Below you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked the most about professional pet sitting and dog walking services.
What is In-Home Pet Sitting?
In home pet sitting is where a pet sitter comes to your home for scheduled visits and cares for your pets in their own, familiar environment according to your instructions. Visits are customized to meet the needs of your pet which can include dog walks, feedings, litter box cleanings, play time, or even just quiet companionship. You select the time blocks you’d like (7am-9pm). Your sitter can even spend the night in your home with our Overnight service. If you’re going on vacation, we also bring in your mail, newspaper and packages while caring for your pets. We can take out your trash, adjust your TV or radio, alternate your lights and blinds and even water your plants. We also offer a mid-day dog walk service (10am-3pm) for folks with busy work schedules or those who simply want their dogs to have quality walks. Each visit is completely customizable. Our service also provides your property with added security since your routines are kept, making it appear as if you’re home.
How many times per day do most people book if going on vacation?
A standard pet sit for dogs is usually 3 times per day – Once in the Morning (7-9am), once in the Afternoon (1-3pm) or Late Afternoon (4-6pm) and Once in the Evening before bed (7-9pm) however a sitter could, at most, visit your pet(s) 4 times per day if you wished. (Morning, midday, Late Afternoon, Evening). Some dogs are fine with only two visits per day (ie: dogs who have doggie doors, etc). In those cases, visits are spread out 12 hours (7am and 7pm, 8am and 8pm, etc.). Cats require daily visits once per day but you can schedule more if you’d like.
I usually board my pet(s). Why should I consider the In- Home Option?
According to the American Humane Society, pets are happiest when they’re at home, surrounded by familiar sights, sounds and smells. From your pet’s perspective, their familiar environment, diet and exercise routine – coupled with the detailed attention provided by an experienced, professional pet sitter – is the perfect alternative to you personally being there. The in home option is a relief to most owners who don’t want their dog kenneled and who also no longer wish to rely on family or friends. Clients can rest assured, with the “in home” option, that their instructions are being followed closely. Professional pet sitters are not the “next door neighbor pet sitter”. They are trained in how to take care of other people’s pets, know what signs to look for to avoid unnecessary risks with your animals, and know how to handle pet emergencies.
I've never had a pet sitter before. How do I get started?
What does it mean that For Your Spot is a certified professional pet sitting company?
Pet Sitters International explains, “when you engage the services of a PSI Certified Pet Sitter, you are also gaining the in-depth knowledge and skills for in-home pet care she or he has mastered about caring for companion animals of all kinds. The coursework was designed to promote high industry standards and provide a continuing education curriculum to keep accredited pet sitters at the forefront of modern pet-care practices.”
A certified professional pet sitting business is not a group of people providing pet sitting services on the side. Our dedication is to our clients and their pets. That dedication can be seen as we strive to renew our certifications every three years. We work on our continuing education units throughout the three-year period in the hopes of continuing to be certified.
Are you Insured and Bonded?
Yes, we are insured and bonded. We will provide you with proof of insurance and bonding upon request. We always recommend that client’s ask for proof of insurance regardless of which pet sitter they choose. In addition, it is suggested that clients read the policy provided to ensure that the limits the sitter is carrying are adequate coverage should you need to file a claim. It’s very cheap for sitters to have base levels of insurance which helps to keep their rates low but we feel this basic level of coverage does not adequately cover the average home. With that in mind, For Your Spot carries levels of insurance adequate to appropriately cover our client’s home and pets while under our care. We also recommend that clients call the company listed on the policy provided by a sitter to ensure the coverage is still in effect. Taking this proactive approach to protect your pets and your home can make a world of difference should there be an issue.
Can you provide me with a list of references?
Absolutely! Just ask.
Who are your sitters?
Our sitters are responsible, experienced, animal enthusiasts who pride themselves on getting to know your pet and his or her routines. They are insured, bonded and undergo a thorough criminal background and reference check before coming on board. They also go through an extensive training period with the owner of For Your Spot before being allowed in a client’s home on their own. All sitters are also certified in Pet CPR and First Aid. Your sitters are fully trained on your particular sit so your routine is always kept in case one of your normal sitter is unavailable, sick, has an accident, etc. They take to heart the high standards of working for a professional pet sitting company and will strive to exceed your expectations. They are responsible members of our community and understand the expectation of working for a professional pet sitting company. They also take continuing educations classes to help them be the most knowledgeable and experienced professional pet sitters around.
Will it be the same sitter for all of my visits?
For Your Spot provides only top notch pet care professionals trained to uphold our high standards. Since however, sitters do have days off and vacation, your appointment may require more than one staff member. If your normal sitter’s availability does not permit them to visit, another of our qualified staff will take care of your pet according to your online instructions. During your Client Meeting, the owner will meet with you to discuss your pet care needs, evaluate your pet and ask any questions that we may have. If scheduling allows, we often bring two sitters to the Client Meeting. If a different sitter is assigned to your appointment, they will be trained on your pet’s routine. You can also see which sitter is assigned to your visit by looking at your email confirmation. If you’d like to meet that sitter before your appointment begins, please let us know and we will make every effort to work it into their schedule. You can rest assured that anytime you book with us, a highly trained pet care professional will be caring for your pets according to the For Your Spot standard.
How many times a day can you visit?
We can visit up to 4 times per day: once in every time block.
Can a sitter stay overnight in my house?
Yes. Overnight visits start at 10pm at night and run through 6am the next morning.
Can you just come every other day for my cat?
We do not provide every-other-day vacation service. In order to provide proper care for your pet and your home, we require daily visits when you are away. When issues arise such as illness, urinary blockages, behavioral problems, broken pipes, etc. they can be addressed immediately, and action taken if we visit on a daily basis. Our policy is to limit as much risk as possible, ensuring the highest level of safety for your pets and your home, and we take this very seriously.
Is it ok if my friend stops over while you're sitting for us?
No. We have a strict policy that we do not split sits with other caretakers and we do not take on jobs where other people will accessing your home while you are away. We are responsible for your pet(s) and home while you’re gone. When another person enters your home, any issues that arise could spill over onto our watch and impact our insurance. Our sitters are trained to notice patterns in behavior to ensure any potential issues are identified before they become a bigger problem. When additional people are entering your home who are not trained in the For Your Spot standard, this ability to monitor the health of your pet and the safety of your home are compromised. Not abiding by this policy may result in a termination of a client’s contract.
What if the weather is bad when you arrive?
Severe heat, severe cold, nor’easter storms, snow, etc. are all considered inclement weather. We ask clients to understand that sitters will use their best judgment concerning your pet’s well-being when dealing with these conditions. Walks will most likely be cut short, and the remainder of the visit will be spent indoors with your pet. We will not cut your sit short however and you will be billed for what you booked.
I'm not comfortable with the computer. Can I just email or call with my dates and instructions? Maybe I can just leave handwritten instructions for my sitter?
While new systems can always be scary at first, our online system is quite user friendly, fast and accurate. We are also happy to walk any client through the system via phone. Our online system also communicates your changes with all your sitters at once. If your primary sitter is held up and a back-up sitter needs to be engaged for your sit, you can be certain your back-up sitter has the exact same information as your primary sitter. It is also our priority to always minimize the risk that comes with caring for someone else’s pets. We’ve found that handwritten notes can be lost, confusing and hard to follow. Your online contract prints in a format your sitters are used to working from so nothing is ever missed. Phoned or emailed booking requests can be misplaced, misinterpreted or mis-keyed. With this in mind, we feel the safest mode of communication is directly between our clients and our sitters, through our online system. This ensures that we know exactly what is expected at each sit and no booking ever get missed.
What if my computer goes down and I am not able to update my contract or schedule my appointment?
We realize emergency situations happen and are happy to accommodate clients in this situation. Just call the office and we’ll enter the information in for you. Turnaround is 24 hours. There is a $5 administrative fee for any manual entries handled by our office.
What if something has changed with my pet care as I'm walking out the door?
If you have a last minute change and are not able to update your contract, we ask that you call and leave your instructions on our office voicemail (302) 494-9449.
Can you give my pet medication?
Yes, we are able to give most pills and liquid medications to most pets. We also give subcutaneous fluids, and medications such as insulin or allergy injections.
My dog doesn't walk well on a leash. Can you still walk him?
Yes. It is however our policy to always ensure the highest safety for your pet. With this in mind, if your dog pulls excessively or lunges, we may need to utilize a different collar from what you normally use. This could be a martingale, gentle leader, halti, slip lead or prong depending on the situation. Our sitters are trained on the proper use of all collars. This will be at the discretion of your sitter and will ensure we have control over your pet at all times, allowing us to avoid any problems that could arise. If the safety of your pet and our sitter are a concern, we will recommend a professional trainer who offers training walks.
Will you pick up after our pet(s)? What about accidents?
Your sitter will pick after your pet(s) when they are out on their walk. They will also pick up after your pet(s) if they go in your yard while under their care. If your pet(s) gets sick or has an accident in your home, we will clean up after them to the best of our abilities with the cleaning products you provide. While we never charge for cleaning up accidents (It’s part of the job!), if it becomes a chronic issue, we may discuss the use of alternative products to help with the situation or adjusting your visits.
How do you handle my keys?
For Your Spot, LLC requires two sets of keys to provide you with pet sitting services unless you utilize a lock box. Keys will be picked up free of charge at your Client Meeting. If you do not have keys ready for us at your Client Meeting, we will schedule an additional meeting to pick them up for a $12 charge. For Your Spot will retain your keys, so we are ready for future service at a moment’s notice. Keys are housed in our lock boxes when not in use and are only
coded with a For Your Spot’s internal code – no client names or address’. For the safety of your pets and your home, we do not lock keys inside your home or place them under a mat outside. Clients who do not wish for us to retain their keys can use a lock box on their door, providing us with the code. It’s a great option!
I'm going to give you my garage code. Do I still need to give you two sets of keys?
Yes. Unless you are utilizing a lock box, keys are still required in case of electrical outages.
Why do you require two sets of keys?
We require two sets of keys in case your primary sitter gets held up with a sick pet, is in an accident, has an emergency, etc. With two sets on file, your back-up sitter can access your key from the lockbox in our office. Our insurance company also recommends we have two sets of keys to avoid locksmith fees in case we accidentally lock your keys inside your home. We recommend clients utilize a lock box if they would prefer we not retain their keys. If you only supply us with one set of keys, we will make a second copy for you for a $5 fee.
What do I do if I want to book service?
Clients are given access to our online system once they Register. The online system allows clients to request their appointment dates, services and time blocks at a time that convenient for them. If you need an emergency visit with less than 48 hours notice, you will have to contact the office directly through the online portal or email email@example.com to request service. There is a $10 fee added to any visits with less than 48 hours notice.
How am I billed?
FYS only accepts credit card or debit card payments in the form of Mastercard, Visa or Discover. We do not accept cash or checks. If you wish to leave a tip for your sitter, you can either have gratuity added to your credit card or you can leave cash at your home. Your card will be charged three days before the start of your appointment.
How can I be sure that I'm scheduled?
Once your online appointment request is approved, you will receive a Pet Appointment Summary via e-mail that will list the dates and services you selected as well as the amount due. You can also log on to view your schedule at any time.
Does my sitter accept tips?
Absolutely! If you wish to leave a tip for your sitter, you can either have gratuity added to your credit card or you can leave cash at your home. Tips are always appreciated!
Are there any extra charges for holiday care?
There is a Holiday Surcharge of $10 per visit ($30 for overnights) if pet care spans any of the following holidays: New Years Day, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Easter, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years Eve./
Can I schedule a last minute visit?
Yes you can! We are happy to schedule or change sits for you with less than 48 hours notice when we are able to accommodate them on our schedule. Please understand that For Your Spot carefully schedules our time to service you and other clients and last minute changes do require administrative efforts to engage your sitter and update schedules and billing. There is a $10 fee attached to each visit not booked with at 48 hours notice.
Can I get updates while I'm away?
Yes. Our visits include updates through our online portal, which comes to the email address you provide. We feel this provides you with valuable peace of mind when you are away. We do ask that you let us know you have made it home safely and all is well.
What is your cancellation policy?
Appointments are charged 3 days prior to their start date. Once charged, FYS does not provide refunds. We provide credit only if certain criteria are met. Once your appointment begins, there are no refunds or credits given for early returns*.
Notify us more than 3 days before the start of your appointment: you will not be charged for any services and no fees will be assessed.
Notify us less than 3 days before the start of your appointment: you will receive a full credit for the appointment.
Notify us less than 48 hours before the start of your appointment: you will be charged a $10 cancellation fee for any visit that is under the one day mark and credited for the remainder of the appointment.
Holiday Cancellations: Notify us less than 7 days before the start of the following holidays: New
Years Day, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day-you will be charged 50% of the total appointment.
There are no fees for extreme weather cancellations.
* If you book recurring monthly appointments: If the appointment has begun and you need to cancel a visit, please contact the office. If you notify us at least 48 hours before the visit you wish to cancel, we will credit you for that visit. If you do not give us at least 48 hours notice, you will incur only a $10 cancellation fee for any visit that is under the one day mark.