Advice for first time owners

As a Homeowner- having someone write a personalized message that shows they actually read through my profile and sit requirements is the number one thing I look for- aside from a strong profile with good reviews. I’ve had many people write a quick- “Hello- I’m available for those dates and I’d love to come sit!” message, which I usually don’t really pay much attention to unless their profile is very thorough.

That introductory message shows professionalism and maturity. I pick one sitter that I think will work best and do a video chat so we can make sure it’s a good fit. My first sit, I had the sitter come and stay and meet the animals the night before we had to leave very early… but since then, I’ve been comfortable doing a little orientation by video and sending videos for their reference about pet care and the house. It has worked out great and we’ve had nothing but good experiences through THS.


If you’re just concerned with how the sitter is with your dog, especially if it’s about the dog’s behavior, then why not do a meetup somewhere that is convenient for her?

Asking someone to travel within your city (I assume you mean NYC since you mention boroughs) is not necessarily any easier on the sitter. If she’s in Bed-Sty and you’re in the Bronx, that’s a good hour on transit, and with nothing actually confirmed.

I have been willing to meet HOs when they had special concerns (new puppy, dog reactivity, etc.), but I wouldn’t travel out of my way to do so unless it was a dream location.

However, if you’re that concerned about having a stranger stay at your place, I think you might be better off contacting local sitters off Rover or through word-of-mouth. Then you can build a relationship with someone who can also be familiar for your dog. You’re unlikely to find this consistency in a local sitter through THS.

Ok but there sure are a lot of “rare” occasions. :wink:

On the HO side, serious complaints are rare. Almost the worst thing that can happen is that the sitter cancels very late (for which there may be legitimate reasons) or does not show up in time. A company would then send someone else, THS cannot do that.

Most problems that I read about here could probably also have happened when the HO’s children had been sitting. I don’t see reasons for being especially apprehensive about having an unpaid stranger (with references and previous experience) taking care of the pets.

I think that meeting the person is a great idea. See how they interact with your pet(s) and listen to your gut feeling when you meet her.

I am a sitter by the way, with almost 30 5 star reviews. I still offer face to face meetings when I apply for sits within driving distance, because it’s better for me too to get a personal impression.

@Pawtastic is right, reviews are not always truthful. Sometimes people write 5 star reviews because they want to be nice. Sometimes people write bad reviews because they are angry about something, not necessarily because the home owner or sitter were bad.

If you read some of the recent reviews on Trustpilot @pietkuip you might think differently….


We have just had a second sit. You have to trust the previous owners reviews, to be honest. Although, if it’s a bad sit I’m not comfortable putting my points in the public domain and would prefer to comment directly to the sitter. However, feedback on a sitter direct to THS, should be available.

I did FaceTime with my sitters and one stayed the night before we went away which gave us greater confidence. But I appreciate you don’t always have that luxury.

We’ve only had 1 sitter so far and they were local. We first met in a garden centre nearby for coffee for a chat and then a couple of days before the sit they came to our home for lunch where they had a tour, met the cats and took the keys. It was a perfect way to meet and they were great sitters.

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