Tag: value of a pet sitter

Who Are The Best Pet Sitters In Mesa, AZ

There are a ton of pet sitters to choose from in Mesa, AZ.  Seems like there are more and more popping up every day.  But WHO is the BEST pet sitter in Mesa, AZ?

Well, that is a hard question to answer.  Mostly because we all do things a little different.  Some companies hire employees who have ultimate control over HOW their sitters perform the jobs, others sub contract the work to other sitters and some are solo sitters that don’t have any help at all.  So based off this criteria, all our business models differ quite a bit.  I’ve made it a point to get to know many of the pet sitters in my area so when there is a time that I’m not able to service someone I can refer them to someone else that I trust.

Critter Caretakers Pet Sitting is one company I refer to quite often.  We service slightly different areas, they are a little less expensive than we are, they sub contract their work to trustworthy sitters, but we offer a service they don’t…the Live in.  The owner of this company is very passionate about animals, works with rescues and has a background as a teacher, so she LOVES to teach her clients new tricks 🙂

Andrea’s Quality Pet Care is another company I refer to.  Andrea not only does in your home pet sitting but she also provides in her home boarding.  This is a great option for people who’s dog(s) need 24 hour care but can’t afford to have someone stay in their home.  Your pet gets to stay in a home environment rather than a boarding/kennel environment.

The 3rd company I refer to (and these are in no specific order) is Canine and Feline Concierge.  Not only does Vanessa provide in your home services she also has several people that work for her who provide in their home services for both dogs and cats.  She also provides concierge services for humans.

The three companies mentioned above have proven to me that they are trustworthy individuals who run professional companies.  They are all unique in their own way.  I have pretty high standards, so to be in my top 3 is impressive!

Employee’s vs. IC’s

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.

Pet Sitter Gets “Kids” Ready for School

It’s that time of year again.  When the kids are getting ready for school and we keep getting busier and busier which in turn may make Fido’s activity diminish.  What happens to Fido when you get too busy for his now normal daily routine?  You may notice some depression or a change in behavior.

Jenna Trethewey, Owner of Play Time Pet Care says, “Pets tend to become isolated and it’s important to engage your pets in a daily routine just like the kids.  It helps dogs and cats everywhere.”  Here are some tips on keeping your pets on a normal routine:

  1. Be sure to include your pet in the new school supply shopping.  Purchase some extra special dog toys that they ONLY get when you leave the house.  Then pick them back up when you are home so they get the sense that they are going to get something special when you aren’t there.

  2. Consistent activity will deepen your bond and allow your pet to relieve any pent up energy they may have from being home alone all day.  We suggest allowing your dog to walk with you to the bus stop.  Or engage in nightly walks to help Fido remain active.

  3. When you eat, your pets eat.  Keeping your pet’s on a normal eating routine will alleviate the question of whether Fido of Fluffy ate breakfast or dinner and possibly feeding them too much which could lead to obesity.

  4. Make sure they have regular potty breaks.  Getting them on a potty break routine prior to school starting will help alleviate any worries mom and dad may have about coming home to a messy carpet.

Contact Play Time Pet Care for more information on how to help your pet’s get ready for school.  www.PlayTimePetCare.com / 480-292-9735

How Can You Tell if Your Pet Sitter Did Their Job?

Your pets ARE your kids and a part of your family.  When you hire a pet sitter, how can you tell if they actually did their job?  The last thing you want to do on vacation is wonder and worry about your pets.  Here is an example of one of our pet sitter’s client updates: 

Wouldn’t an update like this every day give you added peace of mind?  Ask your pet sitter to send you text or email updates with photos of your pets so you KNOW they’ve been to your house and your pets are happy and healthy.  If your pet sitter tries to charge extra for this service, find someone else.  If your pet sitter doesn’t offer updates, it’s time to move on.

Your pet sitter’s updates are fun and cute.  It gives the pet sitter the opportunity to share the funny quirks they experience with your pets so you know they can’t be making things up.  They also get to share how much fun they are having with your pets and that they have entered their hearts too.

Strange Requests for Pet Sitting in Mesa AZ

Sometimes our pet sitting clients call with “strange” requests.  After the request is made it is followed up by “I’m so sorry to have to ask you to do that.”  Or “Sorry for making such a strange request”. 

To that I say, “Don’t worry about it!  No request is too strange for us :)”

An example of some recent requests we’ve had are:

Our house is on the market…could you please make sure the litter box is cleaned after every visit?  And spray Febreeze in the litter box area and surrounding area?

Our kitty is misbehaving and peeing, vomiting and pooping in strange places.  Can you please check all rooms, even the ones with the doors closed?

Can you please leave the dog in his crate during the day, but allow him free reign at night?

If there are accidents in the house, can you clean it up the best you can and “leave a square” on the spot so I know where to steam clean?

I’m expecting an important package, can you please text me when it arrives?

I’m going out of town, but don’t want my puppy to miss a training session.  Can you please take him to obedience class?

Our trip is so last minute, I don’t have enough time pick up more dog food.  Can you pick up a bag for us and we’ll reimburse you?

Our dog piddles in excitement when we first come home.  Please don’t acknowledge him when you first arrive.  Just walk out in the backyard with him so if he does piddle it’s not in the house.

Do you think any of these requests are strange?  I don’t!  EVERY family is different.  We embrace the differences in each household and are happy to accommodate in any way we can.  Don’t be afraid to make those “strange” requests with your pet sitter.  They should be more than willing to handle your requests as long as it doesn’t cause harm to anyone or any pet.

What are some “strange” requests you’ve made of your pet sitter?

How will my pet sitter keep my pet safe?

The 4th of July is a popular holiday for pet sitting in Mesa, AZ.  Many of our clients want to get out of the heat to enjoy festivities, which means leaving the state or traveling to a town in the northern part of Arizona.  As pet sitters, it is our job to ensure the safety of our client’s pets during this time.  Our actions change a little, as do the temperaments of our 4-legged clients.

The mind of a dog during 4th of July festivities:

  • OMG, OMG, OMG…what was that noise?  I’ve never heard that before.

  • The sky is falling, the sky is falling…hurry, run away and take cover.

  • If I bark at it, it will go away, right? BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK….

  • I’m not sure what’s happening right now, but I’m sure if I start drooling everything will be ok.

  • Mommy, hold me!  This is FREAKIN me out!

If your pets are anything like mine, they get really nervous when they hear loud noises.  Mostly because this isn’t a part of their normal, everyday life.  My dogs will bark, pace, drool, jump in my lap and just generally become very nervous.  Here are some precautions we take with our client’s pets on the 4th of July to ensure their safety:

  1. If they have a doggy door, we will close the doggy door before it gets dark.  This way they don’t have access to the backyard where they could dig out, jump the fence or bark obnoxiously at the loud noises.  Kitty cats are also brought inside (if they are allowed outside) and kept inside for the night.

  2. We will turn the tv or radio on at a higher than normal volume to try and drown out the noise of neighborhood fireworks.

  3. We exercise them more than usual to try and wear them out before we leave them.

  4. If we are spending the night with them, we make sure we are at the home before the sun goes down.  Again we make sure the doggy door is closed and turn up some music or the tv to distract them.

  5. We certainly make sure we visit them early the next morning to make sure they are safe and sound.

It’s your turn.  What do you do to calm your dog and keep your pets safe during the 4th of July?

OMG!  My Family Bailed…Now What?

We get this call on more occasions that I would like to admit.  A pet owner is at their wits end because they had family ready to care for their pets while they are gone and the family ended up bailing on them.  Now they are in desperate need to find a professional pet sitter….FAST!

Our latest one was last week.  We got a call from a pet parent who was ALREADY out of town.  The In-Laws agreed to watch their dogs while they were gone, then all of a sudden, call them to say they are taking a trip to Sedona and are leaving before they arrive back home.  REALLY!  You KNOW I’m not going to be home until Thursday!!!  What am I supposed to do?

That’s when the frantic call comes in.

PTPC:  “Thank you for calling Play Time Pet Care.  This is Jenna.  How can I help you?”

Client:  “I am in desperate need of help with my 2 dogs.  My in-laws are caring for them right now, but have decided they wanted to take a trip to Sedona and have left me with no care for my dogs.  I won’t be home until Thursday and my in-laws want to leave tomorrow.  Is there anyway you can help me?”

PTPC:  “Well, it just so happens that I have a sitter with availability that lives near you.  Her name is Paige.  She will need to meet with your in-laws and the dogs before they leave.  Can we schedule a meet and greet directly with your in-laws?”

Client:  “Oh thank God!  You have no idea how much this is going to help me.  I just can’t BELIEVE they have the audacity to take this trip when they KNOW I won’t be home until Thursday.  I am so frustrated with them right now it’s unbelieveable.  I would actually like to schedule the meet and greet with them because they have been so flakey, I just want to make sure they understand they need to be there.”

PTPC: “Ok.  I’ll have Paige contact you directly and you guys can work out the meet and greet details.  I’m so sorry you are experiencing this.  I can only imagine how upset you must be.”

Paige and I never actually met the pet parent, but through detailed updates with pictures and constant communication we were able to put mom’s mind at ease.  Check out the review she left on our Google page:

Jenna and Paige were super to work with. The updates at every visit put our minds at ease. We will definitely be calling them whenever we go out of town!!

I know it’s the cheap and easy way to ask your family/friends/neighbors to watch your pets while you are away.  However, looking at the big picture, considering the worse case scenario, it is way better to hire a professional than to go through the grief this client went through before she found us.  You may be thinking, “My family would NEVER do this to me.”  That’s great…until they do it to you.  This is only one of many stories I could share with you.  Think twice before burdening  family, friends or neighbors with the care of your beloved pets.

Overnight Pet Sitter in Mesa AZ

Our overnight pet sitters are one of the most requested services we provide.  Pet parents like the option of overnight pet sitters because their pet’s are used to having someone home at night to sleep with or spend time with.  Whether it is a luxury or necessity is up to you to decide.

What goes on during an overnight pet sit?  A sitter arrives by 8:00 pm and leaves by 8:00 am the following morning.  Your pet gets one on one attention for the entire time your sitter is there.  We focus on play time, belly rubs, fresh food and water and cuddle time.  If your pet is used to sleeping with you, our sitters are happy to cuddle with your babies as well.

The beauty of choosing an overnight pet sitter is your pets are well adjusted when you get home.  It’s really as if you never left!  The pets that get the most enjoyment out of an overnight pet sitter are seniors, puppies and little breeds.  They LOVE the attention and the warmth our sitters provide.

Here is a checklist to see if you would make a good candidate for hiring an overnight pet sitter:

Do you talk baby talk to your pets?

Do you like to snuggle wuggle with your pets?

Do you allow your pets to sleep with you?

Are they used to having someone at home at night with them?

Do you feel more comfortable knowing your pet will have someone with them all night?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions…you would make the PERFECT overnight pet sitter candidate 🙂

 

 

Dog Sitting in Mesa AZ.  Why One Visit Isn’t Enough…

While dog sitting in Mesa AZ, I occasionally get inquiries from pet parents who are looking for just one visit per day.  The pet parent explains that their pet only eats once per day so they only request one dog sitting visit per day.  There are many reasons why your pet needs multiple visits per day (at least 2), while you are on vacation or business trip.

  1. Social creatures long for companionship

  2. They get bored

  3. They get anxious when they haven’t seen their human (or any other) for long periods of time

  4. Pets thrive on routine

  5. Pet safety and home safety

Dogs are very social creatures and thrive on the companionship of their humans. When dogs are used to seeing their human in the morning and evening, they get stressed when they wake up and no one is around.  Even if you have a shy or timid dog, having a sitter visit more often will help that shy or timid dog warm up to the sitter quicker and the faster the sitter will be able to play with and exercise your dog so they don’t feel anxious or abandoned.

You never know what they will get into when left alone for long periods of time.  A visit in the morning and evening will help quickly assess whether your pet requires medical attention.  See pictures below.  Multiple visits per day will allow your sitter the opportunity to assess the situation and clean up the mess so your dog doesn’t have another opportunity to ingest something they shouldn’t.

The images below are dogs who “Never get into trouble or harm themselves when we are away.”  This goes to show that you never know what your dog is going to do when left alone for long periods of time.

The one wearing socks chewed his legs raw because he was anxious that mom and dad were away.

The other is two dogs that got into the treat stash mom had in her closet.  One was so sick she had to have rice and chicken for breakfast and lunch to alleviate the diarrhea.  YES, the sitter cooked chicken and rice for the dogs to help make them feel better 🙂

If your dog doesn’t have a doggy door, THREE visits per day is optimal.  This way they get their breakfast, mid day potty break and dinner.  Did you know that exercise and walks are included in our pricing structure?

If your dog is crated during your absence, AT LEAST THREE visits per day are REQUIRED. Pets should never be left alone in a crate for more than 8 hours at a time. Puppies even less!  Your dog needs to have ample time out of their crate to play, stretch and exercise.  Your pet should ALWAYS have access to water.  Which means they need a water dish in their crate and will need to go potty.  Dogs that have been crate trained will not want to eliminate in their crate and it adds additional stress to your pet when they have to hold their bladder for long periods of time.

The optimal schedule for a dog that is crated during your absence is this:

AM – Breakfast, potty & play time

Afternoon – Potty & play time

PM – Dinner, potty and play time

Bed Time Tuck – in – Last potty break for the night and play time.

The bed time tuck in is scheduled after 8 pm and offers your pet an opportunity to go potty and get ready for bed and their time in the crate overnight.  Your sitter will arrive early the next morning for their breakfast visit allowing for less than 12 hours alone in their crate.

How My Clients Have Been Disappointed

I talk to pet parents every day. Sometimes I talk to pet parents who have used pet sitters before and were disappointed in the service. Once I ask discovery questions to better understand why they were disappointed, 9 times out of 10, I find out the pet parents weren’t using a PROFESSIONAL PET SITTER. Their “pet sitter” was a hobby sitter.

What is a hobby pet sitter?

A hobby pet sitter is someone who doesn’t care for pets on a full time basis. Someone who may love pets, but doesn’t make it a priority. The most common hobby pet sitter is a teenager…the kid that lives down the street.

How do people find hobby pet sitters?

The most common places you will find hobby pet sitters are Craigslist, Care.com, Sittercity.com, Petgigs.com just to name a few. Check out this ad from one of the mentioned sitter websites:

My name is (removed for protection), I’m actually 14, I’m very honest and u can trust me with your pets, I love animals of almost all kinds , I’m not looking for a crazy large pay, and there a variaty of things I’ll do for your pets for even 5 Bucks Like I’ve said I love animal.I have a few myself.

Can you predict the problems you would have if you hired this person?

What are the top complaints about hobby pet sitters?

The top 2 complaints I hear from my clients is:

I came home and found a several piles of poo and urine stains throughout the house.
I never heard from the sitter and assumed everything was ok.
These clients wondered if their pet sitter ever actually came. And if they did come, why didn’t they clean up the mess?

Never hearing from your “pet sitter” may be a good thing, it may be a bad thing. But wouldn’t you want to hear from your sitter…just for a little peace of mind?

How is a Professional Pet Sitter different?

A professional pet sitter would certainly clean up any messes that were made in the house. They would also communicate their findings with the pet parent. Maybe the pet needs more visits, or the timing of the visits needs to be adjusted. A professional pet sitter will have no problem communicating with the pet parent daily, even if it’s just to let the parents know everything is okay and to share a cute picture.

I’ve talked to and gained 2 new clients in one week who had similar experiences from different “sitters”. Unfortunately for hobby sitters, this happens more often than you’d think. In the long run, it’s better to hire a professional pet sitter from the start. It will save you heartache, stress and time finding a new sitter after the hobby sitter let you down.

How do you find a professional pet sitter?

There are several ways to find a trusted, professional pet sitter.

Ask your vet, groomer or pet supply store for a referral.
Google “pet sitters (your town)”
Check out the top 3 sitters who show up on Google and review their website, find them on social media outlets like Facebook and Google +
Check review sites
Have you ever had a bad experience with a hobby sitter? Share your stories with us…