As a pet sitting business owner, I’ve heard it all, and I’m pretty ticked off about some of the things I hear. I started my pet sitting business because I love animals and I have high expectations for their care. I am astonished at the number of pet care providers claiming to “love” animals and then “caring” for them in despicable ways. I am writing this blog post to address valid concerns of pet owners. I’ll start with what we hear and then explain how we are different.
“We don’t think our neighbour kid even came as the water bowl was bone dry and the food was gone.”
I’m sorry to say, but your neighbour kid probably didn’t come, or didn’t come as agreed upon. Kids are kids and they don’t always follow through. If you are lucky, you will have a parent involved, but, let’s face it, parents are busy people. They might ask their kid if they took care of your pets, but they really don’t have time to go with them to make sure the job was done correctly. As a pet care professional, I can tell you that this job takes a responsible, honest, dependable adult.
“We hired a professional, but my neighbour mentioned to me that they were only here 10 minutes!”
Yes, this is common in our industry. Read the fine print in the visit type description. Untimed visits, visits “Up to” a certain amount of time, or just “Vacation Visit” with no time attached are vague and deceptive. If you don’t really care how long the sitter is with your pets, and just want the basics done, this may be the service for you. Oftentimes, workers for these services are adept at sending messages embellishing the visits. They will ramble on about your pets and make it sound like they were there a long time. If hiring someone to spend a set amount of time with your pets, be wary of the fine print. Mark my words, you will be hard pressed to pin one of these services down on how much time they are really in your home, with your pets. Their terminology is designed to cover their butts should they ever be called out by you and questioned. They never promised they’d be there a certain amount of time, afterall. Their promise was to throw food and water down, make sure your pets went to the bathroom (maybe…we all know sometimes it takes awhile for the pets to go #2…I would be concerned about this, personally), and cleaned the litter box. They never promised they would stay and play with your pets, love on them, talk to them, etc.
We are very transparent about the length of our visits. Our 30 minute visits are 30 minutes minimum. Our 1 hour visits are 1 hour minimum. Our overnights are 12 hour minimum. We have high tech software showing when and where (GPS mark) the sitter was when he/she arrived and left your home. These records are completely open to you. We have nothing to hide. You have the right to know when the sitter was in your home in our opinion. We also send you updates and photos keeping you up to date on your pet. Our office staff monitors the visits all day long to ensure there are no mess ups.
“We want the same sitter each time.”
You will not get the same sitter each time with us. We are very up front about this. We hear this a lot. Many times, we get calls because a potential client’s “regular” sitter is not available. We assign a primary sitter, but we never guarantee you will always get the same sitter. This is to your advantage. Working in teams where one sitter covers a morning visit and one covers an evening visit, for example, keeps two sitters very familiar with your pets and home. If one sitter has an emergency, the other sitter can jump in and everything goes smoothly. We work as a team. Our sitters are top notch employees who are insured, bonded and background checked. We hire less than 5% of all those applying. It’s hard to find employees that meet our standards, so when we do find them, we treat them well. This includes allowing them to have work/life balance. Working employees morning, noon and night is a fast track to burn out. We want fresh, happy, rested employees taking care of your pets. Think about this. If you are currently using a solo sitter, be sure to question them about their workload, and most importantly, who will take over if they should get sick or have an emergency. Since we use high tech software and have 30+ employees, covering for life situations happens flawlessly with us. Think about it…if you are on vacation, what is your backup plan if you have a solo sitter. My advice would be to have a friend or family member near your home who can takeover at a moment’s notice if needed.
“Our home camera showed a person in our home that our pet sitting company, nor we, recognized!”
Yikes! That is scary! Many pet sitting companies use independent contractors, not employees. It is within the rights of an IC to subcontract their work out to anyone they wish. Be careful with this. The company may have a criminal background check on the IC they contract with, but with subcontractors, you do not know who you are getting most times.
Our sitters are hand selected. We hire less than 5% of all applicants. We background check our employees and they are covered under our bonding and insurance. When you schedule with us, you will receive a confirmation email with the name of the sitter covering each visit. We are proud of our team and have nothing to hide.
As a pet owner, it’s your right to get answers to your questions. We are always happy to talk to you. Call us anytime.