TrustedHousesitters review: Why it can’t always be trusted


Last updated: June 4, 2024

TrustedHousesitters has helped me foster loads of relationships but I have also had some less enjoyable experiences. When you err on the side of caution, there is much fun to be had!

4 out of 5

As a full-time traveller who spends the vast majority of their time away from their fluffy pals back home, I will take any opportunity to hang out with animals. This is the very reason I joined TrustedHousesitters in 2021 as a house sitter.

Thanks to the TrustedHousesitters platform, I’ve had some incredible adventures in many different corners of the world, from central London to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. I’m now on first-name terms with many awesome animals, some of whom I even hang out with regularly, like Pumpkin the Cat.

But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. I have had to leave a house sit early because the homeowner broke T&Cs and I’ve had numerous battles with Trustedhousesitters’ customer service. This is why I put together this thorough and honest TrustedHousesitters review. By sharing both the highs and the lows of my pet setting experiences over the last 3 years, I’ll be able to advise on the best ways to use the platform to ensure you get only the best experiences.

In my TrustedHousesitters review, I’ll discuss the variety of housesits available, the ease of use of the platform, and the opportunities to build long-term relationships with both homeowners and pets. I’ll also address the importance of having reviews on your profile and the necessity of vetting opportunities properly to avoid potential bad experiences. The platform provides incredible opportunities, but certainly not everyone using it is to be trusted.

What is TrustedHousesitters?

TrustedHousesitters is a platform that connects homeowners with individuals who are willing to pet-sit or house-sit for them. It is a yearly membership-based service that allows homeowners to find responsible sitters to take care of their homes, pets, and gardens while they are away. This often results in savings on pet boarding or house-sitting costs. Sitters, on the other hand, get to experience new places and live in homes around the world without having to pay for accommodation.

How does TrustedHousesitters work?

Everything starts on the TrustedHousesitters website. Sign up for the most suitable membership for you and begin by filling out your profile. Make sure to be thorough, honest and personable, and include plenty of photographs. Once your profile is finished, you can begin looking for sitters and/or looking for sits.

Owners need to set up a listing with available dates for sitters to apply for. They can also use the sitter directory to send manual invites to sitters. Whereas sitters will need to browse the directory of listings to find sits to apply for. The listings can filtered by location, animal, date, and length.

No money should ever be exchanged hands. Nor should you have to pay for any bills or pet-related purchases during a housesit. I have seen housesits being advertised where they ask you to pay a portion of their rent while they are away, this goes against the Trustedhousesitter T&Cs.

Lucy with King a dog she met through TrustedHousesitters

The positives

I have been using Trustedhousesitters since January 2022 and in this time I have sat for many different animals across the world, including both dogs and cats. Here’s what I loved the most about my experience.

Access to worldwide sits

The TrustedHousesitters platform boasts extensive listings all over the world, making travelling as a sitter very viable. In my first year on the platform, I sat for two incredible dogs in Mexico, as well as a few awesome kitties back in the UK.

Opportunities constantly pop up on the platform and there are often hundreds of opportunities in major cities like London. I’ve set up a few alerts that notify me whenever a new house sit opportunity appears in an area I’d like to visit. It pays to be flexible with your time, but there are so many opportunities to pick from.

I’ve been able to explore places I’ve never visited before in the company of animals, all while being supported by hosts, many of whom are happy to provide extensive information on the local area. Moreover, making yourself at home in someone else’s home makes your trip a lot more comfortable than showing up at a bare Airbnb in a strange new place.

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I have built long-term relationships

One of my favourite things about TrustedHousesitters is that you get to meet other amazing people on the platform. As a pet sitter, I can only talk about my experiences meeting pet owners, but what I can say is that I’ve made some lifelong friendships with both humans and their animals. This has meant that I’ve been able to return to a few housesits numerous times, which has been enjoyable.

For example, I have looked after a cat called Pumpkin 5 times now (pictured above). We have built a strong bond and I have a great relationship with his human (the pet parent) too!

Moreover, by creating long-term relationships and having a few return housesits under my belt, I have built up a trustworthy review profile that now helps me land future housesits.

A screenshot of the find a housesit page on the TrustedHousesitters platform
Finding housesits is easy with their map search feature

The platform is easy to use

The TrustedHousesitters platform is really easy to use and navigate. I personally really enjoy their map view search function that allows you to discover housesits in different areas around the world. There is also a directory of sitters that is easy to filter through.

I also find that user profiles are clean and easy to read. You can browse through all of their reviews and even click through to the reviewer’s profile and read what the original user wrote about them in return. On top of this, a sitter can display countries that they would like to visit on their profile and also update their availability which makes it easier for homeowners to get in contact with any potential opportunities.

You can also use their mobile app to communicate with other users and find opportunities on the go. The app also allows you to see empty reviews on profiles, which are a result of a user choosing not to leave a review for a sitter or owner. This isn’t visible on the desktop version.

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Two happy doggos I looked after in Mexico through TrustedHousesitters

I get to hang out with animals

My main reason for starting on TrustedHousesitters was to hang out with animals whilst travelling around the world. I love what I do but I regularly miss my fluffy friends back home.

Being able to discover new places around the world, or even new places back home, whilst in the company of some awesome animals is an absolute dream come true. I love nothing more than getting to meet new animals, discovering their personality traits, and seeing them eventually warm up to me after a few days. It is all very heartwarming.

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The negatives

There are plenty of fun experiences to be had on TrustedHousesitters, but yes despite the name ‘trusted house sitters’, not everyone on the platform can be trusted! If you are interested in signing up, you will need to consider extra vetting, building up extensive reviews, and the potential difficulties of dealing with their customer service.

A photo of Lucy and Coco the dog on her TrustedHousesitters profile - photo for my TrustedHousesitters review
Make sure profiles have plenty of authentic photos

Not every user can be trusted

Whilst I love the service that TrustedHousesitters provide, your experience largely depends on the users you interact with. Typically, most negative reviews of TrustedHousesitters are related to bad experiences with sitters or homeowners.

Unfortunately, I’ve also had my fair share of bad experiences, including owners who have broken the Terms of Service by telling their family members to come and watch over me and others who have not been entirely truthful about their pet’s bad behaviour. In these instances, trust was completely broken and it left me feeling very vulnerable.

With any platform that provides an opportunity for people to save money, there will be chancers – those who are looking for freebies. In the case of travellers, there will be some who just want free accommodation and couldn’t care less about the animals in their care, and for home owners, there will be some who know their pets are tricky but don’t want to pay for professional help.

When you have a bad experience it is enough to put you off using the platform again. But in my opinion, the good outweighs the bad. And I see the difficult experiences as lessons. Through them I have learnt how to vet users better which has helped me to avoid any further upsetting sits – find out how I vet people here.

It can be tricky without reviews

When you first get started on the platform as a sitter you may struggle to get accepted to sit, and as a pet owner, you may not get many sitter applications. This is because users rely heavily on other user reviews to vet opportunities. Otherwise, you may be more vulnerable to difficult experiences (like those you’ll find shared in Reddit forums).

For me, when I first started on Trustedhousesitters I couldn’t get accepted on to any house sits. With zero reviews on my profile, it was understandably quite hard to display my trustworthiness. By asking people I have helped in the past to add an external review to my profile and by writing extensive and personal applications to housesits, I was eventually accepted. After receiving their review, it got a lot easier to use the platform and I was accepted a lot more regularly.

Here are some of my top tips on helping you build reviews and trust when you first start on TrustedHousesitters:

For sitters:

  • Write a thorough and engaging bio that includes reasons why you are a trusted housesitter
  • Go into plenty of detail about your previous experience looking after animals or housesitting
  • Use plenty of up-to-date photographs with your face in them (bonus if you can include any animals)
  • Gather external references from people you have previously sat for
  • Apply for short sits in your local area to build reviews (check out the reviews I’ve been building up in my hometown London)
  • Write honest and personable applications to sits – this helped me get my first sit in Mexico

For pet owners:

  • Write an honest bio about your home and your animal(s), and include reasons why you have signed up for the platform
  • Upload plenty of photos of your home (yes this matters, a lot) and animal(s)
  • Offer video chats to potential sitters to build rapport
  • If people off the platform have housesat for you consider providing their contact details to potential sitters so they can supply an external review

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Use code VEGAN25 at checkout

Two cats at a trustedhousesitters sit watching chicken run on the tv with me
Thankfully, most pet sits are chilled out like this one

Mixed customer service experience

During my time with TrustedHousesitters, I encountered a situation that required me to reach out to customer service. The experience was mixed and highlighted areas where improvement could be beneficial.

On one particular sit, I was tasked with caring for two small dogs for a month. Upon arrival, I was met with unforeseen challenges: the dogs had significant grooming issues, including old faeces matted into their fur, and exhibited aggressive behaviour that was not disclosed before I accepted the sit. Additionally, an unexpected visit from the host’s mother, who proceeded to lock several doors, added to the discomfort. The possibility of being treated this way is one of the biggest downsides of being a pet sitter.

These issues appeared to be in violation of TrustedHousesitters’ Terms of Service, which put me in an uncomfortable position as a sitter.

Seeking a resolution, I contacted customer service. While I had hoped for a more proactive approach, such as a sanction for the homeowner’s breach of terms, the response leaned towards supporting the homeowner. Eventually, the situation was resolved by transitioning the sit to another caretaker, which, while not ideal, allowed me to step away from a distressing situation.

This experience has led me to believe that while TrustedHousesitters provides a valuable service, there is room for improvement in supporting sitters when issues arise. A more balanced approach to conflict resolution would enhance the experience for all parties involved!

A screenshot of my past sits on Trustedhousesitters showing my profile building up over time
I have been building my review profile over the last few years with 10+ trusted house-sitting experiences under my belt!

How to avoid bad experiences

Through my bad experiences, I have learnt to be more cautious when vetting people. To do this, you need to carefully examine their reviews and compare them with their profile. You should read between the lines of any reviews made before August 2023, and look for any hidden negative sentiment. This is because Trustedhousesitters used to have an open review system that allowed the other party to read your review before publishing their own, and vice versa.

This scared people away from leaving honest and constructive reviews, in case it were to influence the other party’s review of them. Sometimes, it would even leave both parties in a stalemate situation and neither would leave a review.

It can sometimes be quite obvious when there is negative sentiment hidden within a seemingly positive review. For example, if a review mentions that the dog loves chasing squirrels and is super energetic on walks, but the pet owner has said in their writeup that their dog is an absolute angel on the lead, then you may want to question this.

Thankfully, in August 2023 TrustedHousesitters rolled out a new reviewing feature similar to Airbnb’s. Essentially, your review will remain hidden until the other party has left theirs, or until 14 days have passed. After this period, neither party can leave a review anymore. This means that you can leave an honest review without worrying that the other party will see it and adjust the review they write. It does also mean that I am more likely to trust reviews that were left after this transition.

I also make sure to check out user profiles on the mobile app. If they have a lot of empty reviews from different people on their profile (which can only be seen on the mobile app), it may suggest that people have decided not to leave a review because they are too scared to be honest. While you are there, you may notice that some users have multiple reviews from the same person, which is a great sign!

Get 25% off TrustedHousesitters

Use code VEGAN25 at checkout

My verdict

In my experience, TrustedHousesitters has been a worthwhile experience. As long as both parties are thorough with their vetting, the platform offers incredible opportunities to travel as a sitter while forming meaningful connections with furry companions worldwide. For pet owners, it ensures their beloved pets are cared for by responsible and caring individuals.

Despite this, the platform isn’t immune to chancers or inconsiderate people. I have experienced first-hand just how difficult it can be when house sits go wrong. It was enough to put me off using TrustedHousesitters altogether, but then I remember all of the amazing experiences I have had on the platform. So, I spent some time analysing the warning signs to avoid when searching for future sits and I now always make sure to arrange a video chat before accepting a pet setting opportunity. This has been working out well for me ever since!

Getting started can be a bit daunting without any reviews, but I firmly believe in the necessity of a review system for a service like this. It took me about a year to build up some extensive and helpful reviews. Applications are now that bit easier!

While there have been a few hiccups along the way, they’re not indicative of any inherent flaws in the platform itself. Any service reliant on trust and honesty will have its risks, but exercising caution and providing honest reviews can mitigate these concerns, making TrustedHousesitters a more transparent and reliable platform.

When it works, it is absolutely incredible. I’ve been warmly welcomed into homes, given insider tours of local areas, and even invited to events by the homeowners’ friends. And let’s not forget the incredible animals I’ve had the pleasure of meeting along the way.

As I continue to use TrustedHousesitters in my travels, I eagerly anticipate its evolution, especially as more honest reviews start to shape the platform. I’m excited to share my experiences here on this TrustedHousesitters review as I embark on new adventures across Asia.

Pumpkin one of the cats that Lucy met through TrustedHousesitters
You could meet your very own Pumpkin!

TrustedHousesitters discount

Get 25% off your first year of Trustedhousesitters membership with my exclusive discount code, VEGAN25. Make sure to enter this code at checkout to save on your first year!

Where can I sign up?

To get started with TrustedHousesitters you will need to sign up for one of their memberships directly from their website –

There are a few different memberships for you to choose from, including basic, standard, or premium. I am on their ‘Standard’ membership which I chose because of their additional vet support through their ‘Vet Advice Line’. I’ve never had to use it, but it is good to know that it is there if I do!

The prices are pretty similar for sitters and pet owners, but you will get a discount if you are after a combined membership which allows you to list sits and also sit for others. You can find out more about each TrustedHousesitters membership below:

  • Unlimited sits

Sitters: £99 per year ($129)
Pet owners: £99 per year ($129)
Combined: £149 per year ($189)

  • Unlimited sits
  • Free calls with vets during sits
  • Home/third-party protection
  • Dedicated member support

Sitters: £129 per year ($169)
Pet owners: £149 per year ($199)
Combined: £179 per year ($229)

  • Unlimited sits
  • Free calls with vets during sits
  • Home/third-party protection
  • Dedicated member support
  • Sit cancellation protection
  • Airport lounge passes
  • Premium badge on profile

Sitters: £199 per year ($259)
Pet owners: £199 per year ($259)
Combined: £249 per year ($319)

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Meet the author

2 responses to “TrustedHousesitters review: Why it can’t always be trusted”

  1. N Avatar

    Wow total opposite experience. After two dits we’ve had housesitters and water issues. One was a thouderstorm roof leak the other a pipe leak. We have had to spend thousands repairing our house since the air—made worse by folks who do not know about house ownership and needing to dry a house out after an issue. Additionally furniture was damage and thins we recipe tifully asked them to not go like not sleep in the master bedroom were violated. Also while our house was in distress they had cfdmuly stay with them for extended periods. Overall I felt take. Advantage of and violated.

    1. Lucy Johnson Avatar

      Sorry to read you had a negative experience on Trustedhousesitters. I wouldn’t say our experiences our total opposites, as I have also had difficult times through the platform. You will see I have mentioned a few negatives, including the fact that you need to thoroughly vet other users – read it here.

      My bad experiences happened when sitting for homeowners with zero or few reviews. Particularly when the reviews are very generic.

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