Question for Owners

Sorry Flora, you may do that when there is no one using your home. But most of these discussions are about inviting people into your home, 99% of the time to look after your pet in its normal environment saving you, in some cases, a fortune in kennel fees, or international transport fees etc.


Kerri, they are not staying for free if they are looking after 2 cats. What is your alternative ? Take them with you and lock up the house ? Put them in a cattery at great expense ?


A further point on this topic.

As a sitter across several countries, mainly in SE Asia, I have been advised not to say I am pet/house sitting if asked when entering a country, this could be seen as working which requires a visa, or could be seen as taking employment away from local people. So I am staying with friends.

If you have a long term sitter in your home and are charging them for utilities, you are in fact renting your property. In some countries this is not allowed without a licence, and any income, even if only to cover utilities. could be taxable.
There are also other things to consider if renting your property - health and safety, insurance, security spring to mind.


I know we don’t agree on that, but with my 2 caps (owner and sitter) I’m always surprised many sitters, like you, are chocked to share expenses (generally heating).

Covid this year made many “professional” sitters (i.e all year round, often wih no home or homes they do rent… while they stay for free somewhere else) realize how much cost a rent, heating, electricity.

As many new members don’t read all our previous messages, react only to the title of the topic, may I repeat that to my point of view heating cost can be much higher than a kennel

And if our pets are much happier at home than in a kennel, then I guess sitters are much more happy in a free home + garden (+ pool sometimes) where he can come (sometimes) with his kids if not friends, his own dogs.

Don’t you think staying in a nice home during one or two months in winter worth while paying 300 £, $ or (I did not check the change rate today)for a “work” somehow quite light

Nobody obliges any sitter to apply for heavy works in a tiny house !

Don’t agree with you again…Unless kennels in France are not expensive. When I had my own dog, about 5 years ago, kennels in Scotland were around $20 a night. no way is heating that expensive. Also, if you are looking after a pet in a home, You should NOT pay for heating. Would the owner want her pet to be cold?
If there is no pet to look after, different altogether. That is then renting, not house sitting.

Again, it is NOT a free home if you are looking after a pet.


I agree… I saved the HO US$1,500 for looking after their pets for 4 weeks, they were so happy not to have to pay that bill and went on to provide everything I needed.

Sitters are providing a service that HO would otherwise have to pay a lot more than the heating bill if they choose to leave their home in winter months!

If HO don’t wish to provide heating for free for their sitter and pets then maybe they should only go away in summer…


How much would you have paid to rent the type of home where you sat ?
How much did you spare ? Compared with a holiday with no pet to look after

I personnally never charged heating as i only (so far) needed sitters in summer but believe me or not the 2 couples of norwegian sitters i welcomed in 2019 appreciated to spend their holidays all together in a big home + garden +pool

The “work” was feeding a cat and a dog and walking the dog an hour per day, it does not sound very heavy. A help came every week and i paid her.

I would not pay anything to sit for someone’s house or pet no matter how grandiose it is, I provide my services for free and have my own home bills to pay!

You seem to assume that sitters are transient with no home of their own, and, therefore should be expected to contribute just because they don’t have to pay rent or mortgage whilst saving HO large amounts of costs avoiding having their pets housed in kennels/catteries etc.

Its a two way deal and without money being exchanged it is win win…


Provence, I have stayed in homes in Singapore, Bali, Hongkong, Japan - worth millions. But that is not the point.
These HO are looking for someone to care for their pets, in their own home. That, as Martin_s says, is the exchange.

Please do not think I am having a go at you, Provence, it is just that you are trying to defend something I do not agree with.


Was really surprised on our last sit.
The owner showing us around there home.
Very impressed by themselves and rightly so they worked hard for it.
But like yourself we have a beautiful home.
We worked hard for it
sometimes it gos over people heads .
That we do it for the love of it.
Not to stay in glamorous homes.
Could stay at my sons and do nothing
Stay by the pool for a few weeks.


You misunderstood me, i’m not expecting to share expenses. I said that in some occasions i do understand owners ask. The sitter may decline…

I read on Vanessa Andersson sitting forum some sitter explaining that sitting herself in free homes allowed her to rent her own home and pay the mortgage. I don’t think it’s fréquent. But owners are not that stingy…

When i read some sitters complaining, i do think the balance is in favor of sitters.

Some realized this year, the ones with no home, how lucky they were when they could sit. Not only because they missed animals… but also because they lived in free homes. It makes quite a difference… Forgetting that does not sound honest.

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Peter, I am not here to justify my actions to you or be lectured on what I think or actions I should take. If you were to see my post and did not agree you could move on. We all have choices which we do not need to justify to strangers.

I wondered how long it would take for someone to hone in on the phrase “stay for free” and I see it was you Peter very quickly. Such is the world today on social media. Better to stay off them.

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Further…for those of you who are outraged at the idea of sharing heating costs during a long sit, there is a simple answer “do not apply for the sit”. We, who have expressed the idea is warranted under certain conditions, did not ask you to make us justify our decisions or accept your outrage that we might have a different view than yours. I have certainly not expected you, who disagree with my view, to justify your thinking to me.

The question was posed here and some of us responded. Can those of you who have expressed a desire to make us justify our decisions please just accept that in this world people do not all see things the same way and that its OK!!

I am sure there are plenty of other things to do with your time rather than try to make us change our views to yours because that will not happen. Thank you. Can we move on now?

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I am closing this topic now and will remind everyone to be respectful of other member’s opinions and position. If you disagree please do so with respect and consideration.