Q: I am interested in joining the Home Base Holidays home swap scheme but was wondering whether leaving animals like cats and chickens for reciprocating home swappers to look after was normal policy? – Sally S.
A: Many members are happy to look after pets for their home exchange partners as part of the exchange agreement. When you register on the site there are tick box options for “Pet care required”, “Pet care offered” and “Pets welcome”. It really can be an excellent idea for many members as it saves on pet care costs and it’s nice to know that your pets are being looked after at home.
Many members would find it a bonus to exchange with a home that has cats, and especially chickens if it means fresh eggs for breakfast! However, when in the early stages of discussing the possibility of an exchange, it is important to mention that pet care would be required as for some people, especially those with allergies, this would not be possible. Also, some exchange partners will want to spend a night or two away from your home and so won't want to be tied down by agreeing to look after pets (for many, this can be overcome by arranging back-up care, perhaps with a neighbour or friend who lives nearby, for any period when exchange partners will not be available).