Potential visitors

Hello everyone, I’m new to THS but super excited to get started. I already have about 4-5 sits lined up and the first one starts in two weeks!

So a bit of background bc it might be relevant, I’m a female that will be traveling solo. When I let my gal pals know what I was planning on doing, they were excited for me and started asking if they could stay a weekend somewhere I would be.

Has this ever happened to anyone? I would love to be able to invite a friend for a couple of days but I wouldn’t want to make the homeowner feel uncomfortable and possibly duped since my profile says I am traveling alone. Would each visitor need a background check, if/when allowed to stay?

And when would you bring it up? Or would you have it permanently on your bio or perhaps added as another person staying?

Not sure if I’m overthinking this but I’d like to be honest, transparent but I would also hate if this hurt my chances to be chosen.

Any insight would be most helpful!

Honesty and transparency are definitely needed. I have never asked if friends could sleep over, but it is worth a try asking the homeowner! We at times are Sitters near our adult children, and some Owners spontaneously offer that if our adult children want to visit and sleep over, that is fine, and they show us which bedroom to use. Other Owners have spontaneously said, “You can entertain if you want—have people over for happy hour, dinner, bbq.” I am sure that some Owners prefer that nobody else enters their home.


I know some homeowners are open to this as I’ve had them offer. But I think the time to bring this up is prior to the sit being officially offered to you , ideally because otherwise they might feel pressured to say yes even if they don’t want to. Also might be good to get a few good reviews for yourself under your belt. If it’s one particular friend, you could mention them in your profile as someone that might like to join and tell a little about them. That’s what I do with my partner, who only occasionally is able to join.


Homeowners vary in how they feel about having sitters have guests over. My husband and I house sit full time, mainly internationally–barring the Covid times–and the chances of anyone coming to see us is very low, so it isn’t something we ever ask about upfront as a general question. Most of our friends and family are not the traveling types!

We house sit in NJ for extended periods to visit with friends and family as this is where we are from originally. Many of these HO’s have said we could have guests over. We never asked them about this, but I imagine they thought to offer since we know people in the area. And we appreciate the gesture, though in most cases, we tend to meet people elsewhere.

There have been two house sits where the same friend decided to come visit me. In the first instance, the HO had mentioned it was okay if we had people come visit us when we first got there–of course I checked with her again before confirming plans. She lived in Bali.

The second instance, my friend was going to be about an hour away vacationing with some family and said she could extend her trip a few days and then come stay with us. I asked the HO if this was okay, and made it very clear that if it wasn’t it was totally fine.

I got a pretty relaxed vibe from her, so intuitively I felt comfortable asking, and I got the sense her response saying it was OK was genuine and not something she felt pressured to say because I asked.

In your case, where there is no definite plan to have a guest, but something that may be a possibility, you could ask HO’s how they feel about it just in the general sense, should the possibility arise. You may also put something to that effect in your profile, stressing that if this was not okay with the HO, it is totally fine with you.

If you know for sure a person would want to come visit on a particular sit, it would be a good idea to mention that ahead of time, probably right in your application so the HO knows right away how many people may be staying there.

Again, homeowners vary a lot in how they feel about this. By mentioning even the possibility of having guests over in your profile/application, you may run the risk of some HO’s deciding to pass on you as they don’t want to be put in the position of being asked and then having to say ‘no.’ Or being asked and saying ‘yes’ even though it makes them highly uncomfortable.

You may also find some HO’s address this in their response to your application, and if they say that having guests wouldn’t be okay, you should honor that request and not try to convince them otherwise. You don’t strike me as someone who would do that based on your post, but I have seen HO’s say they got some pushback about this from sitters and that highly surprised me.


I feel so uncomfortable answering this question…but it could mean other (pet sitters or HO) could feel the same (or maybe it’s just me!). Inviting a friend when we are pet sitting is really pushing the boundaries of trust I believe. I’m sure people’s friends are a good representation of said friend, but maybe not always., especially in a situation involving pets and responsibilities for other people’s properties.
Also I feel like stranger’s homes aren’t necessarily the place to invite other people; I appreciate that THS asks HO not to have third parties while I sit, for my privacy and my comfort, therefore I put myself in HO shoes and would expect the same.
In the 8 years I have been on the platform, I have been strict with my friends and letting them know that I was visiting a certain place, but pet sitting, so we would only be able to meet up somewhere else than where I was staying.
When we hosted a pet sitter, it was never discussed but I feel like I would have loved to meet the friend first, before agreeing to letting a person I never met before, and her friend, into my house (this sitter had years of experience and tons of reviews, so this would have helped). The trust is between the sitter and the host: it’s the sitter who loves pets and wants to take care of them, signs up for this service and goes through the exercise of applying for sits, etc. not necessarily friends that are probably very nice to pets, but not on the platform and not familiar with THS.
Obviously that can be discussed and as @MojaveForever suggested, definitely mention this prior to anything, before they start considering you, as it’ll be easier to say no to someone they haven’t built rapport with, yet.
And definitely build your reputation on the platform beforehand. If I was “giving a chance” to someone with no reviews and no history and on top of it, they asked me if they could have a friend over, I just wouldn’t feel comfortable with this person’s profile. We were given a chance for our first sit, and we made sure the HO were super reassured with us: we didn’t take the sit as a holiday (it was in our town) and knew the first few sits would be crucial to build a profile, so the last thing we would have thought about was to ask the HO to bring another stranger into their house, especially as it was also their first time using THS.
This is me, I don’t believe everyone thinks the same, but as we are all different, you might meet HO thinking like this too.
I do believe communication with the host is really important. Trusting someone to stay in your house is not that easy for everyone, so making sure they feel 100% comfortable with you is so important.
If you do go ahead and ask HO, when it comes to the background check, etc. this gets tricky. How do you tell a HO that your friend has one or not, I’m not sure. But as you suggested, maybe put it in your bio, and that way, you would be upfront about it, and have no surprise on their end. The HO confirming you would have to be comfortable with hosting an unknown person, as (if…) they would have read your profile fully, therefore known about it.
Enjoy your pet sitting adventures!


We are full-time sitters and occasionally do find ourselves applying for sits in areas where we know we have friends. When we apply we always add that this is the case and would it be ok if we invite our friend for dinner or a coffee.

Once a year my mother-in-law comes to visit from Greece. For that period we book a long sit and ask the home host if it is ok if she comes to join us for a week sometime during our stay.

Asking before the sit is booked is very easy as the home host is still in full control of the situation to say yes or no as they please. Asking after the sit has been confirmed is more difficult. We would really try to avoid doing this but If we had to, I would really emphasise that we would totally understand and would not be offended if the answer was no.


Hi @futurenomad. I agree with others. Honesty out of the gate. Ask the HO if it’s ok to have responsible pet loving friends to stay. It’s not a black and white situation as I’ve had HO says please feel free to invite a friend over and one said they were happy for said friend to utilize a spare bedroom.


Welcome @futurenomad to the forum and to THS . Congratulations on getting your first sits !

I would suggest a couple of things -
first manage your friends expectations - of course they want to join you for a FREE holiday but it’s you that is taking all the responsibility if things went wrong . Let your friends know that only you have been vetted by THS so it won’t usually be the case that you can have a third party at the home - that way there’s no expectation or pressure from friends to join you on sits. But also if they are in the area you can meet up somewhere out of the property.

Maybe wait until you have completed 1 or 2 sits and had reviews before thinking about whether you actually do want your friends to come . Until you do a sit it’s not always clear exactly how it will work out and even if HO is ok with it you might feel on edge the whole time in case things get damaged /broken/ drinks spilt .

With the first sit that’s only two weeks away , any last minute requests may make the HO feel pressured to say yes- as they might worry that if you are unhappy you won’t go ahead with the sit and they won’t be able to find another sitter in time.

We tend to do long- term sits so it is a question that we bring up during our video call before being invited to sit - we simply ask what’s your policy on guests ? We tell the HOs that it’s not a deal breaker for us but we’d like to know their wishes which we will respect either way .

That having been said when we’ve asked, some HO are totally fine with us having guests. We did a sit and a friend lived in the next street - when I asked if it was ok for her to come over for coffee I was told “ of course please treat the house like your own home for the week “

If a home owner expects you to be with their pets at home most of the time ; then they may be ok with the idea of you having a friend over as you will be at home rather than out socialising.


Agreed! I’m starting locally so as to grow my reputation and credibility and I will not have people over. Thank you for your response! :hugs:


Yes, I would never want to sway them otherwise. It’s their home and cute little pets so I respect that. I think I’ll definitely start being prepared prior to and asking before confirming and ensuring that I wouldn’t mind a ‘no’. Thank you for your response!

Yes, good insight thank you! I’ll definitely bring that up prior to making an agreement to sit. I think the ones that have already been confirmed I’ll just be solo since that what we mutual agreed upon but moving forward I’ll bring it up prior to. On your bio, did you just say your husband accompanies you from time to time and that you’d let them know prior to? Just wondering how I should go about it. Thank you!

I would consider looking at your friends motivation - basically, they are thinking…”great, a holiday with free accommodation”. As a home owner, I’m exchanging my home for a sitter caring for my pet. It’s not a free Air BnB for their friends.
As a sitter, I may infrequently ask a host if I can have a friend over for coffee - I would never ask if they could stay overnight, or even for days.
IF you want to request this, it needs to be discussed before the sit is offered/accepted - not at short notice when the HO feels pressured.


We’re newer to THS but we have told family that while we’re petsitting, we cannot have visitors but if they decide to come to the town we’re at that moment, they will need to have their own lodgings and we can meet up with them. I specifically tell the HO’s during the interview process that we will not be inviting people to the home. All my family understands that we are there to do a job and it’s not just a free vacation.


I think you phrased it perfectly: what is the friends motivation. So many people were “shocked” when we told them we weren’t paid for sitting, we could tell they didn’t understand the essence of the service. So it’s all about knowing our friends really well!


If I were the homeowner, I would not want someone inviting a stranger into my home, especially for an overnight stay. The homeowner is offering a sit to make sure their pets and home are well taken care of, not offering their home as a free AirBnB for the sitter to entertain friends. If a sitter were to ask me if she could invite a friend on the sit, that would send the message to me that the sitter is regarding the sit as a free vacation rather than a responsibility. If instead the sitter’s profile indicated that she sometimes has a close friend or family member join her on sits, that seems more acceptable to me and we could discuss it during the application process.

We tell all of our friends that we’d love for them to meet up with us during our sit if they get nearby lodging. We also make sure our friends understand that our primary focus is taking care of the pets so by definition our ability to freely be away from the home for long periods of time is limited.


You two really are the perfect sitters! Looking forward to seeing you in Brighton over the summer.


Thanks Jo! - We look forward to seeing you again too :grin:


I have a romantic partner who visits me no more than once per week on my house sits, and nobody has refused to let her stay over occasionally during my stay.

My Do’s and Don’ts around this:

Include info about any long-duration friend/partner in your profile, or at least in your preliminary messages. People don’t like having new information pop up after you’ve started to develop a rapport. That breeds mistrust.
If it’s just a brief visit (of a day or two), then ask (don’t tell) the homeowner during your first conversation whether you can have a friend over and tell them the amount of time that person would be staying.
Include that friend (if possible) in your introductory video or in-person meeting.
Agree with the friend about splitting home/pet duties, and articulate to the owner that you’d share extra time caring for the house and pets.

Spring it on them AFTER you’ve agreed on the sit. Twice, a homeowner tried to add an additional pet for me to watch after we agreed, and I felt just as annoyed as an owner might feel if I tried to add a second person.

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Wait, what?

Why can’t it be a “free” vacation WITH responsibility? If you expect someone to stay home and be with your pets 24/7, that doesn’t seem like a fair exchange anymore. I’ve had sits where I felt like I was grounded, it’s no fun.

Yes, I like spending time with the pets, but if all I wanted was that, I would just volunteer at a shelter or do daycare visits locally.

This gives me the opportunity to travel the world as well as enjoy the company of animals. But I’m not paying for my own airfare or tanks of gas to work for free. I’m doing it for the destination, too.


I agree that pet owners should not expect sitters to be at the home 24/7. We should have free time to enjoy the area. However, I would personally be uncomfortable having a sitter bring guests to stay in my home. I think the primary focus should be the pet(s). You may see it differently and there may be many homeowners who are fine with guests. I was just sharing my perspective on it to help the OP.

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