Let down by applicants & now need help please

Can anyone please help, we have been let down by the sitters that have applied for our listing 7th Feb to 16th Feb & we was wondering if there is any advise on how we could improve the listing to attract a last-minute-sitter.

(The listing link in the post was removed due to posting terms, please see the link in members forum profile by clicking on their user name)

Hi Mark-Alexa
I’m sorry you’ve been let down by your booked sitter, what was the reason for that?
I’ve had a quick look at your listing and I’m afraid it wouldn’t attract me because of the diapers and the fact that Pixie sleeps on your bed, however that’s just me. Have they never been toilet trained?
I applaud you for being honest about them however, as not all owners are. The previous sitter mentions the dogs bark a lot, which may be off putting to some too.
Ozzy and Pixie certainly look very cute and the pictures are great. Your home looks very clean and comfortable.
Good luck! I do hope a sitter is found for you.

@Mark-Alexa was this a confirmed sit or just at application stage ? if the sitter didn’t click “agree to sit”
and it wasn’t showing on your dashboard as a confirmed sit then they haven’t let you down .

If it was a confirmed sit , the sitter shouldn’t be cancelling ( unless there are exceptional circumstances) and you can report them to member services .

Hi Smiley,
Thanks for your message. After the 2 sitters that applied we read there profiles & waited around 1 week just to see if anyone else would apply for a little more choice, we then had a message from one asking for a reply or they would have to find another sit. We applied straight away & then accepted them. They didn’t read the message for around 4 days then said they had found another sit. We then accepted the other applicant & they have not read the reply or answered for well over a week now.
The reason Ozzy wears diapers is because when he was very young Alexa was in another relationship that was very abusive both to herself & Ozzy, as much as she tried to house train Ozzy her ex would never follow it up while she was at work as he never worked himself. When they both came here Ozzy was around 5 & we tried to train him but he was to set in his ways & we just found it more convenient to put a diaper around him to stop him marking his territory. Pixie has slept on the bed since a puppy & causes no problems at all, she finds her own space & keeps herself to herself. They can bark at times but mainly if they hear noises outside & will stop if told. The last sitters as we was told by neighbours, used to leave them in the garden & never told them to stop barking, so I think that’s why they mentioned that.
They are both very cute in their own ways & very loving if given the love they need.

Thank you for your message. As I said in the post the the sitter had applied, so sorry if this was a confusion. You can read my reply to Smiley to see the reason I said they have let us down.

@Mark-Alexa As a sitter I would not like to be left hanging for a week without a reply or an acknowledgement of any kind… It feels disrespectful after the effort I’ve made to apply and I would already have moved on. Its OK to want more applicants to choose from but if you don’t at least acknowledge those who do apply they will lose interest -as your two did. It can be a mistake to wait too long as you may end up with nobody at all.
I also would not just send an invitation to sit without first making direct contact with the sitter- messaging with them and perhaps a call or video call to build some rapport. Personally i don’t like being sent a request to sit without some contact first. There are always a few questions on either side and its also nice to ‘meet’ and put a face to the host especially as usually hosts don’t post pics of themselves in the profile so sitters often don’t know what the host looks like till the video call or f2f handover!


There is still plenty of time but you will need to be faster in responding to applications. I see that you have two applicants now. Do not keep them waiting for too long if you could consider them.


As an HO if I find a suitable sitter I do not wait to see who else might be interested just in the same way I do not go to other stores after I find something I like at a reasonable price to see if there is a better deal elsewhere. There may always be a perfect other someone. In any case if waiting a week more is your way of searching it’s perfectly ok. Just inform the potential sitters in your reply that that is what you do so that they are aware of your timeline.

They haven’t “let you down.”*

An application is an expression of interest, a knock on the door. It is important to at least have a phone call–preferably a video call–with 1-2 prospective sitters to go over the sit in more detail and see if it’s a go on both sides.

*I realize this is an English expression but is intense, judgmental, and over-the-top (given the circumstances) to an American/Canadian ear. If someone betrayed a confidence, or otherwise stabbed me in the back, that’d be worthy of, “they really let me down.” Otherwise, people would be confused and/or find the person dramatic.


I would say that given that one dog wears diapers and the other has puppy pads at night (and they both sleep in the bedroom) it’s going to be a challenge to attract experienced sitters unless they love the breed or particularly want a sit in your area at the dates you’re offering. Either way you’ll want to move fast if decent people apply!

Personally I’d be worried about smelly poops and pees in the night.


No one let you down. You kept applicants waiting and played the field. That meant they had zero obligation to you.

If you have more applicants, I’d suggest being quicker to reply and to commit, unless you want to risk them picking other sits. A dog that needs diapering probably turns off various sitters, so you’re not likely to get many applicants.


Your dogs are adorable and I applaud you for your honesty. I only wish one of the people we sat for last year had been as honest as you have been.

After doing that sit, where one of the dogs wasn’t at all housebroken and that fact had not been disclosed, I will never again accept a sit without fully housebroken pets. The process of dealing with animal waste inside the home is just not something I want to do unless the pet becomes ill or there is some extenuating circumstance.

Perhaps a paid sitter would be more willing to do this?


Thanks for the explanation. As others have said, you can’t afford to wait a week before responding to applicants

Firstly, I do hope you find someone to sit for your pups. The home looks very nice and the dogs are adorable. However, I find your wording problematic. The applicants didn’t let you down. They applied. You took too long to select someone and they moved on. That is just the nature of housesitting. It’s like a dating app. You see someone that looks interesting, but don’t take any action. Several weeks later, you decide that you want to contact them, but they’ve already moved on with someone more decisive. If you have other potential applicants now, I would suggest moving quickly. The fact that your pet is in diapers makes it a more difficult sit and one that many of the more experienced sitters might not apply for. I would definitely have a plan B in mind, in case you don’t find anyone. And that may include having to travel with the dogs again.

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That helped me a lot, thanks for sharing!

Thank you @Harris2 for your kind words.
This is only the 2nd time using this site & still very new to it so though waiting for just a week to see if we got anymore replies wasn’t a big thing, but I read now I must act quicker & thank you everyone that has suggested this. Also I’m sorry for the use of words saying they have (let me down) maybe I should have worded it better, but again we’re still new to this & this is how it felt, so once again sorry. As I explained in my recent reply to Smiley about why Ozzy wears his diaper, it’s just more of a precaution & if let out enough he should be fine. But sometimes we both work long hours so to be safe we put one around him so we don’t come home to any surprises. They take less than 30 seconds to wrap around so it’s not a huge problem & he is fine with this. Pixie has always slept on the bed & is so small you don’t really notice her as she just finds her own place & settles for the night. We do keep a pad on the floor for her just as a precaution but it’s very rare that she will use it & only if very desperate, but would usually wake you first to let you know she needs to go out.
I hope this clears up some of the things asked & what other people have mentioned & once again I’m sorry for any confusion.


@Mark-Alexa you’ve had some good advice about acting quickly when suitable sitters apply. If the two applications showing on your listing are the same to two who are no longer interested you should decline them so your listing goes back to zero applications. You can also edit your listing, maybe add ‘urgent’ in the title, especially as you are now going to deal with applications much more quickly I’m sure :wink: Then you will appear as ‘New’ and hopefully attract some new applicants. Good luck!

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Actually the diaper sounds like a reasonably good idea. I have recently looked after 2 dogs who take pills which make them pee a lot, and they had lots of accidents in the house. If a dog can get used to a diaper, why not? Better than cleaning up pee all the time. Most of us can’t stay home all day to let a dog out every hour.

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Thank you so much for your useful advice LauraT & I have now followed what you said. A huge help & fingers crossed.

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Thank you for your kind words andrealovesanimals & im glad you can see our side of the story. Ozzy is fine with wearing the diapers & knows he needs one at times so he stands & waits for it when you tell him.

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