Reimbursements with THS

Hi. I’ve been a member with THS for awhile — and have now cumulated up to 25 house sits for both dogs, cats, chickens, and pigeons.

It’s been a personal joy of mine’s, and I like to also bring extra treats, toys, and goods for the pets I’m sitting for.

Do other Trusted House Sitters ever ask for reimbursements on house items? Such as toiletries, extra garbage bags, paper towels, etc.?

I would love to hear feedback, as I also use THS as a means for a new environment while working on some freelance creative projects, and am working towards finding more paid gigs myself.

Hi! To answer your question, no. We have never asked for any reimbursements. We’ve oftan replaced house items and purchased gifts for the pets as well as the hosts but always refuse to take any reimbursements or payments from the owners. On one occasion an owner gave us a thank you card which we opened later which had one hundred dollars inside it though, which we weren’t going to drive back to return! There are other sites for paid sits to look into if that is something you would be more interested in though.


No. If I need something m, I get it myself and in some cases I’ll even replace before leaving at the very least to ensure the HO don’t come home to a house with no TP for instance.

If I had to use my own money to buy something for the animals (like they ran out of food on my watch) or specifically for the household that would stay with the household (not something I used up for myself) then I would expect a reimbursement for that.


I would only expect reimbursements if there’s something I need to buy for the pets - for example food - or I’d have to bring the pet to the vet etc.


I have asked a homeowner to leave extra cash for fresh spring mix for 3 bunnies but I actually bring my own toiletries because we are a family and don’t want to use all of theirs or use any then replace. If I need more toilet paper, I just buy it and do not ask for reimbursement

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I wouldn’t ask for reimbursement for household goods that I use. If it’s a short period, I don’t replace; I wouldn’t buy a 30 day supply of something if I used a weeks but more than that and I try to replace.

However, after a previous experience, I expect mileage if the HO is requesting special trips for their dog, such as to a dog park or hikes specifically for the dog. And car cleaning if the dog is excessively dirty (such as mud).

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Thanks! This is super helpful.

Never inquired but if HOs have a plethora of supplies (toilet paper, paper towels, bars of soap) and tell me to “help myself to anything I need” I will typically inquire if I can pack an extra roll/bar as I leave their sit.

I have only been questioned once to which I honestly replied, “Well, I had several sits where homeowners leave their sitter no materials whether that be household goods to clean, milk, eggs, etc for the first 24 hours so I simply wanted to ask. Feel free to tell me no and to only take what I need on these couple of weeks.” That couple happily gave me a couple of items to take for the future after hearing that.

Of course, some very gracious HOs provided gift cards post-sit, bottles of wine, or left a fridge full of food as well. Makes me extremely happy when I come across these types of compassionate homeowners and THS users.

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I could not imagine myself doing that!


I would never ask to be reimbursed for something that was for my personal use. Whether I am at home or house-sitting, I use dish soap, toilet paper, detergent, etc. If I buy it when i am at home, why should anyone pay for this whern I am sitting? Now if I needed to run laundry multipe times a day for the animals, and the HO used a particularly expensive detergent, I might consider asking.


Eh, I never bother to, I just don’t think being picky cent-for-cent about what you use and what you replace is worth it. Maybe I ate some leftover cheese and left them a mostly full bag of rice and a mostly full bottle of milk, that probably didn’t exactly work out, but it’s a bit petty to sweat it from either HO or sitter end, as long as nobody is taking advantage.

The one time an owner offered (and I would have accepted) to reimburse me was when there was a cat food delivery delayed and I might have needed to go and buy some until it arrived. In the end it wasn’t necessary because it arrived before the existing supply ran out.


Seems odd to expect hosts to cover your toiletries. Those are a sitter’s responsibility. The other stuff seems petty to ask for reimbursement for.

Personally, I sometimes buy treats or toys for my sit pets as gifts, while their humans are away. I buy my own paper towels, tissues and such, because I want to feel free to use what I want.

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I would never dream to ask for a reimbursement for items used for my own hygiene and comfort, but yes, if I have to buy something urgent that’s fairly large and/or expensive that I cannot take with me I’d like to be reimbursed.

As a sitter, I do short sits. I’ve never had to buy anything like toilet paper. A couple of times there weren’t enough paper towels or cleaning supplies and I spent a few dollars. I didn’t ask for reimbursement. More often hosts have noticed something and left me some money around and a note asking me to please pick up some _____ if I go to the grocery.

I also host, and try to keep an open enough dialogue so that if a sitter notices I’m out of something, they’ll let me know. I use a food scale to measure out catfood, and once a sitter texted me asking where the extra batteries were. I asked her to pick some up and I sent her the money through venmo.

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For sure!

I was mainly wondering if Sitters ever ask for reimbursement for buying additional cleaning or toiletry supplies, for the house.?

I normally like to be generous. but have had a few house sit matches where the HO left me with a dirty place to come into. so I also felt like Sitters’ need to sometimes advocate for their time / resources in keeping care of a house sit + the pet.

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The best way to avoid this @stardazedgal is to ask at the video stage if they will leave plenty of cleaning supplies & instructions for the end of the sit. Plus check the past reviews of sitters to see you’re going into a clean house. Check the WG mentions cleaning as it signifies it’s important to them. If you arrive at a sit and have to start cleaning you have two options. Message the HO and ask where the supplies are and/or can you buy some and will they pay you back? Message HO and say, this house is dirty and not as described, please send a cleaning service or I will need to terminate the sit. #hopethathelps


That is not acceptable, regardless of how many cleaning supplies they left or would pay for.

Mention it in your reviews, subtract stars for cleanliness. In extreme cases: terminate the sit.

And when there is no toilet paper or hand soap, subtract for hospitality.


“Toiletries” are usually used to describe personal hygiene items — for example, shampoo, body wash, lotions. That’s why you’ve seemed to have confused a bunch of us, because hosts aren’t responsible for those.

As other folks have mentioned, it’s not OK for a host to leave a dirty house and there are other potential ways to address that, rather than by automatically taking the reimbursement route.

Of course, you can ask the host where their cleaning products are, and if during your discussion it turns out there aren’t any, ask whether they want you to buy some and be reimbursed.

Frankly, to me, if they have no cleaning supplies and have left a dirty house, I’m not cleaning their home (and it’s unlikely I’d stay if it’s filthy, meaning really dirty). Why: I do THS as an equal exchange and I’m not providing a cleaning service for pigs with no regard for sitters. I haven’t encountered such, but if I did unexpectedly end up in a pig sty, I’d give them 24 hours to find alternative care and report the filthy home to THS. And if our sit ended up technically sticking on THS, so I could write a review, I’d give them the lowest rating possible and make explicit how filthy their home is, with factual examples, no emotions.

If more sitters did so, more filthy hosts would be driven off THS. I say that, because THS doesn’t lean toward ejecting hosts even in such cases, so sitters should exercise their power to protect ourselves and other sitters.

BTW, it sounds like you’re also possibly trying to earn a living. THS isn’t a platform for that. If you need to do that, you can find work otherwise or maybe switch to another platform and do paid sitting, which is in violation of THS terms.

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Thanks for this feedback.

I am 100% with you.

I see THS as an equal exchange of the Sitter’s responsibility to clean and take care of the house and pets in exchange for a unique house stay, and for travel purposes.

and think HO’s should equally put in effort to take care of / prepare for their sitters.

That is THS’s missional statement / contract of agreement, and a super cool concept.

and NO I am Not trying to Earn a living through THS as a house sitter. I don’t appreciate that assumption placed on me.

I am aware of other platforms for paid gigs such as Rover. and started looking into that.

Thanks again.

I learned early in life that closed mouths don’t get fed :person_shrugging:

I sit full-time and at most places for at least 2 weeks so I simply put the onus on homeowners to help with the basics more. Worst thing someone can do is say no.

It’s actually shocking to me that HOs dont help their sitters out more. As @stardazedgal mentioned this is an equal opportunity exchange yet HOs are often the ones reaping the most benefit. A few dollars in toiletries/supplies moving on with your sitter doesn’t hurt most homeowners but can go a long way for sitters.

But maybe that’s just me being optimistic that more folks empathize with others and want to build a strong community with locals/travelers who provide a free, high-quality service.