Food in the fridge

I’m interested in how you feel when you arrive at a new sit and the fridge is empty? Do you feel welcome? Are you willing to accept this as normal?

I don’t only want to throw this into discussion. After several sits I personally feel not welcome if the fridge is empty. I am bored of people who don’t care or explain they are leaving. Explaining that I may just choose what I prefer. I feel bored because many people do care and stuff their fridge with food what they think I my like. I feel there is a hugh difference in feeling valued.

Lately I did see an offer for a local kennel in a rural part of UK for 25 £ per overnight stay for 1 dog. Am I not valued for at least 1 day cost ? Really?

I’m really interested in your views.


Hi @Marian7. There are lots of different approaches to what food to leave for sitters. I as a sitter assume I’ll supply all my own food (except spices and oils, say) and don’t take it personally if the HO leaves food or not.

Here’s another discussion on this topic where you can see what other sitters and owners think / do:


Hi Marian,

We have experienced sits where there wasn’t a single item in the fridge, not even an ice cube. Others where the fridge is chock full of leftovers with no dates on them and food that had expired or was about to expire. Most of our sits the homeowner has been very conscious of what they’ve left in the fridge and invited us to use whatever appeals to us. If we use it, we like to replace it when we leave. We’ve had homeowners offer to do a basic shop for us if we would let them know what we would like and another that presented us with a gift card for the local grocery store upon our arrival. So, there are all kinds out there.


All I expect is a clean fridge with room for me to store food I buy.

Some HOs and I’ve agreed that I’ll come a day early, for hand-off. In those cases, they’ve usually treated me to dinner. I’m fine with doing my own thing as well. I don’t attach emotion to it.

I had a sit where the HOs and I never met. They seemed perfectly nice and welcoming — they left info on places to eat and sightsee, for instance. But the fridge was chockful of whatever they had on hand and it was grimy, along with other appliances. I didn’t review them, because I get that some people have lower standards of cleanliness than I do, but I won’t write a positive review for a place that’s dirty.


I don’t expect food as a sitter. It is nice if there are basics (my basics are milk, bread, cheese, cereal, eggs) but I don’t expect it. I don’t see why HOs should feel obliged to provide food for sitters, just as many sitters don’t leave food basics for HOs to use on their return from the trip.

I did provide basics for my last sitter, but there was nothing replaced on my return. As a sitter, I would have bought similar items knowing the HO had specifically bought the food for me (and it was a very easy sit, including the use of my car).

If the sit is not an even exchange, and the sitter is doing a lot of work for the HO, perhaps the HO could thank the sitter with food basics. Some sits are very easy, however, so I don’t feel that the HO “owes” the sitter any more than the sitter “owes” the HO.


It wouldn’t have occurred to me to replace what you’d bought for the sitter, because I’d figure that was a nice gesture, like a gift. (Personally, I don’t want such gifts anyway, because I’d rather choose and buy my own food.) If you expect a sitter to buy replacement food, it’s better to not offer it in the first place, IMO. Otherwise, you’re also expecting them to do grocery shopping for you, in addition to the pet and home sitting.


There are so many preferences and variations of even staple food, I wouldn’t expect or want pet parents to buy anything specific for my arrival. First thing I do (after greeting the dog) is clean out the fridge and make room in the freezer. I would hate to think of people wasting hard earned cash to buy food that i would not eat.
Tidy and clean house, comfy bed and room made in the bedroom and bathroom for my things. That’s all I ask. And of course lots of food and treats for the dogs.


I didn’t really expect the sitter to replace what I had bought. I would have done so as a sitter, however.

I also leave small gifts and thank-you notes for my sitters and HOs, though I rarely receive them


I wish all the fridges would be empty. Then there would be room to buy what I want. I’ve had almost every HO tell our family to help ourselves but we typically don’t touch their food. Maybe sometimes spices to cook with. What I want more than anything is a clean house and for them to keep their commitment to the sit instead of cancelling on me or changing dates


Everyone seems to be different @Marian7 We like a few things left so we can have tea & toast at least (or similar) when we arrive and work out shops/groceries etc especially when you’re abroad (which we mostly are). So far pretty good in 31 sits. In terms of showing care for your sitters, yes please - we’ve had two mean sits where we’ve had to buy our own water & gas and on another, our own toilet roll FFS #nowthatstight and isn’t showing appreciation to your sitter. Luckily they’ve been rare.


Why is the toilet tissue is SUCH a big deal that sitters get so worked up over replacing the toilet paper?

I also can’t imagine why any homeowner is wringing hands and gnashing teeth over it.

Consider a typical package of TP bought at a big box.(USA) such as


How much paper do you go through to in a week to validate this much agita.

70¢. Chill.


It’s not replacing it @MissChef - it’s arriving to a 3 month international house sit with not a roll in sight and being told it’s expensive and to use the “bum gun” instead. Of course we can buy it. But that’s not a nice welcome to any house sit……it simply says you’re not valued. The toilet roll example is incidental. It came alongside an empty fridge, WiFi to pay for & a longer list of responsibilities. The villa on the other hand is worth a cool million. #gofigure


I edited the original comment to be more clear.

Yes it goes both ways… Homeowners could skip the wine and chocolate, and instead throw $10 at the toilet paper supply.


Hmmm, I don’t think a sitter should be expecting a host to feed them. I personally and respectfully think that is tacky to expect this.

Now if an owner offers food, that is great. But if not, a owner shouldn’t be knocked for that.

TH is a mutual exchange. You get a free place to stay while the owner gets free pet care. That’s the exchange. Not to feed you as well. That should come out of the sitter’s own pocket. That would be like the owner expecting you to pay a share of the utilities for your stay.

I don’t supply my sitters with food. I let them know on the video chat that they would need to bring their own personal care items and food. This is also in the welcome guide if they happen to forget lol

I’m very transparent about this. If a sitter wants to move on to where an owner provides food for them, that truly is their right. More power to them…


Thanks for being open. Cleaning of kitchen/fridge I didn’t mention. Yes, that’s a topic I didn’t even think about that this is a topic. But I did experience that far too often. Does anybody talk/write about this? And how to cope with?

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Arh, yes. I have to buy my own drinking water for me and the cats. Bit of an adventure. Leave the empty 20 litre bottle outside with 25 THB ($ 1.02 AUD) and a full one is delivered. Place it in the water cooler/heater and you’re done. Much cheaper than $3.50 for 600ml in Aus.


There’s the key @Shasta - be clear about what you offer, what’s entailed and what is and isn’t included and both sides are then fully in the loop and can find their ideal match. We don’t expect food, some HOs offer and some just leave their perishables to finish up.

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I don’t expect the HO to leave me food in the fridge and actually appreciate having room to put my own. Everyone has their own preferences on milk, bread, butter, coffee, etc. that it would be difficult short of giving the HO a “shopping list”. And even then, we don’t always know what’s available in a particular area.
As a general rule, we will eat the things that are perishable and will go to waste if we don’t. We will use oils & spices and replace things we use up. We also have been asking the HO if there is anything in particular they would like for us to pick up before they come home. So far there have been no requests.
Dan and Nan


But I have to admit I’m enjoying it when our travels put us in locations when gardens are producing! We’ve been able to enjoy lots of tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, lemons, oranges, figs, and feijoas(in New Zealand).
All the HO have said to help ourselves. That may be my new travel strategy! :grin:


I would love an empty fridge. I never eat the homeowners food. The only thing I might use is salt and pepper and maybe a dash of a couple spices. I feel valued if they leave me some CLEAN space in the fridge. I’ve had a several sits where part of a shelf has been emptied for me, but it was filthy, so I had to clean before going grocery shopping. I also don’t appreciate having to throw out their leftovers and rotting produce.

After doing about 16 sits now, the things that make me feel appreciated are arriving to a clean home and having at least one empty drawer, a little closet space, and a few hangers for me to be able to unpack. I’m honestly shocked at how many people don’t provide these very basic considerations.

Now that I’m getting a lot of requests for repeat sits, those described above are the sits I would never return to.