More than half of home-sitters in the UK choose to look after an unusual pet, including pigs, bearded dragons, tortoises, peacocks, alpacas and even a pygmy hedgehog.
Home and pet-sitting company Homesitters conducted a survey of its employees last year, which revealed that chickens were the most popular creatures to look after at 31%.
Alan Irvine, chairman of Homesitters, said: “Becoming a home and pet-sitter appeals to people’s sense of adventure, it gives them the opportunity to explore the UK and spend time caring for people’s dogs, cats and, if they choose, other less common pets, while earning a modest remuneration to supplement a pension.”
Tim and Jill Clark, a retired couple from Gloucestershire, have been home and pet-sitting through Homesitters since 2003 and are passionate about all kinds of animals. Tim said: “We are an adventurous couple. For our holidays, we like to travel to places like Cambodia or Costa Rica…
“I spotted an advertisement for Homesitters and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine our love of animals and nature.
“We have looked after many different breeds of dogs as well as racehorses, emus and even a pig that lived in the kitchen that we had to tuck up in a blanket before bed! We’ve really had some great experiences.”