Is it acceptable to ask new sitters to get an ID check?

Hi I’m new to TSH. I’ve only used one house sitting couple before, they came with glowing reviews dbs checks etc. Normally we help each other out within the family re pet sitting but I feel it is too much for my mother.

I’ve approached over 30 sitters (all with good reviews and references), for a 16 days sit at start of December, only for them all (bar one) to be fully booked.

I have been approached by one family who have only just signed up. Is it acceptable to ask for them to do the ID check. I believe it’s free. The 3 external references are very new and they live overseas.

I’m not sure if they just want free UK accommodation, they do say it’s an alternative to air Bnb. We want the best care for our 3 dogs, one who is elderly and on medication.

I’m sometimes too trusting of people and human behaviour hence the question.

Although I’m now getting a bit worried about finding a suitable sitter in 6 weeks. The only other alternative who have approached us have been incredibly pushy and not that tolerant of the fact we let our dogs on sofas and the bed.

It is quite a cushy sit , big house, sea view and big garden.

Any feedback or advice greatly appreciated.


Before you approach a sitter, you can look on their profile and see if they’re available.

You should get a sitter that you’re completely comfortable with, so that you can have a stress-free vacation.

Good luck!

Hi Rebecca

Thanks for your response. I’ve found that most of the people I have approached, (I have been searching for a pet sitter with dates and looking at their availability), have not kept them up to date.

Is there any other way to search that is more reliable ? Either that or they just would prefer not to sit, but that isn’t the feedback I have had from those who reply.

Many thanks.

Hi there,

I guess I just assumed everybody would keep their calendar up to date. I do.

I’ve done a lot of house-sits, but I’m honestly not that familiar with how things work on the host side. I’m new to this forum, but people are great about giving feedback so hopefully someone can help you. And, definitely ask TH staff, Angela or Vanessa.

Hello @Dgrowl and welcome to TrustedHousesitters and the community. Your sit looks lovely and it’s in a beautiful location so I am sure you’ll get more applications with six weeks still to go. You’ll often hear sitters on the forum (me included) who say “trust your instincts”, so If you are at all unsure perhaps wait a little longer. @Therese-Moderator may be able to give you some more advice when she’s back online tomorrow as well.

It’s important for your own reassurance you get the right sitters who you feel comfortable with and who are happy to work with the routines of your 3 pups, especially for your older one. I love that he goes for a walk in his backpack! ID checks are free for sitters and you could suggest to the family that it is something you would prefer and see what they say. I’ve attached some information (which you may have already found) from the website about how sitters are vetted just to confirm the different options.

Do let us know how you get on and don’t hesitate to ask the community or the forum team if you have any further questions. All the best, Vanessa


We would also suggest that you follow your gut feeling and only pick a sitter that you feel completely at ease with. We got our IDs and other data verified straight away when we started pet sitting on this site.


You already have lots of excellent feedback, so I’ll just focus on a few points.

As an experienced sitter, my ‘red flag’ in what you’ve mentioned is a prospective sitter mentioning Airbnb. Even if that is a side benefit for them, their application should highlight how your pets will be their priority.

As for ID checks, if you mean anything outside of what THS covers, keep in mind that this website is worldwide. Each country would have different rules and limitations on checking. As most of us say here, your gut instinct is the best checking system. Don’t ignore things that concern you, even if they seem minor. If you mean only THS checks, then I think you’re being reasonable.

As for the calendar, if you search that key word here you’ll see that it is less than ideal. Hopefully THS is listening to the feedback, as apparently many sitters do not use it.

I hope things work out for you.


I would have said exactly what @Snowbird said. The AirBnb comment put me right off. The pets should be first priority, not the location or accommodations. Like @Timmy , I had my ID verified before I applied for my first sit, and as @Vanessa-Admin said, you still have some time. Many applicants wait until closer to the start date of the sit to apply.


Hi @Dgrowl - Is your sit advertised to allow sitters to approach you as well as you approaching sitters personally? You will get a much better response this way by letting sitters that are actively searching contact you.

Don’t be concerned that your sitters may be looking for free accommodation - as this comes hand in hand with petsitting, you can not have one without the other. Don’t forget, you are also looking for free pet care - it is a fair exchange.

I disagree with some comments about Airbnb. . We only joined THS in May with no experience and no outside references. We have had no problems getting sits and put this down to the fact that we do, however, have hundreds of great reviews from our past Airbnb stays. We mention this in all applications and link to our old Airbnb listing. This seems to put home hosts minds at ease that their home will be well-cared-for as well as their pets. Our Airbnb reviews also say a lot about our characters and trustworthiness which must be of the utmost importance when leaving your house keys and pets in the hands of strangers.


Hi @Dgrowl I agree with @Vanessa-Admin and all the other excellent advice given here and to ‘trust your instincts’ With regards to external references, you could always ask the sitter for contact details to verify their references. If you feel you still have not got the right fit, we can then boost your listing, which is then posted on top of our website and sent out to all the available sitters again. This usually encourages more applications. Kind regards Therese


4 posts were merged into an existing topic: Availability calendar

I’ve just looked at our profile and we have ID check, phone verification and police check, UK. I thought they were all compulsory when you joined THS.
Are you talking about something different?

I find it difficult to understand the issue many sitters and home hosts seem to have around sitters that use trusted housesitters as a way to travel economically?

There is no sense in trying to put the pets, the travel, and the free accommodation in an order of priority - surely, to the sitters they are all of equal importance?

I love to travel, and love animals - There is no shame in admitting that I am looking for free accommodation …and in return am happy to care for other peoples pets - why else would I do so? There has to be something in the deal for home host and sitter alike.


I agree completely.

Something that really surprises me is when I tell potential sitters about housesitting and they are shocked that I’m not getting paid.

I tell them it’s like I’m in a free Airbnb, I have the place all to myself, and I get to enjoy spending time with animals.

The flip side is that the hosts aren’t shelling out of a small fortune for animal care, and they have someone who will take good care of their pets and home, and everything will be in good order when they return.

Part of the deal is that we’re doing it for free accomodation, but if that was the only thing I was looking for, there are other ways to get free accommodation. Work trade for example, I’ve done that. I just prefer caring for animals.


Hi Elsie, yes I was talking about police checks and ID verification. I was thinking along similar lines.

Hi Colin, I agree completely. It is another way of evaluating potential sitters through Airbnb. I have settings set so that we can be approached by sitters. I was just slightly wary about one sitter in particular who approached us, as a newcomer to THS, I wanted some advice re whether it would seem reasonable to ask for I’d and or other verifications.

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@Dgrowl - I think if a new sitter has no reviews anywhere to offer then it is entirely reasonable to ask for anything to give you peace of mind when leaving your home and pets in their care


We included our airbnb reviews in our profile too and I suspect it definitely helped us in the beginning.


Police checks were available on THS a few years ago, but they weren’t compulsory and they aren’t offered on THS any more. I think it’s mainly because of how much it varies from one country to another - some countries have them, some don’t, some charge, some don’t etc. And only the main name on each sitter account was able to get one so in couples, you were only really getting a police check on one person.

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I have a new sitter who has 3 external references only as she has just recently joined THS. She seems OK and we do plan to meet prior to the sit next month but I have to admit I am slightly nervous! The other sitters I invited were all booked up for my dates.
I have never left my cat with anyone before.