Can’t find a sitter - is my sit post missing something?

Invited 30+ sitters to date for my Sep 26-Oct 24 sit. All have declined. Booked up or unavailable. Can you good folks in the community have a look at my sit and see if I can do anything to attract sitters. My only criteria is I would like a sitter 35ish and older. Thanks for any help.

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We have discussed ad infinitum here on the forum that inviting sitters rarely works, so you have gone to a lot of trouble for, seemingly, nothing.
I’ve just taken a look at your listing and the pictures are letting you down. While we all have different levels of tidiness in our homes every picture you’re showing currently puts me off. Is it possible you could tidy up each room and take the pictures again? It would be a good idea to show your pet photos at the beginning too because Cali does look very cute.
You’re being very honest about Cali but I fear that the fact she has to be fed 4 x a day and that you use pads in the house would put some sitters off, it would me.
On the plus side it does sound like you live in a lovely location, with the beach, walks and lots of amenities within walking distance so a car is not necessary.
You say Cali can be left as long as she has her food, presumably if she’s taken out the food can go with her?

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Hi Susan, I had a different response to your photos than Smiley, but I’m an HO and not a sitter. To me it looks like blankies and dog beds but I don’t see clutter. It is a bit dark maybe? Your explanation of responsibilities for your senior cutie sound fairly reasonable, especially for someone who is working remotely and not there to sightsee. It may take a special person to be okay with the pee pad situation, but she’s just a tiny thing. How much could she pee/poop? I had a sitter for three months with my old hyperthyroid kitty who had trouble climbing into the litter box. It turned out she’d developed pancreatitis, which none of us knew at the time. He had to problem solve quite a bit but he was up to the task and gave us a good rating at the end.

I’m not sure I’m being much help, just wanted to give you hope. Nanaimo is a wonderful location so maybe just brightening up some photos and making things look a bit more spacious would help. The right sitter is out there. Also when you change things I think your post shows up as new again, and that may help too. Good luck!

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Another thought is your listing title. Sitters don’t see that much when they search so you’re wasting valuable space with “pet/housesitter required.” That’s a given. Maybe “Cute Senior Chihuahua and Cozy Home near the beach” or something like that would be more attractive. That first click is the most important!


The house looks clean, but it’s not photographing well, because there’s a lot of stuff. Usually, clean lines and sparing decor come across better in photos, especially with good lighting.

If you want to reshoot to show your place to best advantage, I’d suggest paring things down and opening up windows to let light in and turning on lighting if it’s overcast.

You need potential sitters to want to spend time there. While you’ve decorated to your tastes and comfort, I think many folks would prefer to avoid what is coming across as clutter in the photos.

You’ve done a great job covering nearby amenities. You might want to break up that big block of type into paragraphs, so it’s less overwhelming. You want potential sitters to stick with you and keep reading.


Thx. It’s hard to take brighter pictures as the house is just designed strangely despite the big windows. I agree I do have lots of blankies/beds but putting them away for pictures isn’t fair to the sitter. I’m trying to be as honest as I can with how Look in my house daily. Yes it’s an older home, yes it’s artsy with things displayed but it’s clean and comfy and the bed the sitters get to use is newer than mine! I appreciate your comments. The right sitter will come along. Thx again.


Thx for your comments

Hi @Smoretto and welcome. I just had a look at your listing and note you appear to have four applications now which is a positive sign.
If you think any will be a good fit I suggest that you contact them and set up a video or phone call. If any are unsuitable you can decline them (hopefully with a short message thanking them for their interest).
If you reach five applicants your listing will automatically pause. To receive more applicants you will need to unpause the listing.
Hope that makes sense but don’t hesitate to ask if you have any further questions and please let us know how you get on.


Would you rather keep the house as-is and have a narrower pool of potential sitters, or would you rather put some things away if you’d get a bigger and potentially better pool? (Because the best sitters can afford to be more selective.)

In your place, I’d happily put away extra blankets or such to make a sitter feel more comfortable, simply because it’s low effort and I’d want the best sitter possible for my pets. But that’s your call, of course.

How your house looks when you’re there isn’t relevant to any sitter — they want to know how it’s going to be when they show up. And that’s not misleading if you’re willing to pare down for their visit.

Cali is adorable! I agree with the others that the some of the interior photos look a bit dark; if it doesn’t feel that way in real life, I’d suggest editing the photos to increase the brightness level—it really does make a big difference. Of course, an honest representation of the house is important (and I appreciate that you think so!) so if the darkness level in the photos is accurate, leave them be.

I enjoy your conversational writing style that allows your personality to shine through, but it does make for lengthy text, so I suggest you create paragraphs in the Responsibilities section as you did under Home & Location.

You wrote, “Bus service is by the mall and will take you around town easily.”—does that mean downtown Nanaimo? If so, I’d suggest clarifying that, adding how long the ride takes, and combining it with the description of downtown that’s currently farther down. It could be reorganized like this:

A 2 minute stroll will take you to a restaurant corner with Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese or Pizza fare. A neighborhood mall with Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Shoppers Drugmart, grocery store, Pizza Parlor, Liquor Store is a 5 minute walk away. Bus service is by that mall and will take you to downtown Nanaimo in X minutes. The downtown has restaurants, coffee shops, public library, fast food outlets, clothing & book shops, grocery stores. The Port Theatre is also located on the downtown waterfront with a variety of shows for an evening outing.

Would Cali be content being out with the sitter for a day, if she was carried (in her carrier or a sling)? I wouldn’t apply for a sit with a dog who needs to eat four times a day if at least one of those meals couldn’t be given on the go—otherwise the sitter can never have more than a few hours away from the house. It’s a completely different story if the dog can venture out with the sitter; now that sounds fun.

I’d also recommend curating the Cali photos by weeding out the ones that look similar or don’t enhance the listing—for example, the second-to-last photo (Cali in the grass) just looks like a brown blob, since she’s so small and her face isn’t visible.

Similarly, your house is almost hidden in the cover photo; while the greenery looks serene and peaceful, it’s easy to scroll past because there’s nothing to catch the eye. If you have a similar photo, but with Cali in the foreground, that would definitely catch my attention :slight_smile: If not, how about using one of the cute Cali closeups for your cover photo? She’s the real star of your sit, and I think the second photo of her (peeking out of the leopard blanket) is super cute and would entice potential sitters to click.

Good luck, and hugs to Cali!


It looks as though you have 4 applicants now and you’ve updated your listing based on feedback. If you still want to attract more, I agree with the suggestion to change your cover photo to a cute picture of Cali.


Your profile listing is lovely!

THS is holiday accommodation — is Nanaimo a holiday destination (could the location be an issue?)

Spruce up your title:

Come sit with cute Chihuahua on the beach in walker’s paradise of Nanaimo!

Here are some thoughts:

  1. Looks like only car-owners would apply.
  2. Home looks messy/ cluttered in the photos.
  3. Responsibilities is an essay!

Simplify responsibilities to bullets e.g.

  • Feed Cali 3x a day
  • House-trained but you’ll need to put down pads when it’s cold
  • No treats - ever!
  • Walks are a walk around the backyard morning and evening :wink:

You get the gist!

Looks like you have the max 5 applicants now, so good luck!

@STH - This sit was over a month ago!

Hello everyone!

Just a quick note to say that I’m going to close this discussion now, as it looks like @Smoretto has received plenty of useful information, and the sit mentioned is now in the past.

Thanks everyone!