What to ask and accepting a sitter

Hi everyone. Apologies if this has been asked before but a quick search hasn’t shown me the answer so I thought I would ask here.
I have been contacted by a family who would like to come and sit for us (yay!). They seem really lovely, but I am unsure as to what I need to do now. Are there any specific questions I should be asking them? I wonder what happens if we book our flights and then they back out for one reason or another - does that happen? (I have absolutely no reason to think they will!) I haven’t spoken to them by phone or video yet but plan to do that. When do I confirm their sitting?
I expect there is a document somewhere that explains all of this but I haven’t yet found it!
Thank you for any help and re-assurance. x

Hi there.
I will share my experience from the sitter side.
I’m sure others will do things differently.

After initial contact via THS messaging we setup a phone/videocall to break the ice.
This is before we confirm anything.
You never know, either party may get bad vibes or something (never happened to us)

On the phonecall we discuss mainly the pets daily routines and maybe have a general chat about sitting - how we got into it, places we’ve sat, pets we’ve cared for. That kind of thing.

For you you can ask whatever you’re comfortable asking within reason I guess.

You can ask about the things I mentioned above or a good question maybe something like: Do the sitters plan on spending most of the day with your dog’s or do they want to sight see and explore the area more?

As for backing out of the sit after confirming, this can always happen but it isn’t something I would do unless absolutely unavoidable.
I suspect most sitters would agree with this sentiment.

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I am a sitter. I agree that you should at the very least have a video chat before you accept anyone. There are all sorts of things that may crop up in conversation that would lead one or other of the party to decide it is not a good fit no matter how nice they are. Have you checked the sitters’ references? If they have none ask them about their experience with animals, with home care. Do they have dietary restrictions or do you prefer non meat eaters in your home. You mention family - do they have young children, pets of their own? Are your home and surroundings child proof? Does the family think they may have visitors over while they are there and what are your thoughts on that. To be honest there are lots and lots of questions that you need to ask (and they need to ask) before either of you make a decision. There can never be too many questions :-).

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Here’s a thread I started some months ago. You might find some useful questions to ask. Scroll down a little, because some members "bombed the thread with apple pie and vaccination issues…:roll_eyes:

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Hi @DerbyshireGirl

Once both you and the sitter agree on the sit, here are the steps you take to confirm:

How do I confirm a sitter?

As for the rare situation where plans have to be changed, and it can be for either the sitter or the homeowner, then communication is key. Consideration for the other person’s needs is essential, even though one of you may be going through something traumatic.

If anyone has to ‘back out’ for exceptional reasons - and it happens - then membership services will be ready to support you. However, we all need to put plan B and more in place, as those who are experienced will tell you that things do happen, oftentimes outside of anyone’s control. I tell homeowners I have plans B and C in place, but hopefully won’t need them. :wink:

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Thank you so much for that information and for putting my mind at rest. Our daughter doesn’t live far away so if the worst came to the worst I am sure that she would step in. I think I was just having a little panic :wink: And although we haven’t actually chatted to our potential sitters on video yet, we have via messenger and they seem so lovely - I am feeling a lot more relaxed about it all now :slight_smile: Thanks x

That was really useful, thank you so much x

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Thank you Liz - they are all good points. I am hoping to have a video call with them during the week and now have some better ideas of what to chat about :slight_smile: Thanks x

Thank you so much for your advice from a sitters perspective - that’s really useful x

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