Do you ever apply for a sit and offer alternative dates?

Does anyone ever see a sit they really like that mentions the owners travel a lot and when they can’t do the first date they offer them an alternative one or still apply to say “hi” for future sits?


I’ve done that in the past. I recently had a HO adjust by 2 days because I was finishing a sit elsewhere on the day he needed me to start. Some people won’t be able to be flexible, but sometimes it works out. It can’t hurt to try.


Yes, I’ve done that. A few months ago, I saw a sit in a house very close to my family in Ireland. I couldn’t do the advertised dates, but contacted the HO to introduce myself for future dates. I’m in Ireland now and joined that HO and her hiking group for an outing last week.


We have done that when we got last-minute cancellations and we saw a sit that had dates similar to those that we needed, but we were a bit desperate due to the situation and also didn’t receive a reply. But we have never introduced ourselves for future sits that haven’t been listed yet.

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@Cuttlefish I realize why some sitters find this useful, but I’ll approach it from a different viewpoint. Having sat for a homeowner multiple times, she voiced her frustration over sitters doing exactly what you’ve asked about.

She had posted a listing and after a short while had 20+ applicants. Not only was it time-consuming for her to go through them, but it showed her listing with an inflated number of applicants. You have to wonder how many sitters would have decided not to apply. Yes, she can decline them, but it was still frustrating for her.

I’ve also seen listings where homeowners state to only apply if you are available for the listed dates. My guess is they’ve also had a similar experience.

I have never done what you’re suggesting, for that reason. Instead I create saved searches on the app, focussing on my current areas of interest. I then receive a notification when they next list and I apply promptly. It has worked well for me so far, for my lifestyle.


Hi @Cuttlefish I once reached out to a homeowner whose pet sit was to begin within 3 days of my contacting her and she was without a pet sitter. I inquired if she was willing to amend her end date so that it would end a day early. For an example instead of ending on 16 March–it would end on 15 March. I had another pet sit coming up and the dates would conflict.

The homeowner responded and we had a great conversation; however, one of her dogs had gotten sick and she ended up cancelling her trip. Even though, I wasn’t successful in attaining that pet sit, the homeowner was grateful and kept my information for possible future sits.

I concur with @CreatureCuddler that it could not hurt to reach out to homeowner(s) to possibly amend their dates, particularly if they are in a bind of not being able to secure a pet sitter.

One never knows until he/she tries… :grinning:

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Totally. On the two occasions I’ve tried it’s been received well. I’ve made it clear very early on in the message that I want to help but this is a “long shot” for later dates. I guess as there seem to be more sits than sitters right now that might influence it too. Thanks for your reply :grin:


Good points no question. I’ve actually only done it twice myself and only where there are 0-3 applicants after some time of posting. Had positive responses on both occasions. I was really interested to see what the poll was. Thanks for the input :+1:

Yes. And it works sometimes. Just a quick hi and an explanation hurts no one and it may even work.

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In addition to all the good input from sitters, I’ll add as an owner that it wouldn’t hurt for owners to include whether they’re flexible in their listing … we often include a sit-date specific set of notes on our listing, e.g. clarifying the owner/sitter overlap at the start of end of the sit depending on departure and return times, etc., so could easily indicate flexibility there.

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I’ve done this a few times and have gained a couple of sits this way for future dates. Most homeowners I’ve messaged have responded and were very friendly but some have not acknowledged.