Hosts leaving food staples at the beginning of a sit

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In my area, a sitter who stays in your home with your pets charges 100 USD/day. And they are usually away from the home a good portion of each day with other responsibilities and clients.

Sitters here do provide a service for free. And for those of us who only sit with dogs, we generally don’t get away for more than 4 hours. Of course we get something out of the exchange or we wouldn’t do it.

Not the topic at hand though. Although a few starter supplies are appreciated, I appreciate the HO giving me some guidance on what I can use and what I can’t. Especially things like cooking oil and condiments. My first sit I wasn’t sure if I could even use a tea bag until I got to do a shop. I offered to shop for the family on their return. They were greatly appreciative.

I will definitely go sightsee when I look after someone’s pets! There’s no way I would take a pet sit and just stay at their home all the time, except if I had such a mountain of work to do (or miserable weather) that I wouldn’t want to go out. One of the key benefits of this exchange IS that I get to see and explore new places…


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The topic here is whether or not to leave food staples.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Hi everyone

This is a really interesting discussion, and it’s good to see such a range of opinions on this topic. I think everyone’s input will be really useful for any future members that come to read this thread looking for an idea of what to expect, or what’s expected of them when it comes to food staples being left or not left at a sit.

That being said, things are getting a little personal between some of you, and I just wanted to leave a general reminder about our Community Guidelines in relation to being kind, we’d ask that you be respectful even if you don’t agree with someone’s opinion.

Members of this community come from all walks of life, with different expectations and standards, and we expect everyone to at least be respectful of each other’s differences. We know that not everyone will get along, and we recommend that rather than focusing on disagreeing with someone, it’s better to not engage or to use the mute/ignore functions.

We’d love it if things could get back on topic without focusing on any one person’s opinions, as everyone’s welcome here, even if we don’t agree.

Thank you!


Out of 46 sits, there have been a few when I turned up to a totally empty fridge. I never expect food to be left for me but it is nice when there is some food or biscuits, or when the owner says I can use staples like salt, pepper, spices, tea bags (but I rarely use them as I bring my own tea), even sugar and maybe a bit of olive oil.

Recently I was on a sit where there was no salt and pepper in the kitchen - I like to bake bread and cook, and it had not occurred to me to include salt & pepper on the grocery delivery I organised for the day that I arrived.

Fyi I am a sitter, not a HO. I remember one time when I did a sit, the HO left a printout of the THS pre-sit reminders for HOs on the dining table so I read it. One thing it mentioned is that the HO should leave the makings of a meal for the sitter when they arrive for the sit. I wonder if it is still applicable? Tbh the great majority of HOs on my 44 sits at THS have not done that. If it still applies, very few HOs are going along with that requirement (ie in my experience of 44 sits). Not complaining, just saying.

I don’t do much site seeing. Sometimes, I’m passing thru and will stop and sit for a week. I travel a lot so staying at home when I have never been to that city/place is interesting. I also enjoy helping people out. I find that most people appreciate the help. But I also travel in a camper van so I can camp out anywhere after my sit and stay out as long as I like. I will traveling back to NM from TX, an 8 hour drive…I’ll take my time but no sitting planned. If something comes up and I can help someone on my route, I would certainly consider it. Have a blessed day!

It usually takes me 4 hours to clean a house before I leave. Now sometimes, the HO will say they have a cleaner come in after I leave which is fine too. But I leave a house clean, I think thats important for me, and appreciated by the HO. My cleaning is worth $200.00 in itself but the way I see it is…I was a single parent and I would have appreciated and loved to have someone coming to my house, watching my pets and cleaning my house giving me a much needed break. I do hope that HO buy some food and allow their HS to use whatever they like and it sounds like most HS are responsible, clean and respectful. Whatever the reason you are participating in this service, it’s a win/win situation when both parties are very much appreciated.


Nice! Sounds like you’re doing the inverse: your life is one big travel adventure & then a sit provides a bit of respite to just stay put for a week and let things be :slight_smile:

Do you know, I’ve been reading with interest the comments re what Ho leave for the sitter. I think that I’m over generous or other HO’s are pretty rude. Bear in mind, we’ve only had 1 sitter so far but I left everything. In fact, if someone comes to my home, it’s their home and certainly when they’re coming to look after our animals for my convenience. I just want a sitter to look after our home and cats. They can use anything in our kitchen cupboards. If owners don’t want something used, they need to lock it away……meanies! And what us HO’s need to consider is that some sitters are from a different country……


Ok, I’ve been house sitting for a long time…i’m talking potentially hundreds of sits at this point…and I really feel like I have it down to a science.

A. if the couple or solo (females only) are older than 50, they INSIST on me eating the food in their kitchen. Not just the stuff that’s going to go bad but whatever I need. I believe this is because their children and I are around the same age (I always get a mom vibe lol)
B. if the couple is in their 30s-40s with no children, (this is only in my experience), they are the rudest people to house sit for. I don’t know why exactly… and I always treat their pets like my babies and leave their houses sparkling clean but these couples tend to be SO nit picky and will Overly communicate every single day, practically every hour that I have now made a rule that won’t sit for anyone that fits this criteria… and they Never offer food of any kind including condiments and the basics.
C. Couples in the same age range with school aged children, ALWAYS leave me coffee and condiments and chocolate and wine etc… as a sort of thank you gift… they don’t offer their entire kitchen like the older parents but they make sure I’m comfortable and know I’m appreciated.

Just thought I’d throw my expertise into the ring here lol again these are only My experiences and I have so many rules about other things now that I’ve gotten to know people, their pets and how they interact with their homes… I feel like I could write an entire ethnographic research paper on it lol


Dillonemily8 that’s so interesting. I guess we’ll be outliers in your research paper. :sweat_smile: In around 40 instances, the two times we were offered a full fridge of groceries, the homeowners were couples in their 30s, one without kids, the other one with a child. Both times, they asked us in advance for a list of items to buy for us from the supermarket. On the flip side, twice we’ve had the opposite experience— a completely bare fridge with nothing in it. Both homeowners in these cases were single females in their 60s. In general we never really eat any of the homeowners’ food that has been opened. I think having a bare fridge isn’t too bad, especially if there are stores nearby, but if the homeowners offers you already expired food, that’s just rude. You can’t really narrow it down to an age; I think people are different and have different levels of kindness.

Haha, I almost fit in your criteria being nearly 60 and my husband just over, but we don’t have kids.
My sitters certainly can use everything in the house including dry goods, condiments and wine. Coffee and Milk is always enough to last a few weeks and I always ask if I can get them any groceries for the first days, even though all shops are within 2-5 minutes walking distance from our house. Additionally I always provide a welcome basket with wine, sweets a voucher for a café and whatever I come across in the weeks before the sit.
What I would rather keep for myself, I pack away when I make space in the bathroom and walk in closet for their stuff.
It’s quite beyond me why people decide to invite someone into their home and then share nothing they don’t need while they’re away.


I’ve had the inverse lol! I had a retired couple write me a long message complaining that I used their butter, chocolate chips and water bottles…mind you I used part of these products to make them cookies. All my friends and family (and some other HO’s) got a kick out of reading their complaints. Unfortunately this experience and another one with retired people made me realize I’m probably not a great fit for those over 65

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:cry: I’m in my 60’s and you’re welcome to use whatever I have in our home. I also leave toiletries, spare toothbrushes. Whatever I might leave behind when I’m away. Although I’ve been known to leave undies and make up at home……:roll_eyes: so I won’t offer those to our sitters. Other than that, use whatever. Im just grateful to have a person looking after both our home and cats. X

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