What a good idea - videos with the children interacting with animals. We were happy to have a family until we have a potential sitter and child come for a visit. Unfortunately the child was nervous and kicked out and stamped at our dogs so this has put me off having children because I would worry that the dogs may snap at a child if they carried on with that behaviour. I was glad we were able to meet the people first.
Videos could help. I didn’t think about this before, but I have been a teacher for 14 years, and I would not want the majority of children in my home or sitting my pets. I could see how HO are put off by children. Luckily, my children are very responsible and well behaved. All of their teachers have nothing but good things to say about them. Now getting home owners to see that is the difference. Just seeing kids on a listing probably scares many off.
Hi @RinaS and welcome to the forum. You’ve already received a lot of great feedback from the forum. Our suggestion is simple, look for HOs who have large families. We have seen plenty of pet sits where the HOs are large families. Then it is pretty simple, you have the kids connection and you are all set for accommodations as far beds etc. From experience we know that families with kids, prefer sitters with kids.
A good friends of ours (family of 3) are the ones who introduced us to THS. They are very successful in securing sits and in our opinion they have one of the best THS family profiles, their kid’s pictures are amazing. We can’t share their profile link on the forum, but send us a DM if you are interested.
P.S We recently came across your home listing and if the dates worked we would have definitely applied. You have a beautiful home and super cute pets. Hopefully you are paying for the combo membership not for two different memberships.
Hi @RinaS we are a housesitting family of 4 - my sons are 13 and 11. Like your daughters, they are the perfect age to be helpful in caring for the pets. We also sit in our school holidays.
You can have a look at our profile by clicking on my name. Most of our photos are of the boys with animals (I do need to update some of the photos to make it clear they are not so little any more!). We even have some photos of the boys cleaning the chicken house at the school where I work. I’d definitely recommend having some photos of your girls with animals.
It is often difficult to tell from listings if the home has enough beds for a family. As @BunnyCat said, look for listings that mention they have children, especially if they have 3 or more. Most, but not all, of our sits have been for families like ourselves. We often find we have much in common. I talk about all of our interests and hobbies in our applications, and I think this helps homeowners identify with us, for example if we or our children have similar hobbies.
Many hands means we can look after multiple pets. We have looked after 4 (mostly small) dogs at once, and the boys and I cared for 3 dogs and 3 cats at another sit (my husband was unable to join us as he had to work). I note that you are most comfortable caring for cats and small pets, like you have at home. That’s a really good idea for a first sit while you get used to how everything works. Once you feel more confident in the system, would you consider caring for dogs? This would increase the number of suitable sits available to you and having more pairs of hands could then be a real advantage. We are also able to split up if the animals have different needs. The boys and I might walk a younger, livelier dog while my husband stays at home with an older one who needs less exercise.
In normal times, the advice for new sitters is often to start with local sits. However, at the moment in some parts of the world, there are more homeowners in need of sitters than there are available sitter. In the UK for example. there are many sits with few applicants, so you might be successful applying for a sit in the UK, especially as your available dates overlap UK school holidays.
Keep persevering! It took us quite a few tries before we got our first sit, and we were really grateful to the family who gave us the opportunity. Good luck!
I have to honest with you it’s going to be tough. I have talked with lots of pet owners here in the States and abroad about their preferences over the years. Most pet owners I have found are looking not only for only a couple or single person, but also someone with references through THS’s. That is why on occasion you will see a listing, where someone Will say suitable for families. We have pet sat a couple of times with my mature Sister in Law and she also has fantastic references. On occasion we have had luck, when asking if she can join us. Not to discourage you so just keep trying and do some local house sits through Trusted and that will help. There is lots more competition now than we started.
Thank you, Debbie. I have added some photos of my girls and animals. The reason I put cats and small pets was because I read some tips to limit to animals you have experience with for your first few sits. We are comfortable with dogs, but I don’t have as much experience with them since I haven’t had a dog since I was 11.
Hi Dennis. Thanks for your honest reply. Unfortunately, there aren’t many local housesits available here in Albania or the neighboring countries. I will have to keep my eyes out.
Good luck and keep trying
Love the new pictures of your children with pets.
Ditto that… they are fab new pictures @RinaS !!
Hi Rina. If you’re still looking for a house sit, I’m open to a family of 5 house sitting for me Please contact me for further information.
Admin notice - listing link removed in accordance with forum guidelines
We are in S Florida looking for a sitter! We have 3 kids ourselves (2 rooms with bunkbeds) and a very kid friendly home. We have 2 pups we need looked after that love kids and to play! It’s short notice, but if you all would like to visit West Palm Beach, Florida I’d love to connect! xo
HI @Luckii and welcome to the forum. Rina does have their profile embedded and it shows that the US is not one of their preferred countries. However, as many sitters will tell you, we often go to places we never planned on but they drew us in.
I encourage you to add your listing to your forum username/profile. Here are the instructions.
I’ll also mention that one of my tips to improve listings in an earlier post was to avoid acronyms. As a worldwide site, many members may not know what WPB stands for (I’m guessing West Palm Beach?).
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Hi @ Angela, If videos were once used for sitters to upload, why were they discontinued? This seems like it would be a good idea for the homeowners as well.
I believe it was related to technical/functionality also there were not many members who did use the function.
Hello, would you consider coming to Chesapeake VA during the last week of June?
We have a pool, and plenty of room for a family.
Please message me
Hi @bobbiejturner and welcome to the forum. It’s always a good idea to check a sitter’s calendar and preferred countries before inviting them. Although not the case this time, owners often invite sitters for dates where they are already shown as booked for THS sits, which can be frustrating for sitters.
However, if your request is to the original sitter here, RinaS, then the USA is not shown as one of their preferred countries. I suppose it never hurts to ask, but I just thought I’d point those two areas out to you.
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Thank you… your are right. I need to pay more attention.
I appreciate your help
It’s a learning curve for all of us, and most of us are still learning new things every day. Hence the reason the forum is so helpful at times. You can always use the magnifying glass to search key words if you have a question. If you don’t find the answer, just ask the forum members. People are happy to share their opinions and experiences. We’re all learning from each other.
I am house sitting in a family of 4. We too, own a pet so we choose to do short term house sits and get our neighbour to check in on our cat who is a house one, however, have a friend that can look after her when we have longer absences.
The reason we started house sitting was because we travelled to another part of the country at the end of last year and were so bored at one of the hotels we stayed at but noticed one of the hotels had a cat. Me and my partner wanted our children to be introduced to animals at an early age, despite owning our cat and our eldest is an animal lover. There are chickens at her school and our daughter loves to pat any animals on approach when we are out walking hehehe
At all of our house sits, we supervise the children at all times. We even mention this in our applications. We have noted that despite some house owners noting that house is family friendly, a few are reluctant to consider us because of the pet that might be aggressive or not be nice to our youngest who is a toddler, despite having experience with similar dogs. We have also applied for family friendly house sits where after being interested in us, the owner is worried about steps, stairs, water features or little pools outside for our toddler. Photos of the house are appreciated,
You have older kids so you don’t have to worry about these things but home owners need to factor in safety of children in their house whether it be the layout or aggression from their pets with young kids.
In saying this, we always factor in safety and look at the photos of the house layout and the animals and read the advertisement carefully. It is a pity we cannot directly enquire to ask questions, unless you apply for a house sit but I always ask questions about these sorts of things if I cannot read about it in the advertisement which may mean withdrawal at times.
I love looking after animals as much as my family does.