HO asking for us to meet the pets first- we're 8 hrs away

I’m trying to secure my first sit. The HO messaged asking if we could meet the dogs first to make sure they are comfortable with my family. That makes sense if we lived locally, but I would have to drive there 8 hrs. How do we navigate this? I would want the sit confirmed first so that if they cancelled, I can utilize the $150/day insurance to pay for alternative lodging. There’s no reason for me to go to their city unless I was pet/house sitting.

It depends: it sounds like they’re asking, and you have a legitimate reason for not being able to – driving 8hrs is a huge undertaking. I am sure they wouldn’t expect you to drive all that way for an unconfirmed sit. But if that is what they need from a sitter, you might have to accept it’s not the sit for you. Their ideal person is probably someone already closer to the area, and your ideal first assignment is probably one that doesn’t require an in-person trial visit.

Wishing you lots of luck on getting that right first sit!


You can’t find sits in your local area? Drive that far for an unconfirmed sit is crazy to me.


That seems completely unreasonable to me. If they want a sitter they can meet in person before the sit, they need to look for someone who lives close to them. They’re asking you to take an entire day of your time, not to mention the expense of the drive. Maybe suggest a virtual meeting? That’s what most of us do.

If you are having trouble getting your first sit, look for short sits in your local area (where it would be reasonable to go meet them in person if needed).


Things that cross my mind:
Is this a new HO?
What’s the feedback from other sitters, if any?
Do the responsibilities or described dog behavior seem to warrant this?
Would you follow up again and discuss further before you decide to pass or make the drive?

In the end, I would pass, as 8 hrs is not a drive I would do for a presit though I am open to pre vists. For us since we have the time…maybe 3hr max each way and we would make it a day trip or an overnight.
It would have to be a pretty desirable sit/area for us as well.

It’s ok to politely decline without judging the presit request. Do what feels good and correct for you and yours.


That would be an extremely hard pass for me. But I wish you luck sorting it out.

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Definitely a pass :person_gesturing_no:

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I have met pets/HOs when it’s been an extraordinary circumstance. Once, a dog that wasn’t great with men when my partner and I were passing through the area – we didn’t end up sitting for them. The other time for a new puppy who had never been left with strangers, when I was already in the area nearby for a concert.

If it were me, I’d simply decline and cite the in-person meet as not realistic for anyone beyond a local area. If it’s a sit you’re absolutely dying to do, you could check in if you’re out that way in the future and see if they could meet then.

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This is definitely not the norm, and the person who asked if it is a new homeowner makes a good point. You do not want your first sit with a new homeowner.
That first review is important. Keep looking for sits in your area and perhaps do a short one locally. It sounds like you want to sit with your family? You may want to do a few short or local sits on your own to get some experience and reviews before undertaking a more complex arrangement.
Good luck !!

I’m new to the platform so this is truly a curious question. Why do people pet sit locally when they can stay in their own homes? I thought it would be a win/win to swap pet/house sitting for lodging in new towns.


This thread is one of several where people have weighed in with the “why.”


As a home owner I think an 8 hour drive to meet the pets is totally unreasonable so probably not the sit from either perspective.
My first sitter was very local as she needed to build up her reviews and I have another local sitter coming next week as she has just lost her own pet and she has family in my town. Good luck with future applications but tbh I think this one is dead in the water.

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If this is a first-time user of the site I can see their apprehension and in-experience with this type of sitting situation. There are ways around that, as I’ve found.
Have you done a video call with them? That might help them decide to book the sit and then arriving a day early might just be so that they can feel better about you connecting with the dog.
But overall, I agree with everyone else. If you really don’t have any reason to go to that city, politely turn it down and recommend they look for sitters nearby. They might just need that extra help as to how things work.

There’s a few reasons people pet sit locally. The first and most common reason that i’ve seen are they are new sitters and looking to “build up their resume” so to speak. They often start with short weekend type local sits that are typically posted close to the sit date. It could be that they are remote workers and the change in scenery plus having the companionship of pets is desirable. I’ve come across sitters that are “van life” and look for longer sits in the location they are at so they enjoy having temporary “home base.” It could be that it’s a couple that has recently lost a pet and one of them is ready for the company of a pet but the other is not…so one of them takes a short local sit to get their pet fix and the other can stay home…there are loads of more reasons sitters take local sits but these are just a few. I hope that this helps answer your question.

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They are trying to build their profile with positive reviews so they can travel and stay somewhere, maybe some place that has a lot of competition for sits. The better reviews, the more likely they will be chosen.

Totally unreasonable for a HO to ask you to drive 8 hours to meet the animals before the sit. It would be easy for me to reply to the HO, the answer would be No Thank You. You will get your first sit, I promise!

I agree with everyone else that an 8-hour drive for a separate visit ahead of time, just to see if you’d be a good fit, is wholly unreasonable. However, since you’re new, I wanted to follow up on your insurance comment.

Insurance would most likely not apply to any part of this particular sit.

For example, let’s say you did agree to do a separate meeting ahead of time, and you made the drive, and then the homeowner decided you weren’t the right sitter for them. You might well end up staying in a hotel that night, before driving back, but THS insurance would not be applicable.

Or, let’s say you end up being confirmed for the sit. You’re all packed up and driving to begin the sit. When you’re halfway there, the home owner calls you and cancels the sit. Which is pretty unlikely, but theoretically possible. THS insurance would not apply, because you could just turn around and drive home.

Or let’s say you’re two days into a one-week-long sit, and the homeowner announces they’re coming home the next morning because their trip got shortened. Again, THS would just expect you to drive home the next day.

It’s hard to come up with a scenario in a sit that’s driveable from your home where insurance would apply. I ended up reading ALL the fine print on the insurance, and I think a lot of folks aren’t sure how it works.

You’ll get a great first sit, sooner or later!

Why wouldn’t the insurance apply if the HO cancels or shortens the sit? I thought that was the whole point of the insurance.

I didn’t know how to edit my original post to update. I spoke with the HO and we worked it out. She confirmed the sit after our interview and she will be at the house so that I could meet her and the dogs before they take off.

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Hello @IHeartAnimals That is great news that you have found a workaround with the owner and accepted the sit. I hope you have a great first sit! If you need any more help or advice then you can use the spyglass to search for topics or reach out on the forum.
Best wishes Carla

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