Passionately Pets prides itself on providing consistent, quality care each and every time we visit your pets. The pets are our top priority; we are responsive and reliable, have open ongoing communication with our clients and a caring staff.
As a professional pet care provider, we don’t want to be lumped in with hobbyist sitters. But it can be difficult for pet owners to tell if someone is caring for pets as a professional or as a fun side project. Both may be part of an online directory, have access to education, use a service contract, perform background checks and hold proper licensing, insurance and bonding but the level of care provided can be completely different.
So how can you tell the difference between a hobbyist and a professional pet care provider like Passionately Pets?
Experience & Training
One of the most important things to consider is how long has the sitter been caring for animals, and more importantly; how many different pets do they have the experience caring for? Each pet has their own specific needs and personality, lending each visit to a different learning experience. The more different visits a person does, the more experience they gain. This make it easier for them to know the best way to handle any situation that arises.
Passionately Pets has been a thriving business since 2007 and is an expert in tailoring pet care to the individual pet’s needs. We have experience caring for different types and breeds of pets with many specific needs. Our staff is trained to administer medication, spot and avoid potentially dangerous situations and provide emergency first aid. Our Management Team takes the time to teach our staff best practices, expose them to Pet CPR & First Aid training and provides support for everyone in the field. Passionately Pets is a proud member of several professional organizations – National Capital Area Professional Pet Sitters Network (NCAPPS), National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) and Pet Sitters International (PSI) – which help us stay on top of new trends in the industry and gain additional knowledge in the pet field. We also utilize FetchFind, a continuing education platform, which educates our staff on proper care techniques to help create a uniform level of high quality service.
Another thing to consider when choosing a pet sitter is how much information they ask for before the first visit. First, you want a clear description of what you’re paying for so look for a pet sitter with a service contract outlining what is included in your visits. Then, the provider should ask for comprehensive information about your home, your pet and what specifically you want done during each visit. It is not possible to gather this information in a short form or email.
believes in holding a consultation with all new customers to discuss expectations, spend time with the pets, meet the owner, collect and test keys, get a tour of the home and ensure all paperwork has been completed accurately. We make sure our staff members are set up for success and eliminate any surprises. We have a clear and concise service agreement and are up front with all of our policies and guidelines prior to service. We double check the information provided for accuracy and add details whenever possible. Our clients also have the ability to update their profile at their convenience so we are on top of all changes as they occur.
A Back Up Plan
Hobby pet sitters may fail to think ahead to create contingency plans. When they become unexpectedly unavailable, they leave the pets with no one to care for them. They may not plan ahead for medical emergencies involving the pets either. Professionals have a backup plan in place in case of an emergency.
With a staff more than 20 strong, Passionately Pets has built in back up measures to ensure coverage in an emergency. We keep 2 sets of keys for every home on file and there is always field staff available to take on extra visits. If additional help is needed, there is always someone from management on duty to provide further direction or step in so our clients never have to worry. We are in constant contact with owners while they are away and are able to ask questions and alter our care on the fly if necessary. And as a last resort, we have a Veterinary Release Form on file for every pet in case medical care is needed and the client can not be reached. We also ask our clients to complete a Guardianship Form causing them to think about who they trust to care for their pets in the event the worst happens and they never return home.
One of the worst things that could possibly happen when hiring a pet sitter is to return from your trip to discover no one came to care for your pets while you were gone. Professional services have safeguards in place to make sure visits are done as scheduled and service was performed as requested.
Passionately Pets puts our clients at ease every time they use our service with electronic journals detailing when we arrived, how long we were in their home and what happened during our time with their pets. We even send photos so they can see their companions while away. They can access the journals via email or our system, Precise, at their convenience and can even respond to their sitter. We also leave a handwritten Report Card each visit for when they return, ensuring the sitter was actually in the home.
Our management team is always working behind the scenes to ensure visits are occurring on time. We require each sitter to confirm their schedule each morning and keep an eye on their whereabouts throughout the day to ensure they are remaining on time. Plus, we provide step by step protocols to our staff so no matter who conducts the visit, the same level of service is being provided each time.
Ease of Scheduling
There are a lot of new apps and online services out there boasting how easy it is to schedule. The truth is, most professional pet sitting services provide easy scheduling. Passionately Pets uses Precise Pet Care to provide our online system. Each customer has their own login and can schedule visits as well as keep their profile up to date at their convenience. Precise makes it very easy to request visits with as little as 4 hours’ notice and notifies the client which sitter has been assigned. We also respond very quickly to emails and phone calls if you prefer to schedule that way.
Safety & Security
When you hire a pet sitter, you are entrusting the care of your fur babies to someone else and giving them access to your home. You want to make sure that whoever you grant this access to has a clear criminal history and is bonded and insured. Many hobbyists do not go this extra mile to provide protection for you, your pets and your home. Passionately Pets runs background checks on every one of their staff members and are bonded and insured with Business Insurers of the Carolinas so our clients have peace of mind when using our service.
As the pet-care industry grows, it is important that pet owners are more prudent than ever when selecting a pet sitter. It is important to research any site you are considering using to find a pet sitter and pay special attention to the service providers listed. Make sure to ask a lot of questions before booking to ensure you choose a professional like Passionately Pets so you are at ease while you are away.
To get started with Passionately Pets call us today at 571-438-2323 or visit our website to schedule a consultation.
Passionately Pets has been a trusted pet care provider in Northern Virginia since 2007. We proudly provide dog walking, pet sitting and overnight services for dogs, cats and other companion animals in Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church & Annandale. Visit our website, www.passionatelypets.com, to request a consultation or for more information. For more pet filled content, follow us on Instagram and like us on Facebook @passionatelypets.