Homeowner expecting me to sleep with dog

I’m scheduled for a sit in August. The HO seems very nice. Today she told me a little bit about her pup and she stated that her dog will love to sleep with me.

This was not in the listing. But it seems that the HO is making the assumption that sitters will sleep with the pup.

I’m a horrible sleeper and sleep alone at home. My pup sleeps in her crate.

Should I bring it up prior to the sit? Try to make do?

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It depends on if you are willing to risk losing the sit over not sleeping with the pet. I always ask where the pets sleep and am willing to have them in the bedroom, but not in the bed. I know that I have lost sits over this and I am ok with that. I have a CPAP and really need my sleep. I have never even slept with my own pets when I had them. I also don’t like sleeping in the owners bedroom and often that is the “safe space” of the pets. Best of luck in resolving this issue. They should have lots of time to find another sitter if winds up not being a fit for you.


We’ve had 3 total dog sits so far. 2 had dogs sleep with us and 1 just slept in the room. Now i do ask the homeowners where the animals all sleep. Luckily my children want to sleep with them so it let’s me and my husband off the hook.

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Every sit I’ve done so far/am signed up to do has had some odd sleeping arrangement request, and most have not been listed in the original advert (only later spoken about in video/meeting/during change over). I’ve never been uncomfortable with these requirements but agree that it’s not really right to assume. Maybe it should even be a separate part of the advert or a requirement to tick yes/no in the responsibilities sections. Because it is quite a big ask to spring on some people. Especially if it might actually disturb the pets’ sleep if you cannot commit to doing so.


Hi @Lulubelle. As a general guideline, I think we should all over-communicate. That’s one of those main TH tips for a successful sit. So you should definitely bring it up, especially as you’ve got time. It’s more the how and why.

For me, sleep is sacrosanct. And I think it should be for everyone. Like clean water. How much have you studied sleep? I’m a big fan of Matthew Walker at UC Berkeley (he has a book and a podcast). A person who hasn’t gotten good sleep is like a drunk driver, cognitively and emotionally. If someone wants there to be more drunk drivers out there, I have an issue with that.

For me, I’m okay with trying to sleep with a dog. It might work. So I’d tell the PP that I would try that, but if I don’t think it’s working, I won’t sacrifice my sleep on further nights. If that means she wants to find another sitter, then she should let me know that sooner than later. I’d even give a deadline, nicely.

If it were something I know wouldn’t work (like she insists on the bedroom lights fully on for some reason), then I’d say that won’t work (even with my eye mask, I know it won’t work). So either she would have to yield or I’ll ask her to unconfirm me from the sit.


For many sitters, asking about pet sleeping arrangements is one of the critical questions before accepting a sit. Most of us do a video chat before confirming a sit, and that’s when we ask those questions. I’m OK with pets sleeping on the bed, but lots of people don’t like it.

You should not feel pressured into having the dog sleep with you as it was not mentioned in the listing or before the sit was confirmed. However, I would suggest that the owner needs to know that you are not comfortable with that arrangement. So you do need to speak to the owner about this sooner rather than later .
Something on the lines of “ you mentioned xx would love to sleep with me , however I am a light sleeper so I don’t have pets sleeping with me during my stay “…
If you are ok to have the dog sleep in the same room as you you can add that ( although a pet that’s used to sleeping in the bed will usually try to join you if you are in the same room )

It’s best that the HO knows and they can decide if they want to go ahead with the sit .

If it is a deal breaker for them, then this requirement should be included in their listing .

I know some sitters also put a sentence in their profile/ application “I don’t sleep in the same room as your pets , so if this is your expectation please do not invite me “


I am the same as you and my profile actually states that I only want owners that don’t allow pets upstairs.
Despite that, I always ask in my application, where do the pets sleep.
Some make allowances , if they want me, by putting a baby gate downstairs.
I agree with others, @Lulubelle , don’t feel pressured and there is plenty of time for the owner to find another sitter.


Hey @Lulubelle, it’s understandable that you’re concerned about the unexpected sleeping arrangement with the homeowner’s dog. Sleep preferences can vary greatly, and it’s important to prioritize your own comfort and well-being during the house sit.

In this case, it’s a good idea to have an open and honest conversation with the homeowner before the sit. Let them know that you typically prefer sleeping alone and that your own pup sleeps in her crate. You can express your concerns about potential disturbances to your sleep and kindly suggest alternative arrangements, such as having the dog sleep in the same room without sharing the bed.

Remember, communication is key in finding a mutually agreeable solution. If the homeowner insists on the dog sleeping with you and it’s a deal-breaker for you, it’s better to address it sooner rather than later. It’s understandable that different sitters have varying preferences when it comes to sleeping arrangements, and finding the right match is essential for both parties involved.

Take your time to discuss this matter with the homeowner, and if it turns out that your sleep preferences don’t align, it’s perfectly fine to explore other opportunities. Remember, there are plenty of house sitting assignments out there, and it’s important to find the right fit where you feel comfortable and can provide the best care possible. Good luck, and I hope you find a resolution that works well for both you and the homeowner!


Thanks everyone. I have a message into the homeowner. I hope the sit will go on as scheduled. They are very nice people and the pup seems very sweet. But I won’t be of much use to the pup if I’m sleep deprived.

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On my first petsit, I didn’t think to ask the question about where the animals slept. After I arrived I was told that the 85 lb dog and 2 cats usually slept in the bed with them and that they would scratch/paw at the door or carpets if I tried to close them out.

Although I’m a light sleeper and was unused to pets being in the same room with me, I chose to try and honor their request. It didn’t work out well. The indoor/outdoor cats jumped on my chest to get outside through the window in the middle of the night, and the wonderful dog Ted, was quite the snorer.

I texted the owners and asked if I could try having them in the living room instead. They were ok with my trying but doubted I would be successful. After the first night (not easy), we established a routine where they all slept in the living room until morning when I awoke. I then cheerfully invited them onto the bed while I accompanied them with my morning cup of coffee.

I never had an issue after that. I likened it to the fact that kids will often behave better for their teachers than for their parents😂.


PS: I ALWAYS ask now. I’ve changed too. As long as the pet is at the foot of the bed and is quiet, I’m fine with that option now. When people say that their pet likes to be under the covers or up by my head, I decline the sit.


A former boyfriend: “You know I quite like [cat]…but I don’t like him sleeping with us.”

Me: OH! You’re serious.

Yes I told them that I would try. But I’m doubtful that it will be successful. Dogs wish to please us. I’m sure if I give him lots of cuddles when I’m awake he’ll be fine.

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Is that why he is a “former” boyfriend?!



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Most owners let their cats sleep in bed and I will honour that, although at the same time…if I can feasibly shut the cat(s) outside the bedroom at night I will always do so after the 1st or 2nd night if it turns out the cat wakes me up at night. I’m a light sleeper and the last thing I want is yet more disrupted sleep. But I’ve also sat cats who are very un-intrusive bed sleepers…

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Definitely a no no for me. I specify in my profile that I do not sleep with pets in the bedroom and also confirm that in our pre confirmation chat so there is no confusion.

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I’m going to add that to my profile.

I don’t do cats. I just had to decline a wonderful invitation because of them having a cat. I don’t want to exclude outdoor cats though as rural places often have barn cats.