HOs who do not clear up dog poo in their garden!

Has anybody ever arrived at a sit to find the garden has not been cleared of dog poo not just from that day but days and even weeks prior? There are few things more off-putting in my opinion than needing to clean a garden before you can enjoy it and play with the dogs without fear of them treading poo through the house! It is one of those red flags that might not be visible in photographs (especially where the lawn has not been mown) and apart from walking away from the sit on arrival or asking the HO to clean the garden before they leave (which I have started to do!) you are stuck with the job of doing it yourself. I did a sit awhile ago where they had young children who had play equipment at the end of the garden and there was no way they could have got to play without treading through dog poo…it beggars belief that people can live like this. I would ask any HO reading this PLEASE before your sitter arrives have the decency to clean your garden of dog poo.I would ask THS to somewhere in the HO sign-up agreement to spell this out. Its a health issue and should be a simple courtesy.


@Provence thanks but what I have described is very different from an occasional overlooked poo which of course I have no trouble picking up…as you say this is a part of the job you expect as a sitter…what i have decribed is a week or more of dog mess left for somebody else to deal with…not acceptable in anybodies reckoning I would have thought?

@Provence we are running at cross purposes! I raised a valid point about HOs doing the right thing and cleaning up after their dogs before they go away. It is a reasonable thing to ask but you seem determined to correct me in someway! I have NEVER walked away from a sit (78 to date) though I would have been justified to do so a number of times. I always aim to put the welfare of animals first and my needs come somewhere down the line from that. I think you need to take on board that a sitter is not going into a situation where they are being paid and although of course they will have a roof over their head for the duration. hopefully some fine animal company (and this is for most the motivation for doing what we do) and the opportunity to see a different place, there are or should be reasonable expectations on both parties do you not think? As I said, when I first started as a sitter I just cleaned up dog mess; some weeks old, which by the way indicates that possibly dogs are not being walked as they should be, but now I definitely ask the HO to clean this up (not if it is from that day but a considerable amount) and I will continue to do this regardless of what sort of review I get. If the HO cleans it up I would not comment on that in my feedback but I certainly would if they refused. What would you do? Confess is a very loaded term when you are talking about sitters and criticism they may or may not leave about HOs (or indeed where HOs are leaving feedback for sitters). Mostly this service works really well for all concerned and this forum is intended as a discussion where we can hopefully help each other (sitters and HOs) to have the best experience. Can I ask you please to just accept what I am trying to express without coming back at me with what appears to be an attempt to change my view on what I believe to be a reasonable request that HOs do not leave the onerous task of cleaning a week or more of dog poo from their garden! Thank you.

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Sorry then If i misunderstood you. I deleted my former posts, it’s much better As a foreigner i used confess in between “”.
I faced poo à few times in owners’gardens in GB. I guess when it is very rainy owners (and sitters) prefer to let the dog out to do his thing in the garden than walk him, Then clean.
I much prefer to clean dog poo than being infested by hens vermin as it happened to me in Kent.

Yes it happened to me in France with-will you believe it- British owners.
The back garden was full of it and it was probably more than a week’s worth, and they had left before I noticed. So what to do but grit my teeth and get to work with poohbags. I hated it but that was that., I never mentioned it either to them or in a review, as I think they had truly forgotten.
What I really hated on another sit was being asked to go over the chicken yard, which was good sized and partly grassy, and pick up every bit of chicken poo every day with a pail and surgical gloves. That I found useless and more humiliating than what I mentioned before.


I have poo picked for chickens twice, and I much prefer that to the other option of having to carry wellingtons, and change into wellingtons every time I have to go in to the area! They can make a huge mess very quickly!

If poo picking for dogs is part of the requirements, and listed in the original posting I have no problem doing it. Only once have we been told that the dog never did it in the garden, to find on walking around that ‘oh yes he did’ . Up at the back as far away as possible, so I could ignore it. It did add to the general feeling that they didn’t actually know or treat their dog quite as well as I would have liked. He didn’t do it with us, as we did always make sure he went outside when he wanted to!

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This reminded me of a HO listing some months ago. In the description it was mentioned that the cat litter is cleaned weekly “on Saturdays”. And all the sit dates that were being advertised were short sits starting on Fridays… Needless to say, I did not consider applying. At least they were upfront about it, I suppose…! Still, not fair.