With “in your home” pet sitting, a pet sitter comes to your house to care for your pet. This allows your pet to stay in their own familiar environment. Your pet sitter will follow your detailed care instructions, ensuring changes to your pet’s routine are minimized.
Visits can include dog walks, feedings, litter box cleanings, playtime, or even just quiet companionship. You simply let us know what you’d like your visits to be comprised of.
You select a 15, 30, 45 or 60-minute visit in any of our 5-time blocks (7am-9pm). We also offer a mid-day dog walk service (10am-3pm, Mon-Fri) for those with busy work schedules.
We can also bring in your mail, take out your trash, adjust your TV, alternate your lights, and even water your plants.
We do not provide every-other-day vacation service.
In order to provide proper care for your pet and your home, we require daily visits while you are away. This is an industry-standard since anything can happen when pets are left alone for extended periods. From potential lethal ailments, such as urethral blockages to potential home damage from broken pipes, not checking on a pet daily can have costly - or tragic - consequences.
Our goal is to limit as much risk as possible, ensuring the highest levels of safety of your pets and your home. It is one we take seriously.
Unfortunately, in-home pet sitting isn't the best option for every pet. If your dog isn't friendly toward strangers, our services may not be the best fit for them. Since we work on a multi-sitter platform to ensure you the best possible availability and a backup plan if your sitter is sick or in an accident, dogs who are leery of new people are usually better suited with a different type of service. Additionally, to ensure the safety of our sitters, we simply can't take on these requests.
Yes, our sitters all must pass a criminal background check through Acutraq before coming on board with us. We also conduct an employment history and reference check as well. Additionally, our pet sitters are valued employees. We do not hire subcontractors. Our sitters are also insured and bonded through Business Insurers of the Carolinas and we also carry Worker's Compensation insurance.
Our pet care professionals are mature, trustworthy, animal enthusiasts, over the age of 25, who pride themselves on providing elite pet care. Not just anyone can be a Zoo Sitters pet sitter and most who apply, don't make the cut. We hire less than 1% of people who seek out employment with us due to our high standards. After all, it's our name and reputation on the line! Our sitters are responsible members of our community who are passionate about pet care and have an extremely strong work ethic.
Absolutely! Our sitters go through an extensive online training program and are tested before they are allowed in the field. Next, they go through hands-on training with a Zoo Sitters trainer. During hands-on training, our new sitters shadow one of our trainers to ensure they are following all of our policies and procedures. We want to make sure they have perfected the Zoo Sitters Standard before they are ever in a client's home alone. Our pet care professionals are also certified in pet first aid and CPR through Pet Pro Hero to ensure they can handle emergencies with ease.
Zoo Sitters provides only elite pet care professionals trained to uphold our high standards. In our opinion, a one-man operation conducting business without a backup plan, might not be the safest option for your pets. If that one pet sitter is sick, in an accident, or has an emergency, who will care for your babies?
It is because of this that we ensure all of our clients always a primary pet sitter and at least, one backup sitter.
During your Client Meeting, we will meet with you to discuss your pet care needs, evaluate your pet and ask any questions that we may have. During this meeting, you will meet with the owner of our company or one of our Field Managers, your primary pet sitter, and hopefully your backup sitter as well, if we are able to coordinate all schedules.
If your primary pet sitter is not available for your appointment when you book, your back up sitter will be assigned to cover the visits.
If your primary pet sitter and back up sitter are both unavailable when you request dates from us, another of our qualified pet sitters may be able to cover your needs. We will always make you aware if a new back up sitter will be handling your visits. If you'd like to meet that sitter before your appointment begins, please let us know and we will make every effort to work it into their schedule.
You can be assured that anytime you book with us, a highly trained pet care professional from our team will be caring for your pets, and following the same set of instructions as your primary pet sitter. Every pet sitter on our staff conducts visits according to our Zoo Sitters Standards so that you don't ever experience a difference in the level of service.
We have a great online program that allows our staff to send you a visit update right to your phone, shortly after your visit has been completed. This report will tell you all the details of your visit and may even include a great picture of your pet! We're pretty good at pet photography! While our visit reports get sent to your email, we also have an amazing free app for your Smartphone that will alert you, much like a text message, when your sitter has arrived at your home and when your visit report is ready.
We know pet parents worry. The beauty of hiring a professional pet sitting company instead of a one-man hobbyist is that we take the worry out of pet sitting FOR you. Our office monitors our pet sitters from the first visit of the day through to the last. Our sitters are required to check-in and out of each visit from your home and are connected to GPS so that we know exactly where they are during visit times. We have alerts that are also automatically generated if a sitter is more than 15 minutes late to any visit. If we can't reach your sitter, we will dispatch a backup sitter to take care of your pets. With Zoo Sitters, you can go on vacation worry-free and have peace of mind that we are on top of every aspect of your pet care!
Unfortunately, no. We have a strict policy that we do not share pet-sitting visits with other caretakers and we do not accept jobs where other people will access your home from the time you leave, until the time you return. We are responsible for your pet and home while you're gone. When another person enters your home, any issues that arise could spill over onto our watch and impact our insurance. Our sitters are trained to notice patterns in behavior to ensure any potential issues are identified before they become a bigger problem. When additional people enter your home who are not trained in the Zoo Sitters standard, this ability to monitor the health of your pet and the safety of your home is compromised.
Our pet care professionals will use their best judgment concerning your pet's well-being when dealing with inclement weather conditions. Walks may be shortened and the remainder of your visit spent indoors with your pet.
Phoned or emailed booking requests can be misplaced, misinterpreted, or miskeyed. With this in mind, we believe the safest mode of communication is direct between our clients and our sitters, through our online system.
All care instructions must be in your online account. The care listed in your contract is what we have agreed to before arriving at your home. It is also our priority to always minimize the risk that comes with caring for someone else's pets. Notes left at the home can be lost, confusing, and take time away from your pet's care. We've seen sticky notes with instructions even come off a refrigerator and fly underneath, never to be seen by the sitter! With that in mind, we cannot follow any notes left at your home. We appreciate your understanding and want you to know that safety is always our number one priority.
While you can certainly update your contract and even leave a note online for your sitter through our App right from your Smartphone or iPad, if you have a last minute change and are not able to do so, you can call and leave your instructions on our office voicemail.
Please do not leave a note at your home as we cannot follow it.
You sure can! We have a great app for your Smartphone that allows you to get updates straight to your phone shortly after your visit is complete. You'll know everything that went on with your pet and may even get some great pictures from your sitter! Our app has a great chat feature as well that allows you to communicate quickly with our office and our staff. You can also make pet care changes, schedule new service,s and even check your schedule. No worries, if you don't have a Smartphone. Our visit updates are also sent to your email.
We are able to give most pills and liquid medications to most pets provided your pet is agreeable. If your pet is difficult to medicate or hides during visits, they may not be a good fit for our services and medications cannot be guaranteed.
We do not charge an additional fee for administering medications and we do not give needle-administered medications
Because our company offers care for multiple clients, we are unable to confirm a specific start time. We do however guarantee our time blocks: Morning (7-9am), Late Morning (10am-12pm), Afternoon (1-3pm), Late Afternoon (4-6pm), and Evening (7-9pm). This schedule ensures that all pets in our care receive visits at regular intervals. Plus, it gives our sitters flexibility when it comes to caring for pets that may have medical issues, encountering traffic, cleaning up pet accidents, etc. We never want our sitters to rush out of your home without something being completed properly because they have a hard start time at their next sit.
Our policy to always ensure the highest safety for your pet. With this in mind, if your dog pulls excessively or lunges, we reserve the right to utilize a different collar from what you normally use. This could be a martingale, gentle leader, Halti, slip lead, EZ walker harness, or Sprenger training collar, depending on the situation.
Our sitters are trained on the proper use of all collars. This will be at the discretion of your sitter and will ensure we have control over your pet at all times, allowing us to avoid any problems that could arise.
Safety is our number one priority and we want to ensure there are never issues on our watch. If your dog doesn't walk well, we can always keep him or her close to home.
We require the use of a lock box so that your keys remain with you! Lock boxes run about $20 on Amazon or at any local hardware store. You then just attach it to a door knob or fence and supply us only with the code. We have some great links to lock boxes that we recommend on Amazon that we will supply to you once you're ready to move forward with your Client Meeting.
Since garage doors won't open if there is an electrical outage and keyless entry batteries die, we would need a lockbox on the property with a key inside for emergencies. Have a unique lock system? Drop us a message as there may be something we can work out.
To ensure the safety of your home and our sitters, we do not allow for keys to be left outside at your home. They would need to be secured in a lock box.
Through your online account, you can request appointment dates, services and time blocks. You can also request service right through our App!
We are a credit card only company and accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. You will receive an invoice for scheduled services 1 week before the invoice is due. Payments are due 3 days before the start of your appointment. You can pay your invoices online right in your account. If your invoice is not paid by the due date, we will automatically charge your credit card for you.
Once your online appointment request is approved, you will receive a confirmation of services via email that will list the dates and services you selected. You can also view the status or details of your appointment in your account or through our app.
Absolutely! Tips are always appreciated. They help keep only the best pet sitters on our staff. Generally, pet sitters are tipped like any other service industry such as hairdressers, servers, cleaning staff, etc. Typically this ranges from 10-20% of the total bill.
Sitters prefer cash which can simply be left at your home during scheduled visits. At your Client Meeting, we will provide you with one of our reusable tip folders that designate the tip is for your Zoo Sitter.
You never have to break up tips between your sitters, however. If multiple sitters work on your appointment, your tip will be divided up accordingly by our office.
Additionally, you can add a tip to your credit card when you pay your invoice. Please be aware that sitters are not made aware of credit card tips until after appointments are finished.
Yes. There is a Holiday Surcharge of $20 per visit on the following holidays: New Year's Eve, New Years Day, Presidents Day, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Sure, can! For an additional $10 fee per visit, we are happy to schedule or change sits for you with less than a day's notice when we are able to accommodate them on our schedule.
Yes. Our Home Safe Service can provide you with valuable peace of mind when you are away. It's a great option for clients who would like for us to ensure they have returned home before ending service. Check it out under our Services & Rates page.