Sitter has to pay veterinary expenses up front!

Every sit we’ve had they’ve had a card on file for their vet. That’s what should ACTUALLY be REQUIRED.


Must admit, this will make us seriously reconsider any future sits and even renewal of our account sadly. What if the owners are reluctant to pay up? Does it say in HO T&C they MUST reimburse?

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I agree 100%, it’s all about trust

@Hallt64 - not as far as I can see.
I was also concerned to see the mention of damage to property.
I certainly am not in a position (financial or otherwise) to pay up front for vet bills or property damage even with reassurance from the homeowner. It appears THS take responsibility for very little in the Terms and Conditions. Read them carefully before renewing.

That is insane!

So when someone’s car verges off the road and drives through the wall… that clause can even get more expensive than the vet clause.


The T&Cs state this :

5.2.3. remain responsible at all times for any veterinary treatment that your pet(s) may require, including all costs and expenses incurred by the Sitter in relation to the same; and you will reimburse the Sitter for any such costs within 14 days of completion of a Sit;

However it is down to the sitter to sort this out with the Pet Owner - as far as I am aware THS won’t get involved to enforce this … and even when the Pet Owner wants to reimburse in some cases it’s not straightforward when HO and sitter have bank accounts in different countries / different currencies…so it has the potential to be a big problem for the sitter.


Whenever someone cares for my dog, I give them my Care Credit card. And whenever I care for someone’s dog, I require that they either leave their Care Credit card behind or that they make pre-arrangements with their vet. (I’m not sure if Care Credit exists outside the USA).

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Agreed. I always ask up front what their arrangements are for vet expenses

The funny thing is, everything written as guidelines never as rules. So they pick and choose to enforce any of those terms, and it’s very subjective.

Definitely interesting reading on this thread. I’m only registered as a HO now but have also been a sitter. I leave a signed letter stating the person with it has the right to make decisions, including euthanasia, if I can’t be reached. I give the sitter a good idea of what I’d like done to be on the safe side.
My vet clinic has my charge card on file but it’s more likely that a sitter would have to go to an emergency clinic so the sitter certainly needs to trust that I’ll reimburse them as soon as possible. I can be out of phone or internet contact for a few days at a time so communication about this topic is important.

@Gailanne interested to read your comments about how this works for you -you seem very well prepared - do you discuss with the sitter whether they would have sufficient funds to cover emergency treatment for your pets upfront ?

Good question and I will admit that reading this thread has made me think further regarding the potential for higher veterinary costs and how they’re being handled.
. Thus far it hasn’t been an issue because the only times I’ve had, for example a younger person who’s traveling and I wouldn’t expect to have the funds, I’ve only been perhaps one timezone away and readily available.
However, next spring I’ll be away for over a month and I think I will ask a friend for permission to leave her phone number in case of a financial emergency (this could be to pay a plumber, electrician, etc. - not just pet related) as will be multiple timezones away and possibly not reachable for some days at a time.

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yea…that wording is a bit odd…saying you “may” have to pay them upfront and be reimbursed is more reasonable, but in truth…unless the HO’s are someplace remote, payment can be taken over the phone in most places and those where that’s not an option, probably won’t break anyone’s card limit.

I’ll be interested to see if this wording gets an edit :eyes: :eyes: :eyes:

I didn’t think of this…really good point. Were you expecting a reimbursement immediately? I could see them writing a check or having cash in hand upon return as being a reasonable alternative unless it’s a really long stay or a very large sum of money, in which case, I’d probably tell the HO’s to contact their vet anyway.

Although this brings up a good point…where does the “power of attorney” lie? Like if the vet bill comes to 8000, are you still ok to sign off on that as an HS?..I feel like that can get very tricky (gawd forbid this scenario happens, but it’s a possibility).

I think we will be starting to do the same

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It’s certainly food for thought, as we all know, any form of vetinary care isn’t cheap and you’d rely on the HO following the guideline and giving the money back, but it appears that isn’t guaranteed unfortunately. It’s down to the Trust thing again isn’t it

@bakindoki When I was asked to pick up medication from the vet, I initially assumed that the pet owner had already handled the expenses. However, to ensure the cat’s well-being (the medication was crucial for controlling asthma attacks), I reluctantly paid for the medication myself. I mentioned this on the same day that I have picked up the medication and covered the cost. The response was a simple “thank you, so much,” but there was no immediate offer for reimbursement.

After waiting for a day and receiving no reimbursement, I brought up the matter again during our next scheduled update. I directly expressed my desire to be reimbursed for the expenses, to which the owner responded with assurance, saying, “Yes, definitely! We will take care of that.”

Several more days passed with some back-and-forth communication until I finally received reimbursement, but it came in the form of a “carryout dinner reimbursement.” In hindsight, I realized that I should have suggested alternative reimbursement options, such as a gift card to a local store or an Amazon gift card.
This experience taught me a valuable lesson: always clarify in advance whether the medication or vet visit expenses have been covered rather than being caught off guard.

P.S. I couldn’t help but notice some agitation from the front desk staff during this vet visit, and I must admit, I found it rather uncomfortable. It’s possible that they assumed I was a paid pet sitter and that covering the expenses was something I should have expected without any surprise.


Interesting and very uncomfortable response from the vets.

I would have had them call the owners to discuss but on the spot like that, after you already got there is super annoying.

Definitely ask in future before you even leave to pick up meds if they’re prepaid or non-chalantly ask where the funds are to pay for the meds.

I would hate to put or be put in that situation by another party! :black_heart:

Glad you came to some kind of a decent outcome and know what it is for next time!


Gosh @THSForumUser , that sounds far from ideal for you. And you dealt with it so well.

I would not be prepared to be paid by a carry out meal or gift card if I paid hard cash for an owner expense!. What’s all that even about? That’s taking advantage after already putting you in a difficult position of having to chase reimbursement. Did you mention it in your review?

Best wishes

The current default position seems to be for the sitter to do the work to preempt, identify and confirm arrangements for so many potential areas of liabilities, complications and pitfalls for the owner’s pet & home while away. Most of which hopefully wouldn’t happen of course, but you can’t take the risk. And the sitter carries it entirely once the owner leaves.

What if it is your first sit or you have little experience and something happens first off? You would be going in blind. And exposed. As I did first time. Luckily all went well. But what if it hadn’t? Without this forum I’d not have a clue.

THS is such a great idea and on the whole works so well for so many. Bringing a multitude of good wins for both HOs and HSs. And the people running it seem to genuinely care.

It seems to me that this thread is once more, highlighting a wider more general situation that is often discussed on our forum, about the imbalance and inequality between the position of HO v HS.

I cannot see any reason why in general it needs to be stacked that way.

There are simple solutions, through reasonable & appropriate changes to the expression of terms and conditions, and even a healthy change in language used and the review system etc., that could bring that about that balance and equity. I do keep wondering why that’s not done … and what is the purpose.

It would perhaps be far fairer, clearer, consistent, safer, more reliable and professional to have these potential scenarios/arrangements (for eg vet visits/costs/decisions or other emergencies like plumbers, lost keys etc) outlined and provided in advance in a template to the HOs, by a neutral THS, to complete before a sit can be considered confirmed. Then the sitter can assess the arrangements/liabilities laid out in advance to see if they want to accept them.

Just needs prompts in a template grid asking what arrangements are in place for the main possible scenarios (as above). And these could be then sent automatically to the HS at the point an offer to sit is made.

They are things any responsible HO should be thinking about and sorting before they go away anyway, so it’s not an additional burden. But not everyone is that experienced or organised. This solution would ensure safety, clarity and consistency.

HOs would be grateful and impressed by the thorough THS service. It sets the scene for values and expectations and reflects well on THS. It would be accepted as standard considerations for correct and fair protocol.

This should be done across the board, every time, as these scenarios apply equally to potentially all sits and would be easy to facilitate through said template provided to HOs. It would also be covering THS in terms of their duty of care from having a contract of agency with both HOs and HSs.

The risk snd onus to preempt and raise Qs on all such potential events for homes & pets, for should not be on the sitter, as they are currently, to bring up and deal with. It’s not their home/pet/holiday. But the way it’s set up currently, it is entirely their liability and burden.

THS have a duty of care towards the sitter too, as they too pay a membership fee. It should not just be about matching up and leaving exposed sitters to figure it out. That’s foreseeable trouble just waiting to happen, which can be avoided. And now have been flagged to THS.

I do hope we can work together to make these vital improvements needed for the benefit of us all.