Travelers that have pets may find home exchange a practical and affordable way to take care of their pets when on vacation. Boarding cats and dogs can be very expensive and home swappers may be willing to take care of pets as part of the home exchange deal.
Here are some tips if you’re planning to leave pets at home when doing a home swap: - The first consideration is whether your pets will accept the care and company of new people in your own home. For example, some dogs may be quite territorial and may become aggressive with someone they don’t know.
Include pet photos in your home listing. Bring up the fact that you plan to leave your pets in your home at the very beginning of your communications with a potential home exchange partner. Do not wait to discuss this issue at the last minute. (And least of all, don’t neglect mentioning your pets at all. Finding unexpected animals will not be a pleasant surprise for those arriving at your home). If your potential home swap partners are not willing to take care of your pets then you can consider not going on with that exchange deal or find alternative pet care.
Explain all the chores you’ll expect the people staying at your home to do concerning pet care (frequency of feeding, where the food will be, excercising , etc.) The amount of care may be minimal as in the case of feeding fish. But it could also be much more involved if you’re swapping an apartment and have a dog that needs to be taken out three times a day or on daily walks.
In addition to discussing pet care in detail before the exchange, leave detailed written instructions at your home, including the vet’s phone number and the number of a friend or neighbor that can help in case of any problems.
Make alternative arrangements for pet care in case of problems and inform your exchange partners what those are.
Honesty and clarity in your communications with exchange partners is always the key to insuring a great home swap experience.