@Tgo53 - If this is a serious post (questioning???) it seems you did not do your due diligence before becoming a member of THS. The message is clear on the THS website:
We’re TrustedHousesitters, a global, pet-loving community on a mission to create a world where pets enjoy their pet parents’ vacations, just as much as they do!
Founded in 2010, we’ve connected thousands of pet parents and pet sitters worldwide through their mutual trust and love of animals. Which means when it comes to pet sitting, we’ve got it covered.
Perhaps reach out to membership services as it doesn’t seem THS is the right fit for you.
Thank you so much for all the comments. All of the comments were helpful. It is much clearer to me. I assume some THS’s are still working and working from home. I did have a different impression of THS, BUT I am not disappointed. I love pets and I love to travel so hopefully I can make the two work together. I put everything in storage and plan to travel for the next year. One big attraction to THS is I don’t pay rent or utilities. I am experiencing my first house sit on a farm and enjoying the animlas and area. I enjoy rading the community forum and reading about others experiences and travels.
I am so sorry if I gave the wrong impression. I do love sitting with pets and the concept of house sitting. It is a great fit for me, I think because of the name I expected more house sitting and less pet sitting.
The comments were very helpful and I plan to move forward with more pet sitting.
Good on you @Tgo53 for being responsive and answering all the feedback so promptly and positively. Some people join the forum, ask questions and then go radio silent when they don’t attract the answers they were hoping for. Enjoy that first farm sit, good luck in your THS adventures and the many pets and places you’ll discover, and please stay on here and keep contributing to the forum
I also first heard of THS through the travel community (when I did a 16 month RTW trip). I did not work during that time, and the purpose was to travel and see the world - BUT, I understood that THS was about exchange, and I have always seen petsitting as a bonus to travel. I think THS is very conducive to long term travel because it can give you a chance to stay somewhere long enough that you don’t have to pack all your exploring into 1-2 days!
Unfortunately, I have noticed that even some of the travel bloggers who used to emphasize the responsibility that comes with house or petsitting have started advertising THS as “free accommodation”, and the pet part of it is just an aside. This does everyone a disservice!
I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying your farm sit - that sounds like the kind of sit I’d love! Hopefully you can fine tune your selections to get some future sits that allow a bit more exploration and enjoy the ones you’ve booked for what they are. Long term travel is awesome, and sometimes the situations that seem at first like “why am I here/doing this” can end up being the most profound experiences to reflect back on.
Keep us posted on your travels and experiences!
I am so sorry to give the wrong impression. I am very happy with the concept of pet sitting and am enjoying my first sit on a farm. I think I expected more house sitting on the menu. It seems to be mostly pet sitting, but the comments were very helpful in moving forward.
@Tgo53 we did get a 2 week garden sit this summer because they took their dogs on a camping trip. This was the one that gave us total freedom to drive 2 hours away to the coast, do excursions, and low responsibility because we just had to keep their big garden alive. They allowed us to eat anything in the garden to we helped ourselves to lots of lettuce, raspberries, and lettuce. This made up for some of the other multi dog sits requiring a ton of time. But even those are enjoyable because the animals end up having so much fun with our family and I get to see my kids laugh and enjoying themselves
That’s great to know that you have come to the right place after all. I’ve spent a total of one year travelling/housesitting in NZ (6 months on each island) and am currently on my 4th month in Australia besides 18 months in the UK (where I’m from). I would have gone through my savings without the housesits, and have met wonderful people & pets. While the pets always come first I’ve seen a lot of places I’d never dreamt of. More to come.
It is up to you to accept or reject a sitting opportunity.
Every homeowner is different.
So, do your due diligence and make sure it is a good fit.
It must be a mutual agreement. If not… say, no thank you, and move on.
Very well stated. Thank you. ]
The answer is simple for you. If you want to see the world cheaply use hostels and back pack. Before you joined TrustedHousesitters you should have read the terms thoroughly.
There are animals that need looking after. You can certainly include going out and about but the animals come first.
I have four dogs who can be left fours hours in the day. No walking needed. That leaves ample time for a sitter to explore.
Read the applications thoroughly. Liz
If the expectations of the homeowner don’t mesh with my expectations of my experience sitting should be, I don’t apply.
It is likely animals are used to being around people all the time thanks to Covid, remote work, and lots of retirees. I see a lot more ads expecting a lot more care and time at home then before.
Look for cat sits, sits that mention fenced yards and doggie doors. Clarify all expectations before you accept the sit!
Good luck and happy travels.
If you want more flexibility and don’t want to pet-sit, think about couchsurfing You get to stay at people’s home, sometimes on a couch but often in a private room, they’ll often direct or take you to local sites, etc. I’ve done both, and I love house/pet sitting best because I can stay longer, get to know some great pets, and just relax.
Edited to remove live link.
But quite a few people on THS seem to be quite horrified by sleeping (or even by spending time) in the same home as the home owners.
Yes, I have also been a couchsurfer, and I am hosting, now on BeWelcome and on Trustroots. But petsitting is so much more relaxing. And it is better than a hotel room: a real living room etc. And a kitchen and a laundry machine. And I enjoy the walks with the dog, in new cities and villages.
The connection with the pet owners is a bit as with couchsurfing: eating a dinner, talking over a glass of wine, and a walk around the block or a tour of the village. I enjoy that, but it is also nice that they are gone after that, that I am not in their hair for many days. Just some friendly messages and a photo now and then. And then another dinner or so when they come back, to tell the stories.
The expectations should be in their profiles u can view before you accept a sit. Most are pretty clear. If they are not, ask before you accept. I’ve never had a situation where those things were not discussed to give both parties clear expectations.
I think there is a balance. I am both a homeowner who has used pet sitters and am also house sitter.
We have always treated our house-sitters with the utmost respect and have been grateful for the help they have provided and we expect them to be out and about for some of the time. We have also appreciated when home owners provide support for us to have our needs met.
The issue is with clarity. I think there is a lot that can be done to improve the advertising process. For example, a simple series of tick the box questions that I can use as a filter would be most helpful. For example,
- Dog can be safely let off the lead in a dog park with other dogs present. Yes/no.
- Number of daily walks required. 1 2 3 4 or more.
- My dog requires medication. Yes/no
- My dog is able to travel in a car yes/.no.
We have arrived at house sits to find dogs that need to be supervised at all times because ‘they get out of the yard’ when that was never mentioned. Or dogs that have to ‘sleep on our bed or are very aggressive and have to be walked at 7am in the morning because they can’t be around other dogs.
We have had questions about liability in these circumstances. Things that are written down and negotiated up front are much clearer.
As I said, we have been house sitting for years now and have done dozens of housesits and only a handful have provided these challenges but they did leave us quite cautious.
In summary, I think it is fair for both parties to have reasonable expectations and to be absolutely clear upfront and in writing about requirements and expectations. It would also be helpful to have more filters for both owners and sitters for better alignment.
Overall, we have found owners have to be fantastic and reasonable, but when there is a mismatch of communication, things can be very miserable for everyone.
We want our pets to be happy and therefore, our house sitter to be happy too.
Wow you’ve done some great sits and good on you. You don’t have to take sits if they don’t suit what you want.
I have always seen THS as primarily about pets. We always choose just cats and try and stick to their routine, on the whole not too demanding, we often have computer work to do so happy for a cat to sit on the keyboard purring. We are usually only out in the day time so plenty of evening, cuddle and grooming time. We do occasionally do dogs(especially border terriers) but after a bad dog experience (not the dogs fault) we ask a lot more questions about dogs. Where do they sleep, can they travel in a car or public transport and so on. I don’t want to share a bed with a dog so I won’t apply for a sit that has this as a requirement. We usually just take the dog on our outings, walks, parks, beach, cafes etc.
We don’t do chickens anymore as they make us anxious in terms of being eaten by foxes.
When we require a sitter we are one of the unusual ones that don’t have pets BUT we do have some serious watering garden requirements. I always say a minimum of 3 hours per day. It often isn’t 3 hours if it’s rained but best to state maximum requirement.
I think that there are other sites where it is property only but often a bit of maintenance as a requirement.
I think the key here is to set your search preferences accordingly. My husband and I are about to embark on 3 months of various pet sits and we have set our preferences and only take on house sits that accommodate our desire to get out and see the town so that we have a fair balance. We have seen sits that require very regular feeding/medicating/walking schedules and have avoided these for everyone’s sake.
Having said that whilst we are pet sitting our plan is to head out to town, see what it’s about and purchase from the local stores but return to the property for cuddles and relaxing with the pets.
Set your preferences accordingly, read each requirement thoroughly and only apply if the advertising matches your needs.
All the best.
Not always.I did two sits in Cheltenham ( same place) for a lady with a lovely cat, who also took two dogs out on regular walks as their owners couldn’t/ wouldn’t- they were some miles away but this was part of the deal. After a trial day I managed fine, and did a long walk up and over a hill every day, then had the rest of the day at home with the moggy. OK as long as you understand what’s required in advance, and agree to it.