Sitters under the weather

Long story short: on the last night of a wonderful sit at a character period house in Shropshire with two fantastic doggos, lots of rural walks, and breathtaking views I got a cold.

I was really pleased to get back home the next day, straight into my bed with an electric blanket, plenty of hot drinks, lemon, honey, ibuprofen, regular milk delivery, and not having to care for anybody or anything until my next sit closer to the end of the month.

It must be very different for those of us sitting full time, as there are always dogs to walk, cats to feed, new house to get used to etc. How do you cope with all that when you are feeling unwell? Particularly the solo sitters?


I’m a solo sitter & full time housesitting, having rented my own home in order to do so. In nearly 4 years I’ve just been ill twice, once with a cold & the second time with Covid. Fortunately on both occasions I had cats so it was fine, but I do wonder what if I had dogs…


I have been sick with bronchitis once during a 6-week sit, actually our first sit. It is miserable to be sick in someone else’s home, you just can’t get fully comfy. Luckily my husband took over the dog walking duties (2 Shih Tzus). You might also need to visit the local doctor and sometimes it’s hard to get in if you’re not a local, as they might not see new patients. I really do feel sorry for those who are single sitters and feeling poorly.


I have been sick several times when house sitting but I am very aware of my limitations as a solo sitter and only take on dogs if they are the sort that can do without a walk (just go out for a quick pee) or have large gardens to run around in. Obviously it’s something that needs to be discussed with the homeowner. I have never been so ill that I couldn’t get out of bed and at least take a dog out to the nearby common.
Having said that, this is were plan B comes in and no homeowner should go away without a plan B in place eg, a family member, neighbour or someone who can step in if an unforeseen emergency happens.


We were in a remote part of Portugal when my wife got Covid. I felt “off” for a couple of days but managed to keep doing the dog walks and other duties, feeding them and checking on them ( ten dogs in all!). We were on an estate with other workers so shopping was brought for us which was a big help and we could isolate for the required period. We welcomed back the house cleaner, once the quarantine period was over, with open arms! We were lucky to be in an isolated area and the house owners were very sympathetic as they had gone down with Covid a month earlier.
I do agree dogs are harder to keep up with when one isn’t 100 per cent.
When we finished our sit of five weeks the owners arranged for a farewell meal with other workers which was a lovely way of showing their appreciation for our trouble taken.


Thank you all for sharing your experience @Smiley @botvot @AnnMarie @Jilly @Highfive , keep well.
I’m almost out of my cold, and life doesn’t seem miserable any longer :grin::+1:


It can be tricky if you are alone. My girlfriend injured her leg while running and was on crutches for a few weeks. The solution was simple: I walked the doggies and also made all the meals / house work etc. We don’t really get sick, though, and I go ice swimming during the winter. It’s good for the HO to have a Plan B but I think a lot of them don’t really have one (it might be best to raise this issue early on).


ICE SWIMMING!! Aaahhh!! :cold_face::cold_face::cold_face: