No Welcome Guide Yet

My next sit is this Sunday and although I’ve asked for the Welcome Guide twice, the HO has repeatedly given me the same response; “still working on it, we are new.” I understand they are new to the platform yet I’m a bit anxious given the sit is around the corner. Curious if this others have encountered this and what they’ve done? I feel like there’s not much else I can do on my end beyond asking…though I don’t want to be a nag. TIA!

Most of my Owners have NOT provided a Welcome Guide.

Right now, make sure that you have:

  1. Owner’s home address
  2. Owner’s cell phone number.
  3. Owner’s email address.

Some Owners find the Welcome Guide takes hours to complete. It might be easier for them to email a Word doc or Google doc (or text a Google doc) with the basics.


As a homeowner, I provide my Welcome Guide as soon as the sitter agrees to the sit. I also ask them to read it as soon as they can, and if they find anything they don’t understand or don’t like, they can call me, we can reach an agreement, or they can cancel, no hard feelings. I’ve never had anyone cancel, but I want them to know they have the option.
As a sitter, I won’t sit for anyone who doesn’t give me a Welcome Guide (or a similar equivalent) soon after acceptance of the sit. I have seen too many horror stories here on the forum where things weren’t revealed in the listing or during the video chat that left the sitters in a difficult position – too late to cancel, but it’s clear that they probably wouldn’t have accepted the sit if they had had all the information up front.


My response to a host who didn’t provide a welcome guide (don’t care on which platform or in what format) in reasonable time would be: I understand that you might not be able to provide the guide in time. I’m afraid in that case that I can’t come, unfortunately, because it’s not right for any sitter to walk in blind for any sit. Best wishes on finding someone else.

Happily, I haven’t had to send such a msg, because I’m careful about screening out hosts who think only of themselves and their pets. And I do that early on.

If they are new I can understand why it’s taking them a bit longer. It took me hours to finish my welcome guide the first time. There’s so much information that has to be put in. Maybe ask them to send you what they have so far and tell them to send you the complete one once it’s finished :thinking:

Honestly, when you realize all the information that THS wants you to put in there it’s kind of overwhelming if you want to be thorough.


That is what I did when I realized what the PDF that you can download looks like. I made my own version (with the same information), printed it out so the sitter has a copy, and send this to the applicants when I invite them to sit (before they confirm).


That is my concern…that certain info won’t be revealed til after the fact and I’ll be stuck. I had a pretty awful sit several months back and I was stuck in a month long sit. Had I known the full picture, I wouldn’t have accepted the sit. So I don’t know what else to do…

I recently completed a sit for which the only item in the Welcome Guide was the post code, which wasn’t too helpful. So I made a list of what the Guide would contain and phoned the HO (thankfully she’d given me her number) who let me know the information -it turns out that the HO has sight problems so this was the appropriate approach. There were times when I felt frustrated and nearly cancelled the sit, but it turned out to be a good sit.


It feels like the welcome guide has seriously gone out of fashion. I don’t know whether it’s a hassle with the format or updating it but I have only had maybe one or two in the past year. Most people are just writing their own notes (if there are notes!). One which I requested, mostly because the HO refused to communicate, only included their phone number which I already had.

Wow…how did that sit go??

Smart to call them. I’m thinking of doing the same

Wouldn’t do it again for many reasons including the communication or lack of

In case it helps you, my checklist (based on the welcome guide & what else I’d like to know) is here.


We’ve had most of our sits with no WG before arrival, or at least 50% let’s say. It is clunky and it is a pain apparently for some. (That said I did one for an HO that lived elsewhere and it seemed okay to me). Not always a red flag. @PVGemini gives good advice on what to ask for and whoever said a word doc instead also useful if they’re struggling. The things we really want are feeding & walking details, vet contact, emergency contact, sleeping arrangements for animals and any “don’t touch” if they exist and that’s fairly comfortable. What isn’t okay is no comms at all, new or not new, you need the info pre sit. Call them rather than message them if that lets you explain why it’s so key more succinctly. #commscommscomms :raised_hands:t3:

You are doing the sit regardless, as you have agreed to it, there’s a lot that don’t do it until the last minute, they’ve got flights, packing, work and things like that on their mind at the same time.

I would just reply to them saying how you understand it takes quite a while to complete it for the first time, but to make sure they send you it at least 3 days before the sit starts (or name a day) so you have time to look at it and ask any questions that you may have.

Typically there are no questions off the back of the Welcome Pack, so just pop them another message once you’ve checked it to say that it all makes sense, so that you build up the communication levels.


We have done many sits without the official welcome guide but all have provided an alternative written welcome guide in some form or other (an e-mail or word document) .

We would also have concerns about going ahead with a sit without this information beforehand, especially if the HOs are new to THS.

Information such as where the fuse box / electric meter was located was needed on four of the sits that we did last year - fortunately all of the owners had thought ahead and included this in the welcome guide.

If you have specific questions that you haven’t already discussed with the homeowner , then you could ask for a phone or video call to chat them over and make your own notes

For example dogs routine, any medical needs / arrangements for emergency vet treatment, emergency contacts , the address of the sit / homeowners mobile number / confirmation that they do not have internal cameras and disclosure of any external ones .

All of these are important to know ahead of time, if you have already covered all of the above in your conversations with the HO then maybe you don’t need to worry too much about the welcome guide -

I would be especially insistent on this as they are new and maybe haven’t thought about needing to provide this important information.

For example most new homeowners have no idea that THS do not give the sitter the address of the sit .

I would contact them again and say I understand that the official Welcome guide is difficult to use - would it be easier if I send you a list of questions / we had a video call to share the important information that I need to take care of your pets and home and so that I am prepared to deal with any emergencies during the stay.

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My last owner had only partly completed the Welcome Guide not long before I was due to sit. I messaged asking if she could complete it, she said she would. When, a few days before I was due to sit she still hadn’t completed it I asked for it. She said “I already have, please don’t ask me again”. When I arrived she had hand written notes so I explained it would be easier if she transferred those to the Welcome Guide. Thankfully the dog was no trouble

I had a welcome guide from March '23.
I sent that to THsitters we have for Jan '24.

I had much to update that took me by surprise and it seemed to take a while to do. And I use a WORD doc. The THS WG is ridiculous.

I would add that you may want to tell the HO that if you are not able to get the WG and able to ask questions and get clarification then you may not be able to give them the best experience but you will do your best.

Admittedly, hopefully you got the BIG items already discussed:
Sleeping arrangements
Arrive/depart dates time
Pets you are taking care of / behavior/ general routine.

(Also tell them to unplugged any interior recording devices…or you will upon arrival. This is my new dig with a bone issue)

As others have said, I have done at least 50% of my sits without a Welcome Guide, so I don’t expect one via THS; a bonus if they do. Even when there is no THS Welcome Guide, usually the HOs have printed information with all the essentials.

@PVGemini and @bluet0917

Please add this to your list of essential info: be certain they’ve identified local people who can take over pet care if the homeowners are delayed in returning home but you are unable to extend your stay beyond the agreed-upon end date of the sit.

We provide this info to sitters who stay in our home, and as sitters, we get it from the homeowners right after confirming any sit (if it’s not already in the Welcome Guide).