UK website to offer low cost pet-sitting services

The UK’s first social networking website to offer pet-sitting services by pet owners themselves has launched, promising a ‘sharing economy’ solution to finding local pet care for less.

 Pet is an innovative new approach to the age-old problem of pet care while on holiday. Combing the support of an animal-loving online community with the money-saving principles of the collaborative economy, the website takes away the hassle and stress of finding a pet sitter by allowing pet owners to easily connect with people nearby who are happy to pet sit — often for free.

Pet offers a ‘win-win situation’ for all concerned. Many people would love to have an animal around, but just don’t have the time to look after a pet on a permanent basis, while pet owners want to have the peace of mind their pet is being cared for in a loving environment while they’re away, but if possible avoid the expensive costs of a kennel or professional sitter.

Membership is free and the service allows pet owners to find sitters in their area who have a similar pet themselves, or experience with that animal, to ensure the perfect match. In many cases, the pet sitting is offered at no charge, or on the basis that the favour be returned when required.

Pet founder Phil Harris, from Cardiff, says that he got the idea for the social networking site — believed to be the first of its kind in the UK — after becoming a dog owner himself.

He said: “I bought my first dog, a beautiful little King Charles spaniel called Minnie, about a year ago. Since then I’ve met countless dog owners while out walking Minnie and quickly found that they would always make a fuss of her and offer in passing to look after her if I went away.

“Even though I have friends and family who could pet-sit for me I would often run into a situation where they were all busy. My mind would then race through all the people I’d met while walking Minnie who’d offered to pet sit, but there was never anyway to contact them — until now.”

Pet has been launched specifically to help pet owners make contact with people who are happy to pet sit their animal. Pets can be left in a loving home for a fraction of the price of a kennel or expensive pet sitter service and in most cases, they do it for free.

Phil concludes: “When it comes to animal care, the real experts are the pet owners themselves so leaving your pet — be it a dog, cat, bird or more exotic animal — with someone who currently owns, or has owned, the same animal is great peace of mind and a win-win situation for everyone.”

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