Who had more good experiences than bad as a pet sitter?

All great so far but then again we do our due diligence and have a fairly comprehensive selection criteria. But like anything the more you do the more likely you will get a dud.


We have been sitting since 2006, as a way to travel, experience new places and meet new friends. Our stays have ranged from 4 days to 6 months. We have 45+ stays, with 2 more scheduled for this trip.

We have realized that everyone has a different idea of clean, so we make a home comfortable for us and go on. Examples:
1 had a filthy kitchen, which my husband cleaned enough to use, but the animals and area made up for it. This was the first time we had heard a fox call.

1 had a dog who peed in the dining room over night, but she was old and a sweetie, so we overlooked it and cleaned up the mess. We had a great time learning to ride the local bus and visit all the museums.

We have realized that some people can’t be pleased.
One sit both the cat and the house were perfect, until the owner returned in a bad temper which had nothing to do with us. This was made worse by her cat having fallen in love with my husband, after being told she didn’t like men! This was pre-THS, so no bad review. :wink:

Many of our homeowners have become friends we keep in touch with, and visit for a few days when our travels bring us near. We have done return sits for several. Even now we are staying for the third time with Ben.

We feel that sitting is the perfect way to travel. We have experienced Christmas in colonial Virginia, France and England. We have been able to visit Pompeii and Herculanium. We have walked on Hadrian’s Wall and the Giant’s Causeway. We searched for rainbows and waterfalls in Scotland. We have explored the East coast of the US with enough time to really look at everything. The list is long and varied! Although there are some larger animals we no longer feel comfortable caring for, we will keep sitting as long as we can.


Love this @Mary.Willmon #gavemegoosebumps

117 house sits over 6 years

117 mostly great experiences

We’re some of the homes not up to our standard of cleanliness? Absolutely

Did some of the pets have issues that were not disclosed? Yep

Did some of the homes have more pets/livestock than posted in the ad? Indeed
(for example, turning up to a herd of 80 deer when you were told that they only had 6, or accumulating another dog or two that they “forgot” to mention).

This lifestyle has taught us flexibility, practicality and I am much more chill than I was 7 years ago. We’ve learned to get on with it and make it work. We’ve met wonderful pets, gained heaps of friends all over the world and we wouldn’t change a thing.


My husband and I are on our seventh sit with 5-star reviews from each HO. Every pet and every pet parent has been wonderful, though one home was really uncomfortable. We’re a pretty easygoing older couple, prepared to accept every home as unique. The uncomfortable home (cold, cramped, damp, noisy, ill-equipped, grubby - none of which showed on the photos!) belonged to an extremely sweet, arty young couple with a huge, affectionate cat, and was in a great location. The experience has taught us to examine the home photos more closely and to read between the lines on the blurb and reviews!


So far only absolutely wonderful and enriching experiences (currently on sit no. 54 with THS). Strangely enough though, the more sits we have done, the more nervous we get about catching that one odd bad sit. Especially after reading a lot of stories here in the forum when things didn’t go exactly as planned.


I’ve done many great sits - some so wonderful that I went back for repeat sits! I will be doing less sitting next year though. I plan to go places that I can’t seem to find sits, so I will be doing more Airbnbs.

32 sits total - the majority were excellent, a few ok/fine, 2 really bad.

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That’s exactly what my husband and I have learned during 6 years of housesitting with a total of 27 sits at 11 different locations, most of them longterm between 1 and 4 months. We had one very bad experience with a filthy and cluttered house, a fridge full of mostly rotten food, and a bathroom where you had to place a bucket under the sink because of a missing pipe. But we had to blame ourselves, the listing did not include any photos of the inside. And yes, this experience also taught us to read between the lines. None of the previous sitters had mentioned the house at all (cleanliness, comfort etc.), neither did they recommend this sit.
We had a few sits where we gave the kitchen and bathroom a thorough cleaning before we settled, but we consider this worth doing if it’s a longterm sit.
What we’ve also learned is to ask precise questions about the pets - medical issues, aggressive behavior towards humans or other dogs, where do they sleep, how long can they be left alone. We’ve had a few surprises when the HO did not mention that their dog was an escape artist, or a different HO asked us to use an anti-barking collar which gives the dog an electrical shot whenever he barks (they are illegal in Germany). Those were the HOs with the filthy house. We were so shocked that we did not discuss the anti-barking matter with them, we just didn’t use the collar.
So, overall good experiences, therefore many repeat sits, but we are more cautious than six years ago and also more selective.

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I’ve seen that there are a few sits in more obscure places not covered by THS on an unlikely platform: Workaway.info
It’s worldwide and the Membership is quite a bit cheaper.

We did 2 using that website over the last year.

I have done 90+ sits in 8 years of being with THS, and I can honestly say that not one of them has been bad. There have been a handful where the house hasn’t been as clean as I would have liked and where I won’t be doing a repeat sit, but I wouldn’t classify them as bad sits. I avoided one which I was due to do in May next year as I visited when I was in the area. The cat smell was really bad, so bad I could taste it at the back of my throat. There were six cats and eight litter trays scattered throughout the house, plus room fragrancers in every room. I came out with a headache and thought, I can’t do this for 3 weeks.


@Dace luckily you visited beforehand! Were the owners understanding?

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Yes, they were, fortunately! I just got the message back saying that it was disappointing but wishing me all the best. I had been prepared to fight my corner if I had been reported to THS.

Over 100 sits, 99.99% of them have been fantastic. 2 I would never ever return to. One was very early on and the location was exactly where we wanted to be so we ignored all the little warning signs about the dog, owners and their behaviour. Lesson learnt. Now I listen very intently. Anything I don’t like or agree with I walk away.
The second was a very short sit with four dogs. Let’s say, I didn’t shower for two days. I think I would have come out dirtier than I went in.
THS has been a fantastic experience for us. We have met so many wonderful people most of whom we count as friends now. Sitters (and pet parents) just have to listen, talk and be completely truthful with themselves and each other.
Good luck with your sitting life


Ca 90 official sits in 7 years plus at least that many repeats or sits on other platforms. Some have been great, some have been uneventful and some have been not great. Thankfully the vast majority fall into the first couple of categories otherwise I wouldn’t keep doing this. I don’t keep count of the not great ones and probably wouldn’t say I’d never do them again - at least now I know what to expect if I did.

The ones that stay with me are the ones where the owners were kind or welcoming be it with words or deeds. Unfortunately it does seem like at the moment that is becoming more rare and even an “enjoy your stay” or thank you can be hard to come by but that might just be a sign of the times. You hear similar things about other non-HS platforms and service sectors these days.

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We’re in the middle of a few months of back to back sits in SW Turkey :tr: Four are in the hills of Yeşilüzümlu. Our current HOs took us out for lunch before they left for hols & left us a shop of fresh food & bread… Last night, our next HOS, who we don’t sit with until next week (we’re still on sit no 1), took us out for a lovely dinner and took our massive overflow bags (we have a few nights off from tomorrow). Both are great company, interesting people and good souls that we wouldn’t have met without THS. #goodpeopleinthisworld :earth_africa:


I’ve seen such comments from various experienced sitters and am surprised, because I joined in February and have done 10 sits since March, and I’ve encountered kindness and appreciation in word and deeds. I do look for signals in listings and chats with hosts and filter out those who I think have a sense of entitlement or who seem to focus only on their and their pets’ needs, though.

We’ve done 10 sits and, despite seeking sits with challenging or difficult dogs (we have dog training experience) we’ve not had a bad sit or any issues or disappointment with the various puppers. We’ve recently retired (at 60) so plan to extend the duration and number of sits in the coming years.


Wonderful to read all the replies!
I think everyone can get unluckily, no matter how carefully you select your sits, but jt’s heartwarming to see that most of us are having a great time here much more often than not. :dog2: :cat2: :bird: :parrot: :peacock:


I’ve done about 35 sits over the past year or so and I don’t think any of them were strictly bad experiences. There were a couple of challenging pets but I knew that going in. I had a couple of houses that were not left very clean for me but they were still good sits. I’ve never had any conflicts or issues with owners that I can recall. No sits that I’ve regretted and I’ve made new sitting friends and had some wonderful experiences.


Yes, exactly. I have the same feeling…also increased after joining the forum. When does it go wrong…?

I also thought about leaving the platform, because it makes me insecure…am I to easy-going? Am I to naive?

But I think we just have to stay open-minded and trust the people we start this mutual “exchange” adventure with.

Did you see the new post from today from @ziggy?

It is fantastic what Ziggy writes.