I have found that some listings are really well written with lots of details about the animals and required responsibilities while others provide hardly any detail, just “come and love my pet”…but when you turn up there are all these surprises that you didn’t know about.
It would be great if the HO could provide some of the following details :
- daily routine, including what time their pets get up in the morning
- food/medication requirements
- daily exercise requirements
- is a car needed to get to the exercise area
- unusual pet behaviour/habits sitters should be aware of
- how long is the animal used to being left on its own
- is the animal used to sleeping on/in the bed
Maybe THS could provide a list of suggestions for home owners as to what they should include in a listing so that pet sitters can make an informed decision. Any thoughts? Has anyone else found this too?
We discuss all of this during our video call with the homeowner.
@PawsomePetsitters An extract from How to create a perfect home and pet owner listing on the THS website. Unfortunately, people read and/or follow instructions to varying degrees.
As for the surprises, it’s best to ask your questions before you commit to a sit that has minimal information.
Yes, but I am talking about knowing enough information to make an informed decision before I apply.
If the dates, location and pets types are attractive to me, then I apply. For me personally, I do not need to know this level of detail upon application. We sit full-time and this approach may not be for everyone, but it works for us.
We have had sits where:
- it was too dangerous to walk the animals from their house (narrow lanes with high hedges) and we were expected to put 4 dirty dogs into a new hire car.
- we had a 40kg dog that lunged unexpectedly every time it saw another dog.
- the animals fought at mealtimes and had to be put in separate rooms.
- the animal insisted on sleeping under the sheets with us…I love animals but find this a tad unhygienic.
- animals that liked a top up snack at 1am in the morning.
Some of these things seem minor but not everyone wants to, or is capable of dealing with them. None of these things were mentioned by the HO.
The pet sitter should have enough information so they can make an informed decision as to whether they want to apply.
After 88 house sits we’ve certainly had our share of surprises too. I doubt that any of the scenarios that you described above would be listed in a HO’s listing. We find that often, these types of issues are disclosed during a deep dive discussion regarding the walking, feeding and sleeping routines of the pets. In our experience, most HO’s are pretty honest when you dig a little deeper. It’s at this point that we make an informed decision as to whether or not we want the sit. We don’t accept every sit that is offered to us. Sometimes these surprises come with the territory of house sitting. As I said before this approach may not be for everyone, but it works for us.
I’ve just seen a new one that is 4 almost identical pictures of the two cats and nothing else!! How are you supposed to apply?
I guess that sometimes it just doesn’t occur to owners that the behaviour is unusual. My cat, for instance, is very straightforward, just needs feeding twice a day, so i didn’t think to add that info to my listing. Nevertheless, I’ve found it almost impossible to find a sitter in July. I’ve sent out over 50 invitations, but everyone already seems to be booked! I don’t think they are put off by lack of info, but i would welcome your thoughts on my listing. Is there anything i should add, do you think?
Welcome to the forum.
You will also be able to share a link to your listing on your forum profile for a bit of extra exposure. But the main website is where ALL our members will see your opportunity and be able to apply and message with you.
If at any time you need any help don’t hesitate to reach out to the Forum community here which is full of helpful members who have been through the process themselves and will happily give advice and guidance.
I agree with you! It’s better to know all these things about the pet before even applying. HOs don’t always disclose all the information about the pet’s behavior during the interview and why even go through the process (if you can determine just by reading the listing that it’s not a good fit).
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I wouldn’t accept a house sit before I had seen photos of the kitchen and had any questions answered. I need to know where the dog sleeps.
I have found that even if owners are upfront and say that their dogs sleep on the bed but say it’s your choice whether they do or not, it’s very difficult to change the dogs behaviour and expect them to sleep on the floor.
Hello @Savvysitter and welcome back - we haven’t seen you for a while. Hope you are well… are you currently on a house sit or have any planned?
As a sitter I tend to agree with you … if a dog is used to being on the bed they will generally find a way to work their way back for nighttime cuddles. I imagine it would be quite distressing to possibly be shut out of a room (which might be the only way to stop bedtime visits), especially at a time their owners are away too. We wouldn’t want to take a sit where we were the reason that a pet had to change it’s routine. For us, maintaining the routine is a key factor of the care we are providing.
It would be nice to know these things before you even apply. That way, if further information is needed, you’ve prepared your questions.
Yes, yes! great list of details. Usually, I ask these questions but something I neglect to ask and have seriously regretted- Feeding times and unusual (or difficult) behaviors. I like to keep things positive, so I like “unusual behavior.” I wake around 7am or 7:30am and this has never been an issue for feeding times or walking. However, this housesit has 6am feeding times and the cats hop on me at 5am to make sure I don’t forget. I wish I had asked this question! Also, I have had many listing say “no special care” but arrived to a 8 page list of special care after a no response to the welcome guide request :(.
You wrote a great list for HO to use before we apply. I hope THS provides this as a suggestion or as a template for HO.
Hi @SusanL and welcome to the forum. THS does provide such a template. If you look at entry 3 on this post you’ll see an extract from the relevant webpage, and a link to that webpage. There is a wealth of information on the main website and blog, both of which have search features (help on the site’s homepage - a magnifying glass on the blog).
Since I am a Sitter, I was unaware of this template. I wish more Housesitter utilized it fully- haha! Thanks