New Sitter - Please advise

Hi, I am so excited. I finally quit reading about THS and joined today. I would love some feedback on my profile. I have been reading the forum and know it really help newbies to get suggestions from the community. I do not have many pictures, my photo storage crashed so… Any advise would be welcome. Thanks and I am looking forward to new friends.


@Sylvia2 welcome to THS and the Forum. Your profile looks good, besides adding a few pictures you should add some personal references. This will help you secure your first sit.

You can also update your calendar availability and your preferred countries.


Your profile looks great , when you are able add some more photos of you with pets ( dogs great and small ) .

I know you said your photo storage crashed - is this on your desktop? I have lots of photos on my phone / Whatapp messages etc you may want to look for some there if you are able to.

I agree with other comments, your profile reads really well but needs more photos - the current photo is a bit small/unclear. Some references from friends or people you’ve petsat for would be good too. Good luck … petsitting is a great lifestyle.

That is a great profile!

I do not believe that references from friends would carry that much weight. Now, with the holidays there are many more HOs looking for sitters than available. So if you could any such dates, just apply. Provide your full name in your applications, maybe with some more detail like a LinkedIn link or Facebook.

That sit would then get you your first review at THS. After that, it becomes much easier.


Welcome @Sylvia2. Good profile. As others have suggested a few more photo’s preferably with pets would be good.
Suggest you start off by applying for local and last minute sits to build your reviews. Once you’ve built up a few good reviews then it’s easier for HO to consider you for more desirable sits you may apply for.


Definitely more photos - ask around, maybe your friends or people you’ve sat for have photos of you with their pets.

whisper Pop round and visit some friends with pets and take some photos whilst you’re there :wink:

Even if you cant magic up some photos-with-pets, just a couple more of you doing ‘stuff’ would help give a more rounded picture of you.

References - maybe your Alzheimer’s volunteer work would give you a reference?

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Thanks for all the feedback. I have submitted the reference requests, just wanted to get on the site ASAP for holiday traffic. I am looking through my other sources for photos, work in progress. I have always been the person who took photos of others but hardly ever of myself with the pets! My albums were on a thumb drive which is now kaput, oops. Lesson learned. I am considering downloading WhatsApp as that seems to be what you are all working on. I am debating on getting a tablet just for THS stuff but thought I would wait until I have done a few sits to see if this is really for me. Thanks again, I am already having fun!

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Sylvia, your profile is great. Even with one picture and no references you might be able to get a sit. If I were I HO, I would certainly consider you. Of course you can also offer to put the HO in contact with a reference while you’re waiting for their reference letter. If you apply to something local or not too far away and offer to meet them in person ahead of time, this could get you started. I think you’re off to a terrific start and you’re gonna love it.


Despite what others may think, I think my external references helped me to find sits when I started. If there are others that if you’ve petsit for – even a neighbor whose dog you sometimes walked those authentic stories are helpful. In fact, even if it was one weekend twenty years ago when you watched the cats when someone had a family emergency that’s real, and believable, and makes you seem like the trustworthy person you are.

I also think regarding your profile photos, they should all feature you with pets, so people can see how you interact with dogs and cats. Random photos of dogs are just random photos of dogs, but a photo of you hugging a dog tells a story.

It also wouldn’t hurt to have something external when you are getting started – linkedin for example. And Airbnb. All of these are just shortcuts to “trustworthiness” that pet parents are seeking.


@Sylvia2 Please also download simple video chat options such as Zoom or Skype. We have found them to be more commonly used by sitters and homeowners alike.


Thank you for the info. I was wondering about what video service to use. I will look into your suggestions. Looks like I will need one ASAP.

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WhatsApp is a great choice. It’s free and very popular. It was originally just a phone app, but can now be downloaded onto a laptop as well. It’s great if the HO is going out of the country as depending on the phone plan it might be how they will reach you.
Skype is also free, and very easy to use.
If an HO insists on Zoom, let them set it up as the basic “free account” will only allow you a short time for a meeting.
Google Meet is another possibility. (Updated to correct error.)


There is Microsoft Teams, I think?

As I understand it, they bought Skype. I got all kinds of conflicts between the two programs when during the pandemic a course was going on Teams, as did other participants that used a Mac. It may have gotten better since then, but I am still avoiding Teams. I suppose its security features are really needed for communication within companies but for petsitting it is overkill.

I prefer Whatsapp for THS. The great advantage over Zoom is that you get their phone number, so that there is a channel of communication when there is no internet.

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@Sylvia2 I recommend WhatsApp on a phone - in my experience majority of homeowners already have it.

In addition to an initial video call , WhatsApp can then be used as your main communication to send photos and updates during a sit . ( via messages not video calls )

There are no additional charges when you are connected to the internet . So it works without using your mobile data . Useful if owners are travelling to another country or on a cruise etc .

Easy to install on a phone and then take some photos or a video of the pets - either at home or whilst out on a walk (with dogs) and then send across to pets owners via WhatsApp when you are back on the internet.

For an upcoming sit ( we sit as a couple ) as soon as the sit was confirmed set up a group chat in WhatApp with the home owners so we are already messaging each other about arrangements and will use the same group to update them or contact them if there is any emergency during the sit.

We have used WhatsApp as our only form of communication when owners were on a six week cruise of the Pacific islands and we were able to keep in touch and deal with an emergency situation .


Thanks for all the support. I was watching Skype and WhatsApp on YouTube last night and will download today. As I also have friends in Europe I will probably use WhatsApp to save on phone data. My references have now started coming through so I am checking off your suggestion list quickly. Still working on photos. I have even applied to a sit, no response, but that is not unexpected by what I read on this forum. Do any of you have both Skype and WhatsApp, or another? What do you say to HO who uses a different app? Who changes you or them?

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@Sylvia2 As I am a sitter who finds a video chat worthwhile, at the end of my profile I show that I would be happy to video chat over Zoom or WhatsApp. That shows them two choices, and they really are my preferences. I do also have FaceTime, but that’s only for those with an iPhone. I have Skype but it’s not my preferred option. I do ask the owner to place the call, but that’s just my preference.

I have had an owner who was really only comfortable with Messenger, which I had not used. I do have a Facebook account, but only for viewing (I don’t interact at all). As Messenger was their comfort level, I agreed. During the sit we then used Messenger for texting, and still do now, as we’ve kept in contact as friends.

I’d say just communicate, find an option that works for you both, and try to be flexible.


You don’t need to carry out a video call if you don’t want.
I prefer a telephone call or even just written communication.
I always communicate with Whatsapp messages during the sit.


I think being prepared for a video call is going to vastly improve your* prospects for getting the sits you want. There may be some HOs who are ok with a phone call or written communication (apparently some don’t require anything beyond the application), but I think that is becoming more unusual.

Most of my video calls are now over WhatsApp, but I do have a free Zoom account, the sitter does not need their own account. The time limit for free accounts is actually a good thing, means the video chat can’t go on and on and on :wink:

ETA: by “your”, I mean OP, who is new to THS. Established sitters, such as itchyfeet, probably have more latitude to be choosy about their communication styles, after building up references on the site.


I can easily use Zoom if the HO wants that, but I would then also ask for their phone number, just in case one needs to send messages when THS is down etc.

I have also used FB Messenger, Skype, and maybe Facetime. If they really insist, I could try Teams, but I would not spend too much time on setting that up on my computer…

Whatsapp is best fit for this purpose.