"We highly recommend Pet 'N Play for dog walking services. Their staff are courteous, professional and wonderful with dogs. We appreciated their communication and follow-up with schedule changes with our dog's walks. They were also happy to be available when we needed extra walks. We would definitely go to Pet 'N Play for our dog walking needs again." Anu
Why hire Pet 'N Play - Your Personal Pet Sitters? Are there differences between companies?
There are a lot of things to consider when hiring a pet sitter or dog walker, and a lot of options out there. Why hire a professional pet sitter? Why not ask your neighbor, friend, relative, or even the 13-year-old kid down the street?
First you have to ask yourself if the friend/neighbor/relative/kid is reliable. Will they show up every day as needed? Also, are you maybe asking too much of them? Do they really want to take the time and trouble to take care of your pets? Could the demands of their own job/responsibilities interfere with the caretaking of your pets?
Here are some things to consider and some questions to ask a potential pet sitter:
At Pet 'N Play, pet sitting is our only business. We have backup in case of emergencies in the form of fully trained (by us) employees, not independent contractors. Our employees are bonded and we have full liability insurance. All of us are certified in Red Cross Pet First Aid. We have experience in administering many types of medications. We offer a FREE initial consultation. We leave notes after every visit, and offer email or text updates when you are out of town. We offer monthly invoicing for regular dog walking service, and you may pay online by check or all major credit/debit cards. We use biodegradable dog poop bags, have references available upon request, and are proud supporters of the Humane Society of Huron Valley!
There are many benefits for pet owners besides just the convenience and time-saving factors. There are also numerous benefits for the pets themselves. It's a win-win situation!
Benefits for the pet include the following:
Benefits for the pet owner include the following:
Why should I use a professional pet sitter?
There are many reasons for choosing to hire a professional pet sitter. The number one reason though is your pets stay in the comfort of their own home, in their familiar surroundings. Other reasons are:
Is it affordable for me to hire a professional pet sitter?
Yes. Considering all you receive, we believe it is. If you have multiple pets, pet sitting can actually be more affordable than kenneling. Would you pay more for a service that comes to your home catering to the needs of your home and pets? There are advantages to having an in-home service that offers crime deterrent services such as: rotating light and blinds, picking up mail and newspapers, watering plants and rolling the trash down to the curb. If you have dogs their presence is also a crime deterrent measure. All of this gives your home a lived in appearance while you are gone. Pet sitters check on homes as well as pets and can report problems such as broken pipes, break-ins or anything suspicious.
Service rates and extra fees should be discussed before services take place. Rates vary but in Michigan you can expect to pay from $16-$30+ a visit. Prices can be effected by how long the visit is for, where you live, the number of pets that need care, and other factors.
Leaving the care of your home and pets to someone who understands what a profound responsibility it is for them to be there makes the fee seem quite small. It is important to remember that pet sitters are busy and hard working professionals; many who work 365 days a year to provide these services to their clients. Pet sitters have many business expenses: insurance, registrations and licenses, bonding, printing and office costs, advertising costs, field supplies, phones and other communication devices, taxes, and one of the biggest is automobile and fuel costs.
Hiring a devoted professional is a caring investment and provides piece of mind that your pet is well cared for in the comfort of your loving home.
Do I have to give my pet sitter a key to my house?
Yes, you are required to give your pet sitter a key. Not providing a key can actually cause delays in your pets' care. Here are some of the problems that can happen when a pet sitter doesn't have actual keys:
Keyless Entry "Keypads/Codes":
• Do not function in a blackout
• Have been known to malfunction
• Are not as secure as a completely locked house
Garage Door Openers:
• Occasionally openers can open the wrong garage and can put contents within at risk (Including pets, if pets are kept in the garage.)
• Have been known to malfunction
• As with exterior doors, the interior door between house and garage should remain locked for security (Without a key, this door has to remain unlocked, which increases security risks.)
• Batteries need to be kept fresh and checked each time you leave
• Not as secure as a completely locked house
• Not secure: someone could find your hidden key (A lock box is a better alternative, but still poses some security risks.)
• Often keys are moved to a new hiding spot and the client forgets to inform their pet sitter
• The key needs to be kept dry as it can malfunction if it rusts (Lock smith call is charged to the client in such a case.)
Please consider the above when opting not to give your pet sitter a key to care for your pets. As with all services you hire to come into your home, you will want to check their credentials and references. It is not unreasonable for you to ask them if they are commercially insured, if they have references for you to contact and if they have bonded employees. You can also ask them if the keys are kept in a locked safe when not in use and if the keys are specially coded in case stolen. Professional pet sitters work hard to establish a good reputation for providing reliable, secure, and professional services. Some pet sitting businesses will not take on keyless assignments.
My friend can do the morning visits. Can you do the evening ones?
No. We are to be the only ones entering your home while you are away. There are many reasons for this, but the most substantial one is liability. Some of the concerns are as follows:
Pet sitting businesses carry insurance, which does not cover your shared helper's participation in the pet sitting duties. The responsibility for the care, custody, and control of your pet is shared which can cause confusion as to who is liable if a problem should arise. (For example: a lost pet, a door left unlocked or open, a dog bite, a break-in, broken or damaged property, lack of quality pet care...etc.)
Pet sitting businesses reputations are built upon the quality in which they provide the services. The only way professionals can be assured that all the tasks are tended to in the quality standards they offer is for the businesses to be allowed to completely provide these services.
Communication between your shared helper and pet sitting business is important but often overlooked. There needs to be defined instructions as to what each is doing so that the care is provided as specified and of the quality agreed upon. It is also important that they both communicate daily by written notes or diaries as to the animal's condition, behavior and care. Such duties as medications, feeding and other routine schedules need to be documented so both know what has been done and when. It is important that both pet sitter and shared helper know what warrants a visit to the veterinarian, or your pet could be at risk.
Being deeply involved in the responsibility in caring for your pets is everything to the pet sitting business. These professionals are strongly invested in their reputation and often can't afford to risk sharing their duties with another.
Can I schedule every other day visits for my pet?
Some pet sitters provide every other day services, though this is not recommended or provided by most professionals. Often low maintenance pets can maintain fine with minimal assistance, but pet sitting professionals can tell you from experience, not always! It makes a pet sitter cringe when someone divulges that they leave their pet for days with plenty of food and water. We cringe because we know what can happen to a pet left unattended. We understand the need to save money, but this could be a costly decision. Members have expressed the following concerns with every other day services:
• Pets can get their claws stuck in the carpet. If they can free themselves, broken claws can bleed and be painful
• Pets can accidentally lock themselves in rooms
• Several illnesses can be life threatening, needing veterinary intervention immediately
• Pets can hang themselves if their collars get caught on something
• Pets can ingest string, toys, pill bottles or other such items
• Pets with diarrhea left for 48 hr. period - no need to get graphic
If you do decide to leave your pet for extended periods, please take precautions to prepare a more safe environment for your pet:
• Close all doors and confine pets to a safe room
• Take off collars or use safe break-away type
• Trim nails/claws
• Pick up things that could be harmful if ingested
• Outdoor yards should have perimeters checked for holes
• Gates to the yard should have locks (Keeps people out and dogs in.)
A professional pet sitter is always concerned for the safety and well being of the animals in their care. Professionals understand what can happen in that extended time between visits and it causes additional concern for them. Please make this decision carefully, as it could be a costly one for you and your beloved pet.
Pet 'N Play- Your Personal Pet Sitters
Ann Arbor, MI
"Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms." George Eliot