Yes, we are fully bonded and insured. We highly suggest that no matter who you are contracting to work for you for whatever job, you always ask this question. In addition to being fully bonded and insured, Paw Pals Pet Sitting is also licensed through the State of Virginia. While there are no professional licensing requirements for this line of work (meaning anyone who wants to become a pet sitter or dog walker can do so without any sort of formal training), Paw Pals has over 10 years of pet sitting and dog walking experience and takes pride in striving to learn more and more each day.
Yes, our sitters are certified through the PetTech PetSaver program in Pet CPR, First Aid & Care. PetTech requires re-certification every two years to maintain proficiency. All new Paw Pals pet sitters are required to obtain their initial certification within 6 months of employment.
Benefits for your pets:
- Pets are content and less stressed being safe and secure in their own environment
- Diet and exercise remain constant
- Favorite toys and chew treats are within paw’s reach
- Medications are delivered on schedule
- Pets are not exposed to illnesses and parasites from other animals
- Pets are not traumatized by a car trip and an unfamiliar environment
- Pets receive love and personal attention while you are away
- Full attention is given to the details and well-being of your pets
Benefits for you and your home:
- You are greeted by your pets upon your return
- There is no inconvenience of having to transport your pets
- There are no guilt-ridden good-byes at the kennel
- Your home is made more secure by crime-deterring measures taken by your pet sitter
- You feel secure knowing your pets are in capable and caring hands
- You have access to contact your pet sitter to check on your pets at home
Paw Pals does not have a boarding facility. However, we do offer in-home pet boarding in the form of our “Bed & Biscuit” service where, pending sitter availability, one of our sitters will take a pet into their own home and treat the pet as a member of their family. Typically, our sitters only take on one boarding client at a time. (For more details, please see our “Bed & Biscuit” services.)
Our goal is for you and your pets to have a long-term relationship with your pet sitter or dog walker. However, there may be times when your preferred/regular sitter’s schedule does not align with your scheduled services. In the event your sitter is ill, injured or on vacation, a back-up sitter will be trained and made aware of all your needs.
Our goal is to maintain your pets’ routines as closely as possible, including the times they are let outside. When booking services with Paw Pals, clients are able to schedule services by choosing from our pre-set visit time blocks. While specific visit times cannot be guaranteed, we strive to complete all services within the requested time blocks. (Visits for pets with time-sensitive medication issues will take priority.)
No. Unlike the stereotypical city dog walker with eight dogs in tow, Paw Pals offers private dog walking, so only your dog(s) will be walked at your scheduled time. We walk your dog(s) around your neighborhood where they are familiar with the sights, sounds and smells. Or if you prefer, we can spend the duration of your visit playing with your pet(s) in your backyard.
No. We do not discriminate against breed, size or age. However, for liability purposes we do reserve the right to decline service to any pets that have a history of being dangerous to people or other animals.
Yes and no. If the client has a completely secured fenced-in yard, the dog will be allowed access to the yard off-leash when in the presence of your pet sitter. For regular dog walks (or if the client does not have a completely secured and fenced-in yard), a leash will be used at all times.
We always pick up after your pet while on a walk or visit. Not only is it the law to do so, but it is also the courteous and right thing to do. (We hate stepping in doggie poop as much as the next person!) If you require more thorough or regular pet waste disposal on your property, please consider our “Poopie Patrol” service.
Yes. Paw Pals pet sitters are experienced with handling reactive dogs, among other behavioral issues. However, as a precaution, our general policy is that your dog will be kept from interacting with other pets while in our care. Even if your dog is not reactive or aggressive, one cannot predict the temperament of another dog. This also reduces the risk of your dog contracting any diseases or infestations from encountering other dogs.
So long as the roads are safe and we can still access your home, your dog(s) will be walked and your pet(s) will be cared for (though time blocks may need to be adjusted to allow time for your sitter’s safe travel). We ask that at least one of the emergency contacts you list on the Client Information page in your online portal be a neighbor or someone who lives close by so that in the event we cannot get to your home (road closures, severe weather conditions or ice, etc.) you can be notified and we can reach out to your emergency contact to care for your pet.
If it is dangerously hot (heat index above 100 degrees), or dangerously cold (wind chill factors below 20 degrees), or if there are strong storms with thunder and lightning, your dog will not be walked. Instead your pet sitter will take your dog(s) outside long enough for them to relieve themselves, and spend the remainder of the visit indoors.
After every visit, you will be emailed a “pawgress report” via our online portal system. In every report, your pet sitter will detail exactly how the visit went. All reports include timestamps, summaries, and images of your pet(s).
Of course! We have experience administering anything from oral and topical medications to insulin shots and subcutaneous fluids. Depending on the type and difficulty of administration, an additional charge may be assessed. Please see our medication schedule.
For the safety and well-being of your pets, Paw Pals provides a minimum of 3 visits a day for dogs if you are going to be away. Please note that because our insurance does not cover pets under our care that are not directly supervised, we request that your pets only be allowed access to any doggie doors while the pet sitter is present.
Our insurance does not cover the presence of visitors or other caregivers in the home. In the interest of your pets’ safety and that of our pet sitters, we request that you contract solely with us. Your pet is our number one priority. We will work with you to create a solution that works for your needs.
We are dedicated to the excellent care of your pet. In the event of an emergency, we will take your pet to the nearest animal hospital or to your own vet, if possible. We will also contact you, or your designated emergency contact should you not be available. The pet sitter will stay with your pet until you are reached and appropriate action is taken.
We will make every attempt to clean accidents with the supplies you have on hand. If extensive cleaning is required, an additional cleaning fee may be assessed to compensate your sitter for their time. Please be aware that we are not professional cleaners and that not all accidents can be completely erased without equipment, no matter what product is used.
Please make sure that your pet’s regular supplies are well stocked (food, treats, litter, waste bags, pet bedding, bird cage lining, etc.) and that home supplies (such as paper towels, general cleaning products, soap, etc.) are also readily available.
Our property access method requirements offer two major advantages: (1) it gives clients more control over their own keys while still ensuring our sitters can access homes safely and securely, and (2) it removes the logistical challenge of Paw Pals having to physically transfer keys from one sitter to another, making it much more difficult to accommodate changes, last-minute requests, or emergency situations.
Yes. When you set up your client account in our online portal, you will be required to (digitally) sign our contracts, stating that you agree to let us into your home to care for your animals and that you are aware of and agree to our policies and procedures. (PDFs of these documents can be downloaded from the “Client Portal” section of our website.)
You can make payments via your online client portal. Upon booking services, we will email you a service confirmation / invoice containing a link to the account summary in your client portal where you can submit payment.
Gratuities are accepted and may be offered directly to your pet sitter. If you would like to include a gratuity with your payment for pet sitting services, you may. The full gratuity will be given to your sitter.
You can email the changes to us, or you can call our office. We will make the adjustments in our system and send you an updated confirmation.