Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I think I would like you to be my pet sitter. What are the next steps?
A: Give me a call at 630-750-2365 or email me via the contact page on this site. If you know your travel dates, please include them so I can check my availability. Once we connect, if we decide I may be a good match, I will send you a questionnaire asking for details on your pet's care, and we will set up an introductory meet & greet visit. There is no charge for this visit. It will take place at my home unless we already know that I will be sitting at yours. Plan on about an hour because one major purpose of this meeting is relationship building with your pup(s). Once we humans decide if we are a good fit, we can have some coffee and your critter(s) can investigate the sniffs and see if they agree. PLEASE NOTE: Due to the high demand for my services, I may not be able to accept new clients. Given the uncertainties of life, however, sometimes I do get unexpected openings, so best to ask as soon as you are thinking about travel so that you can get on my waiting list if we are a good match.
Q: Do you do pet sitting in your home or my home?
A: I do both. My preference (and my husband's!) is that I sit in my own home. I do have some standing exceptions, however. Three dog packs or greater will always be watched in their own home. Un-house-trained puppies or dogs with incontinence issues will be watched in their own home. For some dogs that have special needs, behavioral issues, or questionable manners such as wanting to mark all over my house, sitting in their own home may also be required. This will be judged on an individual basis.
Q: Do you sit all breeds? Will you accept dogs with behavioral issues?
A: I do, as long as I can safely handle them.
I do sit a number of dogs that have reactivity and behavioral issues. If this is true of your pet(s), we will discuss the nature of their issues in depth. Depending on the factors which influence their behavior, I may set up a gradual stay schedule with you to help them acclimate prior to a longer sit. For example, some highly anxious dogs may start with a partial day sit, then spend a full day, then a single overnight, etc. This is for everyone's benefit as the dog will be more relaxed and trusting, safer/easier to handle at my house, and will have a minimized likelihood of stress-related behavioral regressions when returning to your home. Believe me, I know how hard people work to keep quirky dogs on even ground!
I will happily consult with your pet's training and health care professionals if an integrated team approach is what your pup needs!
Q: Can you accommodate special diets? Medical issues?
Yes. We can talk about your specific needs. As you might assume, I have had canine guests age and 'cross the bridge' over the years. Adjusting to their health changes and challenges is part of the deal.
Q: How far in advance can I book?
I allow booking up to 2 years in advance with the option of reserving standing annual bookings, a bonus for those who travel the same time every year. Basically, never wait to contact me if you are planning a trip.
Once you are a client, or prepared to become one, I will put you on my email list for monthly calendar updates to assist with your planning.
Q: What are your rates?
I offer a premium, highly customized, exclusive service, only caring for one client's pets at a time, and my rates do reflect that. Pet sitting in my home is $125/night, in your home is $175 for any reservations you are able to secure in 2022.
As of March 2022, I have no remaining bookings the rest of this calendar year, although if you are interested in being on my waiting list for any cancelations that might occur, please do feel free to contact me.
Rates for 2023 will be 150/night at my house, 200/night at yours. DO NOT WAIT if you want to consider sitting having me watch your pet that far out as my remaining openings are extremely limited, and you never know if 2022 dates might end up opening up since life is so unpredictable for people these days.
I also offer the option of reserving annual bookings, (same dates every year, beginning 2023). As 90% of my year is now held with annual reservations by my current clients, I DO have some time remaining for this, but it is quite limited, so please contact me to find out the status of those opportunities. The 2023 rates mentioned above apply to annual bookings (150/200).
This is my career, so once your pup is in, they are in until I retire. Your rates will not be increased for the life of your pet. Annual holds will remain in place for you, even if you lose a pet, so any new pets you bring into your life would still be welcome with any annual reservations held securely for them (provided we do well together, of course).
Q: Do you offer discounts for extended stays?
No, I am sorry I am unable to offer this option.
Q: Do you offer dog walking services?
Rarely, but do ask if you need this. I can on occasion offer short-term dog walking depending on distance and my booking schedule. Because I do not leave my home as a rule while hosting dog guests, I am unable to accept regular dog walking assignments.
Q: Do you sit other types of animals?
I do. I have several cats I care for and have also taken care of small rodents, birds, reptiles and fish. Please contact me if interested in my home check rates for cats or other animals. We can discuss your non-canine pet care needs and whether I have the necessary skills to provide appropriate care.
Q: Will you take my dog(s) to a dog park?
A: No, NEVER. Simply not worth the risk of having someone's un-monitored dog cause harm.
I never allow dogs off leash unless we are in their own securely fenced yard. (I do not have a fenced property but DO have wonderful walking options.)
Q: Are you insured?
A: Yes! I am insured through Pet Sitter Associates (www.petsitllc.com). If anything should happen during a visit, I will contact you immediately. Please note that pre-existing conditions are not covered by this insurance.
Q: Are you pet first aid & CPR certified?
A: Yes. I certified for pet first aid and CPR through a 3 hour in-person Pet Emergency Education class and renew as necessary to maintain my certification. I have the resources close at hand (https://petemergencyeducation.com/) and program your vet's information into my phone along with the most local emergency vet. If a situation arises that puts your pet's health in danger, I will use that knowledge to address the situation, and proceed to your vet, if necessary. You will be contacted immediately (once practical, of course) to let you know what is happening. The wellbeing of your pet is very important to me!