UK 6-12 month stint, opinions, am I spoilt?

Hopefully this makes sense. Apologies is a bit long.

I started sitting roughly 6 months ago in Australia. Currently on sit #7.

All good so far. 5 stars across the board. Happy hosts. Happy me.

I come with a big chunk of ‘animal experience’ particularly cats. Though my communications could improve, prospective hosts seem to identify that I adore pets, aim to be the sitter I would want in my home, am pretty resilient and have a strong sense of ethics/fairness.

I can also work remote. And am a single ‘older’ female. So I guess that’s desirable?

Its not been ‘smooth sailing’ but most of the issues have been minor with booked sits.

I did ‘seriously annoy’ one potential host because she wanted to meet prior to confirmation. When I only had one review. But after a week of trying to meet and her being ‘too busy’ with nothing in sight I wished her luck but asked her to find someone else.

The only other ‘drama’ was a five cat, dog sit. Which would have been easy with my cat experience but for cleanliness issues. To be brief/fair to host lets just say I rarely left the place and it was considerably better than when I arrived, particularly for the cat recreation areas.

I qualify for a UK passport/right to work and am thinking of ‘slow travelling’ for 6-12 months. Basically my question is, what’s the UK sitter scene like?

I suspect I am going to become ‘spoilt’ sitting in my area. I now get regular ‘direct contact’ and don’t need to entertain the sits that are really asking for a paid sitter, especially the ‘farm hand ones’. Multiple horses, dogs, cats, poultry and farm work, sometimes with Airbnb for good measure. I know that some like that but it seems a big ask.

My sits have been pretty diverse so far, particularly as I wanted to get some dog/garden experience. But even then I have had a ‘house only’ and 2 x ‘cat only’ sits.

I have had to ‘turn down’ offers of payment, but I have no idea if that’s normal or not?

The area I live in is quite large, so again hosts have offered to help with fuel costs, one offer I might take where the drive is roughly 4 hours.

I know its hard to tell on a forum, but just curious if this is ‘cool and normal’, since I am a new sitter and can’t tell. Or if anyone has advice for me about finding out if I might ‘suit’ sitting in the UK?

About 500 THS UK sits at any one time so you’ll be in sitting heaven @SarahMcKay and should also find it relatively easy to secure them with your reviews and experience. I take it you’re doing them all on this platform at the moment? If you slow travel over you can sit through Asia as you go. Best of luck :crossed_fingers:t3:

I’m not sure where you’ve previously been sitting but from what I’ve gathered from the forum I think the US sitting scene seems to vary quite a bit from the UK scene. We don’t have a tipping culture in the UK and although we’ve done 30+ sits we’ve definitely not been offered payment and have also not been offered the use of a car or petrol money. This doesn’t bother us and we are very happy to cover petrol costs of dog walking as we feel we get fairly recompensed with nice houses to stay in and a change of scenery. We travel as a family so are ‘less desirable’ as potential sitters to a lot of home owners and many express a preference for a single woman, which is understandable. Nevertheless we have been accepted for most of the sits we’ve applied for and feel like we have our pick of lovely locations. If you have pet experience and good reviews you’ll be in the same position if not better and I suspect it would be more normal for HOs to offer cars/fuel money for international sitters. There seems to be an abundance of rural sits with dogs where we are and we could have been booked many times over even for peak holiday times so you can afford to be choosy if those are the kinds of sits you’re after. You might want to bear in mind that many UK beaches aren’t dog friendly for the summer season, usually between May-September so that might make coastal sits a bit more complicated. Also depending on where you’ve come from brace yourself for rain/mud as it’s pretty much rained solidly for six months and shows no sign of letting up :weary: but if you can arrange to bring us some sunshine you’ll have a lovely time!


Everyone’s journey is different, and I don’t think there’s any ‘spoiled’ nature of your sits or anything you’ve explained. Sounds like you really enjoy what you do and you’re a good and reliable sitter, so that’s great and works in your favour! Just enjoy it! It’s nice to hear that you’ve had mostly positive experiences - most people only come to the forum when they have a problem :laughing: (Maybe that’s why you’re thinking you’re ‘lucky’ in your experiences). Overall I think most people have very good and positive experiences with THS.

I did 6 months of back-to-back pet sitting all over the UK last year. I’m Aussie, and I really enjoyed it. I got to look after some awesome pets, and see all the locations I’ve been wanting to see for years.
It’s a fantastic win-win when you find the right sit for you. I didn’t have any issues, and everyone I sat for was lovely and I’d definitely sit for again. This being said, I am wise with my choices about what I feel suits me and my needs - I don’t apply to any sits that just don’t feel ‘right’ for me or something seems a bit off. This is how I avoid bad experiences. There are also hundreds of sits in the UK all the time, so plenty of choice.

Something I really enjoyed about the UK is that every region is so different - from Cornwall, to Wales, to Scotland, to the south coast - I got a really varied experience of the UK with pet sitting, and that was really special. I also appreciate that there is cheap public transport around the UK - you can get Flixbus or national express coaches up and down the country for like £10. Whereas in Australia, we have to fly from state to state for upwards of $300AUD and our public transport kinda sucks and won’t get you further than around the city. So that was a huge bonus for me and allowed me to travel the whole country.

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Hmm… I thought the UK would be much easier than continental Europe, but I find that the HOs are sloooww.

I used to sit in the UK via THS and now am in Oz. At the time I was mostly in London but even then it was a lot easier to get sits that were flexible solely through THS (ie there wasn’t much working from home back then) while in Oz most of my sits now come from other platforms as there just aren’t enough sits on THS that work for me. In terms of the sitting scene otherwise, I don’t recall as many people expecting in person meets in London (or the UK generally) as they do in Oz and there are people I sat for a number of times I never ever actually met in person or even saw on a video call. Maybe that’s changed now. Things like cars, fuel costs etc didn’t really factor in much although where I was offered a car in more rural sits I believe a fixed UK address was always required for insurance. Your own car would likely be useful if you were heading out into the districts but a bit of an expensive pain if you wanted to sit in city centres because of parking restrictions and congestion charges. Just like here you’d have some hosts who were super kind and thoughtful and even generous and others who were less so.

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I’m a solo sitter who’s older, female and a telecommuter. I didn’t have problems getting sits even starting out with no reviews or recommendations/referrals. That included landing sits in London, Stratford-upon-Avon, Glasgow and just outside of Cambridge during my first year of sitting. I’ve been invited back as well.

I’m American and pursue sits only in well-populated areas, because I enjoy easy access to good food, especially delivery, because I don’t cook at all.

13 five-star reviews so far. My hosts have all been pleasant to deal with, even a pair who rushed back from abroad after their elderly, sick dog had catastrophic seizures and ended up needing to be put to sleep. We loved on her and sent her across the rainbow bridge together at the clinic where I’d had to rush her.

BTW, maybe useful to you: I also joined Nomador several months ago, to see whether I could land sits where THS is thin location wise. I put in low effort with that — just recycled my THS profile and linked to THS reviews. I rarely searched on Nomador, because I found their functionality crummy and more flakey hosts there (like those who’ve not nailed their travel dates). Despite that, I was able to land sits in NY and Hong Kong, as well as get a bunch of sits in France offered to me unsolicited. I don’t want to sit in France, though, because I’d rather just be a tourist there, without sitting responsibilities.

I sit with my husband in The UK currently and have previously sat in The US- 16 sits total, all 5 star reviews. I’ve always found it quite easy to confirm great sits in The UK particularly when the owner has previous experience. Generally they are prompt in communication and confirmation of the sit, knowing that good sitters get booked up quickly. And I’ve always had pleasant experiences on my end, lovely people who have all been very kind and friendly. We’ve done 3 repeat sits for one couple and 4 repeat sits for another. I have booked up the month of May within a few days with lots of great sits to choose from so yes with your wealth of experience and reviews you should definitely suit The UK scene which will offer you pleanty of options. Also I’ve come across a couple of great sits that request female only sitters due to their pets having a bad history with men which we can’t apply for obviously. So that’s another plus on your end! All the best of luck : )

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Thanks everyone for the fantastic information. It is much appreciated.

My posts are being screened (new to forum) so you might not see this for a while but other sitters experience in the UK was great to learn about.

ADF - I think families are ‘underrated’, they can care for more than a solo can for instance and its more love for your pets, but that’s just me. Also please send the rain as we are having a drought, I’ll do what I can with the sunny weather :stuck_out_tongue:

Nagy26 - have been to the UK once before and you are spot on with the public transport. I’d be be keen to revisit all the places you mentioned to!

B1anca - thanks for sharing your experiences

Maggie8K - thanks for sharing your experiences and suggestions, I am sure your hosts really appreciated you were there to help with their dog who sadly died, that must have been hard but sounds like their was love in abundance. In the past I have fostered sick cats/kittens and not every one of them makes it despite all efforts, its heartbreaking but it helps a bit knowing they knew they people cared