Tips on entering the home

Hi, I will be housesitting for the first time soon in another country. The HO and I have met a few times via video so far, he has said the key will be left in a safe place and the dogs will likely be very excited when I arrive. I am a bit anxious about this, do you have any tips for calming dogs who don’t know you please?

I’ve introduced myself to dogs (and cats) about a dozen times. Be calm, maybe have a treat in your pocket to offer. Don’t be concerned about the barking, for me, it has always stopped in a few minutes.


Hi @Blueshoe welcome to our community forum thank you for joining us. Congratulations on getting your first sit and on having lots of communication with the owners that is key to a successful sit.

As your sit hasn’t started yet you could use the time to communicate more with the owners about the dogs. Are you sitting alone, how many dogs are there, what kind and do you have experience with the kind of dogs they are? You could also ask to meet them on line, not to exactly say hello but to observe them.

Are they young, older energetic, how long after the owners have left will you arrive and could you not revise your travel plans and get there before they leave to avoid any risk of delays etc.,? Explore ways to make this more comfortable for you and everyone involved.

Staying calm, letting them approach you, which is probably going to happen as you will be their new person. Is it possible them have them in a part of the house away from the door you enter so that you can gain entry calmly and be in control of the situation, all of this you should discuss with the owner and of course the obvious one have they had sitters before?

There are helpful articles on the website including this one do go and explore the others … 10 Winning Ways to Gain a Dog’s Trust |

I’m sure you will get more helpful input from our members and using the time before the sit to communicate with the owners so that you are fully prepared and have the best possible experiences with the pets and them with you, is the most important thing.

I have had sit situations where the owners have left in advance of my arrival all of which have been managed successfully through clear communication and in the knowledge that that the dogs had been through similar experiences with other sitters and visitors to the house without any issue.


We recently arrived at a sit, when the owners had previously left (long story, but suffice to say their change of an earlier plane flight, and our train schedule delay didn’t mesh as hoped). The key was under the mat, and we were greeted enthusiastically by the dog, and the cat took a bit to warmup. We grabbed a few snacks left on the counter, and very shortly thereafter, all was right in the world. It can be done, and unless the pets have real issues with strangers, it should hopefully go pretty smooth.


PS @Blueshoe the first sit is always a mix of excitement, nervousness, uncertainty and a little of "stepping into the unknown " the same as doing anything for the first time but we learn something with each and every experience and before you can say “Who’s a good boy then” you’ll be giving advice to other new sitters on how to start their first sit … good luck and happy pet sitting.

Incidentally where are you sitting and what furry family members are you keeping company, or keeping you company? :dog: :slightly_smiling_face:

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I did this recently and was very apprehensive about it- arriving after the owners left to two big dogs they assured me were very friendly. It all went well. I spoke to the dogs through the door, had treats for them, and sat down and let them sniff me and check me out. Plus previous sitters had said they were very sweet.


We have done this a couple of times, it always went very smoothly. You can ask the HO what you can do to make friends with them quickly. Keep calm and just follow their usual routine. We have also gone for walks straight away, which will focus their attention on other things.