Sitter leaving during a sit due to problem with fleas

At night, I am asleep and not “supervising” anything.

Well then you’re not a “dog sitter” perse

I am not a pet sleeper. I do not want them in my bed or in my bedroom.

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It sounds from the original post as though there were 2 sitters, I assume a couple, so surely one of them could have stayed behind. Also if I was travelling with a baby I would have my own kit for the baby and would be able to keep them away from any flea ‘infested’ areas……(In fact I would not be pet sitting with a baby and risking exposing it to unknown dogs) ……AND despite your hint about my character I do not use the terms Pet parent or fur babies………I am a Home owner and have owned dogs all of my not inconsiderable adult life and have never considered my dogs to be my children……… I would still consider it unreasonable to leave dogs alone in the home overnight.

We will have to agree to disagree, I will not respond again.

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And during the day?

Hello again :slight_smile: Just another quick reminder to let’s keep the conversation on track with the aim of helping the original poster with their question, as I am sure that the OP would appreciate the help. Thank you

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Sorry but no absolutely not - fleas are disgusting and can cause really bad allergies. I’d be horrified if I was housesitting and found fleas in the bedroom and then infesting all my clothes too.

Also I wouldn’t want to be exposed to all the chemicals after fumigation. It’s really unfortunate to have happened but at that point it’s reasonable to leave - they were more than accommodating in offering to come in mornings and evenings at great effort to themselves.

Next time you will have to be a bit more meticulous with the cleaning - the sitters did nothing wrong.

I don’t think anybody did anything wrong here. I don’t think anyone is to blame. Some sitters would’ve stayed through it. But people with a baby are going to prioritize. They offered a solution. You offered a solution. Neither solution was acceptable to both parties. Things are sorted. Animals are safe.


Fleas do not eat dirt. They eat blood (that is the problem!), they jump from one animal to the next.

@pietkuip thanks for being such an expert on flea behaviour and sharing that valuable information

I was of course talking in relation to a thorough clean should really have spotted fleas before they left. The problem obviously didn’t crop up overnight.

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If they were there to see family and they split up and one stayed there, they’d increase the risk of carrying fleas into others’ homes and potentially expose the baby, as well as other people and pets. Fleas sometimes aren’t easily eradicated by one treatment, for instance.

It seems like they mutually tried to come to a compromise, but that didn’t work. And the HO found another path, which took care of the pets. That’s a good outcome. No one has to be a bad guy in this situation.


OP here, due to work I haven’t yet had chance to read through all the replies to my original post. I will do so and perhaps comment further in due course. I would however just like to state that I have just read my post again and some of my words/sentences have either been altered or left out (I presume by admin). In particular, I had stated that the sitters had one set of parents living in the town so they would not have been staying locally at their own expense. One solution would therefore have been for us to have arranged for a pest control firm to sort the issue out, the mother and baby could have stayed with family and the father could have stayed overnight in the house with our dogs. They were not however prepared to even do any extra hoovering ( and we do not have many carpets).

Regarding their offer for the husband to let the dogs out. Even if he had been prepared to let them out at 11pm every evening and 7am every morning so they could go to the toilet, we do not think that a responsible pet owner should leave dogs on their own in a house overnight- it could be unsafe and anxiety-provoking for the dogs and could cause nuisance to neighbours if dogs barked in the night. I would suggest to anyone that thinks that was a reasonable solution that they should not be putting themselves forward to look after other people’s pets.

I would like to add that we always spend days making sure that the house is very clean for sitters. Also, that this was only the 2nd time we had had a flea infestation in the house in 43 years of owning cats and dogs- the first time being 25 years or so ago. Finally, my husband sorted everything out within a few hours and we have not seen a flea since. He could get back because we were sailing with friends in Scotland but we could just as easily been much further afield.

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So that is directed to me. Well, generally, I comply with the instructions of the sits that I undertake to do. I do not take on sits where the pets cannot be left alone (I may wonder how such HOs lead their lives, but that is their problem) or where I am expected to have pets in the bedroom.

I comply. When the HO says that I cannot leave the dog outside the supermarket, I do not take the dog with me to get groceries, I leave it at home. If the instruction is that it should be locked up, I lock it up in the specified space.

If the HO says that the dog should be in his crate at night, I comply, and I put it in his crate.

If the HO says never ever to let the dog off leash, I comply, I keep it on its leash. Sorry, cannot play fetch.

If the HO says that the dog walks should not be longer than 30 minutes, I comply.

At least as long as I am not getting bitten.

This may sound callous but I’m very hesitant to offer our place to people with kids…children will always come first, they are more unpredictable than adults and more people in the house mean more liability if something happens, like in this case.

That being said, if I had a baby on a sit and discovered fleas, I would probably have done what they did and left the situation. I think offering to come back and check in on your pets, which means leaving dogs alone overnight was a ludicrous solution to offer, and I agree with another poster that they could have just had one person stay to help sort things while the other was at another location with the baby, but again, if it were me and I discovered that there was an infestation issue (even if a surprise), I probably would not feel comfortable to stay since this would fall under the category of a health concern.

This sounds like an unfortunate surprise and a really tough one. I’m glad you were able to work it out but sorry you had to go through that =(

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I take the view of, there is going to be a risk of occasional fleas regarding most pets especially if they go outdoors. It’s a fact of life and I’m prepared to take a chance.

Maybe pet sitting isnt for everyone?

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Or more likely, there are many ways to pet sit and the ideal is to find the right matches.


Hi Wendy_chicago
I’m interested in what treatment you use that only has to be applied every 10-12 weeks. I wonder if it’s only available in the US? All treatments to prevent fleas in the UK need to be used monthly (as far as I know)

There weren’t any fleas before we left. The house was thoroughly cleaned before the sitters came (as we always do) and the sitters slept in the bedroom for 3 nights before they spotted any fleas.

This thread has prompted me to update my homeowner listing and state that our dog is on a monthly flea preventative so that sitters will know that there is a 0% chance of fleas at my house (hopefully, since nothing is assured to be 100% certain except death and taxes, as the saying goes).


It’s called Bravecto. I just checked if it’s available in the UK and according to google it’s the number 1 prescription in the UK.
Our dog is super small, so we give him the yellow chew tab. - Bravecto

You will need a prescription from the vet though.