Does anyone else (sitters) find it kind of hilarious how - when friends and family who are not on this site find out what you do - invite you to come dog-sit for free??
I’ll be needing to see pics of every room in your home first and read some reviews, haha! It feels very lopsided to not go through the site.
Just wondering how other sitters respond. (For the record, I have no interest in doing a sit outside of THS, esp if they think it’ll be for free and I won’t even get the benefit of a review.)
@SoloTraveler LOL! Does it count when your kids ask you to sit while they go on a cruise? Mine will not join (maybe they just know they already have built in sitters…:), but I am getting ready to head over for a week sit with their two precious furbabies Charlie and Finkley. I don’t mind at all because they are two huge granddogs I love.
I leave the country. Then I sit for friends there
I’ve sat for one friend who doesn’t belong to the THS site but she has a lovely cottage on a lake with all sorts of amenities - swimming pool, hot tub etc. so it was kind of a win-win situation and it was really a great vacation for us and she had her dog doted on as well.
Well I sit for friends if I can and in fact am sitting for friends in August in Winchester. What’s the problem? I get friends and family who pass on my details to others who assume I’d be available and flattered that they ask me. I send them my referral code and explain they need to join THS as I can’t help them
I guess I would feel fine about doing it for friends, so long as I was familiar with their home and pets and it met my regular criteria. Since I know them well, I wouldn’t be too worried about having the normal protections of going thru THS.
However, since most of my friends live near me, I wouldn’t. I’m only interested in friends who live in France or Italy or the UK.
There’s no “problem,” it just seems like people assume we’d go anywhere to pet-sit for free!
When i would sit for friends, even friends of friends, people always left wine, stocked the fridge, took me out to dinner. I now tell people forget all that, instead join THS and tell the world how amazing I am. They have.
We get asked fairly often and always find it awkward when, 99% of the time we have to refuse.
I get asked a lot, not so much by friends, but by online friends. If they are in my home country I just say I don’t do sits at home, I house sit so I can travel.
If it is someone in another country I’ll apply the same criteria to my decision making as I would for a THS sit. I have done many sits that are not THS ones but I always ask them to leave a reference for me. I also have a questionnaire that I ask them to fill in so I have similar information to the THS welcome guide.
Also, I give a list of things that would make life easier for me and ask if they can provide them. It’s usually stuff that I don’t want to pack, eg hot water bottle, waterproof jacket, dressing gown, hairdryer etc.
I find it easier to negotiate when I’m independent of THS, I’ll even ask for help with airfares if I can’t find really low cost ones.
exactly. many times i have no desire to sit where they’re living, or they have too many pets or aggressive breeds. it feels like some (friends and family) think we would just take any offer thrown our way. not true at all!
I love your response Edith, that’s a wonderful way to look at the friend situation. I would sit for a friend if they needed me without any expectations. Because if someone is a friend - they are a very good, reliable person that I cherish a friendship with.
Hi @SoloTraveler. When I first started pet sitting I had a lot of friends who asked me to sit for them. It was easy to say that I pet sat in order to build up my reviews “resume” (or “CV”) and I would be happy to sit for them if we could do it through TrustedHousesitters. I did many sits that way, giving me those all important initial reviews, connecting the pet owners with the wider community of exchange-based pet sitters, and increasing TrustedHousesitters’ membership. It was a win for everyone.
Now I’m busy so far in advance that I let them know when I’ll be available and suggest they join Trusted to find someone who’s available for their up-coming trip. So I guess I’m still “selling” Trusted to my friends and family!
I’ve had a few friends ask and I’ve referred them to TH. One joined, I got the referral bonus and she was very happy with the sitter she found (I was already booked for the dates).
I joined TH as a sitter when my brother referred me. Before retiring I sat for him but once I retired I was traveling so much that I wasn’t available to sit for him and he started using TH.
Now I sit for him direct when I’m not already sitting and he uses TH when I’m not available.
And it’s really for the animal company anyway.
I am excited because a good friend lived temporarily interstate for the past three years and is now returning to the city I live in! She looked after my cat when I went to Asia, even before I heard about Trusted House Sitters!
I need to tell her about this website!
I have had a lot of positive comments from friends since telling them about this website. A few have asked me to look after their dogs when they go away, some have offered to look after my cat when I house sit & yeah, a few asked if they need to pay for my services and look amazed when I tell them about the website! lol