New types of sitters ? Another article on pet sitting

Fabulous good times.
Find and replace girl(s) with pet(s).
Love it.


Yes @Amparo - brilliant!

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While we are discussing the responsibilities of house and pet sitting I would like to comment on the THS marketing that came up on my screen this morning.
Pet sitting appears to be comparable to a free stay in an Airbnb. I feel this will attract more members which of course is good for profits but I also feel it will attract a different calibre of sitter. Only time will tell if that has an affect on the THS reputation.
A stay in an Airbnb enables you to enjoy your break with no responsibilities. You can spend your days and evenings as you choose.
At the end of the stay you can walk away leaving your bed unmade and someone else will clean up after you.
You can cancel up to 24hrs before arrival if your plans change.
On the other hand if you commit to a sit you are responsible for the security of the home and the safekeeping of the pets.
You will need to arrange your day around the pet’s routine and update the owners as to how things are going.
You will be expected to deal with any situations that arise.
At the end of the stay at the very least you should strip the bed and leave the home as you found it, but many sitters go above and beyond.


@Twitcher Exactly. I’ve been reading a lot about how Airbnb lost its way by going away from its original principles. It is now losing money, getting bad press and many people are returning to traditional accommodation options. Time will tell if the same will happen here.



I totally agree this ad is awful. It will attract exactly the behaviors you suggest.
A survey we received a while ago had lots of questions comparing house sitting with staying in a Airbnb or a VRBO or Hostel.
Homeowners are seeking someone to provide companionship and love to their pets not someone trying to save money on an Airbnb .


@Twitcher , are you able to post this as a new thread on the Owner & Sitter Exchange so that owners are alerted to this marketing ploy?


Hi @temba @Twitcher Forum members have access to all topics and conversations. If a duplicate is posted in another category it will be merged with the original post to keep all topic content together.

Thanks @Angela_L. I just wondered if @Twitcher would be in agreement if it was removed from this thread so it could be a new thread in Owner & Sitter Exchange.

This post is taking the conversation off topic @temba @Twitcher @Timshazz @Expat6

Please keep to the original author’s post purpose.

Thank you.

Hi Angela - I did use the spyglass before considering whether to start a new topic. I searched sitter responsibilities as well as marketing and I felt this was the closest topic. Thank You


@Twitcher @Angela_L It would make sense to move the topic of THS’s marketing messaging to create a new thread. Angela, can you mark it appropriately and create a new topic? These marketing tactics need to be discussed.

Here’s why I write that.

The marketing that THS is embarking on – to increase its profits – is already and will continue to bring sitters who do not embrace (or even know about) the ethos of house/pet sitting. Why do I believe that? This past autumn, we advertised a sit for January 2023 and we had to reject the first 8 applications because they clearly were just looking for free lodging and use of a car – you could tell by the tone and content – and what they didn’t say – in their applications.

On the forum, I read comments by other homeowners who are experiencing the same thing.

All I can say to us fellow homeowners: do NOT accept a sitter just because they are in the first 5. Take your time, vet them carefully, and ask a lot of questions during the video chat.

Our homes, as well as the very happiness and safety of our pets, depend on it.


The recent posts above were moved here to keep another conversation focused on the original poster’s topic. Highlights from these posts have also been shared with the wider TrustedHousesitters team.

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What a terrible advert to put out. Invites a whole set of sitters who may want to sit for all the wrong reasons. I miss the old days of THS and not because I have ever been a full time sitter but I embraced the whole ethos of it at the time. I’ve been a member since 2014, only do 3-4 sits a year but this race to be in the first five has me rethinking the whole idea. I also used to use airbnb in its earlier days but haven’t used it for years since it changed. Sadly THS is going the same way. All about the $ for the company and not the equal exchange


I am a big fan of Airbnb and also a big fan of THS but cherry-picking the word ‘cheaper’ as means of comparison in a promotional advert to try to attract new members is nothing short of irresponsible.

At the very least the advert should say “cheaper, cuddlier, more work, more cleaning, more poo picking/ litter tray cleaning, more responsibility and less time to yourself than a night in an Airbnb”!

I have no statistics but, as an ex-Airbnb host, I can 100% guarantee you that the number of complaints against Airbnb guests compared to the number of complaints against THS sitters is far higher and THS is going to regret using this as bait for new members to join.

Any home host, particularly those living in big cities or those with a home that is large enough and/or remote enough for a decent party should be very worried if their sitter has been enticed by this advert to join THS

I strongly recommend that THS seriously consider extending its complaints department and increasing its insurance guarantee to home hosts.

There is a very good reason why Airbnb provide, for free, all hosts with a $ 1 million (£600,000) insurance coverage.


This is true for me. I now prefer a traditional hotel room to an AirBnb since they have become more expensive. In a hotel room I can usually count on a clean, convenient bathroom with space for my toiletries, light blocking curtains, good lighting, a TV in the bedroom, a place to set my stuff and properly working fixtures and heating system. This is not always true with an AirBnb and certainly not always the case if you are house sitting.

Let me count (just a few of) the ways that staying in an AirBnb or hotel differs from house and pet sitting. I can wake up when I want, I won’t be awoken by a dog or trounced on by a cat during the night, I won’t have to wipe down the shower and keep the place clean and orderly, I won’t have to take the dog out and clean up animal poo or accidents, I won’t have to rush back to the house to take care of the pets if I am out sightseeing, hiking, seeing a show… I won’t have to contact a vet or take the pet to the vet if there is a medical problem. At the end of my stay, I will not have to do a thorough cleaning and food preparation and/or restocking for the returning HO, and I won’t have to report to anyone regularly about home and pet status.


@KenandMary1998 @Colin I’ve also noticed a change in the sitters who have been applying to our listing. When we posted a sit over Christmas we had to wade through 35 applicantions to find a suitable couple. Many of the applicants were inexperienced, with only one or no reviews(I know we all had to start somewhere), but as you say, from the content and tone of the applications, it was clear they were more interested in exploring Sydney than looking after our pets. We’ve had lots of great sitters over the years, many we now regard as friends. Given the race to apply, it’s just harder to find them now.


Since this is one of the areas I have to do research on for my job, I’d just like to point out the sad and shocking statistic that in fact a very large percentage of people experiencing homeless are in fact employed. This is particularly true in cities like Los Angeles. It is large an affordable housing crisis. So I don’t think employed vs. non employed is really the issue here. But I understand your point of course-- and “nomadic” is a much better term for someone who doesn’t have a permanent home by choice.


Terrible ad. The equivalent on the owner side would be “why pay a pet sitter when you can sucker some unsuspecting fool into looking after your pets for free”. Imagine what kind of owner that would attract!


THS this ad is akin to click bait. Shameful.


Is mutual exchange not what THS is all about anymore? There’s no mention of pets or of any responsibilities here. I wouldn’t want the sitters that it attracts.

Feedback for the marketing team: couldn’t hate this advert more.