Owner Changing Listed & Confirmed Dates

I have loved my three years on trusted house sitters. However, a while ago when I arrived at my sit, the owners cheerfully informed me (after they had given me a welcome meal and glass of wine) that they would be returning home 24 hours after my agreed sit dates.

I just wonder how other sitters would have addressed this issue. I stayed because they had flights booked but I was far from happy as I do have my own pets to care for.

Also the pets were very sweet but one was not house trained and I would have preferred to have been made aware of this fact when I had applied.


Owners really need to realize that once dates are set and agreed to, they should ASK the sitter if a change works for the sitter. The sitter does not have to agree to a change. There are so many obvious reasons for this!! If the sitter cannot agree to the change, perhaps the original sit should be cancelled, and a brand new sit listing advertised.

In your exact scenario, it would have been completely acceptable to simply tell them that you are unable to stay an extra 24 hours, and tell them that they need to figure out another plan. It would have been much better if they would have ASKED you as soon as they knew of the change in their schedule. Putting you on the spot like that was not right. They knew that it would be more difficult for you to say “no” in person.

Some people will say, “We all need to be flexible,” which is true to a point. You never know what is going on in sitters’ lives, what else they have committed to, responsibilities they have. Sometimes we cannot stay an extra day, or leave a day early without having to pay for a hotel. This sort of flexibility should not be expected.


If the additional 24 hours was not an inconvenience, then fine. If there were other things which would be impacted, and if there were any out of pocket items, then no, not fine.

A conversation would need to be had, either way.

With regards to the pet that was not house trained, as soon as it came to your attention, I would contact the HO, pointing out the listing omission and asking how they would like you to proceed.

I would also ask you to make a detailed and honest review once the sit is complete.


@sali, well I simply would not have been able to stay because I would have my own flight booked.

Hi @sali and welcome to the forum, although because of an unfortunate situation. Please keep in mind that all sits are arrangements made between a homeowner and a sitter. By that I mean that at no point is one person any more in control than the other. As has already been mentioned, the homeowner should have asked rather than told. However, you also should not have felt obligated to just go along with their plans. Your time is just as valuable as theirs and should be respected.

If you are still on the sit and are concerned about staying the additional day, you should discuss it with membership services. If so, please direct message @Angela-HeadOfCommunity for assistance. To message her, click on her name here and then use the green envelope image.

Volunteer Forum Moderator

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The HO should always list an emergency contact. To make sure, I include the question, Who will take over care of your pet if your return trip is delayed and I am unable to stay?, as part of my initial interview in order to avoid situations like that.

As for not being housetrained, was this a puppy? Was it partially housetrained? Sometimes accidents are part of the territory if it’s a puppy. It would have been nice if they had informed you. I agree that you should mention it in your review.

It happens. Sometimes I will ask them to change the dates if I can accommodate them and go with it.
If not then I just say no, courteously and respectfully. Most often they have a good friend, neighbor or family member who can help.
There is always a solution.
House training is another matter and would be mentioned in my feedback.


THIS IS WHY we need blind reviews.

Help me understand how blind reviews would help?
People should work on developing the courage to speak up honestly and objectively. State the facts positively and negatively for the purpose of providing constructive feedback.


I can certainly be honest and objective with what I post, but if one party is already not being respectful, I can’t be confident that honesty and objectivity would be reciprocated. Retaliatory reviews do happen.

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Yeah they do unfortunately. Just throw some yeast in it and rise above it :wink:

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I didn’t post about my pee/poo-covered socks from the undisclosed incontinence of 2 cats in my review of a recent sit, because of fear of retaliation.

You’re saying I should have posted nothing? instead of being honest like I would have been if I wasn’t anxious about a bad review?

Of course not. These are things that happen, especially with infirmed or elderly pets or In Some cases untrained. Give a mention such as “pet incontinence was challenging for me” without making into an inflammatory, “bad HO” thing.
It’s all about delivery of communication and understanding. Not only about the HO and pets but about ourselves. What some are ok with others are not so just stating the facts without blaming and chastising.
Does that make sense?
We are all learning, discovering new things.
As we learn we adapt and get better.


(づ°‿° )づ I really like you, lady!

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You reminded me of a situation that happened to me few years ago…
(Deleted because it has no value or relevance to orinal discussion)

We are pretty flexible and normally give a day either side of a sit to cover overlaps.
On this sit we’d already agreed to extend from 7 dsys to 10 as the HO had got their dates wrong but we agreed to this.
Now the HO has asked if we can change again. Its not a massive change, the sit starts 5 days later and finishes a day later.
As its in 2 weeks time ive pre booked the time i need off work which would be way to awkward to change.
This annoys me as ive booked time off unnecesarily and i now need to take an extra day to acccommodate this change.
The HO says they have booked these dates and there is no changes. We were never aware the original dates werent definate.
Has this happened tonither sitters?
I like the sit but really HO’s cant be expecting the sitters to be changing at such short notice or can they?

If you can find another sit that has better dates, I think you’d be well within your right to do so. Trouble is, it’s so very close, it might be a it tough to do. In the meantime, I’d probably give a heads up to THS staff so they can flag the HO and try to make sure it doesn’t happen again to someone else.


Once a short way into the sit one of the owners fell sick and had to return home, so they booked me into an airbnb nearby. I never saw them again but felt they’d done the only decent thing, as I had nowhere to go.


That is very unacceptable. I can understand 1-2 days of “wiggle room” on each side of a sit that is understood at the time of the video chat, but an adjustment of 5 days at the start and then 1 day at the back end with a short time to change your travel plans is absolutely ridiculous! To me, the homeowner should be “on the hook” for your lodging for those extra 5 nights, at the very least of this situation.

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Thankyou kelowngurl,
Yes i think weve decided not to do the sit as I think a change so near to the time isnt ideal, unlesd theyd been specific in the dates werent set. Plus im expected in work which has to ve priority!
Good idea to pass on to membership too.