House/Pet Sitters in Le Marche

11/16/2012 - 15:08

Back in March my wife and I did a house and pet sit for friends living in Macerata province of Le Marche, whilst they went back to the UK on family business. Having enjoyed the experience and undertaken similar work in the UK we wondered whether this may be a service that people over here would find useful. As we are looking to establish ourselves full time in Le Marche in the near future (we have a little house in Sarnano) it would be an ideal situation for us.Do you know of anyone that might be needing help and could do with a trustworthy reliable couple in their mid-fifties to look after things while they are away? We think we might be able to fill the gap for pet owners in particular, who would prefer to have their pet/s looked after at home, rather than take them to kennels. In any case, it would be good to know if this kind of service would be appreciated over here in Le Marche. We are semi-retired and not looking to make a huge profit, just a daily allowance including travel expenses is what we are thinking. Any replies would be most welcome to help us gauge whether this would be of interest.



I'd love to know how much you'd charge - and whether you'd accept a discount if it was for a longer period of time. We live about 45 minutes away from Sarnano and would love to travel for a month or so at a time.  I'd just be worried that our cats would return to their original feral state if there wasn't someone actually in the house to welcome them in...

We don't live in Le Marche yet but I think that there would definitely be some interest in this.  My husband is a veterinarian and we know of several people who offer this kind of service where we live.  We personally have someone house sit when we are away as we have 2 dogs, 4 cats and fish, so it is much easier to have someone at the house then bring all of the animals to our office.  They are all much happier being at home.  People in our area typically charge between $15.00 to $35.00 per day to stay at a house, depending on how many animals/type to care for.  We also provide our sitter with food.  There are also services where people will come in once or twice a day to walk, feed, etc.  Not sure what these fees are.  When we move over, it would certainly be of interest to us.  Our cats are all indoors only and that is another reason we would rather have someone to come in.

i would be very interested. Would you come to the Montepulciano region of Tuscany? i have two basset hounds called Harold and Maude and a collection of chickens on my small farm - idillic living i hope! Let us know. We have nothing planned but a contact who would be ineterested to house/pet sit would be great!

We live near Tolentino - during the summer we are at our house from April until October, and have two cocker spaniels.  Next year my son is getting married on August 9th and we need to come back to the UK for probably a couple of weeks - so would be interested in talking to you.

You've had some good responses here, I hope you make this work! I suspect most of your clients are going to be the British, and maybe Americans or Northen Europeans (I guess most pet loving Italians are going to have family near by). It is going to be very important for you to have a good reputation, for reliability and honesty - you already have some people who you can use as references, but it will need a bit of thought as to how you advertise your services. If I was going to engage a house/pet sitter I'd want to speak to them, preferably on a landline telephone, or (if local) maybe meet for a coffee in a bar. (From your point of view, this could leave you open to meeting some weirdos if you haven't also checked their credentials.) Eventually - especially if you manage to meet other ex-pats in your area on a social basis - you may be able to rely on word of mouth, but in the early days you are going to have to make 'outside' contacts, and this forum seems to be a good start. Talking to the local vets would also be a good idea, because they are likely to be the sort of people potential clients will ask about pet sitters. Don't get too excited, because one major snag is that loads of people are going to want their pets looked after over Christmas, for example, but few will be away from their Italian homes in May: and of course if you do want to venture into Umbria or Tuscany it almost certainly means you can't have any pets of your own at home.

Thanks to all who have taken time to read or respond to our initial posting. We are grateful for the feedback from Fillide as it is, no doubt, of interest to all in general. As we are kind of old hands (well, we are in our mid-fifties) from our experience in the UK in this area, hopefully this knowledge translates equally well in Italia! This said, we have already done some research as to what is already (or not) available over here in terms of pet services including charges. It might be fitting to say that we ourselves are looking at modest rates with costs for additional services, such as gardening, painting, household jobs (beyond general upkeep) should they be required. For serious enquires, a consultation is recommended in the pet owners home, this will be free of charge within the local area. This will be to establish information about the pet/s, to discuss all expectations of both parties and any other relevant details. We aim to be fair and flexible whilst looking to establish a mutually satisfactory arrangement. Having had a rescue greyhound and lurcher for the past 12 years, we are happy to sit for animals who might have certain needs and issues which call for a patient, understanding and responsive attitude. Hopefully, we may be making a few furry friends in Le Marche soon! We are very approachable people, so please get in touch via email where we can direct you to further information or answer any questions you may have.