Frequently Asked Questions

  Is there an initial interview before service begins?
  Will there be forms to fill out?
  Are your rates per pet?
  Do you provide overnight visits?
  How many times do you visit and what time?
  When do I pay you?
  Why is pet sitting so expensive?
  Why shouldn’t I just get a neighbor to stop by?
  What can I expect from a professional?
  What kind of pets do you care for?
  Do you care for aggressive animals?
  What do you do with our pets?
  What do you do with our keys?

1. Is there an initial interview before service begins?

Yes. An initial interview is usually required before service is provided. This interview is an opportunity to get acquainted with you and your pet. It can take from 30 to 60 minutes and gives us time to gather information about your pet, fill out paperwork, get familiar with your pet and your home routine, and discuss all the important information about your pet's needs.

This first interview is free. Consultations for services later on are available but are not required. Subsequent consultations & key pickups/drop offs will be charged at our regular visit rates.

In addition, we will take this time to discuss our policies with you and answer any questions you may have. We ask that you have two sets of keys ready for us at that time. (One set will be kept in the office and the other set will be kept by the care giver.) Please check the keys to make sure they work before we take possession. Even if you wish us to use a garage door remote, we still require the keys incase of a power outage.

Please be sure to call far enough in advance to schedule your consultation. PETS-R-US does book up periodically, and will not always have time to schedule last minute consultations or service. Also, you'll want to meet with us to be sure we are a "good fit" for your home in plenty of time before service starts.

2. Will there be forms to fill out?

Yes. We keep a file on every home and pet we visit. The file includes important information, including walk and feeding schedules, your contact information, vet information, etc. This profile allows us to make sure we are following your routine exactly as you wish.

3. Are your rates per pet?

No. All rates are based on time only and almost all tasks are included. However, you will be required to provide enough time for us to complete the tasks requested. We will try to get everything done in the time you scheduled for your first service, but any extra time needed will be charged to you and must be paid within 10 days of bill receipt.

4. Do you provide overnight visits?

Due to obligations at home (with many pets of our own), we do not offer overnight visits at this time.

5. How many times do you visit and what time?

Our regular visit hours are usually from 7:00 am - 8:00 pm. If you have specific requests for before and after hour visits, you may be charged $5 extra per visit. Safety is always a concern for our pets and pet sitters and we prefer not having sitters out too late at night.

Please schedule us to come often enough to avoid unnecessary accidents. If you do not, large and super messy accidents may be charged extra.

6. When do I pay you?

Deposit in full for first time customers is due prior to or at time of service, usually paid at the initial consultation or left on the kitchen counter for the sitter at the first visit. Once you have established a relationship with us, you can request to have your invoice left on the final visit with an envelope to mail in your payment on your return. If you have a special situation, please ask. We will do our best to accommodate.

Payment for mid-day walks is to be made on the first day of provided service and for the full number of days scheduled that week, including holidays. Should you take time off during that week, payment for all days scheduled is still required.

7. Why is pet sitting so expensive?

Many people are new to the pet sitting experience and may compare us to baby sitters or teenage house sitters. There is an enormous difference between professional pet sitters and having friends, family, or teenagers watch your home. Many of our clients have horror stories of previous non-professional pet sitting experiences.

(See the next question below for details)

8. Why shouldn’t I just get a neighbor to stop by?

Friends and neighbors generally have good intentions, but they may not fully expect being inconvenienced. Or they may hope to save money by having you reciprocate when they need pet care. But as time goes by, they could start taking short-cuts, over-look necessary tasks, or miss visits. They may feel the “favor” is more of an imposition than they had expected.

Most of our customers have horror stories concerning having hired non-professionals prior to our services. Many well-intentioned non-professionals are simply unprepared to handle emergencies. Some have neglected to observe signs of illness or dangerous situations. Others simply don’t know the proper procedures of caring for pets.

My personal horror story happened many years ago. I owned several cats and had asked a neighbor to stop by once a day for the week we were to be gone. The neighbor decided to delegate the task to his 10 year old grand-daughter and failed to check up on her work. When we arrived home, we found that she had put fresh canned cat food on top of uneaten canned food during the entire week – in the dead of summer time heat. The food was rancid, had attracted hundreds of ants, everyone had diarrhea and they all had to be hospitalized for food poisoning. To make matters even worse, she had over-looked cleaning the litter boxes and the cats had found “alternate” places in the house to relieve themselves. Lesson learned there! Our neighbor was well-intentioned but neglectful and our cats paid the price.

Another story: A customer of mine hired the teenage daughter of a friend to care for her 3 cats. When she returned home, she found beer cans and unmentionable items in her bedside trash can. Unsupervised, the teenager had a little “party” in the client’s home. The client was so disgusted, she ended up purchasing a new mattress…

9. What can I expect from a professional?

We are insured and bonded. We are extremely careful when securing your home. We never bring unauthorized people into your home.
We are responsible, reliable, respectable adults who vow to treat your pets and your home the way we would want ours to be treated.
We are there when we are scheduled to be there. We have back-up plans in the event of an emergency (hence the 2 sets of keys required).
And we will know how to contact a close neighbor, in the event we are not able to get to your home. If your pet is inconvenienced in any
way, we refund your money or give you a partial credit. And of course we clean up all accidents made by your pet.
We use your detailed notes to properly care for your pet and your home. It is important that you fill out all paperwork in a detailed manner
because we attempt to follow your written notes very carefully.
We leave a log of how things went and any problems we came across.
We provide little extras to make your return homecoming as welcoming as possible. Like sweeping up litter, mail sorting and newspaper
retrieval, taking out trash and temperature monitoring. All these and more are included in our service.
We have even been known to do a load or two of soiled pet bedding now and then so you don’t have to deal with it when you come home.

10. What kind of pets do you care for?

We care for most domestic as well as many exotic pets. We will care for horses, ponies, alpacas, etc. on a case by case basis. Please contact us for consideration.

11. Do you care for aggressive animals?

This is to be determined on an individual basis only. Some pets just do not like some people no matter what you do. Please let us know up front if you’re pet has had problems in the past with aggressive behavior towards people or other animals. We will evaluate the situation at the initial interview and take it from there. However, we will not put ourselves or others in danger. If there is a threat of physical harm to the sitter or a person/animal outside the home, we will take appropriate steps to try to defuse the situation, secure your pet, and call you to discuss what the best course of action would be.

12. What do you do with our pets?

We will do whatever you specify and whatever the situation calls for. But most of all, we will take the very best care of them. We will walk, play, cuddle, pet, brush, let out and clean up after them. We will not take a dog out unleashed unless you have a secure, fenced-in backyard. A collar must be provided for every dog. If you have an invisible fence, we will not be held responsible for the loss of or harm to any pets that manage to escape the borders, although we will do our best to locate them and bring them home safely. We ask that you please make sure all collars and equipment are operating properly before you leave. Please let us know in advance if your pet has a history of escaping. In the event of a power outage, pets with invisible fences will be walked on leashes.

13. What do you do with our keys?

Keys are normally picked up during the initial interview then stored in a lockbox until the next reservation. There is no charge for key storage. If you would like your key returned at the end of service, please let us know prior to our last visit. We prefer not to leave the key on the final visit, in case you are delayed and we need to get back in to care for your pet. But if you insist, it is best to have a secure, outside hiding place for your key. Please know that if we need to pick up the key again for a future reservation, for a $12.00 fee. We prefer to keep your key on file for emergency and last minute notice occasions. We have even been known to ‘come to the rescue’ of folks who have locked themselves out!

Keys can also be dropped off to you after your service period. You will need to call and schedule a time for this transfer, for a $12.00 fee.

Your key can also be mailed back to you but we will not be responsible for keys lost in the mail.

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