Clients often ask us if our pet sitters are employees of the company or independent contractors. Why would that be important? There is a huge difference in companies that have employees vs. independent contractors. This may be important for some people for many reasons.
1. Looking for consistency when different sitters are caring for your pets.
2. Workman’s compensation covers injuries while on the job.
3. The company has control over HOW the jobs are done and WHEN the jobs are completed.
4. The company can train employees.
5. The company has control over WHO is caring for your pets.
When a pet sitting company hires employees they are legally able to train them to perform jobs in a certain way so all the clients receive the same level of service. When companies hire independent contractors they have no control over how the job is being done and can’t train them to provide a certain level of service. They also have control over who is actually caring for your pets. Did you know that when you hire a company that hires independent contractors, if that person is not available to do the job, they can offer that job to ANYONE. The company has no control over WHO is actually caring for your pets.
When a company hires employees they are legally required to have a workman’s compensation plan in place to cover their employees if they get hurt on the job. Did you know that companies that hire independent contractors aren’t allowed to provide workman’s compensation? If an independent contractor gets hurt on the job, they could go after the pet parent for compensation.
If something goes wrong….you only have ONE person to work with on resolving the issue. When you work with a company with independent contractors you have the company AND the independent contractor to deal with.
Hiring a company that has employees will save you headaches and hassle in the long run and you’ll ultimately be happier.
Guest Blogger – Starla Clark – Pet Sitter Extraordinaire
Ever struggle with getting your cat into a carrier and out the door? As your professional Mesa pet sitters we are often asked to transport pets to vet appointments, groomers and day care.
Most anyone who is owned by a cat knows the secret telepathy that a cat possesses in regards to that scheduled appointment to the veterinarian, groomer or other time specific date. Many a cat is nowhere to be found when it comes time to load up into the car or if found, refuses to cooperate with the plan.
Cats are often not seen by a Veterinarian because the pet parents don’t know HOW to get that darn cat in their carrier. Starla has offered a few tips to help with transporting your furry friend.
Be certain to have a sturdy carrier in which to transport your pet. Plastic carriers are generally the safest, but a cardboard style carrier can also work fine for a normal weight, non-escapee variety of cat. If using cardboard, check to be sure it has been correctly assembled. You don’t want to lift kitty only to have him fall out of the bottom.
- Always confine your cat in something for the ride, even a pillowcase will work in a pinch. The most docile cat can exhibit super cat strength and escape your hold when being transported to an unfamiliar place.
- When attempting to collect your cat to put into the appropriate carrier, be sure to have the cat contained first before bringing out the carrier. Many cats are very effective hiders when they spot that carrier first.
I am often asked how to get the cat into the carrier when they refuse to do so willingly. My answer is if they will not go willingly head first, most cats will allow you to place them in backwards. For the cat that is truly unwilling, stand the carrier on end and lower the cat by the scruff of the neck, backwards into the crate.
A nice soft towel placed in the bottom will cushion the ride and absorb anything that might need absorbing.
And for all you dog owners… remember the leash, and a collar your pet cannot back out of when being asked to walk through that scary door to the animal hospital, kennel or groomer. Remember too that just because Fido loves cats, the cat Fido wants to look at in the waiting room may be deathly afraid of dogs.
The amazing part of this journey is how easily the cat returns to the carrier when leaving and how quickly the dog heads out the door. Always a miracle!
Don’t want all the drama? Remember Playtime Pet Care offers a Pet Taxi service to help you avoid all this work!
Starla Clark has been a team member with Play Time Pet Care since 2011. Starla has over 30 years of veterinary experience.
So you’re looking for a pet sitter and have no idea what kind of questions to ask. You figure if you meet the person and they seem nice, that should be good enough, right? Well, there are some important things you will need to know prior to making that hiring decision and handing over your keys. Here are a few tips and MUST ask questions:
1. Are you insured and bonded? The answer to this question should be YES. If your potential pet sitter responds by saying insurance and bonding isn’t important, stop the interview right there, thank them for their time and move on to the next one.
FYI – Insurance for a pet sitting company isn’t all that expensive. It should cover anyone from the company coming into your home. This includes the proprietors independent contracts / employees. If the sitter caring for your pets and home is under the age of 18, make sure the proprietors insurance covers them. MOST insurance companies DON’T cover those under the age of 18. Their insurance should cover special property of others which will cover accidental breakage, theft and mysterious disappearance.
2. Are you Pet CPR & First Aid Certified? The benefits to having a pet sitter that is pet CPR &First Aid Certified is tremendous. If a pet is acting strange, your pet sitter should be able to distinguish between emergency health related issues and those that can be waited out. If you are a multi pet household, First Aid comes in handy if multiple dogs are playing and one accidentally bites down too hard to get a toy from another dog and tears some skin. Your pet sitter should know how to clean a basic wound. If you allow your dogs to chew on rawhides your pet sitter should know CPR in case the rawhide gets lodged in the pets throat.
3. What is your back up plan? It is imperative that your pet sitter have a back up plan. Is this a single person operation or do they have independent contractors / employees that work for them? What happens if the sole proprietor gets sick, or in a car accident and CAN’T make it to your home to care for your pets? Working with a pet sitting company that employs other pet sitters is like getting a BOGO (buy one, get one). This also is a tell tail on what will happen during the holidays when pet sitters are their busiest. Single sitter operations may not have room on their calendar for you, which will leave you to search for another pet sitter anyway.
We’d be happy to help you find your fur-ever pet sitter. Give us a call for more pet sitter interviewing tips and questions.
The age old debate: To hire a single individual or a team of pet sitters?
I think this debate rings true when hiring any service provider that is coming into your home when you may not be there. A lot of people may find comfort in knowing the same person will be providing the service rather than a multitude of people whom you may have not met.
So, what happens when you hire a pet sitting company that has several pet sitters that work for them? Will you get the same person every time, or will there be several people in and out of your home while you are away? That’s a great question to ask your pet sitter prior to making that hiring decision. Here is how Play Time Pet Care handles it:
When you call to set up your initial consultation / meet and greet, the sitter that is assigned to you will be determined by who lives closest to you, who is available during your requested dates and depending on the type of pet(s) you have, who has the most experience. The goal is to set up the meet and greet with THE sitter that will be entering your home, providing your updates and completing the services needed. We also like to continue having that same sitter work with you on future pet sitting needs.
With that being said, there is a HUGE advantage to working with a pet sitting company that has other pet sitters providing services. Those advantages are:
- You never have to interview or hire additional pet sitting companies that may have different rates and policies because we will always have you covered.
- Life happens. If something were to happen to your dedicated pet sitter which rendered them incapable of caring for your pets during a time when you are away, they have built in back up. Your pets still get cared for without interruption. Granted, it may be a different pet sitter coming in to your home, but isn’t the piece of mind knowing your pets will always be taken care of better than the stress of possibly having another person in your home?
- All our pet sitters are insured, bonded and background checked. So, no matter who is in your home, you are protected.
- What if you want to go on vacation the same time your pet sitter wants to go on vacation? That’s not a problem with Play Time. We’ll just send a different sitter to meet you prior to you leaving so you know who is in your home.
- It’s like having an army of passionate, pet loving individuals on your side.
The chances of having multiple people in your home is slim, but in the emergency case that may arise, you want to have a team of professionals to have your back to take care of your beloved companion.
Play Time Pet Care is there for you all the time, no matter what. Your pets are our number one priority.
It may be a matter of convenience, a bad experience with boarding or maybe your pet doesn’t do well with others. Play Time Pet Care offers you an alternative to boarding and kenneling. We believe that allowing your pet(s) to stay in their most comfortable environment (home) is the safest and healthiest option.
Advantages for your Pet
- Pet Reduced Stress
- Tailored Care
- Less Exposure to Illness
- Personal Love and Attention
Benefits for the owner
- No Guilt From Imposing on Friends, Neighbors or Family Members
- No Transportation Concerns
- House Sitting Bonus
- Crime Deterrent
- Peace of Mind
Your in home pet sitter offers you the utmost convenience by traveling to your home so you don’t have to coordinate and create time to drop off and pick up your pet from a boarding service.
Imagine arriving home from either a long weekend or two week cruise and all you have to do is get home, drop your bags and love your pets. You don’t have to worry about:
Paying an extra day at the kennel if you arrive home after hours.
Picking up the pet waste after being gone for long periods of time, we’ve taken care of that for you.
Rushing out to clear out the mailbox, it’s all sitting on your counter waiting for you.
So, you’re planning your vacation, excited and ready to go! Wait…what about the pets? You need to make arrangements for their care while you are gone. You call a couple of professional pet sitting companies and decide to price shop against Rover.com, Care.com, and Dogvacay.com. Your price comparisons tell you that it is less expensive in the long run to go with Rover or one of the others rather than a professional pet sitter.
Let’s weigh the pro’s and con’s:
There is still a level of insurance provided to pet sitters registered with Rover.com.
Pet owner is responsible for a $500 deductible if anything were to happen to their pet while in the care of a Rover.com pet sitter. A professional pet sitting company does not pass the deductible along to the pet owner.
The insurance coverage of a Rover.com pet sitter includes professional liability insurance which covers property damage that occurs as a result of a sitter or dog walker’s services, or from FAILING TO RENDER THOSE SERVICES. (Meaning, the sitter forgets to visit, or leaves town without having someone else take care of your pets).
Pet parent is responsible for the $500 deductible. Again, a professional pet sitting company does not pass the deductible along to the pet owner.
The Rover.com sitter you decide to work with is probably an animal lover and has the best intentions of taking great care of your pet.
Generally, a Rover.com pet sitter does not do this for a living. It’s side money for them and they typically work another job or have other responsibilities that may take precedence over the care of your pet. A professional pet sitting company does this for a living. It is what they do full time. They have back up plans in case the sitter assigned to you can not make a visit for any reason.
The cons listed are not to scare you away from using a Rover.com pet sitter. It’s simply to make you aware of the “what if’s” and help prepare you for your interview of the sitter you decide to work with.
Here are some questions you should ask your Rover.com pet sitter:
Are you insured only through Rover.com? Or do you have additional insurance? With who?
What is your backup plan? If something happens to you, one of your kids, family members, etc. and you have to be away from home for long periods of time, how are my pets going to be cared for?
What is your cancellation policy?
What happens if the sitter has to cancel a booked reservation?
Will you send me updates with pictures? How often can I expect those?
How quickly do you respond to phone calls, text messages and emails?
If the Rover.com pet sitter you interview and meet face to face passes your tests and you have a good gut feeling, by all means, go for it!