Are Pop-in Visitors Allowed?

As a petsitter, I recently came across a listing for a dog that I would be interested in…until: That is–until I read that the homeowner (HO) plans to schedule private 90-minute walking sessions with a dog walker with the dog during the duration of the 3-week sit. In addition, (in the HO’s own words) the HO’s sister would “pop in here and there to be with” the dog also. What does here and there mean?

One of the reasons that I apply for dog sits is to take the dog out on walks and adventures to take in the sights and sounds. Many of those walks and adventures takes 90 minutes or more. If there is going to be a dog walker periodically coming around, that takes away from the petsitter doing his/her job.

  1. Is it acceptable for a HO to schedule a dog walker for the duration of the sit?

  2. Is it acceptable to have a pop-in visitor just show up for the duration of the sit sporadically whenever the mood strikes?

Hello @sharondc I’ll add a link to the THS third party policy for now. I’ll leave it for @Angela-CommunityManager or @Therese-Moderator to elaborate, to address your specific questions.

Voluntary Forum Moderator

@Snowbird Thank you!

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I’ve came across a few sits where there is going to be a dog walker involved and I just move on to the next sit.

Walking the dogs is one of the best things about sitting!


Hi @sharondc regarding dog walkers.

There are owners who continue this with their pets while a sitter is in situ., they feel it keeps the dog’s routine and also the dog walker’s service, which they don’t want to compromise. Good walkers like good sitters are an owners assurance around their pet’s happiness and well being, however this need to be agreed before the sit is confirmed and documented in the welcome guide with the dog walkers details, duties etc.

There are no third parties allowed in the home while the sitter is there, and any service people, cleaners, gardeners are permitted but the sitter needs to be fully aware.

Relatives “dropping by” is not acceptable, unless the sitter is familiar with them their visit is mutually agreed.

I’ve been on sits where I have become friends with the owner’s extended family and have enjoyed having their company but that’s a totally different proposition.

All sit arrangements have to be mutually agreed before the sit as everyone need to be 100% comfortable with how it is managed.


Hi @Angela-CommunityManager Thank you for your response. A homeowner, of course, has every right to utilize a dog walker to ensure the dog’s happiness, routine, etc. It would seem though that this would conflict with having a petsitter and taking away time that the petsitter would get to spend with the dog. There would have to be mutual understanding/agreement of this arrangement. For me, it would not be something I would be comfortable with. Nor would I be comfortable with a pop-in visitor.

@sharondc , I just sent the listing to @Angela-CommunityManager before I noticed you had posted about it. Popping in without prior arrangement with the sitter is not permitted.

But sometimes it’s very nice for the owner to continue the dog walking service at least occasionally. I was grateful my HO arranged for it for two days during a sit when I stayed near NYC. It allowed me to go into the city for one day and leave early the last day. I just applied and was accepted for a wonderful sit in the UK. Unfortunately, the dog could be left for no more than 2-3 hours, so although the HO and I both really liked each other and I may have hung around the house for much of the time, I couldn’t commit to this consistently. If there had been the option of a dog walker, even for a couple of days, this could have worked out.


HI @sharondc I understand your thoughts and of course it is personal preferences, with all sit arrangements needing to be mutually agreed.

However a dog walker and in home 24/7 dog sitter have completely different amounts of time and responsibility for and with the dog, if the walker comes two or three times a week then the sitter is with the pet for majority of their stay.

Angela, I have a question regarding this. During my last sit, two lady cleaners suddenly stood in front of the house and rang the bell to be let in - which surprised me because the HO had not mentioned them. The HO indeed forgot, but when I called her she confirmed that she booked them to clean the house and that I should please let them in, so I did and I was actually very happy because they took the end-of-sit house-spring-clean off my hands which I had planned for that very day!

So, as I said, I was happy, the cleaners were happy, and the home owners were happy.
Now I read in your statement that “any service people, cleaners, gardeners are permitted but the sitter needs to be fully away”. Is the “away” a typo and did you mean to write “aware” instead, or was I really supposed to leave the house while the cleaners were working there?
I actually enjoyed their company and had nice conversations with them, a good opportunity to practice my Portuguese, so I don’t really understand the idea why a housesitter should leave the house in such a situation. Please clarify!

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Hi @Romana …it was a typo it should read AWARE, thank you for picking up :wink: :pray:

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Great, thank you, I am RELIEVED! :rofl: :upside_down_face: :grin:

Hello @sharondc , if I was in that situation I would be grateful to the owner. Firstly, a dog walker gives you occasional relief from your duties, and a visiting family member can give you useful advice - for example what you could do in the area with your free time - and can help with any arising problems. I had the latter situation during my very first sit, five years ago in England, and was really happy when the HO’s daughter popped in and could answer some questions. But most of all, it is for the benefit of the dogs as it comforts them to keep up their usual routine and meet the people they usually meet at set times. This makes the sudden disappearance of their owners far less traumatic for the animals and therefore I would support it. However, if you feel uncomfortable with meeting those people, just leave the sit to someone else!

@mars What prompted you to send the listing to @Angela-CommunityManager?

You mentioned not being able to commit consistently to a sit in the UK you applied and were accepted for. Did the HO mention in their listing that the dog could not be left for more than 2-3 hours? If so, why apply?

For me, when I go on pet sits, I am not thinking about going out taking in sights as the pets are my main priority. Much of my time is spent with them which is why a dog walker would conflict with the time I would like to spend with the pet(s). Which is why @Romana, I will not be applying for this sit and have moved on. Consistency is definitely key to maintaining a pet’s routine.

@sharondc , I notified Angela about the third party present so she could pass it on to MS.

The lovely UK sit said only that the dog gets an afternoon snack. I applied and asked if someone could occasionally stop in to provide the snack. If the HO had stated in the listing that the dog could only be left for 2-3 hours, I wouldn’t have applied.


A sit has popped up today & the owner states their daughter will come to check on the sitter to ensure they’re doing the sit properly…

Passed to Memb services

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Hi @RunnerC If you direct message Therese and share the link with her, she can then follow up on it.

Hi @sharondc as @mars said she passed the listing to me as it went against user guidelines, a third party present in the home.

We appreciate members passing these listings to the team, it’s not something we ask or expect but it’s really helpful. New listings as in new owner members goes through an approval process which will pick up any anomalies like third parties, no suitable/enough pics etc., however existing listings (members adding dates) do not go through this process and owner members can edit their listings, just as sitters can edit profiles, and may add things which were not there on first publication … members can Direct Message the listing link to either myself, @Angela-CommunityManager @Vanessa-Admin @Snowbird or @Therese-Moderator

We do appreciate our member’s experienced “eagle” eyes …

I hope that clarifies


I came across a petsit yesterday that looked perfect until I read the HO’s daughter would drop the 2 dogs off every morning before work 8am & pick them up every night after work at 5pm & have them over the weekend too.
I would find this very intrusive.

I can see why someone might find it intrusive… but, I’d be fine with that arrangement if that’s what the HO wanted… I wonder why that’s how they want to do the sit? Maybe the daughter loves the dogs but has a day-job?

╮( ❛ ᴗ ❛)╭

To reiterate the common motto here, “to each his own”!

I think this is an acceptable request but of course, the sitter would have to agree to the arrangement. Maybe the family looks after the daughter’s dogs on a daily basis while she’s at work and so that is expected to continue.