Here are my policies that may help to answer your preliminary questions:
- Meet and Greet/Instruction Sheets: I'll go over all home and pet care instructions with you at our meet and greet appointment. Please leave an instruction sheet covering this same information (feeding/medication instructions; location of cleaning supplies, leashes, poo bags; vet info; emergency contacts; mail, trash, and plant care instructions; special home instructions, etc.) in an obvious place when you leave town, so that I can refer to it as needed during the pet sit.
- Payment Policy: At this time, I accept only cash or check payments. If the payment is $100 or less, please leave the payment out for me in an obvious place, along with your pet/home care instruction sheet. If the payment is over $100, you may leave the full payment, or you can pay half up front and half when you return, if you prefer.
- Key Pick-Up Policy: I can retain a copy of your key if you'd like. If you only need pet sitting occasionally, it's usually not a problem for me to pick up the key from you prior to your departure each time. If you're a frequent traveler and would like me to pick up the key from you before each sit, no worries; I'll add a $10 key pick-up fee to the total for your visits.
- Spare Key Policy: In addition to the key (and/or entry code) you provide me with, there must also be a spare key available for me to access if needed. A lock box with a key inside is an ideal option. You can also leave a spare key with a neighbor or friend/family member who lives nearby.
- Gardens/Plant Watering: Plant and garden watering is included in my rates when there's only a few things to water. However, I may add an additional $5 to $10 per day watering fee for extensive plant or garden care. We'll go over garden and plant care at the meet and greet appointment.
- Cleaning: I do my best to leave everything as I found it. For overnight stays, if you are returning home before noon, I'll strip the bed and load the sheets and towels I've used in the washer before I leave. If you're returning home in the afternoon or evening, I usually wash and dry the sheets and towels and re-make the bed for you. Please let me know if you have a different preference about this.
- Cancellations: Generally, I've found that I don't need to enforce a cancellation policy for daily dog walking or cat sitting visits. I understand that things come up, and occasionally you need to cancel. If frequent cancellations occur, I'll ask you to cover 50% of the total cost of the visits, if you can cancel within 7 days of your scheduled appointments. For overnight stays, I also ask that you cover 50% of the total cost of the visits if you cancel within 7 days of your trip.
- Referrals: If you refer someone to me and they become my client, I'm happy to offer you $20 off towards your next set of visits!
- Emergency Contact: Please provide at least one emergency contact on your instruction sheet in case I'm unable to reach you in the unlikely event of a home or pet emergency.
- Veterinary Info: Please provide the name of your vet on your instruction sheet. In the unlikely event that your pet requires vet care while you're away, I'll bring them to your established vet during normal business hours. If the event occurs after business hours, I'll bring them to the nearest 24 hour animal hospital. I will always notify you immediately of any concerns (or in the event of an emergency), to consult with you about the proper course of action to take. If I can't reach you, I will call your emergency contact to consult about the proper course of action.
- Back-Ups: Since I work alone, I'm not always going to be available to cover your pet care dates, especially for overnights (I can only be in one place at a time!). I recommend that all clients keep a list of at least 3 people (friends, neighbors, family members, or other pet sitters) who you can contact in case I'm unavailable for all or part of your pet care dates. I can also refer you to one of my back-ups for pet care if you'd like.