Please STOP leaving "Pet Only" or NO reviews for bad sits

I know I don’t like to leave a bad reviews, but sometimes it is warranted.

I just left a sit where I had to leave the owner a note about how her apartment, in the condition I found it, is not acceptable. Had the previous sitters been just a little honest, I would have been able to make a better decision. Of course, this was before I read in the forum that people leave “pet only” reviews or no reviews for negative experiences. Silly me, I thought pets would be better served if sitters knew the whole story, weren’t blindsided by unruly (or even dangerous) animals, homes so dirty it takes hours (and hours) to make the kitchen and bathroom usable. Where is this nonsense on website?

I haven’t quite figured out what I’ll write in my review. It is difficult to be helpful to the next sitter, while attempting to fair not be unkind (the woman truly is lovely, as is the cat).

Honestly, I’m tempted to just write - " as you know, when a house is disgustingly dirty, we just leave reviews of the pets…Simba is lovely"


To laddie from lassie!

I’ve tried to be tactful when leaving reviews like this when the HOs were nice. For example, I might say - “the house is old and old houses are difficult to clean. if you have any dust allergies, this sit might not be a good match” or “Alan’s house has a fabulous view, but did need some deep cleaning before I was comfortable. If a spotless fridge and bathroom are important to you, maybe this sit woudn’t work”


I am new to THS, could you just post “before” pictures? Then people can make their own minds up. I think if you were to post well framed pictures it wouldn’t be an invasion of privacy situation.

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I don’t understand. You guys are picking up efter animals! That is what the job is, that is the disgusting part.

Why all the eternal complaining about cleaning?

The picking up after animals should be the disgusting part. However, some of us have gone into homes that were absolutely filthy.


I read on this forum complaints about the fridge. About HOs or sitters leaving trash in the trash can. Someone had sent a complaint to THS because sitters had left dishes in the dishwasher (I first thought it was parody).

It goes on and on. And the yelling in capitals.

If you want hotel-standard cleaning, get a room in a good hotel.


I leave no reviews or very short precise ones highlighting the positives when homes are not as clean as I would like them to be. I will continue to do so till THS updates their review system so that neither review gets published until both are written. That way there can be no “revenge review” from the pet owner.
Just a note, how clean is a house is very subjective. What I think is sparkling clean another may think is unacceptable. I have only ever done two sits where I found the house unacceptable. The first was an older lady who had many problems and I just rolled up my sleeves and cleaned till I felt I could live in it. The other, well, it was first (and last) time I ignored red flags.
Be very careful what you say and how you say it in the review. It could come back and bite you. Not your fault, just the review system stinks.


It is not just the review system.

If the OP here wants me to mention the piles of dog hair under the couch mixed with toys, I am just not going to do that.

And @Workn2hard2day : no, I won’t take or publish pictures of it. Or a “before picture” of the kitchen trash can.

I just want to say again: of our 33 sits, only one was disappointingly dirty.

You will know when you hit one of those. It will make you feel icky all over.

I am not talking about average dirt. Average dirt is okay.

I made a comment in my review that we would have appreciated a cleaner home on arrival. Another time I wrote that people that need clean lines and minimalist settings, best not apply as there is some clutter. Tip off the applicant, but leave it to them to decide.


Hi @Workn2hard2day. I think the formatting allowed in writing reviews/feedback is currently very limited. It’s not like this forum; it’s like the messaging on the TH site. Basically just plain text, so no photos.

It will be interesting if the upcoming improved review system (TBD) has improved formatting.


Did you have a video call with the owner before accepting the sit? If so then did you have a tour of the house? Dirty homes are usually untidy and you can get a good idea as to whether the sit would be for you. I never apply for sits where the pics show untidy kitchens, old sofas etc


This is not an animal problem…this is an extremely dirty home. (oil buildup on everything in the kitche, bathroom shower so dirty the clear glass doors were frosted, etc). And in disrepair. If it were only dirt or only clutter or only that things didn’t work (like the stovetop, oven, water not potable, toilet stops up). I would just carry on.

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Yes, and unfortunately the level of dirt was not evident and the disrepair not disclosed (only that the tv didn’t work…really, a properly working toilet and drinkable water is nice, as well as kitchen appliances.).

I also didn’t realize people didn’t leave honest reviews. Now that I know, I went back and there are animal only reviews. Now I know and can do better due dilligence.


@Lassie Thanks for the wording tips!

It definitely isn’t my intention to demean the person, just let the next sitter know what is not seen in photos or disclosed by the owner. A courtesy I would have liked extended to me.

I am concerned about a retaliatory review. I’m waiting to see if I get a review in the next few days (sit just ended). But, regardless, I’ll craft something useful, yet still kind


@laddie I hear ya! I think alot of this could be solved by the revamp of sitter reviews, giving us the ability to give stars for categories like Airbnb does: Communication, Cleanliness, etc.

I would encourage sitters to try to leave tactful reviews that says ‘The HO can improve the sit by XYZ’ or to reference a dusty home ‘This home may not be appropriate for a sitter with allergies’.

Let’s all be more honest (HOs and Sitters) so that we can improve the quality of members on this site.


For anyone leaving a sit, and struggling to find the least offensive language to complete a thorough review, can you simply use a self-created format such as this:

Communication :star::star::star::star::star:
Clean & Tidy :star::star::star::star::star:
Pet Behavior :star::star::star::star::star:
Welcome Guide :star::star::star::star::star:

Create categories that suit your needs, and leave the appropriate number of stars.


The problem is that for sitters, getting excellent reviews is of huge importance. If I saw a sitter had reviews from HOs that were saying, “Left me a nasty note scolding me for things like the dishwasher not having been unloaded and a dust bunny under the couch”, I’d be moving on to the next applicant.

The thing is, as an HO, I can’t know what the real story is. Is the sitter being too picky? Is the HO describing it as not as bad as it was? But what I do know is that if a sitter publicly complained about the condition of my home, I’d be humiliated. I wouldn’t want to risk it.

So as a sitter, I do absolutely go the route of reviewing so other experienced sitters can read between the lines. I talk about what was good, and if communication, expectations, cleanliness and pets were all good, I write that. I’ve never had a sit where there was literally nothing good I could say.

One lady had an unbelievably cluttered house, kitchen, living areas, office, everything. She was lovely, good communication, sweet easy pets, a comfy guest room, and a really nice screened porch – both of which were NOT cluttered – where I spent most of my time. So I wrote:

[HO]’s house is in a quiet neighborhood close to shopping. There’s a comfortable dedicated guest room and a screened porch that overlooks a private back yard.

[Cats] are sweet cats and no trouble. Both cats were companionable and would curl up under the chair while I worked at the dining room table.

[HO]’s instructions were comprehensive and clear, and her expectations reasonable. She was readily available by text and happy to answer questions. She treated me like a friend doing her a favor rather than like a temporary employee.

As a sitter, reading that, I would see that there was no mention of cleanliness, no mention of a comfy place to relax in any living area, and that the sitter was working at the dining room table, which tells me the office mentioned in the listing wasn’t really usable.


I like your style! Your comments are always refreshing.
I am another pet sitter who doesn’t require a spotless place. Warm and welcoming owners are far more important to me.
That doesn’t include extremely filthy places, say dirty bathrooms or stinking toilets etc, so there are limits for me too, but I’ve never had a sit where extreme filth was a problem. Some places were a bit dirty or lived in but it didn’t stop me from enjoying them.


I’m a Host and I’m after some advice. I’ve recently had a sit finish where the sitter left my home in an absolute state. He had flooded the bathroom and left the wet towels down on the floor, slept in two out of the three bedrooms in the house (not the one I’d directed him to use). One of the bedrooms he used was my personal bedroom and he quite happily slept in my bed and used all of my personal effects within this room. When I confronted him about it his answer was that he forgot and that room had better wifi anyway.

Any communication I had with him was inappropriate and I had to prompt him to tell me how my animals were getting on.

When he left my house he had left every light and every plug switch left on. He is expecting a five star review. At the moment I’m too angry to review him without using offensive language and it has taken me the best part of a day to tidy up the mess that he left.


Was this a house with a private well? In what way was the water not potable? Did you have it tested? Or did it have a chlorinated taste from the municipal water supply? Or were you in Flint, Michigan???

When the water is hard, there will be calcium deposits, a good reason not to have clear glass doors.

Anyway, if you want to complain about that kind of thing in reviews, go ahead! Just do not yell at me to STOP leaving pet-only reviews.