- Why should I use your services, when I would be able to get a friend or family member to care for my pets?
If it were only that easy! However, these people are busy, putting their jobs, family, and social events ahead of your pets. They may not be able to devote the time and attention that your pet will receive from a paid/professional pet sitter. Your friends, neighbors, or family members may also resent frequent requests to look after your pet while you're away; likely resulting in less attention/TLC for your beloved pets.
And unlike friends, neighbors, or family, when I go out of town, I won’t ask you to watch my pets free of charge. :-)
- Why shouldn't I have my pets boarded?
Peace of mind: Sending your pet to a boarding facility can be a traumatic experience for you and your pet. When you are away, your pets’ routine is disrupted. They miss you more because they don't have access to their usual sleeping spots, familiar smells, quiet spots, etc.... causing unnecessary anxiety for them.
Safety/health: In a kennel, your dog or cat may be exposed to illnesses of other animals -- not to mention pesky fleas/ticks. Other dogs in a kennel may also bully and pick fights with your dog, causing injury. Kennels are also typically very noisy (and stressful), preventing your pet from getting adequate rest.
Flexibility: With kenneling, you have to set your departure and return dates/times, around the open hours of the kennel. And I also think there's something to be said about avoiding the last-minute running around (and stress) of dropping off your pet.... and then rushing to the kennel for pick-up after a long trip.... when all you really want to do is relax with your happy pet at home!
Personal attention: By hiring a pet sitter, your pets can stay in their home and get plenty of one-on-one love and attention. They won't have to "fight" for anyone's time, as may be the case with limited staff and multiple cats/dogs at a kennel.
Deter home crime: I will watch over your home while you are away. I can can water plants, bring in the mail/newspaper, turn on/off lights, open/close blinds, do a perimeter check, and notify you should there be a problem with your pets or your home. Having a car (mine) parked in your driveway at various times of the day, along with the sight of me coming and going, also encourages criminals to avoid your home.
- Will my pets and I meet you before service starts?
Absolutely! I find this to be very important, therefore every client schedules a free introductory visit with me before services begin. During this visit, I will meet your and your pets to review everything, and answer your questions. It is very important to me that you feel comfortable leaving your "family" in my care.
- What services do you offer?
I realize that the needs of each animal and home are unique. To accommodate your needs, I offer the following service options:
• Daily dog potty breaks and play time (in yard).
• Short-term daytime pet care/house sitting: I can visit your dog or cat every day while you’re out of town. I will maintain your pet's usual daily routine with play, feeding, and exercise. I will also scoop litter boxes, clean up accidents, ensure they have clean water, etc. Dog bathing and brushing is also an option.
• Overnight pet care/house sitting: I provide the usual daytime pet sitting services, and also stay the night at your house so your dog or cat is not lonely. (Limited coverage areas.)
- Do you personally take care of my pets?
Except in an emergency, I will personally be taking care of your pets.
I, nor an emergency substitute, will bring children or friends into your home without your permission.
If I am simply unavailable the dates you need a sitter, you will be notified in advance of your departure, so that you may make other arrangements.
- What information will I need during the introductory visit?
Your personal contact information: cell phone number and email address. If you will not be carrying a cell phone or a cell phone will not work in the area that you are staying, please provide me with the name and phone number of the hotel or place of stay.
• Emergency contact person: In the event of an emergency and I am unable to reach you.
• Veterinarian name & number for emergency medical purposes.
• Pet Information: This includes the daily routine of walking, feeding and playing. Also tell me about your pets’ favorite treats, location of toys, and about any behavioral problems.
• Medical History: If medication is to be given, please provide detailed instruction from your veterinarian. Of course, we cannot administer medication to a pet that poses a danger.... Nor do I feel comfortable giving insulin.
• Security company phone numbers & codes, if applicable.... Just in case I set off the alarm.
• Key to your home (or a lockbox code): Please test keys in advance. Sometimes new copies will not work properly, and that's obviously not something we want to find out after you have departed.
• Names & number of others who may be entering the house: Maid, family, pool service, friends, etc.
For your security, keys are labeled with your pet’s first name only (not your last name, nor your address).
Most customers have me hold their keys for future visits, but needless to say, I am also happy to return them to you upon your return. Please note that if I need to bring the keys to you, this will require an additional fee of $10 to cover my time and fuel costs.
- My cat is afraid of strangers. What will you do if you cannot find him/her?
I am experienced with pets of varying temperaments. I appreciate that many kitties (and some dogs) are quite shy. If that's the case, I ask that you point out his or her favorite hiding places upon the introductory visit. Then when I arrive for my visits, I will search for them if need be. If she/he can’t be found, I will follow your instructions as far as how I should proceed. Some parents say, "don't worry if you can't find her"... But others want me to continue looking until he/she is found. Either way, I will confirm your cat is eating and using the litter box to make sure they are just being shy, and is not injured/ill. I make an effort not to make matters worse by cornering your shy fur kid(s). I attempt to earn their trust in a gentle way, and allow them to come out of their shell in their own time.
- When I go out of town, how many visits per day should I schedule?
Generally, I recommend two to three visits per day for a dog, and one visit per day for a healthy cat. Of course, you know best how often your pet is used to going out or being fed. I will work with you to set up a schedule that’s comfortable for you and your pet.
- Is there anything special I should do before I leave?
Please make sure you have left enough supplies such as pet food, cat litter, medications, and treats to last the duration of your trip. Also, please leave out your pet’s leash (if applicable) and bowl. Be sure to show me where to find cleaning products in case an accident needs to be cleaned up. Please be sure to inform me of any changes in the health of your pets.
- What will you do if my pet has an emergency while I’m away?
If I am concerned that your pet may be ill, I will follow the emergency instructions you provided. This usually entails taking your pet to the veterinarian, unless you request otherwise. I will also attempt to contact you right away.
- What if you have an emergency while I’m away?
In the unlikely event I have a personal emergency, I will make every effort to contact you for your approval before sending my "emergency partner" in to take care of your pets. If this makes you uncomfortable, you may cancel the current service and make other arrangements.
- What should I expect when I return home?
You should return to happy pets! I ask that you confirm when you return home, so I can be certain you have arrived and I no longer need to visit your pet. Delays often happen and I don't want to make any incorrect assumptions, and leave your pet unattended for too long.
- How much advance notice do you require before service?
Two weeks (or more) notice is preferred, but usually not necessary. To ensure availability, it is best to contact me as soon as you anticipate you will need pet sitting services.
If a last-minute need arises, please do not hesitate to text me. I will always try to work it out. Existing clients whose keys are already in my possession can be accommodated on short notice.
- How much does each visit cost?
Depending on the services desired, prices generally range between $20 and $25 per visit, which includes multiple pets. Please refer to the "Services and Rates" page for a price list. This can be customized, based on your special needs. As you will see on my rates page, I also give discounts for customers living in my immediate area.
- When do I pay for the service?
For vacation/out-of-town visits, established customers typically leave 100% of the payment for me to pick-up at the first visit. However, for brand new customers, I am willing to accept 50% upon start of the job, and 50% upon completion.
For regular/daily visits/dog-walking, balances should be paid weekly, on or before Friday.
- What forms of payment do you accept?
Cash, money order, and Paypal (with additional $5 fee to cover their "transaction fee").
You can text or email me to set up the free introductory meeting.
Absolute Pet Care & House Sitting
PO Box 89561, Tampa, FL 33689
Cell: 813-334-2776 (Text Messages)
Click below to visit my Facebook page: