How can I have peace of mind from using a pet sitter?

Using a pet sitter can be a welcome alternative to putting your pets into kennels and catteries. Leaving pets in their familiar home environment allows them to keep to their usual routine and helps to avoid unnecessary stress.

The benefits include more one on one time with your pet and the services can be tailored to suit your and your pet’s needs.

We are able to text or email you as well as upload pictures of your pet to Facebook and Instagram so you can rest assured that all is well in your absence. Your pet will be treated as one of our own and their health and happiness is of course paramount.

I have a Victoria and a UK Police Check Certificate and am fully insured.

What about the security of my home and property?

Understandably, handing over the keys to your house can be a concern. We can reassure you that all client’s property and privacy is completely respected and security is taken very seriously.  Paws & Claws is fully police checked and fully insured.

If we retain a copy of your key for upcoming assignments, this will be kept in a secure location, away from your personal details.

Your house alarm will be set as normal, we can turn lights on and off and rotate the blinds or curtains to create an ‘at home’ appearance. We will only go in the rooms of your house that you have specified. Client confidentiality is guaranteed.

How much notice do you require for a booking?

As much notice as possible is preferable when booking, although we are able to carry out assignments at short notice on occasion. If you are a regular client and we have your key on file it makes it easier to visit on an ad hoc basis at short notice. Generally one weeks’ notice is considered to be short notice, but by all means get in contact as we may be available to help.  I would only have to decline if time restraints mean that it would impact another client’s pet visit.

What happens at the consultation?

Before we look after your pet(s) a free consultation is carried out at your home. This is to meet you and your animal(s) and to discuss what you require from Paws & Claws. There will be forms to complete so you can provide details of your pet’s character, likes and dislikes, any medical information and emergency/vet contact details. This client agreement will stand for the duration of any pet sitting assignments we carry out for you in the future, so you will not need to have a further consultation for any further pet sitting jobs booked.

It is advisable to have a set of keys ready for us to take away at the consultation (preferably 2 sets if possible). These keys will be stored securely, away from your personal information.

Some clients prefer Paws & Claws to hold on to their keys so that it is easier for us to access their homes at short notice or in an emergency.  It saves having to arrange times to collect and drop off keys though is totally up to you.  Other clients like their keys to be popped through the mail box or placed in a secret location once the job is finished.

What happens at a pet sitting visit?

When we visit your pet(s), Paws & Claws will carry out the essential jobs like replenishing fresh water and food, clean up any accidents, provide toilet breaks and change litter trays. Then of course, all important cuddles! Your furry pal will receive valuable one on one time and plenty of affection and play.

We are also able to carry out basic domestic duties such as retrieving the mail, watering house plants, opening/closing blinds, turning lights/off and taking the bins in and out.

If we are staying overnight to look after your pet(s), we generally stay from 7.00pm until 7.00am the following morning. If you require a longer stay this can be discussed at the consultation.  Walks are charged in addition to house sitting, though a 10% discount is applicable.

If we are due to walk your dog on a particularly hot day,  we suggest walks are scheduled for early morning or later in the evening. Otherwise an indoor visit will take place to avoid the heat.

Dogs will be transported in our air conditioned vehicle to ensure a comfortable journey, especially for those hot summer months.

Will I always have the same pet sitter?

I am the sole pet sitter for Paws & Claws so it will always be myself looking after your pet. In the unlikely event that I am unable to get to your pet for a scheduled visit (extreme sickness/injury) then my partner will take on the jobs for me or you will be notified as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements.

I carry a diary of all scheduled jobs with me, but my partner also has a copy at home so in the event of me being incapacitated, he could notify all clients. I like to drop you a text the day before I am due to visit in most cases, just to reassure you that all is still ok.

What do I need to leave out for you when you visit my pet(s)?

Please leave out your pet’s food, food bowls, any toys and treats, lead/harness/muzzle, litter, litter scoop, poo bags, medication if applicable and anything else you think we will need. We do not supply your pet’s food.

When and how do I pay Paws & Claws for services?

Full payment is expected either prior to or on the first day of the pet sitting assignment. You can pay via direct bank transfer,cash or cheque.

What if I want to cancel upcoming pet sitting dates?

What if I want to cancel upcoming pet sitting dates?

We require at least 3 days’ notice for a cancellation to avoid you paying a cancellation fee. If you do cancel within 3 days of the assignment then you will be charged either $20 or 10% of the total charge (whichever is greater).

Can you administer medication to animals?

We are able to give medicine to your pet, including insulin injections, oral medications and eye/ear drops. These requirements must be discussed in detail at the consultation.

How will my dogs be kept safe during group dog walks?

All dogs considered for group walks will firstly have to be up to date with their vaccinations. (Minimum requirement of C5 is necessary). We will need to see the dog’s health record at the consultation as the health and safety of all the dogs in the group is priority and will not be compromised.

We will put suitable furry friends together on walks to ensure all dogs are comfortable with their paw pals. No aggressive dogs will be walked in these group sessions.

On a first ‘meeting’ between dogs we will be careful to observe each dog’s body language and supervise responsibly. Well socialised dogs should generally be in a relaxed state, but if there are signs of uneasiness then private walks may be suitable as an alternative. Not only will Paws & Claws be careful in the selection of playmates, but also of other dogs around the park/walking route.

We will only take a maximum of 4 dogs out on a group walk at any one time.

What happens if my pet becomes ill?

If your pet unfortunately becomes sick whilst in our care, we will endeavour to contact you immediately. If this is not possible and you are unreachable, we will also try the emergency contact you have provided. If this is also unsuccessful, Paws & Claws will act on your behalf in the animal’s best interests. If you have specified a veterinary clinic of choice then we will take your pet there, otherwise they will be taken to the nearest clinic in an emergency.

I personally have only had to visit the vets twice in all my years as a pet sitter. In one case it was life-saving as the cat had a blocked bladder which can be extremely dangerous, often fatal. I noticed he was straining to go to the toilet and taking an unusual amount of time. A trip to the emergency vets and a week later of being in kitty hospital, I am happy to say that the cat made a full recovery.  The owners were completely unaware of the cat’s illness before they left.

If we have any uncertainty over the health of your pet, then we will not take any chances.

Any charges/vet bills will have to be refunded upon your return if we have paid on your behalf. A disclaimer will be signed at the consultation to agree these terms.

I own a deep-chested breed of dog, are you aware of ‘bloat’?

Yes, we are very aware of the dangers of bloat. Aside from cancer, it is the biggest killer in dogs. It occurs when the stomach fills with fluid or gas. This life-threatening condition (known as GDV – gastric dilatation-volvulus) causes gastric torsion and can lead to a twisted stomach. It can happen very suddenly after a dog has just eaten a large meal rapidly, if they drink a large amount of water immediately after eating, or if they have been vigorously exercised before or after eating.  (So a resting period before or after eating of around an hour is advisable).  Once-daily feeding is not recommended for these deep-chested dogs, but smaller amounts 3-4 times a day.  A slow-feeding dog bowl or puzzle toy to slow down consumption is advised.  Also buying larger kibble (over 3cm long) slows eating as they must bite down before swallowing. Never raise the food bowl, keep it on the floor.

It is more common in middle-aged to older dogs though can happen to any dog. Deep chested, larger dogs are anatomically predisposed, hence more susceptible to bloat.

IMMEDIATE veterinary attention is required. Here are a list of the breeds more at risk: German Shepherd, Great Dane, Collie, Old English Sheepdog, Boxer, Weimaraner, Irish Setter, Standard Poodle, Labrador, Retriever, St. Bernard, Bloodhound, Irish Wolfhound, Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Afghan, Doberman, Newfoundland, Rottweiler.
We can discuss your dog’s feeding and exercise regime at the consultation.

Any other questions? Please call or email and we’ll be happy to answer them for you!