What to do when the housesitter wants to travel?

Hello all,

I recently had a house sitter submit an application for a two-month sit. I own a dog and cat.

When in speaking with that person, they indicated that they would like to travel several weekends and possibly take a few weekends to go skiing and wouldn’t be able to take the dog or care for the cat.

I was unsure about how to handle this? Do I get another house sitter (paid) to cover the time that the Trusted House Sitter is on duty but wants to vacation? How would you handle this?

How have others handled this type of situation?

Depends how desperate you are.
We wouldn’t dream of asking for time off on a 3/4 week sit, two months is quite a long time though and one weekend off might be nice.
It’s an odd one though

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I think one of the reasons people get sitters is so that pets have consistency in their own home. It doesn’t sound like the sitter who applied is putting the pets needs first.
I would not choose someone who wanted to take several trips away during the sit period. 1 trip in a 2 month period may be workable but they sound like they want total flexibility which would be a no from me.
However I am not sure whether you are in a popular area where you may get several applications or an area where you may have to be more flexible.
Could you offer to let the sitter come early or stay later so that they could do a few of their own outings then?

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Hi @Robin_Cabral welcome to our community forum and to TrustedHousesitters I see that you already have sitters booked for upcoming dates this year which is wonderful.

For your two month sit in January and incidentally long sits are popular with many sitters, the very first priority is Otis and Gizmo and as the sit is well in advance you have time to receive and consider applications from sitters who put your pet’s needs first and not any travel desires of their own.

As sitters yes we appreciate being able to explore an area and long sits give us the ability to immerse ourselves “living like a local” if we want to really explore like a visitor we can always extend the visit on either side of the sit.

The opportunity to be “at home” for the pet sit allows sitters to armchair discover an area, for greater exploration later but we also have the time to take in the local sights and activities during the sit.

My husband and I did an 8 month sit in Spain caring for a senior rescue Doberman. We discussed it fully before applying, we lived in Canada at the time. We applied knowing what was expected and when we accepted the sit we committed to giving Bruno and his home our full time and attention, our motivation was not to travel and explore Southern Spain if that had been our intention we would not have applied to care for a pet and home.

Your pet’s needs and your peace of mind come first, you have a good six months to find the right sitters and to avoid any changes for your pets during the two months you are away, my advice would be to wait and consider other applicants.

If you would like to have a call with one of our Membership Service Team to discuss and get their advice we can arrange or please feel free to connect with me and I will be happy to give you a call.

Angela and the Team

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I would be very concerned about this sitter looking after my pets. It sounds like your location is very attractive and that may be the sitter’s main reason for applying.

I sat for a couple last year who had a very bad experience with a sitter from another site. They have a beautiful natured cavoodle and during the 3 week sit, the sitter took herself off approximately half that time, including overnight stays hours away. Neighbours contacted the owners because the dog was just barking and whimpering all the time. The owners were distraught. On their arrival home, their dog just ate and ate and wouldn’t leave their side. The sitter had not mentioned any of her proposed tripping prior to the sit being confirmed nor afterwards.

That sitter did irreparable damage to this couple having faith in future sitters. It is only because they knew of me through a family member that they trusted me to care for their precious pup and home.

Hopefully you will receive more interest from applicants who really will put your dog and cat as their first priority.

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What an horrendous story! Hope that those sitters were barred from future sits

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As others have said, I wouldn’t accept those sitters as it sounds like they have an ulterior motive. This is very unusual as most sitters here want to look after the pets and home as if they were their own, keep them to their normal routines and give them lots of love and attention. These sitters would display a huge red flag to me so I would decline and wait for more suitable sitters. There are plenty

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Hi @Robin_Cabral, as the sit seems to be in january, you definitely have plenty of time ahead to consider other applicants.

I did a 9 weeks length sit once, and when I applied I did it knowing what I will be able to commit to the full duration. Never did it cross my mind to ask the Pet Parent to leave her cat even for a short period of time, and even less to pay for that. I would have asked/told the HO to leave the sit for a few days if, and only if, an unforeseeable event of an exceptional nature would have occured. Even in that case, I guess my mother would have been able to “replace” me.

However, the HO took it upon herself to offer me the possibility to travel with her cat if I wanted to go sightseeing for a weekend for instance. This was a thoughtful and kind proposition as she thought about me too. Well, I didn’t, despite the sit taking place in the holidays season (Christmas and New year’s Eve).

As I state in my THS profile, I do put the safety and well-being of the pets first. And I was indeed very happy to stay with her cat, with whom I have created a real bond, during the full 2 months +. More strokes and cuddles! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Interestingly @Smiley when the owners lodged a complaint, the sitter’s profile quickly disappeared only to re-appear slightly differently under a shortened version of her name, and she continues to sit. Owners could not do a review of her because of this! So wrong! And very little support offered from that site.

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We would never ask for that, although I understand the wish expressed by the sitters (sometimes we also think that it would be cool to go somewhere for a weekend or even just a full day). It has happened, though, that a HO offered us to stay a bit longer so we can explore the area without pet care responsibilities. We also have been invited to stay in a couple of holiday homes in desirable locations for 1-2 weeks. But never would we demand any of this and usually we’re just to busy with pet sits to take them up on their offers. If there are other acceptable sitters that have applied we would probably rather confirm someone else (who seems to prioritize the well being of your animals).

Simple answer is find a different sitter.
They’re already letting you know their priorities are not 100% on the sit.

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THanks so much this is very helpful. I found it odd and thus my rationale for wanting to ask here. I wasn’t sure if this happens often or not as a new sitter.

Big ‘No’ from me. As a sitter, I would not have the barefaced CHEEK to ask if I could shimmy off several times during the sit to take a holiday of my own!

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