, theft, and other liabilities. However, some insurance policies won't cover house sitters. 

To fill this liability gap, the standard owner and premium owner membership levels also include Home & Contents Protection underwritten by GUARDHOG. With an existing home insurance policy, this additional protection plan covers up to $1 million in theft, property damage, public liability, or sitter-related accidents. 

Standard owner and premium sitter memberships on TrustedHousesitters offer sitters accident and third-party liability protection. This covers sitters for up to $1 million in pet damage or injuries on their watch. 

Premium sitter and owner memberships also provide cancellation insurance to help pay for hotel stays or pet/home sitting services in the event of a cancellation. Sitters and owners who cancel sits may face repercussions — like having their membership canceled or suspended — if the cancellation is outside membership terms. 

Bottom line: If you love pets and traveling, TrustedHousesitters might be right for you

Paying for a TrustedHousesitters owner or sitter membership allows you to book unlimited home or pet sitting services for as long as you’re a member. You can also book home and pet sitting gigs all over the world and never pay for accommodations. You can also sign up for a combined TrustedHousesitters membership to take advantage of both options.

Whether you’re an owner or sitter, you can cover other travel expenses with a travel rewards credit card. 

Compare travel rewards cards on CardRatings.com >>

What is TrustedHousesitters?

TrustedHousesitters is an online service that connects home/pet owners and sitters via owner, sitter, or combined memberships.

How does Trusted House Sitters work?

Pet and homeowners as well as pet sitters/house sitters each pay a yearly subscription on TrustedHousesitters.

Who is TrustedHousesitters good for?

TrustedHousesitters is perfect for pet owners who frequently travel and don’t want to board their pets (or pay for pet sitting).

Is Trusted House Sitters legit?

TrustedHousesitters is a legitimate service with mostly positive reviews from sitters and homeowners.

Do you make money on Trusted House Sitters?

No, you will not make money on TrustedHousesitters. Owners do not pay sitters to stay in their home. Sitters are essentially “paid” for their pet and home care services with a free place to stay.

Is house sitting safe?

There is always a level of risk when you’re letting a stranger stay in your home and take care of your pets. However, TrustedHousesitters requires U.S. sitter members to complete a free criminal background check through an accredited third-party service called Evident. All sitters must also apply for an ID document check through Evident to verify their identity.

How does Trusted House Sitters handle insurance?

You are responsible for having your own home insurance policy as a TrustedHousesitters owner to cover damage, theft, and other liabilities. However, some insurance policies won't cover house sitters.

Carley Millhone is a writer and editor based in the Midwest. She often writes about lifestyle, health, and wellness, and her work has appeared in publications like Greatist and PureWow. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her hitting the trails for a run or hike. She’s also a new mom.

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