Wondering About Our Pet Care Services?
Frequently Asked Questions
When I go out of town, how many times per day should I have you visit my pets?
For indoor dogs, we require three visits a day if the dog(s) do not have access to outdoors in between visits. Years of experience have shown us that dogs given only two visits a day are more stressed and are likely to require more of our time when we do visit. (Veterinarians recommend that dogs be allowed to relieve themselves at least every 6-8 hours. ) For healthy cats, one visit per day is usually sufficient. We will not agree to visit a cat any less once each day you are away.
Do I get to specify what time I want you to visit?
Clients specify a two-hour service window for visits, e.g., 1:00 – 3:00 PM. We try to arrive as close to the middle time as possible but your location and other visits that are on our calendar does not make specific times feasible.
Are you willing to visit my cat every other day, rather than every day?
We require at least one visit a day to your cat while you are away. Illnesses can come on quickly and maintaining a clean litter box environment is more difficult when not done daily.
I’d like to have my neighbor come visit my pets part of the time and have the pet sitter come part of the time. Is that okay?
We do not share pet or home care responsibilities with non-employees due to issues it causes with our liability insurance. In addition, problems have arisen in the past as a result of sharing care.
If we find that someone has entered your home or is present in your home when we arrive, and we have not been informed that this will happen, the proper authorities will be called.
Should I call or text before I leave to confirm my trip?
When you book our services, you will receive an email containing an attachment showing the visits that have been put on our calendar. Your are expected to review the attachement to confirm that the visits are properly scheduled. You will be sent an invoice about four to seven days before your departure.
Please inform us immediately if there are changes to your plans. We also request that you agree to notify us upon your return. If we do not hear from you and make an additional visit, you will be charged for that unneeded visit.
There is a 25% cancellation fee for major holiday periods.
Once we have met, do I have to fill out a service agreement each time I leave town?
No. Once your service agreement is on file, simply use the Client Area on this website to book additional services.
Will you, Cindy, be the only pet sitter for my animals?
No, I have employees who share the visits with me. This provides backup and more flexibility. All employees are covered by liability insurance.
For the initial set of contracted visits, I attempt to make most of the visits to your animals. I like to learn your animal’s typical behavior and personality. I do this so that if there are any concerns or questions in the future from other sitters, I am able to address them. But sometimes other pet sitters will be required on the first set of visits due to previous commitments.
Can I have only you, Cindy, visit my pets?
I do not recommend this and charge an additional 20% if I am the only pet sitter allowed to visit your animals. It also means that I may have to turn down your request for service due to schedule constraints, especially during the holiday season. More importantly, there is no backup sitter familiar with your animals in the case of an emergency.
How are the other pet sitters introduced to my animals and home?
During one of my regular visits to your pets, I will have one of the pet sitters accompany me for the visit–meeting your animal, seeing their routine, and determining whether I like the interaction between animal and sitter. You will be informed that the introduction has occurred and given their contact information. If you wish to meet the pet sitter, you may call the sitter directly to arrange a meeting at both your convenience; I will not be present.
How many other pet sitters do you have working for you?
The number of employees varies. It usually ranges from two to six employees. Employees undergo background checks, as well as skill and reliability screenings. My employees are covered by all state and federal workplace insurances. All are covered by professional liability insurance and bonding.
What does it mean that your pet sitters are insured?
We carry a liability insurance policy that protects you from financial loss in the event we are liable for accidents that occur while caring for your pets or home. Any responsible professional business should carry liability insurance.
What does it mean that you are bonded?
A dishonesty bond gives you peace of mind that you will be reimbursed if anything is stolen from your home. You should make sure that any workers who enter your home carry a dishonesty bond.
What do you do in case of an emergency?
It depends on the type of emergency. If something was to happen to your regular sitter, we have a backup sitter that can take over. If an emergency occurs with your pets, we will first contact your vet and transport them if necessary. You will then be contacted about the situation.
If there is an emergency with your home, we will call you, your emergency contact, and the appropriate authorities and/or a preferred repair service.
What is your policy on last minute reservations?
Typically, I ask that reservations be made as far in advance as possible, especially for major holidays, as we do book up. However, I understand that life happens and unexpected trips come up. In these cases, I am available for all of my clients at any point. There is no extra fees for last minute reservations.
Please do not hesitate to text or email at any time in emergency situations. Keeping a key on file with us is a good idea for clients that make unexpected trips, e.g., for business.
Note that the majority of scheduling requests are processed during office hours: Monday to Friday, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
When and how do you get paid?
Payment is due at start of pet sitting visits, i.e., when you go out of town. You will receive an invoice via PayPal about 4-7 days before your departure.
Payment is due at the end of the service week for regularly scheduled, midday dog walks. Billing weeks run Saturday through Friday. On the following Sunday, you will receive an invoice, via PayPal. It is due upon receipt.
You do not need to use PayPal for payment. Feel free to write a check made out to From Wags to Whiskers and leave at the first visit. You may also use Zelle to send your payment to my phone number 757.641.0099 or Venmo (FromWags2Whiskers).
If we return early from our vacation, will I get a refund of unneeded visits?
You will receive credit for unused visits due to an early return only if notification is given 8 hours in advance of the scheduled visit. This credit is good for a year.
Will I be charged for my midday dog walk if I need to stay home from work?
Regularly scheduled visits need to be cancelled at least 3 hours in advance of the two-hour service window in order to prevent a charge for the visit.
Because some people still require visits on non-major holidays, e.g., MLK Day, we request that you affirm that you will not require service if such a holiday falls on a day that you typically have service.
Ready to Meet and Talk?
Before service can began, we must arrange a time to meet. It will take place at your home and will last approximately 30 minutes. At that time, we will be introduced to your animals and we will discuss what will happen during the visits.