Sitters notified they now have a dog

This is my first time posting a topic here, so thank you in advance. I have always found very valuable information from this forum and so I am putting my question to you.

We secured a sit for our two dogs with a couple in September. They messaged us to say they have adopted a dog and can their dog stay in our home. I will save you the long winded history of our dogs, their behavior around other dogs and why we do not select sitters who travel with their dogs.

They went on to say that if that does not work, one of them will stay with their dog in the van. I am trying to put my self in their shoes and can imagine it takes some time to put together a series of sits and that this new addition could jeopardize their ability to sit at some of these homes.

We live in a warm climate in September and I find the idea of a dog staying in a van day and night to be cruel (I would never do that to my dogs).

On paper, it seems like a simple enough response to say we don’t entertain other dogs on sits and we’ll have to cancel and secure someone else. I wanted to hear the community’s feedback before responding as I may be missing something entirely.

Thank you.

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Hi @sacksyboy, as a HO if I was in your position I would cancel the sit. We have 3 dogs and although they are friendly and generally get on well with other dogs I would not be happy for a strange dog to be brought into our house by strangers to live in our dogs home without us. Also like you, I would not be happy with one half of the couple coming in to sit and the other one and dog staying in the van.


Nope. Nope. Nope. Cancel. Not only may your dogs respond badly or be unhappy, if the dog is new to them they don’t really know how it will respond in any given situation. IMO that was super irresponsible of them. I once had a sitter turn up with a newly adopted puppy. She said it was just a cute little “fluffball.” Turned out to be a 2 month old German Shepard. It tore up a bunch of our stuff and scared the cats out of the house. One cat, Bella, didn’t return for a week. She was sick ever after and the other kitty was terrified of dogs from that day. Not worth the risk, and don’t feel bad about cancelling, you’ll find someone new no problem.

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They’ve changed their offering and it no longer fits your requirements. Your on-paper response seems appropriate and likely won’t be unexpected.


This sitter also has the option of arranging a sit for their dog, using the TH site. If they don’t agree to do that (and I’d make it clear that you will have someone check on them while at your home), I would cancel them. Of course much depends on your timelines, but I doubt you would rest if you agreed to terms that you truly didn’t find acceptable. I’m a little stunned that someone would have the nerve to suggest this set up to you.


Hi @sacksyboy I have DM’d you … and welcome to our community forum.

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I agree with everyone’s comments. I am very much of the opinion that, if anything substantial changes, then you have the right to cancel.

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I always sit with my own dog. I have always asked very respectfully if the HO will accept my own dog and I take no umbridge when I am rejected because of my request. But 1. The sitter has moved the goalposts and 2. I absolutely agree with the original question: it is very, very unacceptable and yes, cruel, to expect a dog to ‘live’ in this van for the entirety of the sit. That latter point alone would drive me to say ‘ NO’.


Big red flag for me would be the fact that they are willing to have their dog stay in a van for the duration of your sit. If that’s how they treat their own pet, I would be concerned about their treatment of yours.

I agree with others and would cancel.


Thank you everyone for you feedback (and TH for assistance in the matter). We went ahead and messaged the sitters that both of the proposed options were unsatisfactory. For the sake of the poor dog, we set aside decorum and let them know we found the idea of keeping a dog in the van cruel and unusual.

We can only hope this strikes a chord with them as I would hate to think this mentality carries to all the home/pet sits they have lined up this summer.


Welcome to the forum. Luckily, you will have plenty of time to find another sitter.


We allowed that once and the sitter’s dog was so nervous, it developed a sick stomach and went to the bathroom all over our carpets. It was a sweet dog and wonderful sitter but Never again.