More than half of Australian households include a furry, four-legged friend whose unconditional love sees many of them treated like a member of the family.
It’s now heading towards that time of year when people need their fur babies cared for, not to mention maintenance of their properties and gardens, while they're away on summer holidays.
Live-in house and pet sitters are becoming increasingly called upon, to ensure our prized treasures are treated with respect, love and attention.
According to Australian house and pet sitting website, mindahome.com.au, engaging a live-in house and pet sitter to care for your home and pet while you travel not only provides peace of mind, it also saves you money.
"Pets can become stressed when they are separated from their pet-parent, so allowing them to stay in their own home environment with a pet sitter, with their own smells, sounds, routines and spaces, can reduce the anxiety they may feel when their owner is away," co-founder of the business, Sue Coombs, said.
According to a survey on pet ownership conducted by Animal Medicines Australia, our nation has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, with about 5.7 million of the nation’s 9.2 million households being home to a pet.
The survey found that Australian pet owners spend in the order of $520 million on pet boarding and minding, with boarding facilities sometimes increasing their daily rate during peak holiday periods.
Boarding fees can quickly start adding up if you're planning an extended holiday, which can prove even more expensive if you have more than one pet.
Hiring a live-in house and pet sitter provides your pet with one-on-one attention, while other household duties such as watering the garden and collecting the mail are also taken care of.
"It's a win/win situation for both home owner and house sitters," says Coombs.
“Home and pet owners have the benefit of personalised care for their pet and home, while house and pet sitters stay for free in the homes they care for.”
According to Coombs, more than 60 per cent of mindahome.com.au house and pet sitter members said saying goodbye to their new fur-friends is the hardest part of the experience.
“Our members are animal lovers through and through, and love the pets just as if they were their own," she said.