Red Flags?

I also received a personal invite to a sit recently. There were no reviews. It was in a not so glamourous part of the city I live in. I have however, communicated with them,

I was also rejected for a house sit in a country town and I read the feedback of the person who was successful with getting the house sit and it wasn’t positive between them and the home owner.
I felt that I dodged a bullet with that one as it seemed that they wanted a clean house despite informing the sitter that they have a separate paid house cleaner and the owner wasn’t happy with the cleaning standard.
This sitter has had a lot of positive feedback previously.

I also noticed that the last house sit I did did not include feedback from the owner or sitter.
Things to look out for next time!

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Absolutely. If I touch it and it needs a cleaning, it gets cleaned.

At least she was honest, with herself and you. Similarly, I had a video call re: bunny care (“You need to be ready to take B to the ER vet at any time, and watch him for ANY signs of distress!”) and it was clear to both of us that it would not be a good fit. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

OTOH, some HOs are not up front about what’s required, e.g., someone very strong to handle two rescue dogs that were lovely at home and nightmarish outside.

Yeah I prefer honesty upfront. She tried to see if I could have the dogs in my house which wouldn’t work out with a cat that thinks she is a tiger!

Yeah I wouldn’t want the stress of possibility that it was highly likely that a pet I am looking after would have “signs of distress”. I want to apply for a sit where the animal is happy we are coming and is kid friendly. I want to be able to explore the area, know what to do in an emergency and leave the place tidy.

We are usually not very picky and go with whatever fits into our calendar and travel plans. We have had dogs that couldn’t be left alone (at all), extremely old and feeble grandpa / grandma doggies, very cluttered and dirty homes, dogs with zero training… We can always chose to not come again and often that’s exactly what we did (except with the very old animals, we love them and don’t mind the extra care!). Red flags to me are unrealistic expectations by the HO and a negative / suspicious mindset. We also like to look at both the reviews the HO received and the testimonials by the HO. Once we saw that a HO was looking for an “exceptionally clean” sitter and the HO gave crushing review to a few sitters who didn’t meet her standards in some minor way. She does have a great location with two easy going cats, though, so I think she will always get willing sitters.

Would love to have a house/pet sitter BUT my house is not very tidy and my doggie doesn’t seem to get along with other dogs ( like on walks) … does this raise major red flags?


It might … yet it might not … at least not for everyone. It depends very much on how messy, what you write and how. Remember it is not what we say but how we say it

In addition, there are four components that play a part in this pet-sitting-equation. Dates, location, pets, accommodation. Many people tend to oversee some “red flags” in favor of (say) a fantastic location.

  1. you should be very honest about the dog: when a pet owner writes: “My dog is a rescue and not very friendly with other dogs but he loves people and children” I tend to forget about them not getting along with other dogs (unless it is a 100lb beast that I may not be able to control)

  2. messy accommodation is not necessarily a deal breaker (as filthy could be) so talk about it in a humorous way. Something to the effect: They are welcome to leave the place as they found it, iow, you do not expect the sitters to leave your place spotless after the sit, messy sitters are welcome, sitters don´t need to worry about breaking staff that is in the way. The sitters’ room, however, (if you have one) should be clean

  3. it is always a good idea to clean up the place a bit when you take photos. I personally am very much put off by a lot of clutter in the pictures.

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If I see pictures of an untidy (IMO) house I wouldn’t apply no matter where it is, or what pets are involved.

I would however accept a sit with a dog with some issues.

There are many sits available ATM, so i believe you will be seriously limiting your chances of getting a sitter if you have an untidy living space.

All just my opinion of course :slightly_smiling_face:


I am the same. I was desperate to get some positive feedback and local sits in the beginning and applied for a house that I didn’t see photos of . When I turned up to meet the owners I really liked them but their house was so untidy! I wish I never said YES but it was a challenge the whole time we were at their house, I spent more time cleaning up than looking after the animal. Now, I avoid houses with far too much clutter, a kitchen with stuff everywhere and any red flags in the pictures like home renovations, a junk room, broken items in the photos etc.
I think you need to tidy up your house for photos and not use old ones or real estate pics. Photos need to be updated and not a few years old unless anything has changed majorly.

I agree with point one.
For homeowners, I also think the option to select “family friendly” needs to be considered (possibly changed) as that may mean a family with kids that consist of young babies or toddlers…or young kids in primary school or secondary, old enough to play with animals on their own and not break things. I am pretty sure I am not the only house sitter travelling the world with a toddler and young children.

The amount of times, I have had to apply for a listed “family friendly” sit (with questions in mind beforehand) unable to just contact them first (without applying) and ask questions and find later in conversation that they don’t want my toddler because the house is not set up for them or the dogs don’t like children or babies, despite parents that are very protective and supervise all the time!

In our experience most dogs that need a house sitter in Europe are not very good with other dogs (otherwise they would be in the kennel), but there are different degrees and it matters to be clear about how he behaves around other dogs. We also don’t know what you mean by “not very tidy”, it could mean “filthy” or just “lived in”. We are now on a sit in a very tidy and luxurious home, but we need to watch our every step and be careful about all the delicate surfaces, so we really would prefer it to be a bit more “lived in”.

@SvspPLA - You have to attract sitters to want to come st stay in your home - The face that your dog does not get along with other dogs should be stated clearly in your listing and expanded on when you do a video call with any potential sitters. This will not put many sitters off as long as they know what to expect.

Only you know how untidy your home is and whether it is in a state that is acceptable to invite sitters to stay. None of us are expecting show homes but we do expect clean. If you consider it to be untidy then I would recommend spending some time to tidy up before taking your listing pics and then be sure to keep it in at least the same condition as it was when you took the pictures for when your sitters arrive.


That’s against the THS terms of agreement, I believe.

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Yes indeed. I referred her to the guidelines actually

I have heard quite a number of problems voiced in this and other topic’s that clearly point to either, home, HO, pets or other problems. I think it would be really handy but possibly not possible to have ( and I ‘ve mentioned this before ages ago) some sort of underwater status marker attached to the sit that if a sitter applies it comes up in their mail with a remark. The it is still up to the sitter to decide whether they can agree to whatever “ problem” is apparent. This would also had to be connected to a better way for sitters to really voice problems to the admin of TH and form a warning. system. I get the idea that as also in another topic has been mentioned multiple times that sitters do not try to leave a visible negative/bad review as it could reflect on the sitting possibilities. Up to now I’ve only had one “ unpleasant” experience for which i actually left a quite generic review even though I had voiced my problem to the owner.