Application review etiquette and advice

Hi fellow pet parents (and sitters!), I just posted my first listing for two separate dates, and was surprised to get a barrage of applicants in a short time. I’m thankful to have so many options, but I want to review them all so it’s a bit overwhelming.

Is there an expectation that owners respond to/ decline an application within a certain amount of time? I’m also curious what methods homeowners use to find the right person- is a video chat standard?

Hi @Gabs and welcome!

Firstly, congratulations on getting so many (5 I presume) applicants so quickly as not every owner is that lucky.

As a sitter I would expect you to acknowledge my application as soon as you’ve read it and say you’re just reviewing the applications. It shouldn’t take you too long to decide who is suitable and if someone is a definite no then politely message them and say they’re not suitable, as diplomatically as you can.

It’s definitely a good idea to have a video chat, and if you like several then set up several chats. It will make it much easier for you to decide who you click with and feel comfortable with. Some people will say they don’t like a video chat but at least speak on the phone, don’t just message.

Good luck!


That is great you got so many responses. Generally speaking, the more quickly you get in touch with applicants the better–within a day is really best I think if possible.

This isn’t to say you must set up calls and pick someone within that time frame, but if there are good applicants you would like to speak with further, it is best to get in touch probably within at least this time frame to discuss setting up a chat and the soonest you would be available to talk with them.

If there are people you know for sure aren’t a good fit, it is best to decline them as quickly as possible–what you want to say to them entirely up to you. You actually don’t have to give any response with your decline, but considering you asked this type of question, I imagine you are someone who would feel better saying something along with it, even something as simple as ‘sorry but we went with another applicant.’ I

Some sitters may apply for more than one sit with similar dates–with one of the main reasons being you never know how long it will take a HO to respond-- so waiting more than a couple of days to establish initial contact may mean losing out on some applicants you really liked.

If you are considering more than one sitter, you might consider mentioning that beforehand, though you are under no obligation to do so. If a sitter thinks they are the only person being considered, and the meeting goes well, they may expect to be offered the sit right on the call, and then it may be awkward to mention at the end you are interviewing other people.

This has happened to me a few times, and I actually didn’t care personally, but I know for some other sitters, they would have preferred to know they weren’t the only ones being interviewed.


I try to respond to each message within a few hours, or as soon as I have had a chance to read their message and check out their profile. If they seem like a good fit I thank them, let them know I’ll be back in touch soon, and ask if they have any questions. Also if I have any concerns or questions I’ll ask in that message. If they’re clearly not a good fit I’ll let them know as quickly as possible with a polite note before declining their application.

You shouldn’t feel pressure to choose immediately, but do keep in mind that many sitters apply for multiple sits at once so if you see one you really like don’t hesitate, set up a chat asap!


Thank you all for the great advice :+1: Like @Gabs , we too just posted our first listing and are reviewing the applications. This was a helpful thread.


As a homeowner, I acknowledge sitter applications within a few hors usually, and never more than 24 hours later. That’s assuming the sitter has written a personalized message. If they didn’t send a detailed message, I have no problem declining them with no message. I give sitters a few hours to write a personal message. Some sitters want to send a cursory application immediately to beat the 5-app limit, and then write a more detailed message later.

My initial acknowledgement is simple, something like “Thanks for your application. I will be in touch very soon.” I contact the most appealing sitters within another day to arrange a video chat.

When I decline an applicant who has sent a personalized message, I say something like “Thanks for your application. I have selected a sitter but I hope you can apply for a future sit at my house” assuming I liked them and might want them again. I write this before they get the automatic THS decline message, which happens once another sitter is confirmed.

As a sitter here, it is disheartening when i write a heartfelt sit application and it is not even acknowledged. I just had this happen when I applied for a sit in a popular location with lots of previous sitters. The sit stars in a week, and when i hadn’t heard anything after 48 hours - despite me writing a detailed message explaining my specific experience administering meds that her pet needed - I cancelled my application. I told her that I assumed she was pursuing someone else since I hadn’t heard from her. Normally I would wait more than 48 hours, but not for a sit starting so soon and an experienced HO who should know better.


Thanks everyone, this is has been very helpful!

As a HO we acknowledge reception of each application within hours of reception informing applicants we will take time to analyze applications within a day and schedule a video call If necessary. When we make our choice we inform each applicant of our decision with an individual message.


I think the terms and conditions or code of conduct say something like “as soon as possible and at least within 72 hours.” It’s not enforced of course but a decent guideline. As others have said, delays can mean some sitters will have confirmed another sit in the meantime. And maybe I’m ruthless but as a sitter I tend to withdraw an application after 5-7 days of not hearing anything - it feels like a bad sign for good communication and I’d rather move on to a more responsive owner.


I love all the response here. I’ll note as a sitter applying for sits recently I’ve been disappointed that people seem to be taking longer and longer to give any response at all. I tend not to write a second time because I don’t want to disturb people or come across as high maintenance but it’s a difficult balance because I also want them to know I really am interested. It also starts to make me question if I really want to do a sit if the people seem not so respectful. To be clear, I don’t expect an immediate reply and even if it’s next day or the day after that it’s ok but going on 3 days without a reply doesn’t feel comfortable.


Good to know! I don’t think withdrawing after 5-7 days is unreasonable, that’s plenty of time for someone to respond. I’m honestly surprised to hear people take that long, when I was worried about taking 2 days! I made the rookie mistake of listing two sits at once, so I had 10 apps to go over, but I took the advice on this thread and sent a group message that I was reviewing and would get back to everyone soon. I agree that both as a sitter and HO, non-responsiveness is a red flag.


I withdrew my application this week when the HO had not contacted me after 48 hours. Usually I would wait longer, but this was for a sit starting a week later. The HO had lots of prior sitters, so she isn’t a rookie. I told her that I was withdrawing because she hadn’t acknowledged my thoughtful application, so I assumed she was pursuing someone else. I don’t want to sit for rude HOs, no matter how popular a location.


I’m curious as to how you get a “barrage” of applicants, when THS closes the listing to new applicants after the first five.
Has this changed?

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Hi @CatStaff just to confirm listings are still paused after 5 applicants

Yes @CatStaff , the listing is paused after 5 applicants. I kept declining applicants, that I knew right away were not the right match for us, and kept the ones that were promising. That way, I ended up with 9 applicants.


I listed two dates at once, received 5 applications for one and somehow 6 for the other within about 15 minutes of going live.

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@Gabs As a sitter I always appreciate a prompt follow up even if it is to say that my application has been declined . That way I can move on with my plans and apply for other sits . I don’t appreciate it when HO keep me hanging .

I suggest politely decline those that aren’t a fit asap.

As a sitter until I hear back I will keep applying for other sits ( so wait too long before replying and you may miss out on your first choice sitter) if you have a few potential sitters a short message such as “thank you for you application, I am reviewing the applications I’ve received and will be in touch in the next couple of days.” will be appreciated .

When a HO has thought that I seem like a good fit they have followed up and arranged a video call / phone call at a mutually convenient time ( sometimes same day -usually within a couple of days )

After the call, HO has confirmed the sit within 1 day of video call. I accept same day .

I personally would try and arrange to speak to the applicants for the first date first - you may find your perfect match who also can do both dates and then you will save yourself a lot of work . This has happened to us - we had only applied for the first set of dates - but after the video call both of us were happy to go ahead with both of the sits and this worked out perfectly for both parties.

Hopes this sitter’s perspective is helpful . :grinning:

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I’m sure I read somewhere that if someone has started an application they are able to complete it even if there are 5 applicants who hit submit before them. So as you experienced, it’s possible to get more than 5 for a popular sit.


Believe THS policy is 5 applications only.

What is considered a barrage? They must have slipped under THS radar h
as only 5 applications allowed.

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