BENEFITS OF USING A PROFESSIONAL PET SITTER
Why should I use a pet sitter instead of boarding my pet at a kennel?
- Reduced stress – Your pet remains in their own familiar, secure setting.
- Diet and Exercise – A normal diet and routine are followed. Daily walks are part of our service. Exercise serves as a mischief deterrent and is good for your dogs health. It is also and important way to alleviate separation anxiety.
- No travel trauma – Traveling to a family member or friend’s house, or to a boarding facility will upset your pet.
- Health and Well-being – Less exposure to illness of other animals when your pet stays in its own environment.
- Loving Care – Your pet receives personalized attention and love while you are away.
- Benefits for your Convenience – You won’t need to spend time transporting your pet to and from another location.
- Peace of Mind – You can enjoy time away from home knowing your pet is being cared for by a professional who will put your pet’s needs first.
- Security – We alter lights, close blinds and take in your newspaper to give your home that “lived in” look.
Why should I hire a REAL professional pet sitter and not a neighbor, family member, etc?
Your neighbors may have the best intentions, but WE have the professional skills, bonding and insurance.
- Trained Professionals- with experience in handling and caring for pets of all types.
- Thorough criminal background checking and employment references are completed by management.
- Bonded and insured. Should any unfortunate circumstances arise, your pets are in the hands of a legally formed company.
- Reliability- ever wonder what would happen if your neighbor didn’t show up? We are contracted professionals, dedicated and reliable.
- Honesty and integrity are vital to our organization. Only experienced and knowledgeable pet care givers are hired here.
- Why would you leave your best friends care in the hands of anyone other than a professional?!
Why use a pet sitter for regular midday walks vs. doggie day care?
We feel that all pets, any age, and their established routines at home, are necessary for their health and well being. Your pets routine should not be disturbed. They are exposed to “dominant breeds”, fights, fleas, ticks, diseases including kennel cough. By participating in doggie day care, you are risking their well-being, health and comfort. Having a professional pet sitter come to your home is second to having you there, and is a great alternative to day care. Not to mention, so much more convenient than driving your pet to and from a facility each day!
Do you come to my house or do my pets go to your home?
We do not offer boarding services in our homes. Our main service is offering care in your home. By allowing your pets to stay in your home, you are placing less mental and emotional stress on your pets when you leave home, compared to placing them in a boarding kennel. In your home they will be surrounded by familiar sounds, smells, and surroundings, which will also minimize the effects of separation anxiety. When you ask one of our pet sitters to visit your home you also have the benefit of a home with a “lived-in” look. Our sitter will be happy to rotate blinds, alternate lights, and bring in the mail for an added sense of security (at no additional charge).
What is included in the visit?
The visit will include everything needed to ensure that your pets are safe, secure, and engaged while you are away. For dogs, this may include walks, playtime, fresh water, brushing, feeding, tummy rubs, and lots of love. For cats, we take care of the litter box maintenance, playtime, feeding, fresh water, and lots of cuddles. We will also administer medications as needed. Complimentary home maintenance is also included which may involve bringing in the newspapers, mail, rotating lights, blinds, adjusting the thermostat, etc. If you have a pet other than a dog or cat, just let us know what you need and we will be happy to accommodate! CLICK HERE for a complete list of Services and Pricing.
What is included in overnight pet care?
This is our tailor made pet sitting option for ALL PETS who need a little extra attention (or who just prefer to have a snuggle buddy all night!), and for pet parents who would prefer not to lose any sleep! Your Critter Sitter will spend the night in your home, with all of it’s familiar scents, sounds, beds and sofas – to give your pet a relaxing evening (and morning) while you’re away. We also keep your home looked “lived in” for added security when you’re out of town. Overnight pet sitting includes the evening and morning routines, which eliminates the need for individual AM and PM visits, and the additional cost of these visits. It’s all included.
How many times a day will you visit? And at what times?
The number of visits we come per day is completely up to you! We require at least 2 visits per day for dogs unless the dog has indoor/outdoor access, but recommend three and will require at least once a day for all other pets. If you would like us to come once, twice, or three times a day, it is up to you. We are flexible! We also offer a great overnight option in which we will sleepover with your pets. We are available 365 days a year, 7 days a week, and our normal hours for visits are 7am – 7pm. However if you have special needs for your pets outside of those hours we will do our best to accommodate.
Will you come every other day?
For the safety of your pet, and the security of your home, no, we do not come every other day.
My Neighbor/Friend/Co-Worker/Family Member is available to help out some. Can I book you for only the visits they are not available to do?
As a professional pet sitting service, we maintain that your pets health and well being are our responsibility and liability. For this reason, we cannot “job share” or allow others to share in pet sitting duties.
What happens if my pet becomes ill while I am traveling?
We request that all of our pet families have an Emergency Veterinary Care Agreement on file with us. If in Pet Sitter’s judgment veterinary services become necessary during the service period to properly care for the animal, Pet Sitter will first make reasonable attempts to contact Client. If Client cannot be contacted for whatever reason, the Emergency Veterinary Care Agreement authorizes Pet Sitter to undertake additional steps necessary or appropriate for the health and welfare of the animal.
Will I always have the same sitter each time I book services?
We know what great buddies your pets will become with their pet sitter, so it is always our goal to keep you with your same primary sitters each time you book services. During the in home consultation you will meet the 2 Critter Care Specialists who will be your primary sitters. However, in case you request services when your normal sitters are not available, rest assured that our other staff members are just as fabulous as the one your pet has come to know and love. In these instances we will do our best to set up a quick meeting with a sub to prior to your departure.
Can I call, text and email to get updates on my pets?
Of course! We understand that as a pet parent you are concerned about them. We promptly respond to all clients inquiries about their pets. Our Critter Care Specialists will be sending a report to you by email at every visit so you should never have to ask.
Do you administer medications or give insulin injections?
Yes! We are all experienced in administering pills, drops, ointments, and subcutaneous injections. Several part time staff members are veterinary technicians!
What if an emergency delays my pet sitter?
The benefit of hiring our service, is that if one staff member is detained or delayed, we have about other staff, ready, willing and able to get to your pet!
What do I do if my dog has never been left alone before or suffers from separation anxiety?
Many dogs experience separation anxiety. In extreme cases medication is needed, but in most cases exercise will help to alleviate their anxiety. A break in the day with a visit by our Sitters provides the exercise, focus and stress relief these animals need. We will also be happy to provide you with some info on how to prepare for your departure with your pet.
What if my travel plans get delayed and I don’t return home on time?
Your Critter Care Specialist (Pet Sitter) will send you a text when finishing the last scheduled visit to confirm your return home. We request that you send your sitter a text upon arriving home so that we know your critters have been returned to care. If we do not receive verification of your return, we will implement our emergency care procedures.
BOOKING AND FEES
How do I book pet sitting visits?
All booking requests need a completed Booking Form for processing, however you can check to see if the dates your need are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can request services online 24/7 from our website. You can also call us at 757-268-9644 if you have special needs you would like to discuss. If you have not used our services before, you will also need to create a profile in our system and complete a Service Agreement and an Emergency Veterinary Care Agreement and we will contact you to set up an in home meeting.
How far in advance do I need to reserve visits?
For new clients, it is best to contact us a 30 days in advance of your trip so that we can arrange a visit to your home to meet your pets and discuss their care and you can meet the sitters who will be caring for your loved ones. Once you are a client, we understand that last minute emergencies or opportunities, may require you to leave your pet. We offer our services 365 days per year and will do our best to accommodate any last minute requests. Holiday’s book up quickly so it is best to book those 60 days out. Otherwise, we recommend 3 weeks in advance. We list our Holiday Booking Deadline on our Book Your Critter Sitter Page.
When and how do I pay for services?
For new clients we collect payments during the in home visit. For returning clients we will invoice you by email once your services have been confirmed and scheduled. We request that payment be made 7 days prior to your departure. We accept all cash, checks, all major credit cards.
Do you have a cancellation policy?
Yes we do. Critter Sitters and More does not over-book appointments to care for critter(s). We will turn down business to accommodate the Critter Parent’s schedule. As such, the Critter Parent must cancel service at 48 hours in advance of the visit to receive a full refund, or will be charged 50% of the total amount of the services for that visit. For services booked over the Christmas or Thanksgiving Holidays, cancellations need to be made 7 days prior to the start of services.
To cancel services, just log back in to your account, and click on the schedule link. From there you will be able to select the dates and the services you need to cancel.
What happens If I have to cancel and I have already paid?
We can apply your payment to a future bookings for the full value of the original booking. If you would prefer a refund and you have paid by credit card, we will credit card your card minus the processing fees.
How do you handle my keys?
In order to provide our clients and their pets with the most reliable service, Critter Sitters and More requires that each client utilize a key storage lock box. The storage box must have a combination code access. Be sure to test that all the keys work before placing them in your lock box.
The use of a secure lock box provides you with the peace of mind that your key will always be at your home and secure.
- Keys remain safely stored at your premises and if you move you can take the lock box with you
- Our pet care personnel will have immediate access to your home in an emergency
- Keys will no longer have to be frequently transported
- One secure location for keys helps to eliminate the risk of theft or loss
We will review the location of your lock box during our in home consultation.
Do I have to purchase a key storage lock box?
A key storage lock box is required to use our services. Most local hardware, home goods, and retail stores carry key storage lock boxes, and they are available online as well. The average cost is approximately $20 to $35. Retailers include Amazon, Lowes, Wal-Mart, Ace Hardware, and many others. We also have a few lock boxes on hand available for a one time rental deposit fee of $12 which we will collect at the in home conslutation. In the event that you should discontinue services with us we will arrange a time to swap the box and back up key and provide you with a refund for your key lock box deposit fee of $12 which will be apply to your next booking. In the event that you should discontinue services with us we will arrange a time to swap the box and back up key and provide you with a refund for your key lock box deposit.
If you would prefer us to enter through a garage door or a door with a key pad, a back up key will be required in case of key pad malfunction.
In the event that Pet Sitter is required to employ a locksmith to gain entry into Client’s premises due to a malfunction of the lock or a failure of the Client to leave a key, it shall be the responsibility of the Client to reimburse for all costs incurred. The Client expressly gives Pet Sitter the authority to employ a locksmith on Client’s behalf in the event of the aforementioned occurrences.
What if my situation will not allow for a key storage lock box?
Exceptions may be made for those who reside in apartments and condos. If your situation does not allow for a key storage lock box for any reason, please contact us right away, and we can discuss a possible alternative.
Where should the key storage lock box be placed?
Your sitter will need to return your key to the designated spot after each pet sitting/dog walking visit. Lock boxes should be in a location that will be easily accessible by you and your pet sitter/dog walker. We recommend an inconspicuous spot on your property like a fence or railing; just let us know where the lock box will be located and what combination code to use on your pet care portal.
What if I provide the sitter with a door key pad code?
Our policy is that if our pet sitters/dog walkers access your home by an electronic key pad, keys must still be on the property for immediate access in case of a power outage or drained batteries, which can cause key pads to malfunction. Purchasing a key storage lock box gives you and your pet sitter/dog walker the best secure access in case of an emergency.
How will my pet sitter or dog walker open the key storage lock box?
Instructions will be included on how to set your own unique pass code on your lock box. Then your combination and location of the lock box need to be entered in your Client Portal, which stays private and secured between you, your pet sitter/dog walker, and management. You must have the lock box purchased and code information entered before the first day of service. Refunds will not be given for the inability to perform services due to not having access. You can change the code on your lock box at any time, just be sure to update your pet care portal with the new code before the next visit. Please verify that the code works every time you change it.
Who will know the combination to My key storage lock box?
Your code is securely saved in your online Client Portal. Only your pet sitter/dog walker, management, and you have access to the information in your pet care portal. All client combination codes will be saved on our secure pet care portal.