My fiancé and I have been HO members on THS for the past year and are considering upgrading to a combined membership as we’re now embarking on van life along with are lovely female feline Mystique, and are exploring options for alternative accommodations on our adventures. Since we’re both animal lovers, we thought this might be a win win situation for owners who require flexible sitters and ourselves who’d enjoy the amenities of a home once in a while.
So my question is - are there other sitters out there who have been allowed to bring their own animals along on sits?
Thanks in advance for your input!
Dawn, Brad and Mystique
Hi @DawnH welcome to our community forum, thank you for joining and how wonderful that you are going to enjoy both sides of our wonderful lifestyle, experiencing THS as an owner and a sitter does give one the unique perspective of being in both shoes, I have engaged sitters for my home and been a full time sitter since THS began.
There is a conversation thread around sitters traveling with their own dogs but not one focussed on feline family members.
It will be interesting to hear what our members say … There are sitters who successfully travel with their pets and enjoy a full pet and housesitting lifestyle but it will reduce your opportunities as It can be challenging introducing another animal into a pet’s own environment and problems may not surface until after the owner has left, a situation to be avoided at all cost.
Including Mystique in your profile is important so that owners know you travel as a family and if you’ve had sitters care for her including a few words from them about her behavoir and character would be helpful for prospectives owners, someone else endorsing her and not her family.
Enjoy the forum and connecting with other members and we look forward to sharing in your next THS adventure.
Angela and the Team
Hi @DawnH , great to hear about your new traveling plans. I think that traveling with your cat may well limit the number of sits that you are selected for, but hopefully there will be some HOs who will be happy to welcome you all. The problem that we’d have as HOs is that one of our dogs is a lurcher…… a confirmed cat hater!
Good luck, Linda
Thank you for the warm welcome. I very much appreciate your tips, I had of course planned on making sure HO’s knew about us coming as a family, but didn’t think of getting other sitters to vouch for her that’s a great idea!
Yeah, it’s not something we’re totally counting on. Just thought it was an interesting possibility and wanted to see if it was acceptable practice. We were thinking more along the lines of applying for sits with other kitties mainly anyway lol
Thanks for the well wishes,
How do you feel about sitters that have their own pets?
I am asking this question as a potential sitter that is travelling with our own dogs, two labradors.
Personally, I think there could be advantages and disadvantages to sitters that are travelling with their own dogs, but I’m probably biased, so it would be good to hear honest feedback from other home owners.
As a homeowner myself, I would initially have reservations about someone else bringing their dog/s into my home. However, if a sitters dogs were well trained and got along well with the home owners dogs, then the home owners pets get company from two legged friends and from four legged friends. Also, if the sitter is travelling with their own dogs, at least you know the sitter genuinely loves dogs
FWIW, our dogs are exceptionally well trained, to the point that they have passed the public access test required for Guide Dogs and Service Dogs, so I can be confident that our dogs are not aggressive towards others, or destructive in someones home.
Accepting that I am likely biased, it would be good to hear your thoughts
I can see bringing your own dogs possibly working in a home with other dogs. But even well behaved dogs would probably not be welcomed by cats. We once took in a very well behaved collie for five weeks while his owners were away. We almost didn’t see our three cats the whole time. The presence of a dog would be very stressful for a lot of cats. Even the presence of other cats can be stressful for cats.
I think this would be highly individualized to circumstances. For example, I recently received an application from someone who was just starting, with no references or reviews yet. She blithely announced that her 2 well-behaved dogs (a #15 cutie & an active 55# lab) would be “tagging along”.
I had to advise her that while her dogs were clearly adorable and loving, it wouldn’t be a good fit for our home. Our rural 5 acre property is unfenced and has predatory wildlife (clearly stated in our profile when explaining why our small dog must be mostly leashed when outside). I couldn’t imagine even the best-behaved 55# dog being kept inside all the time. There would there be very real potential for household damage plus the large dog almost certainly wouldn’t be happy cooped up indoors and unable to fully exercise.
Other issues: our dog gets along well with others at the dog park – but is territorial at home. We were also concerned that the sitter would (understandly) be more involved with her 2 dogs at the expense of our dog and cats at a time when they would be already stressed by the simple fact that we weren’t at home with them.
So, for those reasons, her application was declined. My reply did not mention our many concerns cited above, other than explaining that an unfenced property with predatory wildlife wouldn’t be a good fit for her dogs and could lead to a terrible tragedy.
However, the many concerns we had wouldn’t necessarily be troublesome to other HOs. I think it depends on individual circumstances, but overall, I think multiple accompanying dogs (let alone large ones) are going to limit sit opportunities.
Thanks for your honest feedback MtnSk8tr
Thanks for your feedback gchampagne
Whilst I think it’s great that you are traveling with your dogs and I hope you manage to find lots of sitting opportunities we would not accept a sitter bringing any pets to our home while we are away simply because I do not believe it would be fair on our three dogs. Our dogs are also very well behaved, as can be seen from our sitter feedback, and we often welcome friends at home with their dogs, even ones that are unused to socialising as being around ours is very good for them. However it is stressful enough for us leaving them with strangers that the additional worry that bringing strange dogs into their territory would cause us would not make for a relaxing break away.
I joined THS autumn 2017 and enjoyed house/pet sitting greatly. I now have a young (14 month) small dog of my own. I think it would be good if THS had a notification on the house owners site that gave the house owners the option to say yes/no to sitters brining their own dog. I have applied for a few sits since getting my dog and those people have been agreeable to me taking my dog although the sits didn’t happen due to restrictions at the time. What do others think?
Hi @macdog welcome to our community forum
Apologies @macdog for not picking up on your point about owners indicating the fact that they will accept sitters pets, yes it is a good idea and will pass to product.
There are owners who do welcome sitters with their own pets, having that as a option on their listing is being proactive, there will be those who would choose to decide after starting the conversation also and might not include on their info.
When sitters choose to travel with their companion, providing full information about your pet on your profile will help owners make an informed decision about whether or not their own animals might welcome another dog into their home environment.
Thank you for being part of our amazing community since 201, enjoy the conversations and connecting with other TrustedHousesitters members.
Angela and the team
I always thought of taken our dog with us on sits but so far it was not possible. To have that ‚tick‘ option on a sit preference would be great.
Our girl is staying with her ‚grandma‘ if she can’t join us.
I like this suggestion very much. I have recently adopted a small terrier mix who will stay with family or housesitters when I travel internationally, but I think I would consider many more short domestic sits if she could tag along on adventures closer to home!
What an ideal scenario that would be. Filters like airbnb please for owners and sitters
Hi Macdog. In the UK, I’ve asked people offering sits if they will accept my application if my small Cavalier King Charles Spaniel comes with me. I rarely have someone else to look after him. I’ve had lots of ‘No, thanks but no’ replies and this is fine. I always thank the sitter for replying. It would be INCREDIBLY useful if a sit advertised if they would accept an application with one’s own dog. Where I have taken my dog with me, this has worked out very well and I try to recommend that the home owner mentions this in the feedback for others to see. I’ve travelled to the US for one sit and obviously my own dog stayed at home on that occasion.
Hi @LTD welcome to out community forum and thank you for your input on this question it’s one for product to look at. We’re so glad you’ve joined and thank you for being part of our amazing community. Enjoy the conversations and connecting with other members … thank you again.
Angela & The Team
I have read all the replies to my comment about having an indication that house owners would be ok for a sitter with a dog. I note that some people said - they get a relative to look after their dog while sitting - I for instance have NO relatives (I have a friend who has offered but obviously I wouldn’t be able to do this very often). I also saw someone wrote “just ask the house owner”! Well I’ve done that but if the answer is a definite NO then you have a) got enthusiastic about a possible sit; b) spent time sending an application for people to take time to read. It would seem a lot easier all round if there was a specific place where house/pet owners could just tick YES or NO to accepting pets.
Obviously I accept that probably most people would say no because they don’t know how the other dog will react to strange place/dog etc.
Just a thought for your web designer type folk to consider? I see from comments that I’m not the only one thinking this would be a good idea.
Thanks for reading.