Anxiety about sitting ever again?

I’ve just experienced something horrible with a HO which has honestly made me never want to do THS ever again. I won’t go into details but on multiple occasions the HO has made me feel incredibly uncomfortable and demoralised, completely ignoring all my above-and-beyond hard work and scorning me for things I haven’t done. I feel like I’m going a bit insane.

Has anyone else had a bad situation house sitting which made them question their abilities or want to housesit? How did you get over it? How do you navigate this when you’re literally STILL in their home?

I’m not a particularly resilient person and this has really knocked my confidence.


Hello @artgirl girl and welcome to the forum. First let me say that the members here will make you feel warm and welcome as they so much experience as either pet parents, sitters or both. They will be able to guide you through any questions or concerns you may have.

I am sorry you had such a bad experience but if you did nothing wrong, please just chalk it up to experiencing personality differences. Some people are not good at communicating and it can come off as very negative when in fact, they may just be questioning you about something. That is not to say it is acceptable and no one should ever be made to feel bad about themselves if they did nothing wrong.

I am sure you will get lots of help here on ways to overcome the feelings you presently have. Just get up, dust your boots off and find your next sit…who knows…it could be the best one you ever had!


@artgirl welcome to the forum, Sorry to hear about the negative impact your experience is having on you . How much longer do you have on the sit ? Has the HO already come home ?

From personal experience in life I would say that it’s hard to see the bigger picture when you are in the midst of a situation.

Once you have left the sit hopefully your anxiety levels will gradually reduce giving you time and space to reflect about what has happened and maybe see if from a different perspective.


Honestly I just tried to type out a vague outline of whats happened/happening and it’s too bizarre to even try and explain! But I will be leaving tomorrow fortunately. I want to leave a bad review to warn other sitters of this totally erratic and concerning behaviour but I know a 1 star review will be waiting for me if I do. HO has alluded to this.

So disappointing as I really did go the extra mile for the HO’s pets and their home. Trying not to let myself believe all sits will be like this as I know this isn’t the case - my other sits have been great. But I’m not sure I could stomach another like this…


@andrealovesanimals I believe you mentioned somewhere yesterday that you had a very bad sit experience in terms of owner…

@artgirl I am so sorry you found yourself in such a tough situation. I can honestly say we haven’t had such situations yet. The worst was a Very unclean house with numerous other issues. It did give us the shivers weeks later still, and for a lack of better word, felt like we ‘escaped’. This was a long sit too. I was so shaken up, I nearly wrote to all our future owners to make sure they’re expecting us and with a clean home…but then I realised I never had to do it before and all our sits before this was mostly lovely, this one was just a fluke. Shake it off. It took a while, but the memory fades, don’t worry. I understand what you mean, it broke my trust for a few weeks. But we’re back to normal now, just a bit wiser.


@artgirl that is a good idea to write things down as you think of them.

Have previous sitters left them feedback or is this HO new to THS ?

You have said that you have other sits that have been great . As soon as you are out of there you will be able to put it in perspective as a one off .

I do understand your concern about writing a honest review about the negative experience however future prospective sitters will appreciate the warning and that is what reviews are for .It’s a very difficult position to be put in .

If there have been things which are against THS policy then you can also inform THS member services who can support you .


@artgirl , it’s a shame that something negative brought you to the forum but you came to the right place! Glad you decided to post!

I would reckon that most of us who have been doing this for any length of time have had similar experiences. At this point, I think I’ve done 48 sits. Maybe three of them were not so great and one of them was as you describe, absolutely awful. This was quite a while ago and even when I think of it now, I shudder. I happen to be a more sensitive type like you. You will survive, this too shall pass.

As horrid as this situation is, my advice is to be glad if you do not get a review and in return, leave no feedback. The review system is being overhauled but as it now, this is the best outcome. Future sitters will have to fend for themselves, you have to look out for yourself. Try to learn from it so it doesn’t happen again.

Fyi, since the traumatic experience I had years ago, I have had some absolutely awesome experiences. I’ve met amazing people and pets and been to places I’ve dreamed of going! It will all work out for you too.

Hang in there and get through today and tomorrow. Here’s a virtual hug :hugs:


Yes, I have been in a similar situation. It almost sounds like these home owners could have been the same as the ones I sat for! And yes, this knocked my confidence too and made me wonder if I was just a rubbish house sitter (the issues were all about things unrelated to the pets!). However, 20 people who have written references for me thought that I was great, and even if I don’t believe in myself enough, I can see that 20 people do believe that I am in fact good at this. Anyway, that sit was traumatising and made me determined to select my future sits much more carefully.

I haven’t reviewed them yet (or given feedback as it’s called), but think I will after I have got a few more good reviews. That way their potentially destructive words about me won’t be so obvious to see in my profile.

Apart from that, if you are still there, you can take photos of things not right or photos to protect yourself against future accusations they could make. In my case, the worst of the sit happened just after I left (countless texts about all my “wrongdoings”, but by then it was too late to go around and take lots of photos).

I have done two sits since then and both were great, so this has helped in making me feel good about pet sitting again. I am still disappointed though, about the fact that some people just don’t want to be kind. But that’s life.


Well, here’s a few platitudes:

  1. Live and Learn
  2. Real Learning happens through pain and humiliation.
  3. That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

Essentially, if you want to be a more resilient person, you need to experience more bad situations, not less. This is as true with housesitting as everything else, so suck it up buttercup! Get back on the horse and ride.


I have to say I don’t agree with your advice not to give a review. That amounts to throwing other house-sitters under the bus. Why would anyone provide a free service to people who sound thoroughly nasty? Not what THS is about as far as I’m concerned.


@artgirl I am very sorry to hear about this. I think scorning you sounds like bullying to me and as being a house-sitter amounts to a working environment of sorts, then it should not be tolerated. Advice not to leave reviews or ‘suck it up’ are really not helpful. This sort of behaviour should be addressed by the admin at THS. I can understand it’s difficult to share the experiences here, and possibly not the right place but I would advise you to write them down, and how the actions and comments made you feel for future reference. If it’s a consolation my first house-sit went very badly and I received some very nasty emails from the owner after my sit. I did recover and so will you! Hang in there.


@mars @andrealovesanimals @artgirl .

Clearly you are all experienced sitters with multiple good reviews . When you had a sit that was terrible you all felt that you could not flag up the issues to future sitters without a receiving a negative review . So in effect the HOs got away with their unacceptable behaviour. This shows that the overhaul of the current system is desperately needed sooner rather than later .

It will be interesting to see when and how the overhauled review system will deal with this very important issue .


If the poster is a new sitter with very few reviews then I think not leaving a review is the best way forward imho. As a seasoned sitter with 61 only 5 star reviews, the “no-reviews” speak volumes for me, and I’ll stay well clear if the HO has a few of these. It’s a flawed system, that has had reams of discussion topics here, but as yet there isn’t a resolution.

Personally I only ever leave a review AFTER I’ve received mine, and I’ve only ever been truthful leaving bad reviews where they are warranted.

Experience will help you navigate and read into things said. I’m currently at my second sit with a new client (most of mine are now regulars) and I deliberately didn’t leave a review the first time (even though they left me an exceptional one) as there was a few things I wasn’t happy about that I was going to give them the benefit of the doubt and hope would be different the second time (I had already committed to both sits at the same time and am not in a habit of cancelling on people), and I’m glad to say that due to respectful communication after my first sit, this time is different and hopefully will also now be a staple regular client.

I can count on one hand the awful sits I’ve had out of the 80+ I’ve done (I say 80+ even though I’ve only 61 reviews as most just contact me directly now), but I know how a bad experience can have you questioning whether to carry on!!

One sit I arrived to was so bad I left on arrival, and MORE annoying was the fact that I wasn’t allowed to leave a review to warn other sitters as TH said as I didn’t complete the sit I couldn’t leave a review!

Hugs to you!! Rack it up as experience and be more cautious next time.




What about the code of conduct that both HO and sisters agree to

“I will be respectful to the entire TrustedHousesitters community”

Both HOs and sitters should treat each other respectfully .


By not giving a review, at least you are sending a possible warning sign to future sitters. Not ideal, but better than nothing. Just don’t be bullied into writing a good review if the experience was bad!


@artgirl Really sorry to hear that you are having this experience whilst on a sit. I can refer this to the Membership Service team and they can reach out and assist you further or you can contact them at
Feel free to DM me if you need further assistance.


@Silversitters The “Code of Conduct” is what SHOULD happen, but doesn’t mean that it WILL happen. Sometimes the Rose-colored glasses need to come off: Learning how to deal with adversity, disappointment and occasional bumps-in-the-rosd is part of Housesitting and Life.

See this topic. This is why the review system has needed an overhaul.


@mars Totally agree.

The discussion that you linked started in April 21 - it’s great that it’s been acknowledged that changes need to be made . Hopefully these will be implemented asap.

Otherwise experiences like @artgirl’s today will continue to happen . Potentially with the same HO getting away with it.

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Hi @artgirl. So sorry to hear you’re not having a great sit. I had a poor sit when I started with a rather difficult HO that put post it notes on most of the kitchen items not to touch! Lessons were learnt. I now have a video chat before accepting a sit. This lead me to declining a sit last year after the HO told me the heating wasn’t to be used in December in the UK and I wasn’t to leave the place for 5 days!
For balance I’ve heard about some shocking previous sitters some HO’s have had including one that ran up a significant 3 digit phone bill on a HO’s account or the HO that returned to find a whole bedroom of rubbish left by a sitter when there bins literally opposite the property.