Phoenix, AZ - newbie on bucket list journey

Hi folks - My goal is to take my 8 week sabbatical in 2024 and leverage THS to help me see the world and lighten the cost. I am new to the housesitting gig, but have had and loved pets of all sorts all my life. My strategy is to start local, expand and build reviews over the next several months to increase my chances of landing some great international sits. I applied for about 6-7 sits over the last few days and got my first sit starting in a little over a week! I have 2 questions:

  1. My profile is pretty simple…any advice? (I linked my profile to my forum profile)
  2. What is the etiquette and your experience for exploring while sitting? e.g., what is the norm for getting out and seeing the city or going for a day hike, but still giving proper attention and care for the HO pets and home?

Hi @DesertTom,

Thanks for joining the forum it’s great to have you here. I think the way that you’ve strategized going about starting your petsitting journey is really smart and sounds to me like you’ve done your homework. Also, congratulations on getting your very first sit booked already! That’s fantastic and getting that all important first review will help you get well on your way.

I’ve taken a look at your profile and it looks good…just a few things I think will help it look great!

Do you have any more photos you can share of yourself with pets/animals?

I think it would be good to clarify right away if you plan on having your dogs come along to sit with you. There are sitters that bring their dogs with them…but it does certainly limit their options. Making that clarification from the start would be good.

Your certainly have quite the range of pet experience and that will certainly pay off!

As to answer your second question for me that’s an important one I discuss with our sitters before the start of the sit but that’s because we have a dog that can’t be left longer than 3 hrs by himself but is more than welcome to come with our sitters on any and all hikes they feel like taking him (he certainly would LOVE it!).

So here is my advice… If you haven’t yet received the welcome guide from the homeowners then I would politely ask. Once you’ve reviewed over it and get a sense of the pets routine and care then that’s an easy way to reach back out and say “hey i’ve had some time to review your welcome guide and just wanted to ask a few questions before the start.” Then you can ask them about getting out and exploring.

I find that almost always this topic is discussed during our video chat before confirming a sitter so that it’s clear from the start what our expectations are for pet care… we’re certainly not the right fit for sitters that want to go out and explore everyday for six hours but there are plenty of other homeowners that would be totally fine with that. As you go about your pet sitting journey you’ll see that it’s really all about clear communication and a lot of confusion can easily be avoided from the start if both parties are transparent with one another, especially early on.

You might also find discussing day hiking options with the homeowners will allow them to make suggestions you may not have otherwise known about. It also allows for a type of camaraderie between parties.

Best of luck on your first sit! let us know how it goes!

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Welcome, @DesertTom!

@Kelly-Moderator already gave you a ton of advice, and it sounds like you’ll be on your first sit soon. I’m sure you’ll have more questions before/during/after, so write back anytime!

As for your questions:

  1. If you’re getting sits, then you’re in good shape. At some point, one’s reviews speak for themselves.
  2. I always ask what’s the longest the pets can be alone. I ask before accepting a sit. As long as I’m within that time frame, I feel fine exploring. And if I need to stretch it, I ask the PP ahead of time.

Good luck! –Geoff