Questions & Answers
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Can my pet stay outside while I'm gone?

Do you expect me to call you
when I return?


Can I have a friend or neighbor
help with jobs?


Can I volunteer to help out
with your service?


Are you qualified for birds and exotics?

Do you do aggressive pets?

Is there any pet or breed you
would not care for?


What if my animal bites?

Have you ever been bitten?

What happens when it snows?

What if my property is vandalized
when I'm gone?


Do you employ others?

Do you advertise?

Do you recommend kennels?

What type of food do you recommend?

What happens if you can't get in?

Are you comfortable using alarm systems?

I'm at 'airport security' without my passport, can you help me?

What if I'm at work and realize that I left
my purse or the stove on?

If I'm dissatisfied for any reason,
what should I do?


I have a new puppy can you help
in potty training?


I have a rescue dog in training can you
fill in if I need to leave?


Why do you use pinch collars?

Do you take pets in?

My dog has never been alone,
how do you handle this?


What emergency resources do you have?

What happens in an emergency situation?

How do you handle payment for
an emergency situation?

Is pet sitting lucrative?

How can you be friends with your competition?

 
Are you a cat person or a dog person?
We are "Animal" people!
We love all animals and have experience in caring for animals of all types...
hence the motto "Large or small... We care for All"
What do you mean you are a professional pet sitter?

We do this FULL TIME as our profession... not as a hobby or for extra cash.
We also have the experience and qualifications that set a 'professional'
apart from a 'novice'. Please review our article: 'Finding Quality Pet Care'.

What experience do you have?

Our experience includes personally having many animals, domestic & exotic, share our home over the years, involved in foster & rescue work (including puppy mill & wildlife rescues), veterinary experience, first aid & first responder trained.
See 'About Us' for more details...

We actively engage in continuing education to enrich ourselves and provide our clients with the highest level and range of service possible... Our training includes:

Completed Training in:
Pet First Aid & CPR Certified / First Responder Trained
Animals in Disaster: Awareness & Preparedness / Community Planning
( through the Emergency Management Institute )

Currently Training in:
Dog Ethology, Obedience, Behavioral Issues & Rehabilitation
Animal Behavior, Care & Nutrition
Birds of Prey - Care, Handling & Exercise

We are also supporters of the local rescue groups and humane societies.

Do you have a set of standards you adhere to?
Yes, we do... as a member of Pet Sitters International we have a set of standards
that we agree to when joining. We, ourselves, have added additional standards that
we felt were important to our business.
Do you provide references?
References are available upon request...
We do have testimonials posted on our website and in our brochure.
What type of animals do you care for?
We care for all types of animals... domestic & exotic.
Do you do special needs pets?

Yes, quite a few... everything from minor meds to injections as well as administering 'fluids'. We have clients with pets that are diabetic, heart issues, grand mal seizures, Cancer, paraplegic & MS... to name just a few.

Who uses your service?

Our client base is diverse... it includes workaholics, vacationers, convalescents, etc.
Our service is available to those who are away for any reason... long work days, evenings out, business trips, vacations, hospitalization, etc.

What is the difference between an 'Interview' and
a 'New Client consultation'?
An interview is your opportunity to ask me questions, whereas,
the New Client consultation is where I gather the information needed for me to
care for the needs of your pet and property.
Why do you charge for an interview?
All questions can be answered through my website, brochures and over the phone.
My time is valuable as is everyone else's therefore if you feel the need to have a personal interview there is a fee due at the time of the interview.
This fee is refunded on the first invoice if my services are secured.
Do we need to do an initial meeting prior to service?
It is strongly recommended to have a New Client consultation but recognize that occasionally it may not be possible... then other arrangements are made.
Are there a minimum number of visits required?
No, we have no problem if a client only needs us for a one time visit. Many of our clients use our service for a midday play, an evening visit if they are working late or wish to dine out before coming home or for a number of other reasons. We will come as often as you feel your pet needs us... it varies from situation to situation, typically clients request one to two visits a day for cats and two to three visits a day for dogs. Once again this is based on your pet's needs and pricing is on a 'Per Visit' basis !
How many days notice do you require?
None, really... advance notice is nice but is not always an option.
What does your service include?
Our service covers the needs of the pets and property (food & water, snackies, meds, brushing, playtime/exercise, maintain litter box/cage, TLC, mail & papers, plants & gardens, bird feeders, lighting & drapes adjusted and ensuring the property is secure).
Do I need to stop my mail and papers?
It's not necessary, as it is part of the service we provide.
Is it a problem to help take care of my pool while I'm away?
Not at all, we've helped maintain water treatments & minor
cleaning functions for hot tubs & pools.
Do you water plants and gardens?
Of course, that's part of maintaining the property while you're away.
I have contractors scheduled while I'm away is this a problem?
Not typically, if you require us to be onsite while they're there... that would need to be scheduled and there is a fee for that. If you trust them, we can be there to let them in and return later to make sure all is secure.
I'm expecting a delivery while I'm gone, what do you do?

Most deliveries are usually left on the doorstep...these are brought in. Items that need to be signed for can be picked up for the client with no problem. Special freight items, if manageable; can be picked up or we can notify the shipping company for a good time to redeliver or ask them to hold the item until the client returns.

I don't own pets, will you care for my property while I'm away?
Sure, not a problem... our service is available to pet owners and non pet owners alike. Properties need looking after, too!
Do you provide overnight service?
No... not at this time.
Do you charge to walk my dog?
Walking your dog is included in the visit if its part of your pet's routine. If we're hired to walk your dog specifically it is considered a visit so therefore included.
What if I need my pet taken to the vet or groomer while I'm at work?
Transporting the pet for such appointments is available for a fee.
Do you charge a holiday fee?
No, we have chosen not to increase the client's cost factors during these periods...
However because we are extremely busy during these 'peak' times,
our standard 30 minute visit is usually shortened to 20 minutes
in order to be able to service all of our clients needs.
My trip is cancelled... now what?

Be sure to call the pet sitter so we don't show up at an inopportune time. :-)

Is there a cancellation fee?
We realize that life is unpredictable at work and at home... therefore, we do not penalize our clients for circumstances beyond their control.
A cancellation fee applies only to the major holidays if under 72 hours.
Do have any extra or hidden charges?
There are no hidden charges and any additional charged items are
covered in our brochure and on this website.
How do you get paid?

Payment is due at the time services are rendered either with cash or check...
we do not accept credit card payments.
First time clients pay at the consultation and for subsequent
services payment is left for pickup at the first visit.

Since you're a service are we expected to leave a tip?
Tipping is not mandatory or expected but if you appreciate a job well done and
choose to do so then it's a nice surprise and is greatly appreciated.
What happens if I'm out of town and cannot return as scheduled?
Give us a call and we continue visits until you can return.
Do you keep my keys?
That is entirely up to you... there is a great advantage to us keeping a copy on hand.
We have a client base of almost 300 & about 90% have me keep a key since life can be
so unpredictable. All keys are safety coded & kept in a safe when not in use.
There is no way to identify a key to a clients property should one be lost or stolen.
What if I have to leave suddenly?
If we have a key, just give us a call and we'll be there. If we do not have a key you will need to leave us one in a discreet location... we prefer the first option.
Can my pet stay outside while I'm gone?
Not really recommended unless the pet is used to being left outdoors,
has access to water & shelter and has a secured area or yard.
Do you expect me to call you when I return?
The service we provide you as our client gives you peace of mind knowing that your pet and property is well taken care of. Likewise, we do appreciate a call from you when
you return as it gives us peace of mind knowing you have returned safely
and that your pet is back in your loving care.
Can I have a friend or neighbor help with jobs?
We 'strongly' discourage this practice due to past experience... it is more likely than not, to have to deal with 'problems' that arise from a third party not performing the tasks requested of them. Often a 'lack of communication' from the third party inhibits our being able to monitor the pets properly. Without 'communication' as to the pet's condition or what took place during a visit, possible 'problems' may go unnoticed.
If you choose to involve a third party, we have developed a procedure that
should help eliminate third party issues.
Can I volunteer to help out with your service?
Given the nature of our business we do not offer a volunteer program.
If you are interested in volunteering, contact local rescue groups and humane societies... they have volunteer programs. Or check with a local veterinarian,
some of them offer a mentor program.
Are you qualified for birds and exotics?

Yes, of course. We have owned or cared for birds from canaries & parakeets to parrots & macaws, a wide range of reptiles and critters such as sugar gliders and chinchillas.

Do you do aggressive pets?

Depending on the type & level of aggression; this is determined on a pet by pet basis.

Is there any pet or breed you would not care for?
No, we do not single out any specific breed...
The only time we would refuse a pet/breed, is in a matter of severe aggression or if
they have been specifically trained for aggressive behaviors or for fighting.
What if my animal bites?

  If your pet has been known to bite, we would need to determine the nature of the behavior that precipitates the biting. This is done on a pet by pet basis.

  The injury would be assessed and treated according to its severity.

  The 'authorities' tend to categorize all bites the same...
even 'scratches' that break the skin are treated as 'bite' cases.

We understand that a 'bite' can fall into several different categories :

•  Disciplinary biter: (Teeth against the skin or a snapping bite that could break the skin) - The most common of bites, usually from over excitement or the pet's way of expressing their displeasure (Remember, pet's can't 'talk' about what's bothering them).
Typically not 'aggressive' in nature.

•  Fear biter: (Mild to severe injury possible) - This kind of bite is a reaction to something that causes the pet to be fearful or overly stressed.
Not usually aggressive in nature but an animal's reaction to its level of fear
will solicit a proportionate response in the bite.
This is often mistaken for 'aggressive' behavior.


•  Food aggression biter: (Mild to severe injury possible) - A 'survival mode' response to any perceived threat to the animal's source of food. Ranging from a 'growl' of warning or a light snapping bite to a severely aggressive lunging bite intended to ward off any unwelcome advances... they are not malicious in nature but can be very damaging.

The above behaviors are strictly that... 'behaviors' and in most instances can be handled successfully using many different methods by those who understand their inherent nature.


•  Aggressive/Territorial biter: (Medium to severe injury, death possible) - Usually malicious in nature... wanting to cause injury or harm to a perceived threat or target. The aggressive biter stems from the animal's natural tendency to protect its territory, a lack of socialization or training in aggressive tactics and in some cases is propelled by the 'kill' instinct. This level of aggression must be very carefully evaluated and only professionally trained handlers should attempt to care for such animals!

Have you ever been bitten?
Yes. I sustained severe injuries from a ‘fear biting' 8 pound cat and a mild injury from a 'food aggressive' 160 pound dog. All professions have their 'hazards'... a Carpenter can be injured by his tools, a Steel Worker could suffer from a fall, Firemen could get burned, Policemen could get shot... Animal Professionals could get bit!
Professionals know the nature of their business and the associated risks.
What happens when it snows?
Weather conditions have never interfered with our servicing our clients
and we are routinely out before the plows.
What if my property is vandalized when I'm gone?
We will contact you and the local authorities concerning the incident. We will ensure that your
pet(s) are safe and take additional measures as required to ensure their safety.
We will make sure that your property is secure when we leave and if possible,
correct any damage done to your property or make arrangements in your behalf
to secure third party repairs or services.
Do you employ others?
Not at this time...
Providing our Clients a dependable service with the quality and scope that we expect from ourselves is not easily found in someone who does not fully rely on this industry for their living. We enjoy knowing our customers on a more 'personal' level and feel that this allows us to provide a higher quality of service tailored to their needs.
If it ever becomes necessary to employ others there would be extensive screening to protect the interests of our clients and ourselves.
Do you advertise?
Yes. We use a variety of methods to advertise our service however most of our business comes from word of mouth referrals from satisfied clients, veterinarians,
fellow pet professionals and others.
Do you recommend kennels?
Yes. We have referred many clients to kennels when their needs are best satisfied with this format. We also receive clients that have been referred to us by kennels as well...
some may prefer to board their dog(s) while having us care for their cats (or other pets)
and their homes while they are away.
What type of food do you recommend?

Good question! After doing extensive research into the 'Pet Food' industry, we highly recommend the 'Premium Foods' and Products of 'HEALTHY PET NET'
a division of the'TRILOGY GROUP':

We feed ALL of our ZooCrew ' LIFE'S ABUNDANCE '!

'Life's Abundance - Holistic Pet Food' is formulated by Dr. Jane Bicks, DVM.
She has designed her products with the pet's overall health and wellness in mind!
These products are 'second to none'!

"Why should I choose 'Life's Abundance' Pet Products?"

1) Life's Abundance contains NO corn, wheat or soy, which are ingredients
that are hard for pet's to digest and allergens to many pets!

2) Life's Abundance contains NO 'fillers', 'by-products', 'harmful additives' or
'chemical preservatives' !

3) Life's Abundance ingredients are 'Human Grade' and are secured from
reputable sources located HERE in the USA! No 'imported' ingredients!

4) Life's Abundance has NEVER been RECALLED like so many others have!

5) Life's Abundance is ALWAYS made FRESH and ROTATED within 6 WEEKS
of production! It is NOT 'warehoused' for 'months on end' so you will
always be assured you will recieve FRESH product to feed your pets!

6) HEALTHY PET NET produces Life's Abundance in accordance with the
'EUROPEAN PET FOOD GUIDELINES' which are much stricter than those
here in the US.

For more information on Life's Abundance, to view the VIDEO:
"The Truth About Pet Food"
and/or to ORDER ONLINE...
CLICK HERE!

PLEASE NOTE ! ! !

When introducing any 'new' food or doing a 'food change' it is
STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that you do a 50/50 BLEND of the
'old' and 'new' food for about a week to help a pet's system
make the adjustment needed to prevent 'bowel disruptions'!

What happens if you can't get in?

We 'always' get in... "Have crowbar, will travel" (heh, heh, heh...).

Just kidding...

Actually, we have a very comprehensive approach to ensuring that we can access our
clients premises no matter what adverse situation may arise.

Are you comfortable using alarm systems?
Yes. We are familiar with most alarm systems and have many years of experience
working with, building and installing alarms and alarm systems for Residential,
Commercial and Industrial applications.
I'm at 'airport security' without my passport, can you help me?
Yes. If you are at our local airport, we can get your passport from your home and bring
it to you, otherwise we can FedEx it to your location or arrange for
a courier to bring it to you.
What if I'm at work and realize that I left my purse or the stove on?

You wouldn't be the first and certainly not the last to call us with this concern!
We would check it out for you, correct the situation if needed and/or bring your
purse to you or meet you somewhere with it to minimize your inconvenience.

If I'm dissatisfied for any reason, what should I do?

LET US KNOW!
We cannot fix a problem or prevent a future occurrence of something
that may be an issue to you if we are not aware of it.

Please tell us,
it helps us to refine our service for you and our other clients as well.

I have a new puppy can you help in potty training?
Of course we can! We have helped many of our clients in the training of their 'K9kids'.
We can schedule as many visits as you would like during a day in order to
keep your puppy's training reinforced and consistent.
I have a rescue dog in training can you fill in if I need to leave?
Yes. We have worked with 'emergency rescue' dogs on their 'commands' response
to help keep their training on track if their handler or partner
needs to be away for any reason.
Why do you use pinch collars?

Because they WORK!

They may look 'mean' but they do not cause any harm or physical damage to the pet that can result from using a standard 'choke chain'! The pinch collar acts just like 'grandma's cheek pinch' when you were misbehaving... it got your attention! They are actually very humane and allow for better control of the pet and reduced effort from the handler.

(Note: Just make sure that all 'prongs are blunt edged!)

Do you take pets in?
We do not offer on site boarding... all of our clients kids stay in their own environment.
My dog has never been alone, how do you handle this?
We find that in a lot of instances, leaving the TV or radio on gives the pet a sense of comfort in thinking that someone is still at home. Many of our clients pets particularly seem to enjoy Animal Planet and yes... Sesame Street too!
What emergency resources do you have?

We have a comprehensive mix of resources that we can draw on in
an emergency, including:

Primary Veterinarians, 'On-Call' Veterinarians, Emergency Hospitals, etc.

What happens in an emergency situation?

That depends on the nature of the emergency...
Our first aid and first response training allows us to deal with most situations immediately.

If it is life threatening:
We get to the primary Vet or if they are unavailable to the nearest emergency
clinic first then contact the client.
If non-life threatening:
We contact the client and the primary vet and take the course of action
deemed to be appropriate for the situation.

Many situations can be dealt with first hand through phone consultation with your vet.
How do you handle payment for an emergency situation?
It is best for you to make prior arrangements with your vet should the situation arise.
Another effective method is putting contact and payment information in a sealed envelope labeled 'For emergency only'.
This can be left on the counter or refrigerator and available if needed.
The sealed envelope will be where you left it upon your return
unless there was a problem.
Is pet sitting lucrative?

That depends on your definition of lucrative...

If lucrative to you is easy money and little work, then NO!

If lucrative to you is working 7 days a week 365 days a year and
anywhere from 10 - 15 hours or more on many days
including weekends and holidays and always on call... then, Yes!
This is what it takes to be a full time 'Professional' with a good reputation!

To put this in perspective, it takes 3 to 4 'visits' to cover the cost of
a nice 'dinner' out (without drinks!) or just to fill the gas tank...

You may wish to review our article: So you want to be a pet sitter?

How can you be friends with your competition?
The professional pet sitters have always recognized the benefit of networking
with fellow professional pet sitters, there by; we have gotten to know each other
fairly well and do not see the need for aggressive business practices.
On many occasions we offer suggestions or help one another out when the need arises.

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