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Pet Sitter Pet Peeves

The best part of being a professional pet sitter is spending time with pets.  Taking care of pets, loving on them, and providing a valuable service for their guardians gives us great pleasure and pride.  There are however some aspects of pet sitting that are not so pleasant. These pet sitter pet peeves may cost you your pet sitter.

Pet Sitter Pet Peeves

 

Here are some pet sitter pet peeves

No cleaning supplies

Pets make messes!  Their water and food dishes need cleaned out.  Litter needs swept up.  Pet sitters want to be sure your home is in tip top condition when you return. It makes our job so much harder when there are no cleaning supplies available.  Please at least leave your pet sitter some paper towels.  Make sure the broom, dustpan, and vacuum are available.  Most importantly, leave a litter scoop if you have cats.

Not enough cat litter 

Scooping out litter boxes is not a fun chore. Not leaving a supply of extra litter is most definitely a pet sitter pet peeve. It’s really awful when clients leave only a dusting to cover the bottom of the litter box. The pee & poo cements to the box.  It takes some arm muscle to chisel that goo out. We don’t like cleaning that mess and cats certainly don’t like doing their business when there is not enough litter to cover up.

This is especially gruesome in multi kitty households when there aren’t enough litter boxes available for the cats. Make sure your cats and pet sitter are happy.  Leave an adequate supply of litter but also be sure to supply enough cat boxes.  The rule of thumb is one box per cat plus one extra.  

Non emergent calls/texts in the middle of the night

Pet sitters have long grueling schedules.  They start early, work late and spend all holidays and weekends caring for pets. We certainly encourage our pet guardians to check in on their pets while they are away.  We love receiving calls for new service bookings.  Surprisingly though we get many calls and text messages after 10 pm or before 6 am for non emergent calls. We keep the phone on for emergencies.  This is in case someone is in an accident, sudden death or illness in the family, or their return home from a trip is delayed. 

A big pet peeve of pet sitters is receiving a call at midnight asking how Fluffy is doing or to ask for a change in a reservation that is booked 2 months out. Please be respectful of your pet sitter’s down time.  They need to sleep, spend time with their family and pets.  If your pet sitter has office hours, please contact during that time. Would you want your boss contacting you at 2am for something that could be discussed while you were at work the next day?

Leaving an ill or injured pet with no warning

It is very upsetting when pet guardians fail to let us know that their pet is ill or has been injured prior to arriving for service. As professional pet sitters, we take the well-being of your pet very seriously. It is not fair to your pet to leave them hurting. Nor is this fair to the pet sitter.  A sick or injured pet requires more time and may even need emergent veterinarian care.  

Not adequately scheduling enough time with the pets

The cost to have someone care for your pets can add up. Scheduling enough time for your pet to receive the proper care and attention while you are away will result in a happy, well cared for pet.  Skimping by scheduling shorter time visits is a disservice for your pet.  

Unrealistic expectations

Unrealistic expectations are very frustrating to a pet sitter.  There are some things we have no control over.  We can’t make your dog poop within a 20 minute visit if they don’t need to.  We can’t guarantee to be at your house at exactly noon every day if there is not a medical need. If you have 10 pages of notes for the care of your pet, have multiple pets all fed different foods, at different places, 6 litter boxes, and 3 dogs that need to go out separately, we can’t make that happen in a 30 minute visit even if you are able to.  One of the most unrealistic expectations is asking us to reduce our rates to $10 a visit because the neighbor kid or person on Rover charges much less. This is most certainly one of the biggest pet sitter pet peeves.  We can’t stay in business caring for pets at discounted rates.

A professional pet sitter will reduce the stress for you and your pet while you are away.   Finding someone you trust and can rely on will make traveling much more enjoyable. Avoid these pet sitter pet peeves to keep your pet sitter coming back then next time you need to go away.

 

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How To Get Free Pet Sitting By A Professional!

We get it!  We have multiple pets, so we understand. Paying for pet care while you are away can get expensive, especially on those long trips. There is a way, however you can receive free pet sitting by a professional.  

Free Pet Sitting By A Professional

Here is how you can get free pet sitting by a professional!

Most professional pet sitters offer a referral program.  Referral programs benefit both the pet sitter and you, the pet guardian.  Word of mouth is the best form of advertising for a pet sitter. Often times the pet sitter will give an incentive to those who share their business with others.

The incentive varies among professional pet sitters. The pet sitter may offer a certain amount off the next time you schedule a visit.  This can range from $5 upwards to $25 off a future visit. Some pet sitters also offer a discount of 5-10% off next booking. This is certainly worth taking advantage of as it could result in substantial savings to you, especially if you take long vacations.

How most referral programs work is,

You spread the word about your experience with your pet sitter. Encourage friends and family to give your pet sitter a call. Share pictures and stories your pet sitter has provided while servicing your pets.

You can also share posts from your pet sitters social media pages and comment on what a fantastic job the pet sitter did with your pets. Leave positive reviews on social media about your pet sitter.

Once your referral books and pays for service, the pet sitter will notify you and apply a credit to your account. The more you refer the more credits you can accumulate.  This can result in substantial savings on your pet care bill when planning a nice long vacation.

A bonus is if  your pet sitter also gives a credit to the person you referred. You refer the pet sitter and receive a credit but your friend who booked services also receives the same credit.  This is a win for everyone.

If you aren’t sure if your pet sitter has a referral program ask. 

What’s keeping you from telling others about your fantastic pet sitter?  Don’t worry that they will get too busy to take your future reservations.  Professional pet sitters value long-time, clients who appreciate their service and tell others about them.

Now spread the word and get your free pet sitting by a professional.

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5 Tips To Find A Reliable Pet Sitter

It’s time to plan a vacation.  Going away should be relaxing and fun.  It’s not a time to worry about your pets. It’s hard to leave them behind, sure, but having a reliable, trustworthy pet sitter makes all the difference.  You don’t have to worry and your pets are comfy and safe at home. 

If you search pet sitters your town, many listings will show.  It may seem overwhelming and confusing.  How do you find a reliable pet sitter in your area ?  How do you know who to trust and will show up?

Find a reliable pet sitter

5 Tips to Find a Reliable Pet Sitter

1.  Ask friends and neighbors 

This is your best source for finding a reliable pet sitter. Friends and neighbors who have used a pet sitter will only provide a name of someone they have used, trust, and highly recommend. 

2.  Veterinarians

Another great way to find a reliable pet sitter is to ask your veterinarian.  Many vets network with other pet professionals. They often times will recommend a professional pet sitter and some vets also have staff that provide pet sitting.

3.  Search online for a professional pet sitter

A professional pet sitter will have an established business.  Since they have worked hard to build their business and reputation, they want to maintain that image by being reliable and trustworthy. Look for these qualifications when hiring a professional pet sitter:

  • Are they insured?  All professional pet sitters are covered by liability insurance.
  • How long have they been in business?  Pet sitters who have been in business for years are likely to be around for the long haul.  
  • What do the reviews say about them? Great sources for pet sitter reviews are Angie’s list, business Facebook page, and Google +.
  • Does the pet sitter have an emergency backup plan?  This is important as you do not want to be on vacation and get a frantic call your pet sitter is in the hospital and can no longer care for your pets.
  • A professional pet sitter will have a service agreement and policies for you to review.  This clearly defines what you can expect of the pet sitter while your pets are under their care.

4.  Meet the pet sitter  

This will tell you a lot about the person caring for your pets. How does the pet sitter interact with the pets?  Are your pets comfortable with this person? Is the pet sitter clear about the services they will provide and when? Do they take notes about the pet’s care? Always go with your gut. If you are still not sure, schedule a trial run for one or two visits before you take a week long vacation.

5.  Avoid fly by night pet sitters 

When choosing a pet sitter, you want someone to build a relationship with. If you are searching sites such as Rover, Sittercity, and Care look for someone who is an established professional.  These sites promote pet sitting as an easy way to make money.  Many sign up but don’t stick around long term.

Hiring a pet sitter doesn’t have to be scary.  Take your time and use the tips above to find the right pet sitter for your needs. Your vacation will be much more relaxed and so will your pets.

Are you looking for a reliable, trustworthy pet sitter?  We can help! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Things Are Going To Change! Pet Sitter’s Life

For the past three weeks, things have been crazy!  Of course we aren’t complaining, we are thankful for the business.  Summer vacations started at the end of May and we jumped full force into June.

Our days have been starting at 6 am, sometimes before if we have to,  and not finishing until 10-11 pm.  If we should happen to be scheduled for overnights, we just keep on going.

This type of schedule is standard for professional pet sitters.  We map out our visits by requested time and location in order to plan our day with the most efficient route.  Sometimes though, no matter how much we plan and prepare, things are going to change.

It’s a pet sitters life and things are going to change!

Things are going to change

 

Our sitters are accustomed to the every changing schedules but geesh these last few weeks have been hard to keep up with. We know to look at our schedules several times a day to be sure nothing is missed and here is why.

  • Work schedules changed for summer so two of our daily Mon – Friday clients no longer needed walks starting in June.
  • Another client who normally uses us two days per week wanted to switch to one day a week. We were able to accomodate but one week into June the client wanted to switch to a different day. Unfortunatley our daily schedule for the day requested was already filled for those time slots so the client decided on a different day.
  • Pet visits scheduled for 14 days in June were cancelled because of a family member was hospitalized.
  • Two seperate clients requested extra visits be added to their weekly schedule
  • A booking over Memorial weekend cancelled because their plans changed.
  • New client scheduled less than 48 hours because their sitter backed out.
  • Client decided to stay home from work and didn’t need us.
  • Another client leaving later for work wanted us to visit later in the day than originally planned.
  • Daily client had plans after work could we add on another visit between 3-4.
  • Client requested 3 mid day visits for the week but less than 24 hour notice.
  • Client called on Thursday to book 3 visits a day starting Fri thru Monday for a last minute weekend trip.
  • Client scheduled visits for 7 days but decided to leave two days earlier than planned and needed hour long visits added for those extra days.

I am pretty sure there are a few I forgot to mention.  While handling a full schedule of pet visits, it’s really tough to keep up with so many changes  Luckily we have a great scheduling system in place. Our clients can schedule, cancel, or change visits online 24/7. It’s also an excellent way to keep track of the changes so nothing gets missed while we are out tending to pets.

It’s life, things are going to change.  We get it.  Sometimes the changes are unpredictable like in the case of a family member suddenly hospitalized.

There are times though,  the changes occur because of poor planning. If you failed to book your pet sitter until the day before you are going on a week long trip but planned your travel arrangements months before, don’t expect your pet sitter to jump thru hoops to get you on the schedule.

To book service, cancel, or change a request, please use our online scheduler.  We receive so many texts and calls each day while we are out pet sitting and are unable to schedule the requests until we are back in the office.  We do not want to miss your request and want to be sure we have all the information necessary.

When you need to schedule, cancel, or change pet service, do so with as much notice as possible.  The more notice you provide, the easier it is to accomodate your request.

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Are You Shocked By The Cost Of Pet Sitting?

When clients call up inquiring about service, the first thing they want to know is the cost of pet sitting. After finding out more about the pets and their needs, a rate is quoted.  On the other end of the phone, silence.  It’s because pet parents are shocked to learn that pet sitting is not cheap. The statement  “oh I didn’t realize pet sitting would cost so much” often follows that dead silence.

Are you Shocked By The Cost of Pet Sitting?

Are you Shocked By The Cost of Pet Sitting

Why so much?

It’s not certain why pet parents are so shocked by the cost of pet sitting. Is it because they are used to family and friends caring for their pets for free?  Have they always paid the neighborhood teenager $5 to let the dog out so when they call a professional are taken aback by the cost?

Why do professional pet sitters have to charge so much for pet sitting?  It’s not that hard to take care of cats and dogs, right?

You know the expense of having a pet.  There is food, toys, treats, veterinarian visits, and maybe even grooming. There is also pet care for when you go away.

Let’s talk about the cost of pet sitting.

Most professional pet sitters determine their rates with great care and consideration.  The rate of pet sitting should not be determined on the average rate or what competitors in the area are charging.

Pet sitting rates should be determined on what the pet sitter needs to charge in order to pay all expenses and make a profit. As much as pet sitters would love to work for free because they love pets, they do have bills to pay. If they aren’t charging enough to meet their expenses and basic needs, they won’t be around the next time you need pet sitting service.

Here is a breakdown on the cost of pet sitting.

Let’s assume a per visit rate of $20

$8  = 40% goes to payroll, employer taxes, Workers Compensation insurance

$6 = 30% allocated to other business expenses, phone, internet, marketing materials, mileage, and liability insurance to name a few.

$6 = 30%  profit,  but wait 20% has to be paid for personal income tax on this.

Of the $20 visit rate, a pet sitting business is only netting approximately $4.80.

As you can see charging anything much less than this, the pet sitting business will barely survive.

What’s the value?

When you are looking to hire a pet sitter, look at the value the pet sitter provides then determine if the cost of pet sitting is really that shocking. This is a person you are entrusting to enter your home and care for your pet, two of your greatest treasures.

When choosing pet care, what is most important to you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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