Both Dan and I had both grown up with an assortment of animals and we really missed having furry critters around. My experience covered dogs and horses but Dan had grown up on a ranch and was familiar with a wide variety of animals. He also had fresh water fish tanks at one point in his life, so that added another type of critter we could care for.
Dan’s experience with farm equipment also turned out to be a plus as he was comfortable moving large hay bales around with a tractor. Not that every housesit has those requirements but it does set us apart from other potential sitters!
Beyond animal skills, having a basic understanding of how things work in a home is also helpful. Things break – and sometimes being able to repair or jury-rig a temporary fix can be valuable whether you’re in a home or on a boat.