Newby - Just getting Started

I have recently joined THS and am slowly learning my way around.
I applied for a couple of sits and then almost instantly got rejected for one, which made me a little upset and question my abilities.
Like other - I questioned whether anyone would chose us for a sit as newbies, but then the most wonderful thing happened…
We received an invite to sit for a lady we had not applied to! How amazing is that!
We messaged back and decided to video chat the next evening.
She made us feel really welcome and comfortable and she was happy with us, so we now have our first sit all booked and sorted.
So the point I would like to make is really to owners…perhaps the more experienced owners out there could perhaps look at inviting new members to sit for them to help get new people started in their journey. I am so very grateful to our lady for doing this for us.
Secondly…what advise can you offer to a newby going on their first sit?


Never question your abilities it’s a huge learning curve. I was so nervous applying for my first sit.a simple phone call and I was away to my first videos just a lot of trust on both parts. I ended up sitting for them five times in that year until I spread my wings and went somewhere else.


What a lovely positive post and experience. Thank you for sharing @Puddingchops . And jolly well done. A great idea too reaching out to experienced HOs to get us new sitters off and started.

Don’t be disheartened by receiving of rejections. It’s no reflection on your abilities. It’s all part of the journey and growth. I’m sure now you are on your way, there’ll be no looking back.

Oh and my recommendation would be to read the forum for advice and feedback from both HOs and HSs. I did that a lot before my first sit a year ago, so felt a lot more prepared.

My own ‘top tip’ would be to check with HO before commencing sit, what arrangements they have made for both domestic and pet emergencies and how they would be paid for. :wink:

Best of wishes for your sit and THS journey. Keep posting!

Your lady sounds just lovely too. Feeling warm n fuzzy reading your post :heart: :pray:t3:


Welcome @Puddingchops and congratulations on securing your first sit.
I had a look at your excellent profile and you sound like a very experienced and capable couple and your love of animals shines through. I am sure the homeowner saw that as well.
Your next step is to request a Welcome Guide through your dashboard.
If you use the spyglass at the top of the page you can search any number of topics but if you have any specific questions this is the place to be.

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thank you.

thank you for your advice and feedback. In terms of my profile I just wanted to be as open as possible and try and put myself in the place of an owner inviting a stranger to look after their treasured animals and property.

Hi @Puddingchops , welcome to the wonderful world of pet & house sitting. congratulations on securing your first sit, Having read your profile I am sure it will be the first of many.

As far as the rejections go, please don’t let them upset you or question your abilities. As a petsitter you do have to have a thick skin and get used to rejection, it happens to us all.

Often the homeowner will have five excellent applications - four of those will have to be rejected.


I know Bridlington well and Bempton RSPB is my ‘Happy Place’

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Hi @Puddingchops and welcome to the start of some great adventures. The best way to get some great tips is to search the forum using the spy glass at the top, like a Google search. If you search “new sitter” there are heaps of threads. Here’s one to get you started.


Welcome @Puddingchops
Congrats on getting your first sit. It took me 23 applications to get mine! (On my 18th sit soon).
Rejection on THS is just part of the game of sitting I’m afraid. Everyone gets rejected at some point regardless of how many positive feedback you have. Not usually about your ability, more about what the HO is looking for - single, couple, older, younger, female or male are common rejections!


Thank you - wow - 23 applications. Well done for not giving up and amazing that you are now on your 18th.

Congratulations on someone reaching out to you, amazing! But your thinking is incorrect. HO’s do consider newbies, we’re just up the road in the North East, a similar age to yourselves, and a couple.

Our story - Within about 6 weeks of joining THS we found ourselves pretty much fully booked full time for 6 months, and we’re quite full for the whole of next year up until Nov 2024. The bookings are from 2 nights to 2 months.

I just checked out your profile, while the text part is great, your main photos are very weak for this website. Don’t take offence (I’m trying to help) but only 1 of your main photos is of an animal, a horse, that’s it, no more. Only 1 out of your 7 main photos shows an animal.

So ask yourself why would anyone scroll further to read your blurb or see your smaller previous pet pics lower down? Also, your main photos totally contradict your first strapline of “Experienced dog / cat owners seeking dogs & cats to cuddle and cherish.” But your main pics don’t say that. Plus if you only show a horse, why would a dog owner pick you?

Make every main pic an animal one and it will be so much easier for you to be offered sits. You’re amazing, you just need to make sure you give HO’s a reason to scroll further… and animals is the way to do it.

Top Tip - leave an HO’s home spotless, as though they never went anywhere in the first place.

Hope this helps xx

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Congratulations on getting your first sit.

As for the rejections, it can be hard not to take it personally. But in most cases, I think it is likely a matter of the HO only being able to pick one person, rather than them thinking the remaining applicants all had something ‘wrong’ with them.

Why they picked who they did is probably not information most HOs share with the other applicants, nor do sitters know anything about who else applied, and I think a lot of sitters make incorrect assumptions about why they were not chosen.

A HO may be drawn to a certain applicant for a number of reasons, from having a similar profession or hobby, to having a lot of experience with their type of dog.

Why the sitter is looking to be in the area may also be a factor in many cases. For example, next summer I will be looking for sits in or near Asheville, NC because my cousin is getting married there. And this reason may work in my favor since my need to be in that specific area at that specific time means they don’t have to worry about the possibility of me cancelling because I decided I wanted to go somewhere else instead.

While it is certainly true that some HOs will only choose people with more experience, as you can see from what just happened with you, that certainly isn’t the case all the time. All of us started out with no reviews and had that first HO take a chance on us.

As for tips on your first sit…

Keep the house as clean as possible. Be mindful of when you are doing something that has the potential to cause damage and then don’t do that thing. For example, a sitter may be accustomed to eating or drinking on his couch, but it might be a good idea not to indulge that habit on their very expensive, very light colored one.

I remember last week, I put a glass of water on the night stand before bed, and I saw the A/C remote control right next to it. Right away I had a vision of knocking over the water and breaking the remote so I promptly moved it off the table. I remember on one sit, with a really light colored, very new looking couch, I felt a lot better covering it with blankets and was much more relaxed sitting on it, especially since it was a 2 month sit .

If you need to move things for any reason, note where they originally were so you can put them back in the proper place.

Ask them how frequently they want updates on their animals, and send them accordingly. Some will want every day, some will want every few days, some will only want to be notified if something goes wrong.

I do my best to minimize bothering the HOs while they are traveling. While I may feel compelled to reach out to them right away for certain issues, if I just stop and think for a moment I can usually handle it myself; I will usually find what I am looking for if I just take a few minutes to check beyond the most obvious place I think the item should be. A lot of things can usually wait until they get home and no need to bring it up before then.

For example, at our last sit, one of the fans was making a squeaking noise so we just didn’t use it. It wasn’t broken, it didn’t fall from the ceiling,etc… so it didn’t seem like anything we needed to alert them to right away. We didn’t want them to feel they needed to arrange to have it fixed for our benefit.

But if something comes up where you really feel you need their guidance or instructions right away, get in touch with them. If the situation could result in any damage to the house or have a negative effect on their animal, they will be glad you reached out for help.

Of course, this ability to discern what may or may not warrant contact is something honed over doing this a long time, and it is ultimately a matter of opinion. Being new, if you don’t feel as confident making these calls and want to reach out any time you feel you should, then do that.

Good luck with your first sit and keep us posted!


thankyou - I must get more pics with me and pets. Its normally me taking them - lol. Yes, you are right - I have changed it around a bit now and will update when I get more pics. x

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Change in perspective needed here! You aren’t being rejected, they are selecting someone else. If they are still looking then, for reasons only the HO can know, you aren’t quite what they are looking for. Selecting sitters is very subjective. Forget about taking it personally and move on to the next possibilities. :smiley: