Q: I am very interested in home swapping but wasn't sure if having a pet would be a problem (I have a very friendly cat called Tony!). Ideally it would be great if the guests staying in my home could feed my cat and give him the odd tickle under the chin - I just hate going away and leaving him in a cattery. Is pet care something people might do when home swapping? - Janice (Toronto).
A: Hi Janice, great to hear that you're interested in home swapping. You can let Tony know that many members are very happy to look after pets during their home exchange. When you join Home Base Holidays you will see tick box options for “Pet care required”, “Pet care offered” and “Pets welcome”. It really can be an excellent option for many pet owning 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 an added bonus to swap with a home that has a pet. However, it is important when discussing a potential swap to right away let the other member know that you'd require pet care; for some members, especially those with allergies, looking after a pet (or even staying in a home where a pet has been) would not be possible. Also, some exchange partners might want to spend a night or two away from your home and so may not ideally want to be tied down by agreeing to look after pets (it is possible that this can be overcome by arranging back-up care, perhaps with a neighbour or friend who lives nearby).
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