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@Jl1953 we have confirmed 21 sits . All of these are ones that we have applied for . None of them are because the hosts contacted us .

We have received many invitations from hosts but they are not in the locations that we want to sit that’s why we have not accepted any of them .

Even if you see from a sitter’s calendar that they are available ( green ) the chances are slim that they are available for your location .


@Jl1953 white is the default colour, so has two possible meanings,
Unavailable for someone who does strictly maintain their calendar or
Just haven’t done anything with the calendar so who knows.
We are unable to positively mark ourselves unavailable .


So I’m gathering from this thread that THS is basically an app for people that want to travel and sit and not really for people looking for a sitter.
So the site should really be listed as catering to people that want to travel not to people that are looking for sitters. We travel quite a bit but to Europe and UK but we are not sitters so THS really isn’t where I should be looking. Do I have this correct? Thanks for all the info!

@Jl1953 The site only works because there are both sitters and hosts. And THS is definitely geared more towards hosts. However, the way it is set up is for the host to post a listing and have interested sitters apply. It really isn’t set up for hosts to search for sitters. If you post a listing, sitters that find it appealing will apply. Then you can set up virtual chats with those who are interested in your sit and find a good match.


Where would sitters be sitting if the platform didn’t serve hosts as well? You seem to insist on using it suboptimally. If you don’t adapt, you probably won’t find a sitter. But plenty of hosts post sits and get sitters every day. They >>post<< them. There’s no need to waste time trying to invite people who’ve not expressed interest or availability in your sit. You can go about it that way, but your odds are slim.


Nope. You still seem confused as to the purpose of THS. The app is a matching service for sitters and owners, both who want to travel. One party who wants to leave their pets at home and not in expensive kennels & the other, who wants to travel & take care of animals as they adventure thus minimising accommodation costs & adding to a local living experience. That said, we don’t work for THS so that’s only our take on it. You need to post your listing for your home & pets and sitters will then come to you. There are more sitters than owners right now so it needs to be good. After 40 sits, 18 countries & a lot of travels it’s been a wonderful experience to date and all our hosts would second that. #giveitatry


@Jl1953 THS is designed to be a mutually beneficial exchange. It is intended to be as much of a cultural & travel exchange as it is a pet sitting service.

Owners seeking a reliable pet sitter offer their homes as free accommodation to sitters interested in providing quality pet care, as well as the wonderful opportunity to see and explore a new place. It’s a win-win program. Most sitters here know that these exchanges are absolutely not ‘a free holiday’ or simply ‘free accomodation’ that comes with no responsibilities. Most sitters here are honest, hard-working people that put in a lot of (unpaid) effort to keep pets, homes and gardens happy and well maintained.

They are rewarded by the wonderful experience of both enjoyable pet care and immersing themselves in a different area or culture that gives a very different experience than simply ‘being a tourist’ or staying in a hotel. Most sitters are here for the right reasons and make incredible sitters because they really enjoy what they do, and it pays off in so many ways!

It is not designed for owners that cannot provide a mutually beneficial exchange and places unfair or unrealistic expectations on sitters that are only appropriate for paid, local sitters or services, such as:

  • Being a local only
  • Not allowing sufficient opportunity for a sitter to experience culture and tourism in the area (such as requiring that sitters barely leave the house or complete a mountain of unpaid chores that creates an unbalanced & unfair exchange).

If you have a clear understanding of the program and your listing can provide an attractive, mutually beneficial and fair exchange, then you should do well :+1: However, if an exchange like this is not what you’re seeking, then a local paid sitter is likely to be your best fit.

If you do want to try with THS, as mentioned many times already, you can link your listing to your bio for the community to give helpful feedback that can really increase your listing’s success. This is the next best step for your journey with THS. :footprints:


Hi @Jl1953

I would say that yes, what you’ve gathered is kind of right.

If you compare THS to Rover (for example), on Rover it’s up to the home owner to find a sitter, and the incentive for the sitter is that they will be paid to do the sit. On THS, sitters are unpaid, therefore the incentive for a sitter is to secure a sit that looks nice in an area that they’d like to explore.

As a sitter, I do love animals, but I don’t travel hundreds of miles at my own expense to look after them out of the goodness of my heart. They get great care from me, but I also get something from the exchange.

As a home owner there’s nothing to stop you reaching out to sitters, but the likelihood of stumbling upon someone who wants to visit your area at exactly the same time as you’re planning to be away is slim. From what I can tell, people don’t tend to do local sits via THS, because… well, why would they? They may as well be in their own home, without the responsibility of looking after someone else’s pets. So there’s probably not much point in reaching out to local people via THS, which leaves you with the problem of where to begin. As others have suggested, focus on creating a listing which really sells your sit.

Of course, neither site would function without both sitters and home owners, but the dynamic is very different for each site, as you’ve gathered.


@Jl1953 I’ve just read this whole thread and all the responses to your comments. There is already a lot of good advice from fellow members so I’ll just add my take on your issues.
We’ve done over 100 sits around the world (most of which we actively applied for) and we have also received hundreds of unsolicited invitations to sit during these 5+ years. Only twice have we ever accepted an invitation! Once was a very attractive 3 week sit in the south of France- villa, pool, dogs&cats, and a car included. We even flew in specially for it! And the other was for a repeat sit where we already knew and liked the pet&home. For the vast majority of invitations to sit we are simply not available or interested at that time.
Our focus is always on applying to sits we are attracted to. We never wait for invitations. That’s how THS works best

  • you create a fabulous listing and sitters will apply.
  • its usually a complete waste of time and energy to randomly invite sitters.
  • if you do want to search & invite sitters then first go for those who’ve favourited you- at least they’ve already checked out your listing and are interested. However the fact they have not already applied is because they are probably not available for your current dates.
  • if you check a sitters calender the only thing you can rely on is that if any dates are struck through it means the sitter is booked on a THS sit. I.e you can only be certain of their UNavailability. The green and white dates could mean anything.
    -Most sitters don’t bother to keep the calender updated- its too much hassle. We ourselves never use it.
  • All sitters and Host have different activity levels. It varies from once a year, to multiple times per year to full timers (as we are) We all pay our membership fee and all have equal rights to use it as often, or as little, as we like and in the way it suits us best.

Once you understand properly how THS works you can start to get the most out of it.


Much better to post the sit you need and have sitters apply. We are full-time travelers, so we could be willing to travel a greater distance for a sit. Our location will be constantly changing as we are not staying in Tuscon for much longer. We plan to do the whole west coast and to sitting as we travel.


We are also travelers, often but not constantly and we need sitters when we are gone.

(edited to meet Forum guidelines)

@Jl1953 - the help given on the Forum comes from other members of Trusted Housesitters, so any advice they give you is based on their own experience, and I think it’s worth taking on board what they’re saying.

I can see that our Membership Services team have taken on board your feedback, and has also taken some steps to give your listing more visibility, but there’s not much more that the team can do for you at the moment.



Just for the record Wisconsin is a big tourist attraction doing 25 Billion in tourism in 2023. We are not Europe and I go to Europe now because I have exhausted the USA but for people that haven’t Wisconsin is beautiful

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I’ve been. It’s nice, but if I were to prioritize, it wouldn’t be high up on my list even for the U.S. alone.

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I can attest to this. It is spectacular and underappreciated in the summer for anyone who loves the outdoors and fishing.

It’s nice, but the U.S. is blessed with loads of amazing nature. And in various places, there’s way less humidity and many fewer bugs / mosquitoes.


Being from Texas, the Wisconsin humidity and bugs (and snakes) there pale in comparison. Guess it’s all relative.

I don’t use the calendar, as it is useless. I respond to posts, when interested. The best you can do is to create your own post and let sitters apply. I have been sitting for 2 years, and I have never sat for someone who directly invited me. Those invites are normally for the kind of pet I don’t look after, or simply too near home. I have no interest in looking after a pet 10 miles from my usual home, as there’s no particular interest for me in the area. The ideal sit is one in a new area with a lovely pet.