Hello fellow sitters, I’m wondering what are all yawls favorite check-ins during a sit? I try to send a photo of each pet every day with a little sweet thing to say about them, but sometimes it doesn’t seem like it’s enough.
What does everyone else too?
Personally I like to write 2 times a day (also 1-3 photos with a hopefully funny remark). For most HOs that seems to be perfect. It has also happened that we wrote little short stories 1-2 times a day if the owner was super attached (e.g. once with a 1 year old Sphynx cat). But I have also read here that some HS don’t update so frequently or that a HO even asked them not to bother them. If in doubt you can always ask but I think 2 times a day is enough for most worriers and not too overwhelming for others.
We usually write once a day on short sits starting with an update on the day of arrival and a check out message on leaving. We send a few pics daily together with any small anecdote that pops up. We always ask the host how often they’d like to be updated. Some say every other day or even less. One host (whose dog had just been operated!) asked us not to bother her at all except to update us when the stitches came out!! Most seem to like daily. A request for video calls with the pet (!!) or updates more than once a day would seem like excessive attachment to me & I’d probably not take such a sit…
Video call has also happened to us, we thought our HOs wanted to discuss something but they just wanted to see their dog live and talk to him This was only once during a 30+ day sit.
We mostly do a photo or two and a quick what’s app update every day (every other if they’re really not bothered which some HOs aren’t, they seem to want the break). We had to do FT with a cat once which was probably a step too far…:
Gosh, I don’t even talk to my husband every day
We prefer longer sits and after the initial few days where we would update the HO’s daily to make sure the pets adapted to us, thereafter every 2-4 days, just a cute pic and a short note to say everything is still fine.
We always ask the home host what they want but I dread them asking for daily updates on long sits. There are only so many ways you can say “all is well” before it starts to sound monotonous
Our preference is :-
Short sits ( up to 7 days ) - daily pic and quick message
medium sits ( 8-21 days) - every other day pic and quick message
Long Sits ( 22 + days ) - every 3/4 days a pic and quick message
Hi @Colin a little tip on long sits that has worked for me, short sits too, it’s not you the pet parents/owners want to hear from it’s their furry family … If asked I send dailies from the pets, they always get loving replies back. On one sit after the first couple of dailies to Mom, Dad asked to join the WhatsApp group so he got the messages too, Casey was so happy that Dad had messaged him …
Leaving me free to do a weekly update on the pets, home and any other matters they want or need to know.
It’s amazing what you can teach pets to do, use a mobile, make short videos, take selfies. and write messages even if it is only “Hi Mom, love you xx”
Short sits I’ll send a daily picture or three. Sometimes just the animal at home, sometimes when we are on a walk. And if there are antics to describe, I’ll send descriptions.
Longer sits sometimes will skip a day.
Some HOs have created a whatsapp group that makes it really easy to include everyone in the household. But you can do that with messenger as well.
Time lapse video is always a big hit, or slow mo. Also I show photos of whatever the parent seems most concerned about (meal times, pets being comfortable sitting on my lap, outside time, etc). To calm their nerves, ( I have a lot of first timers) I send more updates in the first couple of days unless they requested not to be bothered. After that, once a day and I try to respond quickly when they have any questions.
I updated my first sit HO almost every day with a pic and it was a one-week sit. As for my second HO, I asked him after sending 3 pics of his cats cuddling with me, and he thanked me for asking and said he preferred updates only 1-2 times per week, with the exception of urgent matters. As for my third upcoming sit, the HOs say they are laidback about it and only want updates if anything different-ish happens. So I say to just ask and respect their wishes. It may be more of nuisance than good to update the HO daily or frequently.
I always ask the owner what they are comfortable with either during a video call or at the handover. On a 5 week sit I sent a message every day - a comment, photo or short video as that is what they wanted. On another 2 week sit they didn’t want anything “unless there is bad news” so I respected that. As the owner said “we know what our dog looks like and we know you will take good care of them so we don’t need to be kept informed”.
Sometimes it depends on where the people went. If its international, I worry about the phone cost for them for photos. Also on the sit we are currently on, the responses to our updates got very brief so we sort of decided they weren’t needed as often!
@Angela-HeadOfCommunity - I fully understand that all sitters and home owners are different but this technique is not one I would use personally. I am not keen on pretending that pets are children and would be embarrassed to send messages pretending they were from the pets. I love animals dearly but have my limits - I am fearful thay they would be expecting me to send barking or meowing voice messages next
There is so much terminology around petsitting that makes me cringe. I honestly thought fur baby was the worst thing I had ever heard …that was until Pet parent came along!
Hi @Colin One benefit of the forum is to share tips and ideas we’ve found that work, some will consider them interesting and helpful, others will not. The way we manage our pet and housesitting is very personal and I fully appreciate that this is not something you would ever consider doing as you quite rightly say … we are all different.
In all the years I’ve been sitting and considering the many pet messages I’ve sent I have never been asked to bark, meow or even whinny like a horse, which is a relief as I’m not sure my animal mimicking skills would be that convincing.
I always ask the owners what they would prefer. Some have liked daily contact, some no contact at all unless there is a problem. We have found it very variable so it’s best to ask.
@cdrewco if you use WhatsApp for sending pics there should be no extra cost for the HO wherever you send!