How animal-lovers can travel the world on a shoestring

Dog cat animals sitting together on couch (Getty)
Pets are the reason for 80 percent of the website's hook-ups (Getty / file)

If you're a bit of a cat-whisperer or a great dog-walker, you could use your talents to travel the world and stay in some epic locations for nearly nothing.

And if you're a jet-setter but you're having trouble leaving your beloved four-legged friend behind, a growing community online can find you someone to help.

The idea is a recent addition to the peer-to-peer accommodation options the internet has brought to the world. Trusted Housesitters links travellers with home-owners who are heading away and want a house-sitter.

And pets are the reason for 80 percent of the website's hook-ups.

Instead of staying in a smelly backpackers' hostel, you could stay in a French farmhouse or Manhattan apartment.

All you need is a good reputation, a US$100-a-year membership, and to be okay looking after someone's pets.

"People want their pets to be comfortable, in their own environment," founder Andy Peck told the New York Times in 2015.

"From the sitter's point of view, there are a lot of people who genuinely love looking after pets, especially while having a 'staycation' and enjoying luxury, sometimes decadent luxury, while living like a local in a fantastic place. It's a win-win for both sides."