Tag: holiday bookings

When Should I Book My Pet Sitter?

The holidays are coming, the holidays are coming!  When should I book my pet sitter?  I can do it last minute can’t I?  I’m sure they will be available…

Not necessarily!  As soon as you have your holiday vacation planned, book your pet sitting services.  Pet sitters only have so many visits they can make in a day.  If you are looking for overnight pet sitting, your pet sitter can only sleep with one family at a time.  That significantly reduces your chances of your pet sitter being available to you the closer and closer you get to your expected vacation.

For example:  We are BOOKED for overnight and live in services for the week of Christmas.  Holidays are prime for vacations and keep pet sitters busy.

What if I book early and realize I need to cancel?  Our cancellation policy states that if you cancel an overnight or live in within 2 weeks of the service start date you will be charged 50% of the original invoice amount.  If you cancel with more than 2 weeks notice there is no cancellation fee.

The moral of the story???  Book your services as soon as you know you are traveling, or, realize you may be looking for a pet sitter last minute.

Independence Day Pet Safety

4th of July is upon us and with it comes loud noises our dogs aren’t used to hearing. Here are some ways to keep your dog sane and safe during 4th of July:

Staying home for Independence Day?  Here are some stay at home tips:

  • Don’t leave alcoholic beverages out where your dogs can get to it. Alcoholic beverages have the ability to poison your pets.  It can cause your pet to become weak, severely depressed or could go into acoma.

  • Don’t apply insect repellent to your pet that isn’t labeled as pet safe.  The misuse of insect repellent containing DEET can lead to neurological problems.

  • Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets reach. Chlorates found in matches can damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing.  Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin and if ingested can cause gastrointestinal irritation.

Going out to see a fireworks display? Here are some tips for leaving your dog at home:

  • Be sure to leave your dog inside.  Keeping your dog inside, away from the noise, will help them stay calmer.  They should be kept in a quiet, escape-proof area of your home.  If you have a doggy door, keep it closed so they don’t have access to the backyard where they could dig out, jump the fence or obnoxiously bark at the loud noises.

  • Although it is tempting to bring your dog with you…Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for your dog.

  • ID or Microchip.  When dogs get scared they react with fight or flight.  Loud noises could send your dog running for the hills.  Make sure you properly ID or microchip your dog to be sure you get him back if he runs away.

Don’t forget about the kitties.  Same rules apply.  Keep them inside where they are safe.  

Top 4 Reasons a Pet Sitting Company Will Tell You NO

 When Is It Too Late To Book Holiday Pet Sitting?

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It’s November 11th and we are down to the wire for holiday bookings.  Established clients are reminded well in advance to book their pet sitting services ahead of time so they are guaranteed a spot on the calendar.  Waiting until a week, or even, two weeks before a major holiday could mean a pet sitter telling you no.  If you don’t already have a relationship with a pet sitting company, you need to start looking today!  The number 1 phone call we get a week prior to a major holiday is….

My “pet sitter” bailed and I need someone to care for my pets!

We will get this same phone call up to the day BEFORE a major holiday.  It happens every year.  Most often, the “pet sitter” was a friend, family member or neighbor that decided spending time with their own family was more important than watching their friend’s or neighbor’s pet.

If you are able to find a pet sitter with availability you want to be prepared to pay a “late booking” fee.  Let me explain what goes into taking on a NEW client close to major holidays when the schedules are already tight.

1.  The company needs to find a sitter that has availability and is WILLING to sacrifice time away from family they have already planned.

2.  The sitter needs to find time to schedule a meet and greet with the new client in between already scheduled visits.

3.  The company may need to rearrange sitters booked with other clients to accommodate the new client.

4.  All the while rushing to make sure we have all the required information from the new client within a 24 hour period.

Sometimes when we have to turn new clients away, they are frustrated.  I can totally see why that would be frustrating, but it’s not the companies fault that you waited too long to find a professional to care for your pets.  And it’s not the companies problem that your friend bailed.  A common response is, “All I’m asking for is a 30 minute visit.  I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to squeeze us in.”  It’s NOT just a 30 minute visit.  It’s travel time from one visit to the next.  It’s fitting, or not being able to, fit the drive time AND the visit in so we can spend QUALITY time with all our clients within a reasonable time frame.

So to answer the question….Be prepared to meet with a new sitter a MONTH before a major holiday.  Get that relationship established so you aren’t told NO or left having to cancel your plans.