My clients will have peace of mind knowing I am bonded and insured. Having liability coverage and bonding is one of the key factors that separates a “professional pet sitter” from a “hobby pet sitter,” who usually does not carry such insurance. Think of it like car insurance: you have to have it, you DO NOT want to ever need it, but if an accident happens due to gross negligence and your insurance covers it, you are so glad you had it.
I am a member of Pet Sitters International (PSI), a professional pet sitter’s association, and have achieved the elite designation of Certified Professional Pet Sitter (CPPS). Professional associations like PSI help to promote high ethics, education, and professionalism. It has member dues, networking opportunities, educational opportunities, and an annual conference like any other professional association. Membership in a professional association demonstrates how serious I am about pet sitting as a business and a profession. I am always learning – in order to maintain my CPPS status, I must complete 30 continuing education hours within three years. I’m not a teenager doing this for pocket money: this is my job and I run a business.
I am also a member of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) and Professional United Pet Sitters LLC (PUPS), which also have networking and continuing education opportunities. I have completed the NAPPS Certification Course, which makes me a NAPPS Certified Professional Pet Sitter. This acknowledges that the pet sitter is a serious professional who has obtained a high level of expertise through his/her study.
I keep my knowledge current on animal care, animal behaviour, and best business practices by attending relevant conferences, like Pet Sitters World Educational Conference and Expo and Jackson Galaxy’s Cat Camp NYC, and whatever International Association of Animal Behavior Consultant online conferences I can catch. Continuing education is important to me, and conferences are a great way of sharing ideas, interacting with other pet professionals, and gaining inspiration.
I am a Fear Free Certified Professional. Founded in 2016, Fear Free provides online and in-person education to veterinary professionals, the pet professional community, and pet owners. Fear Free courses are developed and written by the most respected veterinary and pet experts in the world, including boarded veterinary behaviorists, boarded veterinary anesthesiologists, pain experts, boarded veterinary internists, veterinary technicians (behavior), experts in shelter medicine, animal training, grooming, boarding, and more.By closely listening to the needs of the profession and those of pet owners, Fear Free has become one of the single most transformative initiatives in the history of companion animal practice, providing unparalleled education on emotional wellbeing, enrichment, and the reduction of fear, anxiety, and stress in pets.
My pet first aid and CPR training is current (2020-2022). Generally, pet first aid training is renewed every two years. My most recent training was completed through Pro Pet Hero’s Online Cat and Dog Pet First Aid Certification.
I take hand and respiratory hygeine and physical distancing very seriously, and am very mindful of COVID-19 safety. I have completed Pet Sitters International’s COVID-19 Certification Course for Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers.
I drive a car and have a valid driver’s license. For my pet boarding clients, I am able to transport small animals and their supplies to and from my home for boarding. I am able to drive to residences which might be far away from the metro or bus lines. I am able to quickly transport a sick or injured animal in my car to the veterinarian’s clinic of your choice for examination and treatment, with little exposure to the outside heat of summer or frigid cold of winter, rain, or snow.
I provide detailed daily reports with pictures via email, text, or WhatsApp. Some clients only want periodic reports, and others wish to have a report every day. Some clients don’t want reports at all. I am also willing to provide short videos of your pet when time permits, if provided WiFi access. You don’t have to wonder how your cat or hamster is doing while you are away or wonder if the pet sitter showed up; you’ll read all about it every day and you’ll see how happy and healthy they are in pictures.
I have excellent customer reviews. Client reviews can be found on my website, my Facebook page, my Pet Sitters International profile under Testimonials, Google, and Yelp. Customer reviews are a powerful way for clients to encourage good services and to share their experiences.
Registration visit. Also known as the meet and greet, or the pre-service meeting. How does it work? I meet you at your home. We meet, introduce me to your pets, and go over their routine. You explain your instructions and where the pet and cleaning supplies are, and where their favourite hiding spots are. We go over any questions you may have. If it does not seem like a good fit, then I leave and that’s the end of that! If it seems like a good fit, I can collect emergency contact information, keys, and door codes. I will try out both the keys and access codes before I leave so I am sure I understand how to use them and ensure that the keys work.
I have an extensive website. It tells about me, my service, my rates, my service area, my clients, and even has a blog. There are no surprise fees or charges. Everything about my service is posted online for anyone to see.
I respond quickly via text, email, and phone and I have excellent communication skills.
I am a professional and Cats and Hamsters is a registered enterprise. I am detail-oriented, careful, respectful, thoughtful, hard-working, and practical. I provide a high level of pet sitting service to my clients. We will go over all of your instructions at the consultation meeting, and I will follow them. I accept cash, check, interac electronic transfer, credit card, and PayPal; I provide an invoice. I’m not watching your pets as a favour to you – I am a professional pet sitter and this is my only job. I do it because I love it; I have returning clients because I am good at it.
I am totally focused on cats and small animals. I’ve had hamsters for 25+ years and cats for 12+ years. I’ve taken both species to the veterinarian and given both species medication. I’ve used many options for pet care when I have traveled myself – I know what I liked and what I did not like. In addition to my pet first aid training, I have an owner’s experience and the maturity to suggest veterinary care if I see something of concern in your pet.
I do not smoke and I do not accept clients whose homes smell of smoke. I will not bring third-hand smoke into clients’ homes.
I always remove my shoes/boots and put on a clean pair of socks each time I enter a client’s home for a cat visit. This way, I am not bringing in outside dirt and your floors will not be damaged. Aside from my small child, who sometimes accompanies me on my pet sitting rounds, no other person will accompany me into your home.
I clean and disinfect my grooming tools (nail trimmers, combs, brushes) after each client with a special pet-safe antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral disinfectant. I also wash my hands A LOT and sometimes use disposable nitrile gloves, changed after each visit, to protect my hands from all of the hand washing.
I am discrete and do not post photos online until the client has returned. Client pictures only appear on my Reviews & Gallery page (no plastering them all over social media, unless given specific permission to do so). My company attire is discrete and my car does not have signage that says that a pet sitter is visiting your home. When I take pictures, I make sure to turn off the GPS locator feature and to zoom in on your pet, so that it is impossible to tell where the picture was taken.