Petsitting - How many hours unsupervised?

Hi everyone,
I’m an experienced petsitter but new to THS. I’m interested in purchasing a membership but wanted to get an idea of what Owner expectations are. I’m interested in petsitting, but because I need to go into work, animals would be left unsupervised for ~7 hours. Is this something most Owners are OK with or is there usually the expectation that Sitters spend the majority of the day with the pets? The listings seem to imply most animals could only be left unsupervised for “a few hours” at most usually, which wouldn’t work for me. I’m a veterinarian (no longer working in general practice) so comfortable with all animals. Any insight appreciated.
Thanks!

Post moderated

1 Like

Hi Laura
Every owner is different. Some will want their dog left for only short periods of time, others might be ok with 4-5 hrs. 7 hours is rather a long time and even the RSPCA advises that 4 hours is enough to leave a dog for. The pets are sitters’ priority, or should be, so you may be unlucky in finding someone who will be happy with you going to work and leaving their dog.

1 Like

As a Ho I would be ok with that length of time if it was a cat only sit.
For dogs that wouldn’t work…

3 Likes

Yes, of course cats can be left usually for 7 hours but I was talking about dogs

In my experience, 4 hours seems to be the maximum for dogs. I work from home, so this has never been an issue. If you are going into an office and so are away most of the day, you may not be able to give dogs the attention the home owner would like. Cats are different, of course.

3 Likes

Hi all,
Thanks for your replies, that’s really useful to know.

Welcome @laura358. There is no stock answer I’m afraid to your question. It depends on the HO expectations and what animal you are sitting for. Many HO are upfront and will state their expectations in their listing but if not best checking in your initial chat before accepting any sit.
I’d be honest and upfront about your work commitments. Many HO will be fine and understand.

1 Like

I think maybe the thing to look for is a home that has a dog door, so the dog can go outside during the day? That would give you a longer window to be absent from the house. But honestly, having a former vet petsit for you has to be the absolute dream for a nervous homeowner! Maybe just include your need to be gone 7h a day in your profile and see what kind of resonance you get from owners?

3 Likes

It really depends. I think dog sits would be almost out of the question. We have had only one sit where the owner said that the dogs are used to staying alone for 8+ hours per day during week days (which we felt was too much and we didn’t leave them for more than 4 hours). But there are cats sit as well and some cats also go outdoors and you don’t see them half of the day.

1 Like

@laura358 I also work full time in the office and I have been quite busy this summer for TH sits. A mix of cats & Dogs in my local area (York) It all depends on how far your willing to travel from you main working area, the further you can travel the more opportunities will be available. I have had a few unique sits that have allowed me to be out of the house all day whilst sitting for Dogs. Yes I’d say most sits with Dogs are asking for sitters to be no more than 4-5hrs out of the house but there are still a few that allow you to do this due to the property style, availability of neighbors/ dog walkers/ Estate property with cleaners, gardeners or family members living in a cottage close by etc.

2 Likes

It really depends on the sit! I did the most lovely sit up in Yorkshire with four dogs which seems overwhelming but was actually great because they entertained each other. A last minute ticket came up for my sister’s graduation and I left them for 10 hours with the back door open with the homeowners blessing (they were big no-one was going to try and get past them!) The HO had a really secure dog run at the back and the set up was just ideal to leave them. I only left them that long once as an absolute exception because the HO was okay with it, but I left them a few times for 5-6 hours and they were always fine. The sit I did immediately after that they were okay to be left for 5 hours as well but the house wasn’t set up as well so I didn’t really like doing it every day but since there was 2 dogs they were okay. It’s single dogs you have to watch out for as they can hate it, my neighbours used to get so sad!

Hello @ERRa. Welcome to the community forum. I’m glad you jumped in and joined in the discussion. You’re so right, it really does depend on the specifics of the sit and good communication with the pet parent.

What kind of dogs were the four big ones? The larger breeds can be such fun, especially when they have pals to play with.

They were a mix of different breeds (mongrels the HO told me to tell curious passerby’s!) but definitely some Newfoundland, mastiff and sheepdog in there, their personalities were gorgeous I’ve never felt so popular!

2 Likes

They sound wonderful @ERRa! Do you have any pictures of them you could share with us?

Many! I’ll ask owners permission before posting them!