What back up plans do HOs have for sick or cancelled sitters?

I have seen a few topics on back up plans that sitters have if they need to cancel, but what do other Home Owners do? We live in a rural area with no friends or family close by. For previous sits I had an excellent neighbour who could step in for a few days until we could get another sitter. For our next trip, however, she will also be away on holiday. We will be overseas and so not so easy to get back home quickly. Our dog is nervous and certainly would not cope in a boarding kennel. Does everyone have a back-up plan?


You are wise to be thinking of this as many HOs - and sitters for that matter - do not think of a back up plan.

Part of our pre sit discussions include this very topic: who would take care of the pets if the sitter were required to leave early or the HO was delayed in returning and the sitter could not stay.

We had this very thing happen to us on a sit in Italy as the country went into lockdown and we had to leave and return home. Luckily there were friends nearby who could step in and care for the pets.

You may want to reach out to someone in the area who could step in.

In this day and age, it is truly imperative to have a “backup plan”. Too many things change drastically that are even out of our control.

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Hello @JennyH It is great that you are asking about backup plans. As mentioned here it is super important to have one as you never know what life will throw at you, even with the best-laid plans.

That is completely understandable that you would not want to use kennels. I used to have a lovely lady that sat one or two dogs at her home. Is there someone like that locally that you could use if something happened?

Or is there a paid pet-sitting service, that could stay at your home and that you could have the number of if you needed someone to step in?

A local veterinary practice where the vet nurses do pet care visits is another option to have on hand.

Checking out local services and resources nearby is helpful. Who is your emergency contact, even someone further away, could they get to your home if needed?

The vast majority of sits go smoothly and never need this, but it is important to have. Please have a look at the spyglass and read some similar topics, there is lots of useful information on there.


There are pet-stting apps for a paid service, which, obviously, is not as good as someone living in.