Good morning! We are Wendy and Merv from Canada. Currently in transition from our home in Ontario to our new waterfront property in New Brunswick.
In Ontario my daughter was our pet/house sitter as she worked from home. The perfect arrangement!
I heard about this group from an avid pet sitter that has been active for a few years.
Now it’s our turn to give it a whirl. I am wondering about the initial information sharing.
I have lots of questions and wondering about what is OK to ask. Why they have applied, travel arrangements, there expectations or plans etc…
Is it better to plan a video call and discuss it all ?
Should our request be more or less detailed?
As Pet Owner what are we expected to provide for our sitters? Or is that mutually agreed upon?
Welcome Wendy. I had similar questions when I began as a homeowner (HO). Over they years of being a member as both HO & sitter, I think it is very helpful for HOs to be somewhat detailed in their description of the home & pet responsibilities. For example, if you don’t want your pets left for more than 5 hours, say that in the description. If pets are on meds, say that & let the sitter know if they easily take their medicine. For the home, how many bedrooms are available and if rooms are off limits, say that too.
Once sitters apply, it is fine to ask travel arrangements and why they want to visit an area. I always try to inform HOs that we will arrive early if flying so as to account for a possible flight delay.
Yes, always do a video call with the sitter, they likely will want one too. If it goes well, at end of call you can either ask them to stay or if you are uncertain tell them you will let them know in the next day.
You should expect to provide the sitter with the time you need them to arrive, what time you’ll be home, turn over a clean house to them, a detailed list of responsibilities & let them know how often you would like updates. As a HO, I like to get a text daily but there are some HOs that don’t want that.
I would advice that if your travel plans involve flying that you also ask that if your flight is delayed coming home, would they be able to stay an extra day.
Best of luck to you!
Hi @Tambourinewendy , Welcome to THS and the forum! I wish you much luck with your move. The area sounds beautiful and it should appeal to many sitters. @Peg has some good pointers. You can also take a look at these topics:
I would encourage you, once you have created your listing, to add it to your forum profile. Experienced members will then be able to give you feedback to make it shine. Here are the instructions:
How to add your listing or profile to your forum profile
I would also suggest perusing other owners’ listings. Detail is good, such as your pet gets walked at 8 AM, 4 PM and before bed and eats twice a day, also any personality quirks, but minute detail should be discussed in your phone or video chat and go in your Welcome Guide, the document that is sent to your sitter once s/he is selected. Otherwise, people reading your listing will get bogged down with the small stuff.
I hope you enjoy this lifestyle as much as I do!
Peg and Mars have provided great advice. In your profile, you want to be able to provide sufficient information that will filter out people that wouldn’t be a good fit. This includes the basics about the care of the pets including any medication and how long they can be left alone, the sitters accommodations(be sure to include a picture in your profile of where the sitters will sleep), information about your location i.e. distance to grocery stores, restaurants, public transportation, what is in walking distance. This way only those who are ok with those things will apply.
Some things that HO have indicated for us included “experience with large dogs”, “dog likes to sleep on the bed with us”, “able to give pet shots”. Those are important things that can help you weed out people before they apply that wouldn’t like to or be able to do. One of our make or break issues is transportation. Since we travel without a car, we need to either be in walking distance of stores or transportation or in the case of our last 4 sits, the sitters let us use their car.
All that being said, as Peg and mars said, you don’t need to overwhelm it with too much detail. Those things can be discussed during the call or included in your welcome guide. One thing that is really important is to establish when you need them to arrive and when you will be back. We always allow cushion on both ends in case of any travel disruptions. If you are able to offer the sitter the option to stay with you the night prior to the sit of the start, either include that in the listing or discuss it during the call.
Dan and Nan
My 2 cents:
–Should our request be more or less detailed? Leave sitters enough to go on especially regarding responsiblities so there are no surprises. For example, if your pet needs daily shots a sitter might not be okay with it and needs to know.
—Is it better to plan a video call and discuss it all ? ALWAYS! Most people use Whatsapp since its an international community, but zoom or Facetime might work too. That’s the time for you both to ask each other questions. And fill in the owner manual that the sitter can get electronically - but only after they have accepted the sit.
–As Pet Owner what are we expected to provide for our sitters? Or is that mutually agreed upon? There are other posts that detail that and of course it varies greatly, but standard seems to be a clean home with sheets and towels and all pet supplies needed. Many leave a little welcome gift or basket. As for food, it varies as well, but simply make it crystal clear what is free game or forbidden and leave the sitter space in the fridge and freezer.
Thanks for the point about adding pictures where they will sleep and distance to local stores etc… i will update. Appreciate the help!