Owner would like to pay stipend to sitter as incentive

I live in a nice small town about 12 miles east of Boulder Colorado.
I have had great experiences with THS. I will be looking for a sitter for my 1 dog and 2 cats in December 2023. I would like to offer a cash stipend of $20.00 per day and use of a vehicle.
Is this appropriate and in accordance with rules. I understand that it is not appropriate for sitters to request payment but have been unable to find information on offers.

Thouights and opinions are appreciated.

Thank you

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No payment for sitters! Give a bottle of wine, a voucher for a grocery store, some chocolate and a welcome card, but no cash. It’s trusted housesitters not paid housesitters.


Yes, some HOs give tips in cash. That is not against any rules.

I think “stipend” sounds nicer :slight_smile:


Offering your car is great and will probably increase the appeal of your listing considerably.

Offering $20 is not necessary. If you really want to give it, just leave it at the sit as a surprise after the sitter has shown up. Don’t mention it in your listing.


Please don’t do this thing. Think about what makes the sit challenging. Are you isolated? Offer your car. Leave the sitter a full tank of gas, and venmo them payment if they need to fill up. Does your dog require a lot of attention so they can’t be alone? If that’s the issue is there a freind or relative who can “relieve” the sitter a few times so they can out and enjoy themselves.

If you think about this logially: Most sitters have a source of income. They aren’t homeless – even if they are nomadic with no regular address. $20 is not a motivation if this is a tough sit.

You can post your listing to this thread and people can recommend all sorts of ways to make it more attractive to sitters.


As a Sitter, I would never accept payment/money from my Owners. Besides, it’s against THS rules.


Whilst appreciating your generous intentions quite honestly being offered any form of cash incentive would put me off applying for a sit. There is no need for this in the context of THS which is based on a fair exchange of accommodation for pet/house care. Offering use of your car is a good idea especially if public transport isn’t great and apart from that leaving a gesture such as a bottle of wine or other small thank you gift is more than in enough in my opinion.


On two or three sits I was left so many bottles that adding a car to that would have been irresponsible!

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I appreciate your impulse is generous but im uncomfortable with it. I feel it turns a mutual exchange into a paid-for service.

Channel your generous impulse differently to make the sit a nice experience - ask them about their food preferences and get some nice groceries in and or leave them a voucher for a local cafe/restaurant/delivery.


It is not against any rules. The sitters are just not allowed to require payment they are welcome to accept it

5.3.1. not require or demand any form of payment for carrying out a Sit ;

However the owner is able to offer any payment they wish. THS have said multiple times that the agreement between the owner and sitter is nothing to do with them.

Are you trying to attract sitters as you don’t get many applying to your listing or just wish to be generous? While you’re able to offer money I would suggest rather than doing so upfront and possibly attracting a sitter who may be less interested in the home and pets you could just leave it for them when they arrive and suggest they use it any unforeseen expenses and if none occur that they use it or a nice dinner or treat.
I’ve had owners leave similar amounts and it has never been mentioned up front.


I’ve been given a few tips from HOs…I don’t think there is anything wrong with it…but I never ask for one!


Regardless of the money, you should get your listing posted quickly. December is only days away and challenging to fill

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Use of a vehicle is a great incentive. Rentals have gotten so expensive.

While in accordance with THS policy, a stipend would not be appealing to me. Some local goodies or a gift card to your favorite shop or market would be a fun way to explore the area.


I’ve been paid a tip/stipend once, as I had agreed to a sit and then closer to date it turned out that the cat had just been diagnosed with diabetes. And therefore needed to be monitored plus injected twice a day.

The owner contacted me before start of the sit, but I still agreed to come so she could take off on holiday. The cat wasn’t even used to being injected yet once I arrived, so I appreciated the little financial token she left me for the extra effort that was not initially foreseen.

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Don’t put the money thing in your listing as it will attract people for the wrong reasons.
You could perhaps say something like you’re happy to cover travel costs.

Otherwise, it’s lovely to read from someone so generous :blush:

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I’d avoid sits that offer compensation, because that’s not a voluntary exchange, which is what I signed up for. If I wanted money, I’d sign up for sites where you can be paid significantly more for sitting.

In general, paying often changes human dynamics. To me, that’s a detractor with THS sits, which I do for fun.


I would not include that in a listing either. It changes the dynamics of THS.


@belluca THS have done a fine job of changing the dynamics of the company all by themselves.

At this stage in the game, a sitter accepting the odd tip here and there will make no difference whatsoever.

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Not sure if this part was in reference to my post, but “accepting the odd tip here and there” is not the same thing as HOs including payment (either a stipend or travel reimbursement) in their listing.

You can gift your sitter however you like at the end of the sit, but leave it out of the profile listing. Definitely, however, indicate that the car is available!

It’s lovely when your care and attention is appreciated.

The sits I agree to:

  1. pick me up from the airport or train station
  2. add me to the car insurance
  3. leave a full tank of petrol (gas) and I also drop them off at the airport
  4. leave a cash kitty for incidentals like pet food or whatever (GBP 100-150)

One HO insisted I keep the unspent cash at the end of the first sit. Now, five years later, she leaves it in an envelope with my name and a heart drawn on it.

I think it’s because I do things like leave fresh milk and bread for them when they come home, sometimes dinner in the oven or home made brownies, too.

Both parties can do extra, and this is what’s so lovely about THS.

It’s really is up to you how you thank the sitter at the end :purple_heart: