How to order a Background check

Hello. I just read a response to my first attempt to be invited to sit. The pet owner passed on me for two reasons. 1/I don’t have multiple reviews from previous sits. 2/ I haven’t had a background check done.

While I cannot do anything about the first reason, I can get a background check. If I can find out how it’s done via TH platform.

If you are able to, please direct me to where I can order a background check. Thanks!

Welcome @leenourse58. Background checks are only mandatory for US sitters; however, others can also voluntarily have them done too.
Go into the Help section on THS website and type in Background Check. You should be given links then to proceed with doing it.
There’s no guarantee that owner will wait for you to get the check done and could easily confirm another sitter. Have you asked for references from people who know you well as well as those who can attest to your experience with pets as these help when you are first starting out? Also, is that owner new or do they have any reviews and have also given their sitters reviews as this is important too?
All the best as you start your sitting journey.


In addition to @temba’s advice you might like to link your profile here so that members can give you advice as to how to make it more appealing, if necessary. Here’s how to do that:

1 Like

Thank you so much @Temba and @Smiley for these helpful suggestions. I don’t expect that first pet owner to reconsider me. I just want to maximize my potential going forward.

1 Like

The process for getting a background check will vary by country. THS only performs checks on US sitters, but you acn possibly get one in your country. To find out how to get police checks, look for your country here: U.S. Visa: Reciprocity and Civil Documents by Country

1 Like

Thanks Lassie. I’m Canadian and thought it was something we can do via this platform. I will not be doing it if they aren’t mandatory due to the expense.


Hi @leenourse58 I’m also a Canadian sitter. If you have a Nexus card, I’d include that in your profile as it serves as a background/police check. You’re welcome to use the wording from my sitter profile for an explanation of its merits.

If you don’t have Nexus and you are considering applying, note that the current cost is $50 US for 5 years for Canadians but is increasing to $120 US on October 1, 2024.

The down side is I’ve read that the application process takes a long time, because of the increase in popularity coupled with the pandemic delays.


Hi @Snowbird , lovely to see you popping by again :wave::hugs:


@Snowbird Thanks! Good tip but I don’t have a Nexus card nor do I plan on getting one. I seldom travel to the US, and when I have I haven’t felt the need for one.

1 Like

@leenourse58 We are EU citizens and in over 5 years of sitting around the world with THS we have never been asked for a background check. It seems only US citizens are required to do one. So I would not bother if I were you. Much more important are reviews, or, if you don’t have any yet then try to get as many external references as possible especially those referring to pet care. Start applying for local and/or last minute sits to build up your THS reviews and very soon you will be well on your way! Good luck!


@Lokstar This is such a relief to hear! Thanks kindly for taking the time to send me this comment. I thought of doing one of your suggestions—applying for local sits. Last minute ones might be workable too. :blush:


To Snowbird’s larger point, you might already have various background checks done for other activities, if you want to mention them. That would be at your discretion.

For example, various folks might be doing checks for travel / visa / immigration purposes. Or maybe for work. Like I often work for companies that are heavily regulated — we have access to users’ financial info and sensitive data. All employees get criminal background checks before they join and we get annual refresher checks — no exceptions if you want to join or stay on. Not only do we get criminal background checks, we get checks for bankruptcy or such. Some companies also give drug tests. (Depending on what you do, bankruptcy and drug tests are done to limit risks for embezzlement, theft, exposure to blackmail or temptation to commit other crimes.)

Personally, I’ve had two careers and have been checked repeatedly across decades. Travel wise, I found the visa application for Russia (years before the recent aggression against Ukraine) the most intensive ever. If I knew that anyone had gone through there, I’d figure they’d been checked pretty thoroughly, for example.

@leenourse58 glad to help! Local sits can be useful because you can offer to pay an advance visit in person. That can be very reassuring for a host, especially a newer one.
Many members recommend this approach. We ourselves did the exact opposite! We applied for a sit in Australia (from Bali) as first timers. Back in 2018. The host was also a first timer. We did not even have a video call (which is now the norm!!) One month in Perth over Christmas by the sea- 2 cats! So much trust involved on both sides as we were flying in- from Bali and they were flying out- to India & we did not even meet!! But it all turned out perfect! What a start! :star_struck:
P.s That was 100 sits ago and we’ve never looked back!


I have never been checked for work. Not even for work at the DoE lab in the US (as this was not a lab working on nuclear weapons).

The only time in Sweden that I needed to hand in a police statement that they did not have anything on me was for social services, for helping a class mate of my daughter so that she could spend some days at our place.

Yup, my husband and I’ve both had background checks done for volunteer work with kids and elders.