Do HO’s normally leave a tip?

Thank you @Snowbird

A mutually agreed, fair exchange, Win-Win-Win is indeed the core principle of our TrustedHousesitters community and one of the main reasons it is unique, authentic and very special.


And I am very thankful for that.
My thoughts are where it would lead to if everybody, HO and sitters, could charge whatever they liked? I don’t have any experience with this kind of organization but would a HO need to choose the “cheaper” sitter, because he wouldn’t be able to afford the more experienced one, who charged more, instead of choosing the sitter most suitable for their pet’s needs?
Gifts are something not expected, given freely and and only to be found out about afterwards, which makes all the difference.

1 Like

Hello @JustP and thank you for your patience while I clarified this situation with the team to ensure that neither you or the wider community has any ongoing confusion about what is shown on the help desk, and in the terms about asking owners for payments towards sits.

As mentioned elsewhere on this thread, the terms were changed some time ago to the value exchange that is at the heart of our community. There is only one charge that is permitted which is a contribution towards utility bills. However, this is only in rare cases, usually involving long term sits, and the “help desk” is clear in this respect. Sitters always have the option not to accept a sit in these instances, and it is extremely rare that I see these on the platform when looking for longer term sits even.

Who pays the utility bills during a sit?

It is rare for owners to ask for contributions to utility bills, however, if this is the case, this is something that should be arranged, negotiated and agreed between the sitter and the owner, prior to a sit being confirmed and is a private arrangement between members.

For the longer duration sits we normally recommend a discussion and agreement is made on this subject as early as possible in the process and prior to the sitter being confirmed, to avoid any confusion.

Home owners are no longer permitted to ask for deposits and there is nowhere that “demands” the house sitters have ample funds to cover household expenses. The terms request that the owner has pet and vet costs covered. However, as we all know, sometimes emergencies arise outside our control and if a sitter does pay upfront for vet care services then the terms also state that the owner must reimburse these.

Now with my house sitter hat on :slight_smile: … we have always followed the advice to discuss vet care and emergencies pre-sit to ensure… that the owners have adequate funds available, an account at the vets, leave an emergency fund, or can call through to vets with card details, and have never in almost 10 years of sits had to make a payment on behalf of an owner. Whether you can afford to pay shouldn’t really be a consideration, it’s about communication and good pre-planning to ensure pet care is covered in any situation it might arise. If an owner couldn’t give that assurance, it would be a red-flag for us I’m afraid.

I hope that helps clarify the present situation around this topic and I think we should maybe draw a line here on this particular aspect, as we’ve moved some way off the topic of “tips”, and although a very relevant topic that you’ve raised, I think any further discussion for your particular situation may best be dealt with directly with membership services. Hoping for your understanding.

We will be very very sorry to see you go if that is your decision, but it may be that a different pet sitting model where you can charge for your services and expenses could be the better solution for you. It’s difficult I know, when you have unique requirements that don’t fit into a standard model, but I do hope you find a way to make this lifestyle work for you.

All the very best, Vanessa


No problem @JustP and I will pass this on to membership services as you’ve messaged them and they may already be dealing with this. Just to avoid duplication. My understanding is that yes a pro-rata refund is an option if you choose not to proceed with the checks but they will be able to give you all the detail. As mentioned before, we are sorry to see you leave, but remember the forum is open to all of the house sitting community, so please come say hello anytime. Take care on behalf of us all on the forum team.


I prefer not to receive a tip as it sounds more like a service worker than a caring member of the community willing to give up their free time to take care of a pet not wanting to go into kennels. I would not expect anything from an owner other than a nice review and I always leave a “thank you” and would replenish any stocks of food for the pets or just get some small chew toy or whatever for the pet.

That’s a good question re getting paid for a sit on this site. I’d also like to know. I was offered to be paid once for doing a local house sit and declined as I thought it would be unethical to accept money as a sitter belonging to THS. I also declined the sit. Perhaps one of the THS members can answer this. Are sitters allowed to accept payment as a member of THS if they are offered payment?

Hi @Globetrotter @Samstevens201 sitters with TrustedHousesitters do not charge for pet sitting there are many reasons but the first one is it is not how TrustedHousesitters works, and it was the very thing which drew me to TrustedHousesitters in the beginning it’s also the reason many come to our community, to have their beloved pets cared for people who care so much they will do this in return for benefits and rewards that money can’t necessarily buy.

When a sitter receives payment for pet sitting, or any service this completely changes the dynamic, it becomes a transactional agreement with all of the implications of paid employment it can also change the visitors status if sitting internationally

After 11 years of living this lifestyle and caring for pets I can honestly say I get back far more than I ever give and I truly believe that is how most of our sitting community feel , I know pets and pet parents value it more than anything else.


Hmmm, when I arrived at the location the HO had dinner ready waiting for me. Naturally, I had dinner ready for her when she came back from her vacation.

1 Like

Just out of curiosity, would you have done so if the HO hadn’t?
It’s not a judgement either way, just curious.

@Globetrotter - if you’re in the U.S. there are sites where house and pet sitters can get paid for their services like Rover DOT com, Care DOT com, and SitterCity DOT com.

You have similar sites in most of the developed world by there are those of us who are retired and are looking to help out a pet loving family without turning the project into a moneymaking venture.

1 Like

@Willexcell - for me, I professionally house and pet sit to supplement my Social Security Disability and just use THS to find jobs at the beach which for me is my place of Zen. I love the beach but hotels can be quite expensive so I was thankful to find a site like THS where I can exchange my vast experience gained in almost 13 years of house and pet sitting for an opportunity to visit the beach.
I believe some people need to know or be reminded that this site isn’t for making money and shouldn’t be used to make money. If people are looking to make money from house and pet sitting then they need to find another site like the ones I previously listed.

1 Like

Totally agree but I know from meeting another pet owner who uses a different site experienced a sitter asking for money despite the fact that the site has similar rules to THS. You are dealing with some people who just do not understand the concept or maybe do not want to understand.


Great point of view and service routine.

curious… first time as a HO… I had planned on full access to all groceries left in house and was planning on giving my HS some $ to buy food… it is for a 2 month sit… is that not correct ? of course we are paying all utilities and bills related to the house

You can do whatever you want, but it’s unnecessary and unexpected to give them money for food. I’ve had it happen once or twice, but it’s a nice surprise that I used to treat myself and it definitely wan’t something I thought should happen.

As mentioned, it isn’t expected to leave money for food but I’m sure it would be appreciated.
Any perishable items are generally the only HO’s food we would touch and anything else we would replace if we used it.

I have found HO’s cooking a welcome meal instead is more usual, but still only an occasional occurrence.

A really interesting sit you have by the way, pigeons and hummingbirds?! I love it!

1 Like

We agree completely with SandC. Some people also leave expensive items like Swiss chocolate, vegan Ben and Jerry’s ice cream (which costs around 14 USD here) or wine specifically for us. If someone says “help yourself to anything” we don’t touch anything unless he/she repeats it at least 2-3 times (still we only use small amounts or replace things as well). It’s rare these days that anybody cooks for us, but we sometimes leave a vegan raw cake with high quality ingredients.

1 Like

Nothing is fine and what I expect after all I’ve enjoyed the company of their pets and home. In the past be gotten gift cards for local places, my favorite, wind chimes, wine and cash. Most of my favorite sits didn’t come with any kind of tip.