Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I think I would like to work with you. 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, my rate schedule, 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.
Q: Do you do sit 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 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: Do you offer dog walking services?
I do 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 cared for cats, small rodents, birds, reptiles and fish. 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: How far in advance can I book?
I allow booking up to a year in advance for new clients, 18 months in advance for established clients. Some very established clients have annually reserved times with me in perpetuity as they 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: Do you offer discounts for extended stays?
Yes, I do offer a 15% discount on stays 14 days or greater.
Q: Do you offer other discounts?
I offer premium, highly customized, exclusive service, only caring for one client's pets at a time, and my rates do reflect that. That being said, if once I have established a relationship with your pet, it becomes apparent that they require less intensive adjustments for their care, you may be granted a discounted rate. For example, a highly social dog that allows the possibility of my having a friend visit for coffee or dinner is different than a fearful, reactive dog that needs considerable accommodation to keep them 'under threshold'. I do take this in to consideration.
Rate adjustments are at my discretion and are never offered for a first stay.
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 have the resources close at hand (https://petemergencyeducation.com/). 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 well being of your pet is very important to me!