TH Housesitters guide

This is my first post. I struggle with the TH Guide and would love if I could copy and save it in a Word document. My guide is 37 pages long with a great deal of detailed information for our house and kitty sitters.

I’d like to be able to update and print specific parts of the guide depending on the season, feeding changes etc without printing the entire guide

The last time I attempted to print the guide
the font was so large that it would have been over 90 pages!

I would be happy for any advice. Thanks

You will find lots of discussions about the welcome guide here. Many homeowners, myself included, strongly dislike (hate) the THS format, so we don’t use it. I have a Word document that I update frequently and send to sitters instead


The THS format is not fit for purpose. In 20+ sits I’ve only had one HO use it, and she’s stopped now due to how clunky it is.

Sitters will appreciate your carefully crafted Word doc, although 37 pages sounds like a lot,. Hopefully you’ve divided it into categories etc. No need to use the THS one.

Hopefully one day they will listen to feedback and design a user/reader friendly one.


If you go to print the welcome guide, you can save it and download it as a PDF. If you have are able to convert PDFs to word documents through an upgraded Adobe or using a Mac or another product, you could try that. You could also just cut and paste pieces from the Welcome Guide onto a word document.

I think I would up mostly retyping things, but that was fine. There were sections I didn’t need from the Welcome Guide and other things I wanted to explain more. We wound up making a few video house tours which honestly I think is the best way to go

Could you explain to me a little more about your video house tours? How do you present them to your sitters? Do you have to post them to YouTube or do you email them? I’m just curious about the logistics of sending the video to your sitter. Thanks!

Thanks - I’m happy to know I’m not the only one who is frustrated with the Guide. I may have to do my own on Word but it would be nice to be able to cut and paste rather than having to input it all by hand.

Yes! 37 pages IS a lot and it is in categories. I wanted sitters to have all the necessary information in case we are traveling to places where we can’t easily be reached.

I may have to do my own Word document. Thanks for your response!

I dont have any particular issue with the THS welcome guide. It’s completed with all the important stuff and I tweak it when I put new dates up, so it’s up-to-date. I share this immediately with a confirmed sitter so they can browse at their leisure. If I need to update it any time before the sit starts, I let them know.

BUT I do also have separate pet and house guides (in Word) that I have in hard copy in the house. As you say, it covers more than the Welcome Guide so that the sitter can refer to it without needing to get in contact. It includes pictures (eg, layout of my rabbits’ sleeping area, or a which-buttons-to-press on the TV remote!).

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I have two guides printed and shared with sitters. One is the monster, long sit, every possible contingency document. One is a “quick guide” that covers the basics for shorter sits and day to day needs,


Generally, my spouse holds the phone while I walk around talking through things. We have divided the home tour into two short videos. We also did short videos showing stuff like how our window screens work as we live on a high floor with cats and the way the living room windows work you have to raise and lower the screens when you open the window which pushes out. I made a feeding video so that sitters could see how easy it was to add the meds to the food and that the cats would go to their assigned places to eat. I’ll admit my spouse has some skills and probably did a little editing, but if you keep things short and focused, you don’t need to edit. This isn’t a cinematic masterpiece… It’s probably good if there is something quirky about your home that could be hard to explain but makes sense if you see it. We even have one showing the quirks with using the key in our door as the lock is old and if you don’t know to push the door in you won’t be able to turn it. That is especially useful if the sitter is picking up keys from a neighbor and hasn’t done an inperson handover. I just share them through google and send the link to sitters through WhatsApp which I use for video chats.

I also sit and have asked homeowners for videos on occassion when it’s been a “no inperson handover” sit. I got an extensive gardening tour once which was extremely helpful as they had a complicated hose system and I don’t think just seeing it in writing would have helped me. Another homeowner graciously sent me a video of operating and charging a vaccuum that was new to me, and the precise timing required to type in the numbers and open the front door.

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I do not use the TH welcome guide. Instead, I use two google docs and a sheet:

  • house care guide
  • dog care guide
  • dog user manual with all his cues and our training rules/structures

They’re much easier to share and keep updated. I borrow/make sure everything that’s in the TH guide is answered but then provide all the info as described above.