All your bags are packed with excitement and looking forward to that long deserved vacation…. ahhh no stress, no work for the next two weeks! How awesome is that!!
Scenario 1: Your Friend – Your Pet Sitter
You prepared with putting the mail on hold with the post office, set up with your lawn care guy to come by a certain day and arranged with your friend who offered her help to look after Spike and kitty cat Lucy, so all good to go.
You even checked that enough food, cat litter and poo bags are set out to make it as easy as possible on your friend.
Scenario 2: Search Sites – Pet Sitters
You engaged with a pet sitter which you had found through craigslist.org, care.com or rover.com and feel really good after meeting with her and reading about all the good reviews. At the initial meeting you spoke about all the care details, filled out paperwork, exchanged the house key and agreed to the dates for the pet care visits. Your pet sitter also explained that she would send you a text once a day so you know everything is well at home with everyone.
Your flight went well and you didn’t even have any annoying person in the seat next to you, the hotel room is perfect and the drink you are holding in your hand while listening to the waves breaking the shore is simply fabulous tasting!
What wonderful first two days! Tomorrow you plan to explore the near by city and try some local foods!
Suddenly you see your friend’s phone number pop up on the screen… you’re not too worried about it, she probably just couldn’t find the extra cat litter in the garage. You pick up but your friend’s voice doesn’t sound too promising and just a minute later you find out that she needs to leave town because her father got admitted into the hospital and she booked the first flight out of town…..
You just realized that you haven’t received the promised text from your pet sitter with an update about your pets but since the day isn’t over yet you just try to be patient and wait for a few hours longer. At sun down you just can’t help it anymore but get nervous and send a short text to your pet sitter. Hours later with continued efforts to reach her via text and phone calls you find out that your pet sitter got severely sick with the flu and can’t even get out of bed……she’s still trying to find someone who could cover for her, she never thought of the possibility that she could ever not be able to do her work…..
Both very upsetting Scenarios which can end a happy, relaxed vacation very quickly!
- Does your Pet Sitter have a backup plan in place?
- Do you have a backup plan when utilizing friends, family members, a neighbor or a sole operating pet sitter from a search site for your pet care needs?
Can you leave town KNOWING that your pets are covered no matter what?…..
PS: EaseMyMind LLC Pet Parents DO KNOW that!
We receive a lot phone calls and messages each week from all over Killeen and Harker Heights, asking for boarding and pet parents hoping for extended hours and weekend office hours to pick pets back up from the boarding facility.
I’m Sorry We Don’t Board…
Just by these phone requests we could easily fill a pet boarding place! Instead, I keep repeating that we do not board, that we are indeed not a boarding kennel BUT we are mobile pet sitters- allowing pets to comfortably stay at home and giving pet parents the convenience this type of pet care service brings along and this already for now almost 9 years.
Often I hear surprise in the callers’ voices saying it is something they never heard of but it sounds appealing.
I can relate to that because when I first got here from Germany about 10 years ago, I had never in my life heard of pet sitters and had a big ? on my forehead when a friend said I should do pet sitting professionally since I had gotten busy watching friends and my husband’s co-workers pets.
Though I thought then it must be a widely known industry in the US.
Are You Guilt Stricken And Could Ball Like Me?!
I loved (and love) the idea of pets being able and allowed to stay home as I am, to be honest, guilt stricken and I could ball my eyes out when I’m just thinking of going out of town and dropping my feline kids off at a different place other then home. My head starts spinning with all these super uncomfortable thoughts….
- I can’t explain to them that it’s just for a temporary amount of time and for sure they are not abandoned by me! (you know.. my cats are all strays which had been left behind, never had a family or were put in the pound because they became a hassle for their previous owners)
- Oh my, of a sudden they are among howling, barking and the buzzing. I KNOW about my cats that they would be traumatized! They already hide when the doorbell rings!
- My cats in cages? Oh no, they are free spirits which like their lounge areas and hide-a-places… they are not used to be caged up or sitting in small rooms.
- I’m afraid that they might end up with kennel cough like it happened twice before after picking them up from getting them fixed and, of course, they had to be medicated for that.
- I would have to get them vaccinated for things I’m not really too fond of or of which I know they wouldn’t react good to.
- When I come back home on the weekend, I’d have to wait until Monday to get them back from boarding… so extra days they have to stay there and I’m really not talking about money…it’s simply the fact that they’d have to stay extra time while I’m already back home.
- Well and last but not least, we care for the neighborhood strays too so who would care for them while I’d be gone? I can’t explain to them either to just come back in X amount of days….
Ha, and did I say we got 10 cats?!? I would need to have reservations for half of the boarding kennel to fit all my felines 😉
My Own Conclusion To Tone Down Those Voices
So! Yes, I love me some pet sitters which come to visit my feline kids at their home where they are happy and comfortable, eat and sleep and play as they do every day and see in update pictures how content and happy they are with their human play buddies.
Now I have the advantage that I can hire my own staff, yay :)
You too though can join our EaseMyMind family of pet sitters and dog walkers, giving Peace of Mind not only for me but all the pet Moms and Dads in our main service areas of Killeen and Harker Heights but also other cities like Fort Hood, Copperas Cove, Kempner, Belton and Temple.
Give us a shout, I promise… you’ll LOVE it just like I do when I head out of town.
PS: not just for vacations or business trips but pups also LOVE LOVE LOVE our regular Walkercise! Dog Walks 😀
PPS: and pet parents LOVE LOVE LOVE their more laid back pups in the evening when they get home tired from work 😀
Free? What is free in nowadays you might ask? Here you find out what you get free with your professional pet sitter while caring for your fur babies.
The main job of a professional pet sitter indeed is to care for your pets in their/your own home, to your detailed instructions and your pet’s routine, that is the main goal a pet sitter wants to achieve and accomplish.
Lets See Here What You Would NOT Get When Boarding Your Pet
[I promise, the boarding people do not come out to do that for you]
Alternating lights in your home – for security reasons to let your home look lived in and surely your pets love it too to have some ambient light at night. Who doesn’t like a night light.
Taking the trash bins out on trash day – again a security feature as it looks like someone is home to take care of business but also to not have the trash sitting there for days or a couple of weeks and grow what isn’t supposed to grow.
Bringing in your mail – no more hassle to deal with the post office for holding your mail. Often it doesn’t quite work anyhow and they still deliver to your mail box. Your pet sitter can pick it up from the box and bring it in for you.
Newspapers and other – your pet sitter brings in what is sitting in your driveway, let it be the newspaper or a box you were waiting on [appreciating a note for what should be delivered], the new area phone book or just flyers or biz cards stuck to your front door.
Opening/closing blinds – just like with the lights, opening and closing blinds leaves the impression someone is home but also allows for your pets to look outside during the day but have it closed at night so no one can peak in.
Watering flowers and plants – though not every pet sitter is born with a green thumb, he/she will try best to keep flowers and plants pretty and alive.
Watering the yard – some pet sitters even don’t mind to water the yard for you. Here either with extra allotted time when needed or when hoses and sprinkler are all set up, turning it on at the start of a visit and turning off when leaving is not a problem and doesn’t add extra time.
Security and bad weather checks – your pet sitter could probably tell you stories about bad weather damages but which could be kept to manageable level as it can be discovered at your pet sitter’s visits. No coming home to bad surprises!
Maintaining temperature – might sound unnecessary but the Central Texas weather indeed is unpredictable! Warm at one minute and freezing an hour later. And yes, those freezes will eventually damage the pipes in your home. Your pet sitter can make sure to adjust the thermostat in your home as needed, especially during the changing seasons.
Dishes left behind – not every pet sitter out there will do that but it is not totally uncommon that dishes are getting washed what were left in the sink due to a rush out of the house on departure day.
| All this and more can also be booked as a stand-alone service with no pets
| —> House Sitting/ House Security Checks
That’s a pretty long list of free stuff, isn’t it?!
And there could even be added onto this list, depending on some requests clients may specifically have.
What’s The Conclusion?
Now those are all services, extras or bonuses if you will what you get when engaging a professional pet sitter.
Boarding a pet at a boarding kennel doesn’t come with this nice “side effect” of an included house sitter, which either would mean:
- your home is all alone, unsupervised for the entire time you are away hence, it’s taking a chance and the hopes that everything will be alright when returning
- you have to ask friends, a family member or neighbor to check on your home and do all those things listed above [many feel too uncomfortable to put that upon friends]
Hit Two Flies With One Swat and have your pet(s) AND your home cared for in one roundabout service with daily updates for your peace of mind that your precious pets AND your precious home is safe!
What do you think? Isn’t it great to get something free in nowadays?
Doggy Day Care sounds awesome, just like day care for our kids while we are going to work, doesn’t it?! Our children play all day, are having fun and learn things for life. Now, while we look at our dogs as being part of our family, a Doggy Day Care might be perfect for some dogs while others don’t take well to it at all.
It depends on the temperament of your pooch, how well he takes to a noisy place full with other dogs of all sizes and temperaments and overall there is still a difference between our two-legged and four-legged kids regarding interaction which with the latter there are certain risks to calculate.
Possible Problems Of Doggy Day Care –
Versus Using A Daily Dog Walker/Pet Sitter
- Doggy Day Care: Some dogs might actually get quite nervous and anxious in the hyper and noise surrounding with all the other dogs. Especially if they haven’t been raised to socialize with others, the group dynamic might be rather stressful and changes in his overall behavior might be observed. If a dog is rather on the shy side, he might be bullied from the more confident dogs and be left out of the group as in nature the strong are followed, similar to what our two-legged kids experience in school.
Daily Dog Walker/Pet Sitter: Your dog is visited at his home and can be as shy or as confident as he wishes. It’s all about him in his own surrounding, enjoying outside time too potty and play or go on a daily walk. Overall a very serene and calming experience with the value of a certain routine and just as two-legged children, our dogs need and thrive of routines. It allows them to feel safe and content as they know what to expect.
- Doggy Day Care: Your dog has to be dropped of in the morning and picked up in the evening within their facility’s opening hours. That’s fine as long as nothing out of the ordinary happens but if work calls for staying late or that traffic jam keeps us on the road for the extra half hour, it’s a struggle and stress.
Daily Dog Walker/Pet Sitter: Since the dog walker or pet sitter visited your dog at home, no extra trip after work is needed and not even the traffic jam is too much of a deal other then maybe the frustration about the situation itself. Pooch is patiently waiting at home for Mom and Dad.
- Doggy Day Care: With a setting of numerous dogs at a time there is not much to no room to one-on-one attention as the norm is just one or maybe two staff members attending and watching over the entire group where there also lies the risk of eventually not recognizing signs of a starting ‘disagreement’ amongst the dogs before it may come to an actual fight.
Daily Dog Walker/Pet Sitter: The dog walker or pet sitter is solely there for your dog during the visit and it is all about what your dog needs and wants, including cuddles and kisses.
- Doggy Day Care: Mingling with other [strange] dogs carries the risk of picking up on a disease like kennel cough or other contagious diseases. Though there is a vaccination requirement for Doggy Day Care, their is still no 100% protection. Factors like stress and anxiety can alter your dog’s immune system, making him prone to catching illnesses.
Daily Dog Walker/Pet Sitter: Your dog is home in his own surrounding and going on walks by himself, not getting in touch with other dogs you don’t know. The risk of picking up on a disease is at almost zero.
- Doggy Day Care: Depending on the facility and their set up, it is at some places not more then gathering dogs [usually at least by size] in a gated room for a free play scenario which is fine for a short period of time but at a setting of many hours it can cause young dogs to pick up on bad habits of their play buddies as their is no guided play.
Daily Dog Walker/Pet Sitter: Your dog is supervised even for play time as not every game is good for every dog. Exercise here is not only provided with toy play but also age depending with a easy to brisk walk [or run], calling on other senses like smell and sight which gives just the right amount of excitement without being too overly excited.
I know, I know I said the Top 5 Problems but a 6th doesn’t hurt to mention 😉
- Doggy Day Care: Prices are per each dog taken to day care, depending on the facility and their pricing structure this may be with our without a discount for each additional pooch.
Daily Dog Walker/ Pet Sitter: The majority of Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers charge one price for at least up to 3 dogs and after that maybe an additional $2 or $3 per dog [we at EaseMyMind have one flat rate, no matter how many dogs]
It’s almost guaranteed that for multi-dog-Moms/Dads a Doggy Day Care is more pricey.
Some Things To Consider Before Deciding
Whether a Doggy Day care or a Daily Walker/ Pet Sitter, consider your options or why not even try out both for a few days each.
Ask yourself: “What do I want for my dog/ what is my goal to achieve? Is it….”
- Potty break during long work hours?
- Socialization time for my dog?
- Convenient service around my day’s agenda or am I myself flexible?
- Companionship for my dog as I feel a bit guilty being gone all day?
- Which service is more affordable since I have more then one dog?
Please find out more about our dog walking, midday potty breaks and companionship for your dogs while you are at work.
Our ‘Dailies’ LOVE it! 🙂
“I Can Find Someone Cheaper On Craigslist”…. Oh YES, We Fully Agree!
You most likely find cheaper pet sitters on Craigslist. Now the question coming up is, WHY are they so cheap?
Is it because they do not have insurance? (those are business expenses, reflecting in prices)
Or because they are young Moms and just want to make a little money on the side?
But then what happens though when their children get sick or their friend or husband isn’t available to watch the kiddos at night?
Are they bringing their kids along to the visits in your home? What a liability this is!!
Why A Company Versus A Sole Operating Pet Sitter
What happens when this pet sitter herself gets ill or other has an emergency?
Has she thought of a back-up plan?
If yes, who will be the back-up person?
How is the backup person notified when this pet sitter is in a condition were she cannot talk?
Hobby Pet Sitter Versus Professional Pet Sitter
Is it someone what pet sits “on the side”, having another job?
If yes, when do those pet visits happen?
Accommodating the work schedule or actually the pet’s need?
SCARY, isn’t it ?!? …. and those are just a few questions a pet Mom or Dad should ask!
EaseMyMind,LLC- A Professional Service Company Offers
- a back-up in place when one of our assigned pet sitters gets ill or otherwise has a delay or heaven forbid, an accident!
- using state of the art devices and applications for clocking in/out, GPS tracked for your assurance that your sitter was with your babies and for how long you have booked.
- using state of the art scheduling systems which have long replaced that paper calendar, assuring that your booked services are never forgotten.
- higher coverage for openings over a sole operating pet sitter or boarding facility
- a TEAM of EMPLOYEES, not Independent Contractors who we would not be able to train and tell how work must be done
What Is Your Peace Of Mind Worth??
Though stay-at-home pet sitting is the most convenient form of pet care for pets and pet owners alike, there are still a few things which should be planned and prepared for to make it a positive experience for pet, pet owner and pet sitter.
Here are the most common things a Pet Sitter runs into or finds missing on the job:
For Your Home:
- Check all windows and doors upon leaving if all are closed and LOCKED, sometimes it’s simply forgotten to put that lock back in place after a beautiful sunny day.
- As nice as the plug-in room fresheners and Sensy wax warmers smell, they should be turned off or unplugged when leaving as they are a fire hazard and the wax warmers could also easily be tipped over by your jumping or playing pets.
- Table lamps are not the best and safest choice for ambient light for your pet, the cook top light or a ceiling light in a small hallway or with a dimmer is a safer choice.
- Ensure that the thermostat is on a comfortable temperature for your pets, they too can shiver when too cold or overheat when too hot in your home.
For Your Pets:
- Pet food, treats and needed medications or supplements should last and then some for the time away
- Extra towels for the event of rainy weather or accidents, then your pet sitter can switch them out while washing and drying the dirty towels.
- Extra litter, litter scooper and enough plastic sacks for the daily litter box scouring.
- Things which could be dangerous for your pets should be tugged away where they can’t get to. Medications, small items they could chew and swallow, plastic sacks cats could get caught in, glasses which could be knocked over and break, just to name a few.
For Your Pet Sitter:
- Ensure that all pet care and personal information is still up to date so your pet sitter has clear current instructions and doesn’t need to question or assume what needs to be done.
Whilst notes left in your home for your pet sitter is not a bad thing, it’s much better to keep your online profile up-to-date in the event a back-up sitter has to cover.
- Leave a note for your Pet Sitter if your pets already have gotten breakfast or dinner from you before leaving and if they received all their medications when applicable.
- Cleaning supplies are the essentials for a Pet Sitter; ensuring that solvents, dish soap and especially paper towels, a broom and dust pan are at home, makes your pet sitter’s life much easier.
Your Pet Sitter appreciates it VERY much when a front porch light is left on for her or him when visits start at night; it can be pretty spooky to walk toward a house all in the dark.
Need a Checklist For Your Refrigerator?
CLICK On The Image To Download And Print Our ‘Stay’cation Check List!
Tip: put the list in a document protector an
reuse it with erasable markers 🙂