In-Home Pet Sitting and Dog Walker Duties: FAQs
- What is a Pet Sitter?
- What does a Pet Sitter do?
- What services do you provide?
- What type of pets do you care for?
- Will you come to meet me and my animals before pet sitting begins?
- What is my first step to take to get started with Jill’s Next Door?
- Can I have someone share pet sitting duties with my friends or family?
- Can you take my pet to the vet or groomer?
- Does my dog need to be on a leash if he is off-leash trained?
- Will you pick up after our pet(s)?
- Will you have your own supplies to clean up after my pet(s)?
- How do you handle my keys and access to my property?
- How do I get my keys back after services?
- What is your cancellation policy for walks and visits?
- What if I am unsatisfied with my service?
- What happens if my pet becomes injured or sick?
- Is Jill’s Next Door insured and bonded?
- Do you have references?
- What can I expect from the dog walking service?
- How much do dog Sitters Charge for holiday visits?
- What does it mean when you say that JND is a technology-based company?
- Should I tip my walker or sitter?
- How do I make reservations?
- How am I billed?
- How and when is payment received?
- What are your policies and what purpose do they serve?
- I have a special needs or senior pet; can you accommodate these types of requests?
- Can you give my pet medication?
- How many pets are included in your base prices?
- Do you do pack walks?
- Are there any collars you don’t like to work with?
- What happens during inclement weather?
- What time will you walk my dog for a midday walk?
- Do you accommodate last minute reservations?
- What can I expect from the drop-in visits?
- What is a vacation visit?
- What is overnight pet sitting?
- Does JND provide boarding?
- I had a bad experience with another dog walker/pet sitter. What can I expect from JND?
- How does JND differ from hobby sitters?
- How many visits a day do I need for my pets?
WHAT IS A PET SITTER?
Pet sitting is defined as “the act of caring for a pet in its own home while the owner is away.” Dog walking is also a form of pet sitting since it involves coming to the pet’s home to provide exercise and companionship. What is professional pet care, in comparison? Professional pet care staff members, as opposed to the hobbyist pet sitter, are trained, insured, and practiced professionals with the skills required for efficient pet care. For example, JND sitters must pass a criminal background check, be trained in Pet CPR / First Aid, and continually attend animal training and behavior classes. In addition, JND provides detailed logs after each visit, 24/7 access to automated scheduling, and email confirmation of appointments.
WHAT DOES A PET SITTER DO?
We provide dog walking, pet sitting visits, kitty and small animal visits, almost overnight & overnight visits (with the option of next day midday visit), 24-hour pet care, 3+hour visits, and pet taxi with walk services. During the visits, depending on the services you choose, we walk, socialize, play, feed, water, administer meds and supplements, and love on your pet!
What services do you provide?
We provide dog walking, pet sitting visits, kitty and small animal visit, almost overnight & overnight visits (with the option of next day midday visit), 24 hour pet care, 3+hour visits and pet taxi with walk services. We also offer "buddy walks" with a friendly neighboring pet and local hotel visits. JND also offers concierge add-on services, and miscellaneous pet related services. If you need additional errands or services, please let us know and we will try to accommodate your requests.
What type of pets do you care for?
JND cares for all domestic animals: dogs, cats, kittens, birds, fish, and small caged pets.
Will you come to meet me and my animals before pet sitting begins?
Absolutely! Our initial FREE meeting is called a “Meet & Greet & Key Pick-Up.” After making your first reservation, your primary sitter can set up a time to meet you and your animals, go over all the details of caring for your home and your customized pet care plan while you’re away, and answer any questions you may have. We will also collect 2 keys at the time of the meet and greet--unless you have a keypad or a lockbox. Please have two working keys readily available. We require 2 keys because one key is in the sitter's possession, and the other is in the office. This allows the owner to step in as backup, or if a problem arises.
What is my first step to take to get started with Jill’s Next Door?
First, review the website to learn about the services we provide. You can call 561.544.7297, email us your inquiry at email@example.com, or complete our new client intake form found on our website. Please let JND know the days and timeframes you are requesting. Once we receive your email, we will send you a Welcome Packet, the next steps to take, and schedule a complimentary Meet & Greet Visit & Key Pick-Up to meet you and your pets. The office will return all calls and emails during office hours, as soon as possible. You will also need to create a quick client and pet profile with our industry-leading scheduling software, Time to Pet. We will work with your schedule to come to you! Please have 2 keys readily available (one for the sitter and one for the office).
Can I have someone share pet sitting duties with my friends or family?
We understand that your friends and families may want to check in with your pet while you are away, or that a relative or friend may be staying at the home while our services are rendered. Please alert JND and the sitter of ANY PERSONS who have access to your home with your permission for safety purposes. JND reserves the right to leave the property should they feel uncomfortable or unsafe if persons with access arrive during their visit. Refunds will not be provided. JND will not be held responsible for any mistakes, misfortunes, or damages incurred to or in your home or pet made by persons who have access to the client's home.
Can you take my pet to the vet or groomer?
Yes! We offer a pet taxi service to take them wherever they need to go (vet, groomer, doggie daycare, etc).
Does my dog need to be on a leash if he is off-leash trained?
ABSOLUTELY! While your dog may be off-leash trained, it is our strict policy to always keep your pet(s) on a leash while in our care, including outside of your home or in the yard. This will ensure we will have control over any unforeseen problems that may arise. There is also a leash law in our area, where safety and protocol come first. We make sure that safety comes first and will not allow your dog to socialize in dog parks or any other dog on our walking route. Pets are unpredictable, and for their safety, we keep our distance from other walkers.
Will you pick up after our pet(s)?
Yes! We will pick after your pet(s) when they are out on their walk—it is unlawful and disrespectful to not complete this task. JND will also pick up after your pet(s) if they go in your yard while under our care. JND offers a full poop scooping concierge add-on service for vacation visits. As for kitty cleanup, all litter boxes will be scooped at each visit. If your pet(s) get sick in your home, we will clean up after them, in most cases (if special cleaning may be required, I will contact you for further instructions). If this requires extended time beyond your visit, there may be an additional charge.
Will you have your own supplies to clean up after my pet(s)?
You are responsible for providing JND with all cleaning supplies, including bags for picking up or scooping waste, paper towels, carpet cleaners, etc. Please go over any specific details with me for anything that requires special care, i.e. delicate or expensive carpets and rugs. Please be aware that not all accidents can be completely cleaned, no matter what product is used.
How do you handle my keys and access to my property?
Two working keys should be exchanged at the Meet and Greet & Key Pick-Up--unless you have a keypad or a lockbox. Keeping your keys on file ensures that I am ready for future service at a moment’s notice. We require 2 keys because one key is in the sitter's possession, and the other is in the office. This allows the owner to step in as backup, or if a problem arises. We generally like to retain keys for future visits. If you require your key(s) to be returned at the end of service, there will be a charge for future key pick-up or drop-off arrangements. PLEASE TEST ALL NEWLY MADE KEYS TO SEE THAT THEY WORK PROPERLY! If you live in a gated community, you will also be required to provide us with a gate code, access device, or leave your sitter's name at the desk before the service starts. Please provide all gatekeepers with our names so that we can easily access your complex for requested services.
How do I get my keys back after services?
Key Release Policy: Two working copies of your house keys must be provided at time of registration/consultation. If you live in a gated community, you must provide a gate card, remote, or appropriate access codes. NO KEYS will be mailed by regular mail. Should keys become unusable, should the lock malfunction, or other instances outside the pet sitter’s control, JND and Pet Sitters have authorization to employ the services of a locksmith to gain entry into a client’s home on the client’s behalf. Clients will be responsible for all expenses and time incurred and reimburse Jill’s Next Door upon return. If you prefer us to drive to you and pick up your key, and drop it off upon your return, there will be an automatic $25 charge each way. We will not work with condominium sales offices to pick up or drop off keys. Many times, the sales reps are off touring prospective owners/renters, or are not available when we arrive or depart to handle the key. Oftentimes, the sales office is closed for holidays or evening visits. We will, however, work with 24 hour desk representatives who have your key on file. Front desk reps must be present upon our arrival and departure to handle your key–any additional time that we have to wait beyond reason may result in extra billed time. Lock boxes are JND’s preferred method of access to your home. Lock boxes can be sold by Jill’s Next Door or you may use your own. It is the client’s responsibility to ensure the lock box is in working condition and is placed in a secure location outside of the home before visits. Up to (2) tested key copies should be placed inside. Do not add key tags or key rings. If client’s use electronic locks, key fobs and garage code access, keys must be hidden on the property or with a neighbor in case of power outages or low battery issues. JND lock boxes are $25 and will be billed to the credit card on file. It is the pet owners responsibility to provide safe access to their home: leaving outdoor lights on for evening visits, cleared pathways of debris for home access, etc.
What is your cancellation policy for walks and visits?
JND adheres to a NO OVERBOOKING policy. This means when you schedule a visit(s), we block out time for your request and dedicate this time to your visit. You will be charged for all visits and overnights without proper notice of cancellation. MIDDAY WALK CANCELLATIONS: 24 hours or more notice to apply payment from canceled visit(s) to future visit(s). Less than 24 hours notice for cancellation results in full visit charge. VACATION PET SITTING VISITS: 2 weeks or more notice to apply payment from canceled visit(s) to future visits(s). Less than 2 weeks notice for cancellation results in full visit charge.
What if I am unsatisfied with my service?
Feedback is important to JND. We will send you a survey to review your services after your last visit and I will address any issues you may have experienced with JND. I encourage you to contact me if you are not satisfied in any way with your service! I am happy to work to rectify whatever problems you may have had.
What happens if my pet becomes injured or sick?
JND is dedicated to excellent care of your pet(s). In the event of an injury or illness we will take your pet to either their own vet or (in an extreme emergency/after hours) the nearest animal hospital. You (or your emergency contact in your absence) will always be contacted before any action is taken, unless the situation requires immediate attention. We will remain with your pet until you (or your emergency contact) are reached and decide what action is to be taken. You will have the ability in our pet profile system to add your personal vet information. Please make sure they have our name before you leave town.
Is Jill’s Next Door insured and bonded?
Absolutely. JND’s sitters are insured and bonded by the Business Insurers of the Carolinas, a provider specifically designed for pet sitters.
Do you have references?
Our customers are happy to speak with you about their experience with JND! Three (3) professional references available upon request. You may also visit our website, Facebook, Google, and Yelp to review testimonials and reviews.
What can I expect from the dog walking service?
Great question! The dog walking services generally start with warm greeting, customized walk (for much of the time allotted) water bowl refill, treat(s), playtime, cool down, and “see you soon!” Walks can be customized with a preferred pace and route; with a focus on age, breed, personality and physical limitations. Personalized plans will be discussed during the meet and greet and noted in our shared online client portal. You will receive a GPS tracked report immediately following the visit sent to your phone and email.
HOW MUCH DO DOG SITTERS CHARGE FOR HOLIDAY VISITS?
JND Holidays include New Years Eve, New Years Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Black Friday, President's Day, Martin Luther King Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Clients will be billed an additional $15 fee for each in-home pet sitting/dog walking visit and a $25 overnight fee on these holidays.
What does it mean when you say that JND is a technology-based company?
JND is a technology-based company that uses our online scheduling software, Time to Pet, for client registration, scheduling, and payment. The use of technology allows JND to securely retain client information, pet care instructions, messaging, picture sharing, and household details. All data and communication with Time to Pet is encrypted and backed up daily. You can message your sitter directly through Time to Pet, and Jill is copied on all messages so that there is a team behind your pet’s care! This system also allows a timed GPS tracked report so that at the end of every visit, you will receive a report in real time via text and email.
Should I tip my walker or sitter?
How do I make reservations?
You can reach out to us by calling or texting 561.544.7297, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, contact us through social media, or use our intake form on our website. We then send you a welcome packet with additional information and steps to get started. Clients submit appointment requests through our online scheduling software Time to Pet. Time to Pet can be accessed through our website, www.jillsnextdoor.com. Once you set up your account with your email and password, you may view/update your information or your pet’s information, schedule visits, and view invoices.
How am I billed?
JND accepts all major credit cards and debit cards. Invoices are due on the first day of service, however; you may choose to pay partial payments or the total any time prior through the portal. If I have not received payment by the first day of service, I will automatically charge your card. If a client requests to extend a service, payment at the same rate will be charged at the time of requested change.
How and when is payment received?
JND accepts payment via credit card through our secure merchant account. We will email you a detailed service order for your review before your departure. Let us know if any changes need to be made to the order. Your card will be charged if no action is taken within 4 days of your arrival home.
What are your policies and what purpose do they serve?
JND policies are meant to protect, safeguard, and ensure accountability amongst all parties. Some policies apply to all services while some are geared toward specific services. You can find our detailed policies and procedures through the online portal’s service agreement. You may also review our terms and policies on our website.
I have a special needs or senior pet; can you accommodate these types of requests?
As professional pet sitters, we are prepared to care for pets of all ages, sizes, and needs. Please ask about how we can help you and provide the most comfortable experience for your pet. However, our sitters do NOT have medical backgrounds and will not do injections. If you have an aggressive dog, we suggest that you contact a trainer to help curb unwanted behavior. We do not take on aggressive dogs untrained.
Can you give my pet medication?
Yes. We can administer oral medications, drops, thyroid creams and ointments, etc. JND does not offer injections at this time, as we do not have medical backgrounds.
How many pets are included in your base prices?
All prices have been adjusted to include care for one (1) pet. An additional fee is added per pet per visit. Unlike local competitors, JND does not charge for administering medications, registration fees, or weekend visits. Our initial meet and greet is also free. These factors make our prices the most competitive in our area. Please note that there is an additional 5% administration fee added to each service.
Do you do pack walks?
Our services focus on individual pets–unless the pets are in the same household. We provide individual attention and care to each of our pet clients, one visit at a time. If you are interested in buddy walks, please call the main office and we can try to assist a group walk. Non-aggressive, vaccinated, and size appropriate filtering is required. We will meet both dogs and make sure their temperaments work well together.
Are there any collars you don’t like to work with?
JND subscribes to positive reinforcements and reward systems. Studies have shown that using punishment tactics are cruel and outdated. We do not utilize choke, shock, prong or bark collars. We will gladly suggest an alternative collar that best suits your dog’s personality, walking style, and behavior.
What happens during inclement weather?
In order to ensure the safety of JND and clients, the Inclement Weather Plan is initiated when potentially dangerous weather conditions make it difficult to access clients’ homes. While this may be rare, I have had to initiate this plan during hurricane season for safety purposes and road closures. I announce the Inclement Weather Plan for that day and specific weather concerns via social media and email. All clients should provide an emergency contact upon registration. With the usual rain or shine, we will be there. However, we will not walk if there is a torrential downpour or dangerous lightning; we do not want to put your dog(s) at risk. We also take into consideration how your dog feels about walking in the rain. JND will make up the time by bringing the fun and exercise indoors, while trying to get them out for a quick potty break. When the temperature exceeds 85 degrees, we may also limit time outside or divide the walk into two shorter walks. The comfort and safety of the dog in extreme heat, protection from hot pavements, and heat stroke avoidance is our main goal in these conditions. Plenty of water and cool down time will be provided after all walks.
What time will you walk my dog for a midday walk?
A midday walk is typically between 11am and 4pm. We do not give exact times for dog walking, we give time frames. We have a 3 hour window for midday dog walking.
Do you accommodate last minute reservations?
When “life happens,” you can always check to see if we have availability for the day you are requesting. Always check for availability. We are happy to accommodate you if our schedule allows, but there is no immediate guarantee. WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO BOOK AS SOON AS POSSIBLE–FIRST COME FIRST SERVE.
What can I expect from the PET SITTING VISITS?
Pet sitting visits are general care check-ins that may include feeding, letting out or walking & playtime (if applicable), pet clean up, companionship, mental & physical exercise, and home oversight. Pet sitting visits can also be customized to best suit your pet’s personality and needs. We also will adjust blinds, bring in mail and packages, water up to 5 in door plants, and general home oversight.
What is a kitty & small animal care visit?
We give your pet the attention it deserves! Love and affection, litter box scooping, playtime, cage cleaning, pet area clean up, feeding, treats, fish feeding, whatever is most suitable to your kitty or small animal.
What is overnight pet sitting?
Overnight pet sitting is similar to vacation visits, except JND arrives around dinner and spends the night with your pet. We feed the pets breakfast and provide morning walks/care. This service allows your pet to have one on one interaction with a professional, and eliminates the stress of kennels or catching an illness from other pets. Pets are able to maintain their feeding and sleeping routine in the comfort of their own home. The client comes home to a happy, stress-free pet, without the worry of transportation to and from a kennel. This service includes: light & blind adjustments, mail/package collection, plant care, general home oversight, and other security and home care measures.
Does JND provide boarding?
No. Our sitters come to you. JND is an in-home pet sitting company, which means we care for your pets in the comfort of your own home. Clients come home to a well-adjusted pet, on their own schedule, in their familiar environment.
I had a bad experience with another dog walker/pet sitter. What can I expect from JND?
You can expect professionalism, reliability, consistent communication, and excellent customer service with JND. JND has many happy clients, which is noted through reviews on Facebook, Yelp, and JND’s website that are readily available for viewing. JND strives to raise the bar on pet care services, and my goal is to provide the most thorough, positive experience for all parties!
How does JND differ from hobby sitters?
Great question, and it can be a confusing one! Hobby sitters, unlike professional in-home pet sitting companies, typically are not insured, bonded, trained, and may be unprepared for issues that may arise. In many cases, hobbyists have full-time jobs in an unrelated field, or may be inconsistent or unreliable. While most hobbyists begin with a love for animals, the pet care industry is demanding, hard work, and requires knowledge and experience to be executed to the industry’s highest standards. At JND, we offer a team of sitters, reliable scheduling, GPS-tracked real time visit reports, insurance, and bonding. Jill, the owner of the company, oversees all sitter interactions with the clients via our messaging system and is ready to jump in should a problem arise.
How many visits a day do I need for my pets?
JND can help you decide what is right for you and your pet(s) during our initial Meet and Greet & Key Pick-Up. For dogs, it is recommended that a minimum of two (2) visits and as many as five (5) visits per day for best pet care and practice. Most people request on average three (3) visits each day. It really depends on your pet’s needs and your comfort level. Outside pets require a minimum of one (1) visit a day—especially in inconsistent Florida weather. It is also advisable for crated dogs to have a minimum of three (3) visits a day. For cats, a minimum of one (1) visit every day is advised.