The one word answer is ‘Yes!’ Our purpose for being is to be there for you and your pets!
Recently, we have had calls from clients of several other solo pet sitters. While the clients love their pet sitters, they are often stunned to find out, usually right before their vacation that their sitter has nobody to fill in for him/her if something happens.
In the past few months, I’ve listened to frantic pet owners as they say these things about their beloved sitter:
- She has been our sitter for 10 years. She fell out of tree and broke her pelvis. We are leaving in three days and she cancelled her scheduled visits with us!
- Our sitter is having surgery and can’t make it. We are leaving next week. Help!
- Our sitter is going out of town Labor Day weekend and her back up is having emergency surgery! Can you help us? We leave tomorrow!
- Our sitter’s family member needs her and she can’t walk our dogs anymore. Are you available?
- Our sitter is completely booked up. Can you fill in for her?
Let me start out by saying that I was once a solo sitter, so I know the struggles of a sitter just starting out. There is a balance that needs to be struck between the jobs taken and jobs delegated to an employee, independent contractor or other person helping out. It’s hard to make a living in the beginning. That being said, it is critical to have a backup plan. Pets are living, breathing family members. It is downright irresponsible to not have a backup plan.
Things to ask your solo sitter:
- What is your back-up plan?
- Do you use scheduling software?
- How will you communicate with me? Do not accept written notes alone. If your sitter gets hit by a bus on the way to your house, how will you know? Texts, phone calls, photos or emails are critical. Real time confirmation that a sitter arrived and completed the job is a must.
- How much advance notice will you give us if you have a vacation planned? Will you notify us at all?
- What happens if you become booked up? Do you have helpers? Are the helpers insured, bonded and background checked?
- What happens if you are hurt at our house or by our pet? Are we liable?
While answers to these questions may or may not reassure you, you need to know and be comfortable with the answers.
Advantages of using us over solo sitters:
- Our sitters are employees who are trained, background checked, bonded and insured.
- We have 24 team member who can fill in for each other.
- We have processes.
- We communicate with you and each other real time.
- We have scheduling software that reminds us of visits and handles your pet/home care instructions.
- We’ve been in business for 12 years. We’ve learned a lot!
- We have a secure key handling system.
- Our sitters are covered under Workers’ Compensation plans should they be injured by your pet or in your home. This minimizes your liability.
- We have the best liability insurance in the industry. Solo sitters often are uninsured or go very cheap, low coverage plans.
We realize that you may like the idea of having the same sitter all the time….until that same sitter is suddenly not available.
Please consider the pro’s and con’s. We’re here to help.