New sitters application with reference reviews and hang-out only

Hello there,

I’ve been a THS user for a few years now and I’ve noticed some changes in the quality of applications I’ve been receiving lately. I’ve been getting applications from new sitters who seem more interested in hanging out or bringing friends along rather than being passionate about caring for pets. Additionally, I’ve noticed that some applicants don’t have any reviews, only reference reviews.

I remember a few years ago, I used to receive applications from people who were genuinely passionate about pets.
I’m wondering what could have changed since then. Is there something I could do differently to attract more passionate sitters?

Thank you,


What I see on THS is pet owners just wanting to go out and travel the world or visit friends and hang out at beaches etc, while abandoning their dear pets to strangers :slight_smile:


What’s happened is too much marketing spend on campaigns that say things like “travel for free” “don’t pay for an airbnb” just become a pet sitter…they have stopped it a bit now but half way through last year there were a lot of adverts like this and plenty of UK press pushing it as a “free way to travel” which we all know is not the reality. There are still loads of great sitters out there @Gogo #keepbelieving


Before any sitter with reviews comes a sitter without any reviews. They have to start somewhere.
THS is expanding their business so expect to get new sitters applying to your listing. They have also implemented the 5 application limit specifically to give these new sitters a chance to apply. If you want sitters with reviews then state that in your listing and decline any applications that don’t have any (or enough).
However at least some of a sitters motivation has to be ‘hanging out’ otherwise why would they travel at possibly great expense to just care for a stranger’s pets. I can do that at home for free or profit.

  1. Everyone has to start somewhere! External reviews are a good way to demonstrate the experience you do have not on THS. Yes, maybe they carry less weight, but this shouldn’t mean they won’t be a great sitter!

  2. Why not both? I always explain what my motivation for being in the area is, and sometimes that might mean visiting friends and family and exploring the area. I would hope this gives you some reassurance that I won’t flake on my travel plans! Of course it doesn’t come at the expense of pet care, I understand there is a responsibility there.


It’s understandable that everyone has to start somewhere, and I’m willing to give new pet sitters a chance. I recently accepted a few sitters based on their reference reviews, thorough questioning, and gut feeling after a video call.

However, I recently received a couple of applications that raised some concerns. One sitter asked to bring a friend along, which made me uneasy. Another sitter, ‘Kate,’ claimed to be a great pet sitter, but her reference reviews were for someone else named ‘John.’ It would be much more reassuring if I could see reviews from people that ‘Kate’ has actually taken care of their pets.

I’m just looking for reliable and trustworthy pet sitters, and I hope that future applicants will be more transparent about their experience and references.


@Gogo welcome to the forum.

If you’re up for it…there is a thread on here called “THS FEEDBACK” that perhaps you could post your OP there as well…?

Word on the street is that THS team don’t peruse the forum except perhaps that thread.

This has come up before in the forum and I think THS needs this feedback… as often as it comes up.

I started with 4 character references only. I did 3 lovely local sits (granted not in highly desirable areas, so rush in applying) not “complicated” and sent very thoughtful initial emails.

We do all have to start from somewhere but from where a sitter communicates they’re starting from makes a difference.

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Consider yourself lucky that they’re being honest about this in their application and not springing it on you later or just inviting their friends along without asking you at all. If an applicant doesn’t appeal to you, simply decline so you can get more and hopefully there will be a good fit eventually.


As someone else have said, this is likely the result of quite ‘aggressive’ marketing of THS in more recent times that makes petsitting look more like an Instagram trip (at least that’s the impression I got when I saw some of the images used & taglines to advertise with).

Several other threads on the Forum talk about this, as it appears to have resulted in quite an increase in new sitters and HOs, not all who are attracted to THS for the right reasons. And with that volume growing, there has also been a noticeable increase on this Forum in both HOs and sitters reporting very disappointing or even terrible experiences.


If you’re getting the 5 applicants but aren’t happy with them, you can blame that ridiculous 5 application policy. By the time the 5 quick trigger finger people apply, the people you’re looking for have missed out on the opportunity. The only way to deal with it is to reject and reopen the sit until the people you like happen to luck out with their phone in their hand the moment you click the button.


You aren’t the only person to have asked this question, it’s been discussed a lot here on the forum. If you do an appropriate search you can find more info

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I’m very hurt by your comment, yes we do go and visit friends, but we do not hang out on a beach, we go and watch motorcycle racing :grimacing::joy:


I’m quite interested in this thread as a newbie and now reflecting on my motivations…. which I’ve included in my profile. Primarily when visiting my son and his wife in Perth Australia we’d prefer not to stay too long with them as they’re busy working professionals and we’re retired. Also when we’re away I miss the dogs that I walk regularly at home. It’s also much nicer to stay in a house than a hotel or Airbnb. I see it as a mutually beneficial trade off- we get to stay in a house in return for the ‘work’ of pet caring. It also gives us something to do and a structure for whilst we are visiting as we’re considering moving there at some point…


As a new “potential sitter” I see this platform as a great way to connect adventurous travelers with candidates that desire extra attention for their pets. To sign on to a “sitting position” is also a leap of faith for the sitter. (noticed threads about hosts cancelling at last minute)

I retired last year and have been traveling more with the extra freedom. As a pet owner, I know the value of having fur babies stay in their home in lieu of being packed off to a kennel. Not to mention the obvious expense of boarding or unknowns associated with pet boarding.

The platform only works if the relationship between sitter and pet parent is mutually beneficial for both. I hope over the course of the next 12 months, I am able to serve as a “fill-in for Fur Babies” in a location that I want to discover more.


Sounds like a useful paragraph to edit and include in your THS profile once you pay to join as a member. Have a look at my profile in the link inder my name as I include our motivation for doing this.

Thanks Bonny I have joined the platform. Once I have time to dig deep into all the site has to offer, I will upgrade membership. Happy to have found this community.

I’m confused- do you mean you’ve paid for the Basic membership or that you’re simply looking around on the website? Without a membership profile you won’t be able to properly apply for any sits, and it’s not the way to go to seek sits via posts in the forum….but possibly you know this so best wishes to you.


Yes I have paid for a basic membership. I will upgrade after I finish reviewing the site.

Thank you

@diningwithmimi We’ve had the basic membership for over 5 years & never felt the need to upgrade.

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I’m not sure about this 5 applicant policy, do you know where we can read about it. I recently had a couple of applicants apply, but both of them had negative reviews and only one external review, I’m not comfortable with that. One has since withdrawn her app, which is fine, I didn’t get a warm fuzzy, but my sit is in June and I’m getting nervous.