Advice for worried new "sitter" husband

Hi All

Sharon & Terry here, looking to sign up and give sitting a try. My husband is a worrier (we balance each other out as I jump in), but he was wondering what the rights are if you turn up at a sit and the house is not as advertise or looked nothing like the pictures (and felt you couldnt stay there) - or for instance there is more animals/different animals that were not noted? Can you ask the owner for more photos? Seems a little farfetched and I wouldnt want to leave animals with no care, but wouldnt want to have to stay somewhere we were not happy.

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We always do a video chat and usually the HO will also show us around virtually. There are also usually reviews that you can take a look at. If a sitter was particularly unhappy they would usually not leave a review. If you see a sit with lots of missing reviews that could point to something wrong. It hasn’t happened to us yet that there were more / different animals than described, but it does happen that an animal is in worse health or in heat (nowadays we also ask about those things specifically). Not sure if there is anything legally binding you to go through with a sit, but we would not withdraw after making a commitment (the HO also needs to be able to rely on you). PS: We have also been on sits that we were not too happy on, but 80-90 % of the time we loved the place + animals. I think you also need to be able to take a chance if you want to pet sit (just my opinion).

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I don’t think you have any rights in the circumstances you describe.
The most important word is trust. We can communicate, look, listen and do all the correct things to make sure everything is going to be 100% OK. But it boils down to trusting each other. Yes, it’s a two way thing.
Maybe for your first time take a sit close to home then if it’s not to your husbands liking he can easily go home at night and you can stay with the pets. Build up his confidence in the system that way.


Hi @Sherry it’s absolutely natural to have questions about something new and unknown, it’s not until you actually experience the “unknown” that it becomes familiar of course and after over 200 sits I am still learning because each sit is different, the pets, the people and the places but that is what makes this lifestyle so compelling, but like everything in life it is not for everyone.

You will get some great advice from our forum community, sitters and pet parents alike and there are great educational and supportive information on the website blog like this one,

Know your own capabilities and be sure to make yourselves fully aware of the pets needs, owner’s expectations and suitability of the sit before you ever agree a sit. Do your research and start with short, local sits which are right for the experience you have this will let you “test drive” the lifestyle to know if it is right for you both.

The key to a successful sit experience is … communication and only ever agree to a sit when everyone involved is 100% satisfied and happy.


Thats a great idea - thinking of staying nearer to home, so that would be a win, win. I keep saying that it wouldnt be in peoples interest to lie, and that they need to trust us as much as we need to trust them :heart_eyes:

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Hello @Sherry
We have done more than 30 sits : this as never happen to us.

  • never we had more animals than excepted (or maybe when it is hens !!)
  • never we had different animals than excepted
  • house are what they are : never found a totally different house : maybe the chair is not at the same place as shown on the pictures, or the kitchen have been re-furbished : but that is all !

And we don’t do video-call so often as we are not fluent in english and we prefer to write. (Of course we do when we are asked to video call.)

Wish you lot of fun in your forthcoming adventures in dog/pet sitting.

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In about 60 sits, I’ve only had one not excellent experience - the HO was a bit of a hoarder and the house was cluttered and a bit dirty. I lived with it - cleaned up a bit. Fortunately the location in Portland, OR was in a neighborhood of coffee shops and restaurants and the dog was delightful. So the dog and I spent a lot of time walking (the HO kind of warned in the description “clean enough to be healthy but messy enough to be happy”). So we spent a lot of day time sitting in outdoor coffeeshops.
It wasn’t terrible for 10 days and I’m pretty adaptable.
But you and your husband have to decide what you can accept.

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If you think about it, there is ALWAYS going to be something you don’t ‘like’. That is human nature. But you will have one, or more, living, breathing animals you have agreed to look after and you can’t walk away from that. I think hubby has to be pragmatic. In one of my final conversations with the HO of my current sit, they ‘snuck in’ that they were returning a day later than all of our previous conversations had agreed upon, and luckily all our conversations were via the THS platform so I checked all of those. I pricked up my ears and queried it and the HO admitted they had got their flight dates wrong. I really didn’t like that I would have felt pressured to stay the additional day. As I cannot do this due to another commitment, the HO has made an arrangement with a neighbour. I just hope now that the HO will give me a good review.

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Thanks all - thats all reassuring and have passed the messages on. I wouldnt leave an animal I had agreed to - hence why I need your comments before committing. Hope you all have a great week and thanks again.


Hi @Sherry and welcome to the community forum. I echo other’s thoughts on how someone can be a little apprehensive when first starting out on this amazing journey of petsitting. The suggestion of starting with local sits works for many different situations…including exactly the feelings your husband is experiencing as well as those who do not have reviews yet. It’s a great way to begin without the concern of being in an unfamiliar area. Just know that TrustedHousesitters is a community of great people and pets who want to share their love with others. I have had more than 20 different sitters in my home over the last few years and it was the greatest experience I could have ever imagined. After we lost our little girl, we switched the flip and started sitting. What a great feeling to know you are helping pet parents feel comfortable with leaving their pets and how great it is for the pets to be able to feel safe and secure in their own home.