Last minute 'bring a friend'

Less than a week before my sitter is due to arrive, I get a request to approve a friend. This took me by surprise and makes me very uncomfortable. The short notice puts me in a real bind. If I say no - perhaps it would create issues and tension but saying ‘OK’ requesting valid ID could help the sitter with additional support. Although, I’d like for the sitter to sign a separate acceptance of liability to cover any unforseen issues regarding the ‘friend’. Any thought on this?

It is simple, if you are comfortable with it then say yes, but it doesn’t sound like you aren’t, so say no, and explain that you don’t feel comfortable with having anyone else, and you would prefer if they were going to meet up to do it away from your home in a cafe or somewhere, put it in a nice way.

Also, don’t be fluffy about it, don’t say it’s because you don’t know anything about them, because otherwise they could end up giving you the details of who they are etc and that doesn’t sound like that’s what you want at all.

Liability insurance - that doesn’t sound like that’s what you ideally want to do, so don’t offer it, plus it would sound like you are being demanding, just say no, it’s your home.

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I do occasionally take a friend but I do a lot of repeat sits and have got to know the owners as friends, and it has been offered. Some people have a big rural house and say if I want to bring someone I can. But I would never ask out right. Also to ask at the last moment, has put you in an uncomfortable position, and my instincts would be to say no. I know this would make it difficult for you with planning to go away if they cancel. In future ads I would state something like no visitors to be in the house overnight. Or only sitters bedroom is available, no guests. Go with your instincts


I can see why this would make you uncomfortable at this stage. How long is the sit for?

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Your home your rules. However, imho pet owners often make too big a deal about sitters bringing friends. If there’s space and the hosts are open to couples, why the fuss? Security concerns seem overblown, after all sitters are thoroughly vetted. If anything happens, they should be responsible, not others. It’s likely the sitter didn’t ask earlier because they weren’t sure themselves. And sometimes, a friend’s visit can alleviate the loneliness of pet sitting, benefiting both the sitter and the pets.


@HappyDeb Has the sitter asked for the friend to join them for the whole sit? As a fellow sitter/helper? Have they given any particular reason why they want/need the friend to join? Or is it just for a short stay during the sit?
As a sitter myself I wouldn’t want to put the host in an awkward position where they might wish to say no, so it would have to be a valid reason to make such a request so late. Or I’d ask in advance, before confirming.
Its your decision. If you say no you risk the sitter cancelling, which would be poor form on their part and should not happen. But if you decide to consider it you could request a video call with the sitter & friend together. Chances are if you liked and trusted the sitter enough to choose them then their friend will be ok too! The sitter would remain responsible for everything anyway. Even married couples like us can only have one person registered on the profile and only that one gets vetted. But we sit as a couple. Its the same for all couples/families.
Ultimately follow your gut - its your home & your pets- you decide! In future state clearly on your listing that either no friends/visitors at all OR friends/visitors might be possible subject to prior discussion. Something like that.


There is a big difference between hosting a couple (or any two people) that normally sits together, and agreeing to a friend that is not a THS member. The couple probably has prior THS reviews where both of them sat together, so the homeowner can research both people. The random friend is a compete unknown to the HO.

I understand the argument that HOs could trust the sitter not to bring an unsuitable friend into the home, but I also understand a HO’s reluctance.

As a sitter, I would never ask for a friend to join me unless I already knew the HO well. Even then, I would be clear that if they are uncomfortable, I would understand.


Friend hears that I am in some country when they happen to be there too.

Valid enough?

Is it really so difficult for an HO to say yes or no?


I think that according to some people, sitters are supposed to be mind readers and not dare ask that question, because they somehow already know that the owner is uncomfortable, even though they haven’t asked.

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I’ve asked to bring a family member a few times and no one has ever said no. I would never consider bringing anyone that I don’t completely trust since I’m responsible for them and I obviously don’t want to risk my reputation. My daughter is a university student and sits with me during breaks from school. My sister works for an airline and occasionally we are in the same place, I never know very far in advance, but it’s great to get some sister time if she can join me on a sit. The times that I’ve asked for either my daughter or sister to join (if they weren’t on the initial application), I’ve asked politely, provided background information about them, and provided info on their experience with pets. No one has ever said no and I’ve been invited back for all of those sits.


I guess it is if they think they will lose the sitter if they say no.
It puts them in an awkward situation and I wouldn’t be happy if I was a homeowner put in that position.


Really? Is it so terribly awkward?

Then hire paid service.

If a sitter cannot ask… :man_facepalming:

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I am as a pet sitter have asked a PO if my mum could join me, not quite before the arrival but 3 months after I have been approved for the sit and 2 month before the sit starts. I have explained that my mum got visa for June to come and see me, unfortunately in her case we couldn’t predict the dates, And the weekend I have the pet sit - that would be the last weekend for mum being in Scotland. When I contacted the PO asking if mum could join, I knew that in case of “no” I wouldn’t cancel the pet sit and will travel between the pet sit and my flat to spend time with mum. But luckily the PO replied “yes”, that they accommodated couples before and 2 people mean twice as much love for the pets! I loved this approach! I am very thankful for this!


If it is such a big problem, they can easily avoid being put in such an awkward situation by clearly stating in their ad that guests are not allowed … but it can give a rather awkward impression in the eyes of other sitters, the ones that do not bring guests … have a cake and eat it? :wink:

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Of course someone can ask - although how one asks can also be manipulative. Asking is one thing, asking with details of bringing an air mattress to convince one it’s no-big-deal, is another.

Which is exactly what i plan to do. But very unethical of the sitter or any sitter to spring this on an already approved sit less than a week away.


You get me exactly. So here I am 5 days away on tender hooks before i get to spend a week with my sons celebrating a big milestone birthday. Too late for getting an alternative sitter, so may end up paying big bucks with Rover.

Yes - it is very difficult to say no and risk the relationship with the sit. Saying yes with provisions is my better option. But all the same, the THS Sitter should understand that last minute adjustments can be very stressful for HO.


The sit is a week and the ‘friend’ can get a cheap flight for 5 nights of this sit. I’m in a very desirable location - big college town, big city beautiful area on the San Francisco Bay. I feel that there is much to offer anyone coming to town and forgetting the prime responsibility.

This is why I said yes - but still uncomfortable about the late notice. It takes preparation at my end, too.

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