Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions About Our Service
What to Look for in a Pet Sitter and Pet Sitting Company?
Use these questions to help guide you in finding a good quality pet sitter/company to keep you and your pets SAFE
Our company gives you peace of mind pet care, 365 days per year.
Once you become a registered client of Professional Pet Sitting Etc., you will NEVER have to worry or go through the hassle of finding and researching another pet sitter. We will always have a back up pet sitter if you need service. If your pet sitter ever moves away, becomes ill with the flu, becomes hospitalized, their car does not start, has a death in the family, must work full time, etc. One or two person companies will always have problems, but we have 30+ pet sitters, so you will never have to search again.
The following questions and answers are geared towards our large pet sitting company. However, to keep you and your pets safe, if you are not able to use our company (maybe you are not in our service area), you can use these questions to ask another Company. If you must go with another company, please for safety, do your due diligence and research carefully. You are ALWAYS welcome to call our office, if you have questions, before or after finding another pet sitter.
We do ask all clients to be familiar with our policies and procedures to ensure there are no misunderstandings. We encourage you to read all of these Frequently Asked Questions, our Service Agreement online and all emails with policies.
Our policy and procedures are tried and true since 1990 and we reserve the right to update and/or changed anything as the need occurs. At a minimum, all are reviewed, updated and/or changed quarterly. Some of our policies and procedures are only shown to our registered clients. Our policy and procedures are there for everyone’s protection, you, our clients, the pets in our care, our employees and our company. Over the past decades, we have found without question, that our policy and procedures work very well and if followed, everything runs properly.
BE CAREFUL when looking for a pet sitter/company – we have heard about many problems with local pet sitters. When I was at an event, a person who used a local company who had independent contractors, told me that while she was away, the pet sitter of this other company had a dinner party in her home for 30 guests!!! She used the client’s china and burned her candles. She washed the fine china in the dishwasher and never replaced the candles…..Not to mention that her poor dog was petrified of strangers…..The client was horrified that all these strangers were in her home without her consent or knowledge. Of course, then if you use a teenager they too could have a party in your home as some have done….Anyway, the moral of the story use our company or please check others out thoroughly.
ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You can also go to our FREE E-book for more Questions answered
- Is Professional Pet Sitting Etc. legal in every way? Yes, we have done whatever is required for business.
- Is Professional Pet Sitting Etc. registered as a legal business in the state of NH? Yes, our trade name is registered and our logo is trademarked.
- Is Professional Pet Sitting Etc. insured? Yes, and we have never had a claim, since 1990. Because we have Employees, we are required to have insurance. Anytime a company comes into your home to do anything (roofer, plumber, etc.), you should always make sure that they have liability insurance to protect YOU. If you have a company that has Independent Contractors and NOT employees, all independent contractors MUST carry their own liability insurance, again to protect YOU.
- Is Professional Pet Sitting Etc. bonded? Yes, and we have never had a claim, since 1990. Again, because we have Employees, we do have bonding insurance. If you have a company that has Independent Contractors and NOT employees, all independent contractors should carry their own bonding insurance, again to protect YOU. You can ask smaller companies for a certificate of insurance.
- Is Professional Pet Sitting Etc. a full time business, offering pet care visits 365 days per year, 1 to 4 visits per day? Yes, we offer pet care services 365 days per year and we can schedule visits AM, mid day, supper and PM. Only our office is closed every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and all holidays. Our office is open and during our call back hours – see “contact us” for these hours. Even when our office is closed, our pet sitters are still pet visits per day.
- How long has Professional Pet Sitting Etc. been doing pet sitting? Pet sitting since 1990. Since I started this pet sitting company, I have literally seen 250+ pet sitting companies start up and die. Running a pet sitting company (or any company) is a lot of hard work. Many pet sitters do not want to pet sit on weekends, or they will take a few vacations and therefore, you have no service when they are away or if they become sick. We have 30+ pet sitters to make sure we cover you and your pets.
- Do you have references? Yes, see our testimonial section. Most if not all animal hospitals and animal welfare organizations, do refer to us, however, many have policies that forbid them to refer to anyone. It is most important to have business references, because if a business’ clients are not happy, then the business will not refer. A client reference could be anyone close to the owner of the business (in some cases they can be relatives). Our policy of non-disclosure forbids us to give out any client information, due to high profile clientele and client personal preference. Check out our testimonial section to read some client testimonials. Check in our FREE E-book, there are Businesses in there, where the owners have used our service and have agreed to allow us to give out their information for you.
- Does Professional Pet Sitting Etc. have a business phone? Can I find your business in the business white page listings under the business name? Yes, if you have an emergency, while you are away from home, you may not always remember our phone number, but you will always be able to find us by calling information, looking in the yellow pages or going online. We are a business, not a hobby. This is important for the continued care of your pets if you ever had a delayed flight, cancelled flight, or just wanted to extend a vacation. Many small pet sitting companies only use their cell phone, you will not be able to call 411 or information and get their phone number if you lose it.
- Do you have a business checking account, do I make the check out to the business name? All businesses have a checking account in the business name, so you should always write payments out to the business name, this is important for business trip accounts for taxes or to prove that you paid for services. Payments to a person, do not have as much legal recourse. Since April 2013, our company no longer accept checks, we only accept Mastercard and Visa.
- Does Professional Pet Sitting Etc. accept credit cards? Yes, we accept Mastercard and Visa. This helps the many clients who have busy lives and for the unexpected emergency that may come up and pet care is needed in a hurry.
- Does Professional Pet Sitting Etc. have repeat clientele? We have repeat clientele over 99% and have well over 3000 pet clients. Generally, the only reasons people stop using our service is that they move away or unfortunately a beloved pet passes away.
- Do you have animal health, care and welfare experience? Yes, Dori (the owner) has been in animal welfare all of her life and continues her education every year. Credentials for Dori and some petsitters are listed in the credential section of this website. Many of our pet sitters work or volunteer for animal welfare organizations or in the animal field. You can also read Dori’s History, look on our Home Page, click on “About Us” and then go to “History of Dorinne Whynott”.
- Does Professional Pet Sitting Etc. have Employees or Independent Contractors? We have EMPLOYEES. We pay payroll taxes and workman’s compensation insurance. Most small pet sitting companies have Independent Contractors to avoid paying payroll taxes and worker’s comp. If you use another company, you, the client will need to check both the company AND the Independent Contractor’s thoroughly – are they registered to do business in NH, do they both have liability and bonding insurance, training, etc. Every person going into your home, to do any work (plumber, roofer, pet sitter, etc.) needs to have their own insurance because if they fall or hurt themselves on your property or damage your property somehow, it will all fall on your home owner’s insurance or worse (you could be sued). We, as a company, do all of this, so if you choose for whatever reason to go with another company, please check them out thoroughly. THIS IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP YOU AND YOUR PETS SAFE. It has come to our attention that some pet sitting companies are stating that they do police back ground checks – do NOT take this for face value. They probably do not. Also, they may refer to their Independent Contractors as “employees” – again, they probably are not. Ask who they use for Workman’s Compensation insurance.
One way to find out if a pet sitting company has employees or independent contractors and if they have done police background checks is to see if they have prices that are below the National Average of $20 per visit for up to a 30 minute visit than it is very probable that they are a one person pet sitting company and/or they have Independent Contractors and/or they have not done police background checks, see #16 below for more information –
DO YOUR HOMEWORK FOR THE PROTECTION OF YOU AND YOUR PETS
- What is the difference between employees and Independent Contractors (ICs) ? The difference between having employees and Independent Contractors is HUGE. Employees are hired and fired by the company. The company can tell employees when, where, how, why to do their job. The company can have the employees sign a non-disclosure, non-compete contract (to ensure your information is not repeated elsewhere). The company can have policy and procedures to make sure that you the client gets the service that they are paying for each time and quality control can be achieved. Independent Contractors (ICs) are in business for themselves, essentially if the company has ICs then you can cut out the middle man and deal directly with the Independent Contractor, why have the middle man or middle company? By law, the company can not tell the Independent Contractor when, where, how and why to do their job. They can give information but essentially the Independent Contractor can do the job the way THEY want and when they want (yes, the company can tell the IC that the job is one visit per day from disclosure/non-compete (your personal information is not protected and the IC is its own business, so therefore can compete). There is no policy and procedure and no quality control. No one will be checking up on the Independent Contractor. The Independent Contractor must have their own liability insurance to protect you. Which means that you will need to ask for a certificate of insurance from the company AND any IC that will be entering your home (with employees, there is no need, we have insurance covering all employees). The IC should have their own tools and supplies. ICs can come and go as they please, working for this family and that family, they can pick and choose what job to do or not, what pet to care for or not, and may not be pet sitting the next time you go away. The IC is in control because they are in business for themselves. If that is the case, you are better off dealing directly with the IC to ensure that you have more control of the care and what exactly you want done, plus you want to check up on this person, the way we check up on our employees. If you know of ANY company that states they have employees and are NOT paying payroll taxes and do not have Workman’s Compensation Insurance, this company is breaking the law, cheating their workers and possibly putting the care of your pets in jeopardy. For more information on Employees vs. Independent Contractors contact the State of NH Department of Employment Security.
- Do all of your employees go through a background check? Are these sitters qualified? Yes, all potential employees must fill out a thorough application, we call their references, do a background check, then go through our long orientation process, sign all of our forms, then they shadow and receive training from a seasoned pet sitter. If they do not complete each process satisfactorily, then they do not pet sit for us. We do all of this to keep Prof. Pet Sitting, you and your pets safe. We do this, so you don’t have to.
- How many employees does Professional Pet Sitting Etc. have on staff? How old are your employees? At present we have over 30 pet sitters on staff. Our Insurance requires that all of our pet sitters be 21 years or older, at present all pet sitters are over 30.
- Does Professional Pet Sitting Etc. have a written police and procedure handbook? Yes, all of our pet sitters must follow a 40+ page policy and procedure handbook. This is to ensure quality pet care for you. We check up on our pet sitters, a 1 or 2 person pet sitting company does not have anyone checking up on them. Would you know if they did not go to your home?
- Is my information kept confidential? Yes, only office staff has access to all information. Pet sitters only have access to pet care and veterinary information.
- How do I update my information? Right Online !!! You can update your information easily 24/7 right from your home computer, tablet or smartphone ! You are required to update any information that has changed just as soon as you possibly can. Information changes to credit cards, new pets, deceased pets, pets on medications, changes in keys, etc. It is the clients’ responsibility to update all changes.
- How do I know that a pet sitter has come to my home? All pet sitters are required to notify the office at each visit.
- What if my pet sitter becomes ill or has a family emergency? This is always a possibility and that is why we have an emergency back up system of 30+ non-related pet sitters. If a pet sitters’ family comes down with the flu or has a death in their family, they are all affected. The pet sitter is required to call their back up pet sitter, who will then take over pet care visits. Priority is always making sure that all pets under our care are taken care of, and a change of sitter may happen at any time for any reason without prior notification, so that all pet care runs smoothly. Our preference is to have only one sitter each time you use our service when you go away, but because anything can and has happened, any one of our pet sitters may need to care for your pets at any given time. However, each client will have back up sitters, so that you will be covered whenever you are on our schedule. Changes in a sitter will happen automatically to ensure your pets’ care. Again, your pets’ care is our top priority.
- Do you offer anything for FREE? Yes, we have courtesy services of bringing your mail, newspapers or packages while you are away. Beware of services that offer too many free things, since 1990, there have been 250+ pet sitting companies start up and die. Pet sitting sounds like an easy job, so many try it out, however pet sitting is a big responsibility that is 24/7, 365 days per year and it costs money, a lot of money to run any business to ensure continued quality. If a company offers free or low prices (below the national price level of $20 – 25 per half hour visits), it may entice you to go with that company, but be careful, this company may be here today but next year when you need them for a family emergency, they may be out of business and you will be left with no one.
- Are all of your fees written down? Yes, when you become registered, your online service agreement will have fee ranges. With today’s gas prices and rising costs every where, beware of very low prices for pet sitting. This is one area, where you will get what you pay for. In some cases, in-home care may be more than if you bring your pet somewhere. If you have more than one pet, in home care may be cheaper. The average cost across the US for up to a 30 minute visit can range from $20 – $25 per visit, excluding holidays. Anything less than that is a company that may not have insurance, is very new, etc. Again, be careful of lower than average prices. All of our services are pre-paid. We never bill. This helps to keep our prices low.
- Does Professional Pet Sitting Etc. offer other services beyond pet care visits? Yes, please check out “services” on our website.
- Can I meet a pet sitter? Yes, many people who know our reputation as a company choose not to meet a sitter, however, if you would like to meet a sitter, you can schedule a regular visit after you complete your online registration. Keep in mind that even if you meet a pet sitter, everything you want to tell her must be written down, so that if for any reason, they are unable to care for your pets, any other sitter can come in and read what you want them to know. Plus, if the pet sitter you meet can not do the scheduled visits, for any reason (car does not start, they are sick, family emergency, child is sick, etc.), then any one of our 30+ pet sitters will go in to complete the pet care visits, without any prior notification. This is to ensure that all pets are cared for because that is our top priority.
- Will I have the same pet sitter? We prefer to have one pet sitter coming and going each time you use our service when you go away. It makes it easier in the office for scheduling and payroll. It is also easier on the pets as well as the pet sitters, however, if any sitter ever becomes ill, has a family emergency or vacation, it could be anyone of our pet sitters to make sure your pets are cared for because that is top priority. For mid day clients, we may have a minimum of 2-3 main pet sitters coming in. All clients benefit with up to 30+ back up sitters in case anything does happen. Since 1990 (when we started), everything has happened and because of the way our company is set up, when something does happen, the transition of another sitter coming to your home and taking care of your pet happens very smoothly. Your pets’ care is our top priority. We do all of this so you never have to worry. You come home, see your pet has been cared for and everything is fine. This set up enables great pet care and comes with years of experience and knowing what works. Smaller companies (which do not exist anymore with today’s economy) can not do this or do not know how, leaving many clients with no pet care.
- Can you give my pets medications, if needed? Yes, we can give a variety of veterinary prescribed medications. In some areas, our pet sitters are capable of giving insulin injections for diabetic pets and fluids for pets in renal failure. For those needing injections, if you ever use another pet sitting company, please make sure that the sitter does have experience in administering injections, many do not and do not know the warning signs. Call our office for further information.
- If I register, do I have to use your service right away? No, once you are registered, you will be a click away to schedule pet sitting when you need it. If you only need us once every 2 years, then we will be here when you need us.
- Do I have to give you keys? No, we have lock boxes for sale. They mount permanently to your home and you can access with a code. Most people choose for us to keep keys in their file.
- What if I already have a neighbor, friend, relative or another pet sitting company? or I have a child/teenager in the neighborhood caring for my pets? Not a problem. We have many people who use us as a back up if their neighbor, friend or relative becomes ill or they have an emergency and can not care for the pets. We are also a backup for many 1 – 2 person pet sitting companies, in case they have a problem. As for children/teenagers caring for pets, it is your choice, But ask your self – will this child/teen recognize a medical emergency with your pet? Will this child/teen recognize a problem in your home?
- What if I rarely go away, or can’t go away due to health reasons? Again, not a problem. We have many clients who register with us just in case. Maybe they only need us for a supper visit to go into Boston for a show once a year. We are here when you need us, if you need us.
- What if I have an emergency such as hospitalization or a death in the family? Many people who may have health problems, register with us, so if they are unexpectedly rushed to the hospital, they can call us from the hospital. Or if you have a family member who is far away with health problems, you maybe called at anytime and need to leave. We will always cover you when someone is ill, hospitalized, or unfortunately, death in your family happens.