Accurate Dates & Why That's SO Important

When setting dates for a sit, be aware the new THS system blocks applicants who appear to be doubling up, even if there’s no real conflict.
Some HO post an End Date that is the day they come back: not the last night the sitter must be there.
That may seem good contingency planning.
However, with the new system it might mean missing out applicants.
For example, a sit is listed for Dec 15th - Dec 30th.
Anyone who already booked to do a sit ending Dec 15th cannot apply.
Anyone who booked to do a sit beginning Dec 30th cannot apply.
If the HO needs the sitter the full 16 nights inclusive of Dec 15-30? Appropriate.
But if the HO is only going to be gone 14 nights, leaving the 16th and returning the 29th, listed the dates as Dec 15-30 so a sitter could come the night before they leave & be there the night they come back?
Probably not necessary for a local & potentially a great repeat sitter!
Something to consider when listing dates.
Most sitters have learned to ask, “What nights will you be gone?”
A surprising number of HO go back and realize they’ve listed incorrect dates - sometimes as much as 2-3 days off!
Meantime - potential sitters will never be seen by the HO.
That has happened to us on a couple of occasions: we know our sit will end earlier than the “official” date but can’t apply for sits that seem to overlap.

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I always post only the dates of our flights, because how should I know where the applicants come from, where they travel from and how they arrive?

We’ve had sitters arriving by car and when we leave the house around 7PM, it’s perfectly fine for them to be there in the afternoon.
When we got back at 6AM in the morning they left as soon as we were home.

For the same flight times it might be completely different, depending on where the sitters arrive from and which transportation they choose.

As we gladly pick them up at the airport, arriving the same day as we leave puts us into too much stress as well as taking them back. After sometimes 24hrs of travel time I actually don’t want to drive them right back to the airport.

There is no simple solution to this, because the length of the sit depends on both parties, two sets of travel times etc…

I would never assume before getting applications that sitters need extra days, because they might not. If I did post longer sits I would even more minimize applications. To change dates later to make them fit is a nuisance but doable.

It was confirmed in another thread that this is possible!

Was that thread within the last 2-3 days?
I only noticed it this weekend.

Yes, it’s somewhere in here

My post is about HO inadvertently blocking sitters from applying because they post inaccurate dates to their actual sit needs. You sound like very considerate HOs.
When we needed sitters we did much the same: worked with the sitters’ schedules and needs.
However, since we became sitters have discovered that many HO aren’t careful about their dates, and don’t reflect their actual need - or are intentionally padding.
We took one years ago via the first sitting site we belonged to that required 2 ferries to arrive and 2 to leave (island location) with limited timetables.
When we arrived as requested, informed us we’d have to stay in a hotel that night AND that they required us to stay until they returned, which meant getting a 2nd hotel night as they returned on the last ferry of the day.
We don’t mind a hotel stay if that info is up front but unfair to spring that upon arrival.
Others have simply posted incorrectly but never change the dates.
All kinds of things happen and it’s easy to avoid by saying something like: Sitter needed for 5 nights Dec 10-14.
Just suggesting HO post accurate dates for their own benefit and out of consideration for sitters.

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You’re probably preaching to the converted here!

I do similarly to Pawtastic - I post dates as the date I want the sitter to arrive (almost certainly the day before I depart) and leave (the day I return but they can leave before I arrive back), ie, the maximum time I need a sitter, and make it clear in the listing that’s what I’ve done. Then I get to discuss with the actual sitter what their plans are (where are they coming from, how are they travelling, what time can they get here, where are they headed after their sit with my pets) and we can adjust as appropriate.

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You are definitely right about the importance of posting accurate dates, especially now. But you can apply to sits whose start or end dates match the start or end date of already booked sits. This is not considered an overlap. A few days ago, I booked two such sits without a problem.

As a HO I was always really clear about needs and also any flexibility we had. But as I said above, since we flipped over to being sitters, surprised by how often HO aren’t accurate in their posts and aren’t clear about their needs!

You may want to check that. Today I couldn’t book a sit started Dec 1 which was the end date of my current sit. I had to chat with support and have the HO email them corrected dates just so I could apply like I had been for over a year. I believe the update (at least on my end) literally just happened today.

I just tried to apply to a sit that started on the day that my previous sit ends and it blocked me from doing so. I confirmed in the with customer service afterward that it was against the new policy. She was very understanding and said that they were collating feedback about this issue, and expressed my deep concerns about the start/end dates and flexible dates.

That was my experience as well. It ONLY started happening in the last couple of days that I couldn’t apply for a sit that started the day one I’m doing ends.

I hearted your post out of agreement
but I wish I could express my frustration that this is happening. Carla who started this post says leaving and starting the same day is still allowed but there may be a bug that doesn’t actually allow that.
I hope we will be heard.

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We’ve just tried that @lighthousekeeper (or rather our HO did) & it was blocked. @Carla_C - any thoughts/news on this please?


I just tried applying to several sits with similar end and start dates as ones already booked and I was not blocked from doing so. This was both on the app and on the computer. Maybe it was some glitch they fixed.

It seems it’s a problem sometimes for some people but not always.
Three or four people in this thread have referenced it happening within the last 48 hours.

@ASASG Yes that is why I shared my experience. This was just a few minutes ago I was able to do this with several sits. So maybe the people who experienced this issue any point before then would want to experiment again and see if it worked for them.

Hello @Cuttlefish thank you for the tag :smiling_face: I will share today’s update from the overlapping sits thread as it should help here as well:

If anyone is having any issues applying for a sit that starts the same day as another one ends then please reach out to Membership Services via the help desk as this is allowed and any issues need to be reported so they can be looked into. We are sorry if this has caused anyone any issues, it has been tested as working on the platform so reporting individual issues is helpful. Thank you.

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We had another sit request for a same day start and this one worked on same day moving! :+1:t3: thanks @Carla_C

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