Pet Sitting and House Sitting in Japan: A Guide for Pet Owners and Sitters

Would you like to combine your love for animals and your passion for travel? 

Are you looking for somebody to look after your furry friends when you are on vacation?

Then this guide is for you!

Having done many pet and house sits in Japan and other countries I would like to share my experience with you and help you having a great time in the Land of the Rising Sun. Pet and house sitting in Japan is the perfect way to travel if you love animals or are on a budget (because those sweet Yen are vanishing faster than you think). I will also be including tips if you are a pet or home owner and looking for a sitter.

What is a pet or house sitter?

A house sitter is somebody who looks after your house while you are gone. He/she will water the plants, collect your mail and help you maintain your house. A pet sitter will look after your pets. Feed them, walk them, change the litter or play with them. Many travelers will be more than happy to help out in exchange for free accommodation and fulfill both of these roles.

Advice for pet and house sitters

I have mainly looked after dogs and cats in Japan for periods of 1-2 weeks. Since I often work from home, looking after a dog and taking him/her on multiple walks a day is no problem for me. If you’re out and about all day you might want to rethink taking care of a dog because generally speaking it will take more time than looking after other animals and might interfere with your desire to be out all day and explore a new city. Cats on the other hand are usually fairly easy to sit and will be happy to have some playtime with you when you are home.

Updating your host on their pet’s well-being will be very appreciated. Sending some pictures of their pets is also a good way to make the owners feel at ease and let them know that their pets are well and cared for. Also keep in mind that you are a stranger in somebody else’s home. Treating your host’s home well comes without saying but I made sure to clean up a bit before I left because nothing is worse than having to clean up a messy house after you come home from a long trip. Another note on housing is to respect the neighbours. People are living very close together in Japan and minding everyone’s space is very important.

Why you should do a pet or house sit in Japan

Pet and house sitting is a great way to save money and have a homy base from where to start your adventures from. Skipping sleepless nights at noisy hostels doesn’t sound sweet enough? Then getting your daily dose of furry cuddles might be another benefit to convince you. You are also able to stay in somebody’s home which means you usually have full access to all appliances. It is usually an easy job for a few hours a day and you will be rewarded with a happy animal.

Scroll to the end of this article to save a great deal on access to a trustworthy house sitting platform!

Advice for home and pet owners

If possible it is always great to meet your pet and house sitter beforehand. Whether on Skype or in person you often get a better perception of who somebody is through direct conversation rather than text. Having your pet and your sitter meet in advance also makes the transition easier for you pet once you are gone.

Make sure to leave detailed notes on your pets habits and needs. It is important to keep your pet’s schedule as stable as possible even without you. How much food do they get and when is it served? Do they need any medication? What are good spots to go on a walk around the neighbourhood? Is there anything they particularly like or hate?

Don’t forget to leave your pet sitter your vet’s contact details and maybe leave some cash in case of an emergency (you never know – knock on wood). Notes on anything that isn’t self-explanatory in your home are also advisable.

Why you should get a pet and house sitter

Taking pets out of their known environment and having them looked after in a kennel is often not the best solution as they feel most comfortable at home. Their main caretaker being gone for a while is already a lot of change but being put in a totally new environment with many unknown things can be a bit traumatising.

Combining your need for a pet sitter with a house sitter is therefore ideal because your pets can stay at home and you will have somebody staying with them while giving them the love and care they deserve.

What websites to use to find a house or pet sit(ter) in Japan

I highly recommend TrustedHousesitters where both parties have to go to a verification process and I believe it’s one of the safest platforms. It comes with a higher price tag than other sites but it’s totally worth it!

Just think of how much money you would spend on a hostel or a kennel anyways, but the membership gives you a year of unlimited opportunities to seek a sitter or to find a sit. If you would like to sign up and get 25% off your first year than use this link or click on the image below.

There are often sits available especially around the Tokyo area but you can use the platform worldwide.

Another popular websites is Mind My House. It has the same principle as TrustedHousesitters but no verification process of somebody’s actual identity. I can also from personal experience recommend the Facebook group Pet and Housesitting in Japan which is absolutely free.


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