What are your thoughts about sitters who leave their own pets behind to sit for others?

While looking for a sitter I came across many sitters who on the one hand, boast that they are the owners of a rescue dog ( or few of them) and at the same time decide to go on travel for many months, leaving their pets under someone’s care for such a long time. I don’t mean people who leave their pets for 2-3 weeks or those who leave because they have to. But leaving the dog for several months just because someone suddenly felt the need to explore the other side of the globe is completely incomprehensible to me and it is hard to believe that the person is real animal lover. What do you think?

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I’m not sure I agree. Sometimes the calling and opportunity to explore the globe comes once in a life-time. If they have the right setup for their own pets (e.g. family minds the pets without any issues) then it’s not really your business to judge. The fact that they have rescued or fostered is more of a character reference, I would say. Intrinsically, they love all pets and want them around when they travel - if they can’t take their own with, then they will happily give the home owners peace of mind by looking after theirs!


Well…if I’m following the logic…then pet parents should not travel for more the 2 to 3 weeks at a time and leave their own pets behind with a sitter then, no?

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I have a great many friends who rescue animals and also love to travel. One good friend has made rescuing and fostering dogs her life’s passion, and she’s great with her dogs. The only time she’s traveled since she started down this path was last month, when she and her twin sister celebrated a “big 0” birthday with a month on the beach. She arranged for wonderful in-home care for her dogs and was able to celebrate her milestone.

I also rescued dogs previously in my life but also traveled periodically. Having someone stay in our home with our pets was a wonderful arrangement for all: the sitter got a change of scenery, we were able to travel, but, most importantly, our dogs and cat got spoiled silly with all the attention they received.


This comes across pretty hypocritical tbh. It’s ok for you to go away and leave a sitter with your pets, but it’s not ok for someone else with pets to travel and do the same? There’s no difference between 2 weeks and 2 months to a dog.


maybe I’m not a dog expert, but in my opinion, leaving a dog for two weeks of vacation is something different than moving to another country for six months.

I find this hurtful, hypocritical, and downright offensive. I adore my rescue animals, and if any of them are old, ailing, or suffer extreme separation anxiety, then I try and limit my time away to 10-14 days. But if I know they’re in good hands, that they’re getting love and care and attention, then why does it have to be me that provides it? As for other sitters, you also don’t know their situation? I have friends whose pets are thrilled to stay with parents, friends, or relatives when their primary owner is away. Very different than sticking some food out and having a sitter drop in a few times a day.

I very much believe in the “pay in forward” model of pet care, and hope that others do the same.


@Arachne23 lots of people love to travel and also deeply love their pets. Those are not mutually exclusive, even if you want to go away for longer periods of time.

If you don’t think it’s in a pet’s best interest to be left for longer periods while you’re away, don’t do that. If you are a sitter, don’t apply for longer sits (I can’t find you in the TrustedHousesitters system, so I can’t tell which you are.) TrustedHousesitters has members from lots of different backgrounds and circumstances, and we’re welcoming to all who treat their pets and our fellow members with love and respect.

Please help us keep the forum a place where people from various backgrounds feel respected and welcome. Thank you.


It was not my intention to hurt or offend anyone reading my post. I simply wanted to find out about the opinions of other people regarding this topic.

For me, it is hard to leave my dog even for a short holiday despite the fact that my dog does not have any issues with separation. Therefore it is hard for me to understand some sitter stories of how people can take in rescue dogs and relieve them of fears and anxieties, only to leave them behind for willingful long-term travel.

I know how situations can vary from person-to-person and so I did not want to sound generally offensive or dismissive of other people’s situations.

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This is a community of animal lovers, and many people have years of experience with rescue animals as well as pet ownership. (Most) Animals with socialization problems can only benefit from having more people to love and care for them, and make them understand it’s not just 1 or 2 humans to be trusted. I specialize in caring for such animals while their owners travel. I usually meet with the family 2-3 times before the sit get all the animals comfortable with me. I feel rewarded that I can care for animals who have already been rescued and rehabilitated, but need my special ability to care for them the way they are used to. The owners get to visit their family, or travel to enjoy this big world and expand their realm of knowledge. The animals feel pampered like they have an “auntie” who loves them just as much as their owners. It’s a win/win/win situation. I hope that explains the benefits of THS for all types of animals and owners.


It does. Thank you:)

A decade ago, my family had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live overseas for a year. The UK (at that time-- maybe still now) required extensive and expensive quarantining that would have put our pup in a kennel for a good bit of the time we would be gone. We had a friend who was a dog lover who had recently lost her own dog and was willing to house and love our curly-coated retriever while we were gone. We missed him, though we had no indication he ever missed us. I will never forget the day we returned to pick him up after a year: he loped over to the truck, hopped up into the passenger side, and looked up at us as if to say, “You guys had a nice weekend? Me too!”


We’ve been part of the THS community as sitters since 2013. In 2015 we rescued an 11 year old dog who had been in a shelter for months. Iggy had extreme separation anxiety and couldn’t be left alone for any significant amount of time. We were able to get him to be a bit less anxious but he was still a hot mess when left alone.

Because of his anxiety I didn’t join as a homeowner because I didn’t think listing my sit with an overly anxious dog and expecting someone to not leave the house was realistic.

We still traveled, sometimes for a few months at a time, and took care of other people’s pets. But we paid for a dog sitter to stay with Iggy and also paid for doggy daycare when she went to work. Over the years she became a close friend and loved Iggy as much as we did…we still paid her. He always looked a bit sad when she left but quickly got back to being the boss of us!

We lost Iggy in June of 2020 and we can say we gave him a really good five years and we were still able to travel enjoy the world.


I disagree. Leaving a rescue dog with other people you trust, especially if the other family have a dog as well could be so lifechanging for a rescue, not only it will allow a trust to build for the other people, but as well to learn to trust other dogs too, as rescues are often abused in a shelter by another animal. Travelling for many months could be a once in a life time opportunity for many, and if you trust that your rescue dog is in a good hands, learning new things about the world while you travelling - why would you miss this opportunity?


We will now be closing this thread and thanking you for all your contributions.