When a HO asks you to take care of someone else's pet, last minute

My husband and I are new to housesitting. We’ve recently completed 2 housesits and have others lined up. Just prior to both housesits we’ve done, the HO asked if we could also take care of their friend’s dog. In each case, that dog created issues/had bad behavior/created more work. While we understand there aren’t supposed to be fees, we think it’s reasonable to require a daily fee for the care of the extra animal. We welcome input about this.


I think in the spirit of THS, we should not ask for payment. If you don’t want to take care of their friend’s dog, you say no. It was not discussed in the initial agreement and there’s no reason why you should feel pressured. We’ve never had that happen once, so I’m sorry you’ve had it happen both times! I would venture to say, it’s not likely to happen again.


Mmm, not cool! We were recently asked to look after the neighbour’s bunnies. The owners said they would understand if we refused. We didn’t mind, because they were bunnies, but we would have said no to another dog. That totally changes the dynamics & responsibilities!

In the end, the neighbours gave us a considerable amount of money, which wasn’t expected or asked for at all.

In your case, you made a THS agreement with the owners, not their friends, so I’d either refuse or ask to be paid.

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You have been really unlucky to have been asked to do this twice in a row as it is not a common thing to be asked.
Personally, we try to be as helpful as possible but have our boundaries. We were once asked to look after the next doors fish pond which we were more than happy to do as it consisted of throwing a handful of food in the pond every day.

On the last sit we did, after confirming we were asked if we would daily attend to the home owners allotment. The allotment was 30 minutes walk from the home so we said no as we thought it was too big a commitment.

Similarly, if we ever were asked to care for an extra dog belonging to the home host, we would most probably say no, if we were ever asked to care for an extra dog not belonging to the home host we would definitely say no.

We were once asked to care for the home hosts daughters child whilst she went to work as that is what the home hosts normally did - obviously we said no to that too!


I had a sit with 2 xdoodles and a pair of cats in Austin a while back. The HO asked if I would care for his GF’s xdoodle as well as they were traveling together - that the extra was used to the house and that the pets frequently spent time together. Okay for me and it worked out well, although the extra dog did spend his nights in a pen while the home dogs had free run of the house.

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Hello @peppersmom
We’ve been introduced to neighbors. They were very nice people.
During the sit we saw them for a tea and they asked if we could pop in to feed the cat while they were away for an unexpected invitation during 3 days. It was only 5 minutes driving from where we were staying… and we were invited to use the pool anytime we wanted… No need to say we were very happy to feed the cat twice a day (at least !) !

But it is not at all the case you are describing. I think there is a big difference between helping a neighbor for few days and having an extra animal under your responsibility all sit long. Except if the dogs get on very well and are used to been kept together, I would say no.
I wouldn’t ask for money neither as it is not THS spirit… but I totally understand your feelings.


We were once asked (during the interview) if we could do home visits at the neighor’s place to give 2 kitties food / water + cuddles for 1 month. This is the only time it happened after 50+ sits. We agreed but were not chosen. Nowadays we would rather not accept such a proposal. It’s neither the sitter’s job nor fair to the kitties to be left alone for an entire month. It’s OK to say no if the conditions of the sit have changed. There are friends, family, paid sitters etc., lots of other options that they could use.

What?? That’s so rude!

In both cases, the owners of the extra pet didn’t offer anything. I didn’t ask of course, but if it were me, I’d pay the sitter.


No I wouldn’t take care of a friend’s dog and I would say the friend is taking advantage. Not on!

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