Are HO’s given suggestions to prepare for sitters?

Sometimes a HO will be difficult to reach when planning a sit for them. I’m wondering if THS provides HO’s info or suggestions to make the sitters comfortable, such as leaving space for clothes and groceries, the hand off dinner upon arrival, etc. As a sitter, I would very much like to see what the homeowner receives…not just what’s submitted in the home guide. I’m looking forward to your input and hopefully a link. Thank you!!


Hi @Lizindesun there is an owners guide on the THS website called How to prepare for the arrival of your sitter


Hi :slight_smile: Is this guide emailed to homeowners before the sit? After 4 years housesitting we STILL get places with full fridges, freezers and no space for our clothes at all. Thanks, Cat

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We’ve been fortunate and never had difficulty communicating with our HOs when planning sits.

We take the lead and have the conversation regarding our expectations at the beginning of the process. We have our own, very detailed, guide which we create using the information provided in the Welcome Guide (we’ve also never had a problem getting this from our HOs).

This process has proved very positive for both new and experienced HOs. We arrive to a sit very prepared and confident, with no surprises.


No @MissCatUK it is not emailed to owners. It is just one of the many helpful blogs/links members can access on the website. Unfortunately I’m thinking not many members realise the amount of information available to help them (both owners and sitters) that exists on the site.


I agree with you @temba, but sometimes, even when people are aware, for whatever reason they choose not to follow the suggestions or guidelines. I’ve been on the forum for more than a year now. In that time I’ve noticed that many who have voiced disappointment - sitters and owners - have often recognized where they didn’t follow recommendations. Unfortunately, we learn by experiences. :roll_eyes:

What I have learned as a sitter is:

  • Communication is key - yep, it’s my mantra :wink:
  • This is an equal partnership, not one led by the owner or sitter. Know what you are willing to accept and stay true to yourself.
  • Give and expect respect.
  • My key words: flexibility, adaptability, tolerance, kindness.

The last point has allowed me to not sweat the small stuff. As a sitter, if some things aren’t as I would do to welcome a guest, I adapt. However, I must say that many owners have gone the extra mile and have pleasantly surprised me by their kindness and thoughtfulness. :heart_eyes:


I wholeheartedly agree with you @Snowbird.

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Great advice. Do you provide your own detailed guide to the home owners or is it just something you’ve created for yourself to use as a guide for questions you want to ask?

It’s a bespoke handbook that is created together between ourselves as sitters and our HOs, based on a template which I have created.


Ah. I have something similar but I keep it for myself in addition to whatever info they provide to us. I have every possible question I can think of. Some are answered during our interview and I use my sheet to record the info. And then when I see the welcome guide, I make sure my other questions are also answered, if not, we ask them.


Thank you so much! Where did u find the link? I couldn’t find it on my own. Thanks so much!!

Thank you! Any chance you want to share what you’ve created?

While humbled at the request, I must graciously decline to share our guide. It took a lot of research, mining the internet for information, reading various pet sitting sites, blogs, journals, forums, etc. to create and much time tweaking over the years.

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@Lizindesun I’ll just jump in with a suggestion on how to find some excellent resources. THS now has three options for searching using the magnifying glass, searching key words.

Just a few key words will usually bring up a range of related posts.

Volunteer moderator :canada:

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The HO of my current sit said for the first time she had received an email from THS just before I arrived reminding her to leave room in the fridge, etc.

As a sitter, I’ve developed a checklist of my own which I provide to homeowners to assist them prior to us arriving.

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And I will do the same from now on! Thanks!:wink:

I just read your post! Oh dear - hang in there :slight_smile:

Gosh, I’m sorry you are having such an awful time. It really demonstrates how important it is to get all of those questions answered before you accept a sit. And I suggest doing more homework on the location. For example, if I was looking forward to visiting a local beach, I would check it out on google street view and read reviews etc.

Things to ask BEFORE accepting a housesit:

  1. Where will I sleep? (Ask for photos if they aren’t posted)

  2. Tell me about your pet’s typical day. Do they have health issues, how do they get along with other dogs when we are out walking, on or off leash, length of walk, any emotional issues, feeding, sleeping and more

  3. What are the start and end dates/times of the sit and when do you want me to arrive/leave.

  4. What household responsibilities are there.

  5. How do you want to do the handover.

  6. Will there be any other people in the house or on the property while we are there.

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@Lizindesun @Kelownagurl @Globetrotter @temba @PetSitterBug Morning everyone, and just to let you know that in line with the community guidelines around current sit disputes and privacy (Liz not realizing this is a public space for all members), the comments specifically related to this have been moved to a private message area, and as Liz indicates, MS are already in contact. Thanks everyone for your advice, and understanding. All the best, Vanessa

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