First time owner query, fretting!

Hi, I am new to this site and have a couple of questions as a worried dog mummy :blush:

Due to being let down at the last minute we are looking for someone to look after our 2 pug cross breeds. What I want to know is how easy is it to get someone reliable and would we get responses for sitting at short notice?

We live in the South Lake District in the UK, so a walkers paradise, though one of our dogs can’t go a long way due to breathing issues.

I don’t want to join then no one respond, would also only want someone with good reviews from a previous sitting. It’s such a worry. We are going away in less than a month and no one for our dogs.

I’m a bit scared of people in my home that both I and the dogs don’t know. Can someone please put my mind at rest. Thank you.

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Welcome @ShirlW to a great community of caring pet-loving folks. Your concerns are very understandable, and often new folks to THS have voiced similar concerns. There’s a wealth of information on this forum, in addition to first-time users posting about just this issue. You can use the search icon to read about their experiences. Perhaps if you have a worry about a stranger in your home, seek out local sitters who can come for a brief visit to get a feel of your home and the little ones. Best of luck in your search!

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Hi @ShirlW I think it is quite natural to be worried about having someone stay in your house and look after your pets for the first time. You do live in a lovely area, I am sure there will be sitters who would like to spend time there with your dogs.

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We have done sits for a lot of first-timers and most of them will have had similar concerns (sometimes openly communicated). We would recommend searching for your location on THS to see how much attention from sitters you might get. In the UK there seem to be more sits than sitters right now, so I can’t say it’s going to be easy to get a great sitter with good reviews (in the past years it was sometimes the opposite). There is a lot of helpful advice on this forum, though! PS: Definitely do a video chat with the sitter before confirming or maybe try inviting people in the area to do a sit for you (not everyone sits locally, but it’s a great for some people to get more reviews).

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Firstly, fretting is my favourite word that is not used enough in my humble opinion :joy:

It is perfectly normal to fret, having strangers in your home for the first time and giving them full responsibility of your beloved pets is a huge step. Please remember that there are thousands of sitters that use the trustedhousesitters website and most of them will have great reviews to show you that the home hosts from their previous sits have written. We all do this because we love animals.

Here are a few quotes from our previous first time home hosts -

_"This was the first time we had ever used professional housesitters, and so we were a little nervous, but we needn’t have been. The house was immaculate and our our pets settled and contended!

-“For my first time using house sitter I wanted someone with good experience and good reviews. I picked these guys as they had both and I can say that it was more like having friends over then complete strangers”

-"My first experience of having pet/house sitters could not have been any better! From the very start the communication with Colin and Karyo was great. We had messages and phone calls before the sit started and I felt at ease immediately and it just felt right.

-“Colin & Karyo were our first sitters and couldn’t have been better! We had a really nice introduction call and from then on it was plain sailing”.

Advertise now though, as obviously the later you leave it, the more difficult it might be to find a sitter. When you get an application that you like arrange a video call to ‘meet’ them properly and discuss all that you need to.

Ask your chosen sitter to send you a daily update and picture of your dogs to reassure you that all is well back home.

No one is a stranger for long, you will find yourself thanking new friends for caring for your home and pets in no-time - good luck!

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Welcome. I wish I could do more to reassure you. Like @Timmy, I’ve also introduced many HOs to pet sitting. As Timmy notes, there seem to be more sits than sitters now - I’m pretty much booked up through the end of February.
But a well-crafted description and good pictures will attract. For me, sitting in the UK without a car, the ability to get to things (groceries, pubs, coffee shops) on foot or by public transportation is important - mention that in your listing if you can.
I’m currently sitting a pair of pugs and a pair of cats in Putney and I’ve sat a pair of pugs in the US -they are just such lovable dogs!

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Welcome @ShirlW and don’t worry - your worries are perfectly natural, but unnecessary. THS checks out every house sitter, they request proof of identity and references and alike to make sure that the people who come into your house are indeed trustworthy. Once you get applications on your ad you can read the sitters’ profiles and their references from previous sits, and you can not only have a chat conversation with them via the message board, but you can also arrange a telephone or video call, before you pick one. Just give it a go!

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Thank you for the reply’s. They have put my mind at rest a little. I’ve spoken to my partner and he thinks it will be worth trying. I see you can also get a refund if someone doesn’t choose to sit so that’s quite good.

Think September might be a bit short notice, also got a house full of boxes as we will be moving later this year.

Give it a whirl, Shirl :wink: - you’ll be glad you did.

Dont forget to let us know how you go on - have a great holiday!

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