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Blog Article List – Table of Contents – Professional Pet Sitting Etc

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Here is a  list of Blog Articles

for Professional Pet Sitting Etc.

Go Back to Professional Pet Sitting Etc. Home Page

 

Check out our 300+ published Articles and 30+ published Videos

Make sure to visit us OFTEN, new articles are publishes every week !!

 

Videos and Commercials

 

E-Books, Professional Pet Sitting Etc Reviews, Testimonial & Awards

 

Apartments and House for Rent in NH that are Pet friendly

 

Financial Help and More for Pet Owners

 

List of Animal Welfare Groups & Animal Welfare Articles

Adopt A Pet Series, Every Animal Has a Story – Let’s Give them a Happy Ending – Adopt Today

 

 NH Animal Laws, Free Pets Safety

 

Safety in Finding a Pet or Re-homing a Pet

 

Job Openings for Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers

 

 

Our Very Own Newsletter

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

Early Years – 

 

Professional Pet Sitting Etc Reviews and Testimonials

 

Professional Pet Sitting Etc is in the SPOTLIGHT by a fellow Pet Sitting Business Owner

 

Pet Sitting Information, Tips and Safety

 

Professional Pet Sitting Etc. Services

 

Cat Care

 

Dog Care

 

Dog Breed Spotlight

 

Other Pets

 

Pet Care

 

Wildlife

 

Disaster Planning

 

Book Reviews

 

Educational Info Graphics

 

Monthly Pet Tips

 

Holiday Articles

 

Product Recalls

 

Misc. Articles

 

  • * 2016
  • + 2017
  • – 2018
  • # 2019

Go back to  Professional Pet Sitting Etc. Home Page

Our Service Areas (38)

 

 

About the Owner/Author

Dorinne Whynott, is a long time animal professional.  She is a successful business owner establishing one of the largest pet sitting companies in New Hampshire since 1990. Click to Read her complete History. 

Professional Pet Sitting Etc. is a leading business in the pet care field and continues to grow since 1990.  It boasts 30+ amazing pet sitters on staff, over 3000 clients in 38 cities from Nashua to Concord, NH.  Hundreds of satisfied client testimonials can be found on their website and more 5 star reviews on their Facebook pageGoogle+ page and more.  They have sustained an A+ rating with the BBB and are unmatched in the Pet Sitting Industry in New Hampshire.

Click For a Complete List of all of our educational Blogs

Go to Professional Pet Sitting Etc. Website for more information on the best pet sitting company or click on “New Client” to contact us or register for dog walking or pet care.

Contact us by phone at 603-888-8088

Email Profpetsit@aol.com

Pet Sitting NH , Pet Sitting Nashua NH , Pet Care NH, Petsitternh, Petsittersnh, Professional pet sitter, pet sitters, professional pet sitting, pet sitting, pet sitter, professional pet services, professional pet sitters, pro pet sitting, pet sit, pet, puppy sitting

cat sitting, cat sitter, cat sitters, professional cat sitter

dog, dog sitting,  professional dog sitter, Dog walking new hampshire, dog sitter, Dog Walking NH, dog walking services, Dog Walker, Dog Walker NH

All rights reserved, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

This article can not be copied in part or in whole without specific written permission by the Author/Owner.

 

 

 

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Why your dog needs a Mid Day break in the middle of your work day

It’s not just for puppies !!

Give the Ultimate Gift of Love to your pet –

Mid Day Let Out

Author, Dorinne Whynott, Owner of Professional Pet Sitting Etc.

 - Professional Pet Sitting Etc. Pet Sitting NH, Dog Walking NH, Pet Care NH,  Mid Day

Rascal – Professional Pet Sitting Etc. Pet Sitting NH, Dog Walking NH, Pet Care NH, Mid Day

A break in the middle of your work day is the ultimate gift of love for your pets. Pet Sitting Companies offer these breaks by making visits to your home while you are at work. They can be scheduled for every Monday through Friday or every Monday-Wednesday-Friday or however you wish to schedule it to benefit your pet the most. It is generally the most requested service in a pet sitting company for dogs but as you will see, it can be for any pet.

All pets need a break during our long work days, double shifts, unexpected or planned overtime. Pets can only go for so long without needing to go out. It can be agonizing for a grown pet to even think of having an accident in your home. If you work or are away from home 6 hours or more per day, you may want to consider a mid day break for our pets.

In a highly professional pet sitting company (see What to Look for in a Pet Sitting Company), A trained and qualified Professional Pet Sitter will let your pet out to go to the bathroom, get some fresh air, stretch and let off some anxiety, play with toys or play ball, have some treats and always get lots of TLC and personal attention during the day while you are away. The biggest plus is the one on one attention that your dog receives.  Hugs, love and treats are all part of the attention and the best part for dog and pet sitter !!

Pets need human interaction – Most pets really need human interaction.  Being home alone all day every day, some pets get depressed.  They just sleep.  Inactivity, boredom, depression can lead to other problems, like obesity and health issues, as well as destructiveness and other behavior issues.

Here are a few pets who would benefit from a mid day visit:

  • Puppies (dogs under a year old) – Very young puppies that are not house broken yet may need 1-2 breaks while you are at work. They need a bathroom break about every 3 hours.
  • Elderly Dogs (dogs 7 years and older) – as dogs age, just like us, they may need to go to the bathroom more often.
  • Adopted Dogs of any age – newly adopted dogs in a new home may not be on a schedule yet. Having a break in the middle of the day, helps them acclimate and not be so lonely coming from a kennel type environment where there we lots of people and attention.
  • Crated Dogs – dogs that are crated should be let out of their crates every 3-4 hours to stretch their legs.
  • Pets with any health issues – a pet with a health issue may benefit from having someone check on the during the day, just to make sure they are okay. It not only gives you peace of mind but the pet also benefits.
  • Pets with general Anxiety/nervousness – pets who are generally nervous or have anxiety benefit from a break. Sometimes just expending that nervous anxiety in a walk or playing ball helps them to stay calm later in the afternoon.
  • Pets who are destructive – Destructive pets need to expend that energy in a constructive way so as not to destroy the house or something that may be harmful to their well being, like electrical cords. Destructive pets for their safety may need to be crated, a pet sitter can come and give them that much needed break and playtime. If you have a dog who is so destructive, he has chewed through his crate ( yes, that has happened), working with a behaviorist, trainer along with a pet sitter can help in the long run.
  • Pets with Separation Anxiety – Separation Anxiety pets do benefit from Mid Day Visits, however in extreme cases they may benefit from staying with a friend or relative during the day. Someone who can give them calm constant companionship. If that is not possible, for their safety, they need to be crated and a pet sitter can come once or twice during your work day. Separation Anxiety pets also do well working with a behaviorist, trainer along with a pet sitter, routine is very good with these dogs.
  • Pets who are prone to bladder issues and those who are not – Bladder issues can be genetic but they can occur in any pet. Holding urine for long periods of time can heighten the possibility of a pet developing a bladder infection just by the mere fact that any bacteria in the bladder has more time to multiply.
  • Pets who are prone to urinary tract infections and those who are not – the same issues for bladder infections can also create more urinary tract infections, allowing bacteria to multiply over time rather then expending on a shorter time span.
  • High energy dogs – dogs with a lot of energy will definitely benefit from more exercise. For these pets you may want to book the extended time slot.
  • Dogs who are overweight– as with any pet (or human), excess weight increase all kinds of health problems as time goes on, regular daily walks can help keep pets in shape and healthy. Some health risks for overweight pets are diabetes, heart problems, joint problems, arthritis and more.
  • Pets with some behavior problems – Mid day Let out may help with many behavior problems associated with boredom and being left home alone for many hours each day (such as anxiety, chewing, destructiveness, etc). Pet Sitters are not trainers, however, regular routine of walking on a daily basis, does help many pets for many issues.

Dogs NOT good for Mid Day Let Out Service:

  • Aggressive/Biting dogs – The only pets that are not a candidate for Mid Day breaks from a pet sitter are pets that are aggressive or biters. This is simply for the protection of the sitters as well as the pets. We simply cant have our amazing sitters harmed in any way because they have so many pets to care for!!

Here are a few other things:

  • You Don’t need Mid Day visits but could use another time period…..Mid Day let out visits are generally in the middle of the day but most pet sitting companies can book you in for other times on a regular basis.
  • Do your work from home, No Problem – Many of our clients work from home, but still have us come to exercise their pets. This keeps the pets on a consistent schedule and allows you to concentrate on your work.
  • Do you have an elderly or disabled person at home, No Problem – we have a few people who are home when we come, maybe they can’t walk the of because of a disability or maybe hey don’t want to.
  • Did you break your leg? – we are so sorry but we can help walk your dog.
  • Too busy to exercise the dog – Are you really busy with your job and by the time you get home the last thing you want to do is go out again – we understand, everyone has a finite amount of time but we can help keep your pets exercised and on routine.
  • How long will you stay with my pet – That’s up to you. You can make reservations for up to a half hour or add on for an hour or if you want 2, 3, 4 hours !!

 

Did you know;

  • A Mid Day Break is Animal Welfare Recommended? – many animal welfare organizations will not adopt a pet to a home if there is no one home all day and a break is not given.
  • Other Help – If you book for a Mid Day Service, many pet sitting companies may be able to help you with other things as well, like adding on pooper scooping the yard or Litterbox Maintenance

Simply put A mid day break is good for your pet’s physical and mental well being.

Mid Day breaks are so important to pets that we ask you to Please give ALL pets a break in the middle of your work day every day, whether we provide this service for you or you come home every day at lunch or have a friend, neighbor or relative come in for you.

 

Want More information on

Top Tips about Daycare for your dog vs Mid Day Let Out

 

If you are considering a Pet Sitting Company, here are a few links to help you

Top 10 Things to look for in a Pet Sitting Company

What to look for in a Pet Sitting Company

Advantages and Benefits of  using a Pet Sitting Company

Tips to get the Most out of your Pet Sitting Experience

5 Ways Pet Sitting company keeps you and your pets safe

 

 

About the Owner/Author

Dorinne Whynott, is a long time animal professional.  She is a successful business owner establishing one of the largest pet sitting companies in New Hampshire since 1990. Click to Read her complete History. 

Professional Pet Sitting Etc. is a leading business in the pet care field and continues to grow since 1990.  It boasts 30+ amazing pet sitters on staff, over 3000 clients in 38 cities from Nashua to Concord, NH.  Hundreds of satisfied client testimonials can be found on their website and more 5 star reviews on their Facebook pageGoogle+ page and more.  They have sustained an A+ rating with the BBB and are unmatched in the Pet Sitting Industry in New Hampshire.

Click For a Complete List of all of our educational Blogs

Go to Professional Pet Sitting Etc. Website for more information on the best pet sitting company or click on “New Client” to contact us or register for dog walking or pet care.

Contact us by phone at 603-888-8088

Email Profpetsit@aol.com

Pet Sitting NH , Pet Sitting Nashua NH , Pet Care NH, Petsitternh, Petsittersnh, Professional pet sitter, pet sitters, professional pet sitting, pet sitting, pet sitter, professional pet services, professional pet sitters, pro pet sitting, pet sit, pet, puppy sitting

cat sitting, cat sitter, cat sitters, professional cat sitter

dog, dog sitting,  professional dog sitter, Dog walking new hampshire, dog sitter, Dog Walking NH, dog walking services, Dog Walker, Dog Walker NH

All rights reserved, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

This article can not be copied in part or in whole without specific written permission by the Author/Owner.

 

 

Share

Top Tips about Daycare for your Dog vs Mid Day Let Out

white dog

Juliet having a fun walk with her pet sitter

Mid Day Visits in your home may be better then Daycare

for you and your dog

Author, Dorinne Whynott, Owner of Professional Pet Sitting Etc.

 

Our most requested service is our Mid day Let out. Our pet sitters make visits to your home every day while you are at work Monday through Friday or whatever your work schedule may be. Some people have asked how our mid day service is more beneficial.

Here are a few benefits of Mid Day Pet Sitting service:

  • Saves Money – in most cases pet sitting visits cost less, even for one dog. However, our visit prices are for up to 3 dogs, so it saves ALOT when you have more then one dog. Plus, no penalty cost if you have to pick up late (they are already home!).
  • Saves Gas – since we come to your home, theres no need to use extra gas bringing your dog anywhere or using more gas to pick them up
  • No Stress for you – many daycare facilities have rules about drop off and pick up times, so if you must leave really early in the morning or get out of work later at night, you may need to have someone else drop off or pick up your pet. If you are running behind at work your stress level may increase if you are getting close to the Daycare’s closing time
  • No stress for your dog – if your dog is not a dog that loves to go for rides or gets cars sick.  Also, many dogs get stressed when in a new environment and every time a new dog comes into the “pack” (facility).
  • Saves Time – since we come to your home, you don’t have to plan extra time in the morning or after work when you are tired. If you are running late in the morning and don’t have time to drop off our dog, he will be home all day without a break ( unless you call us). Or if there is snow, all that extra morning time will be eaten up clearing off your car just to get to work.  Not to mention the extra time to get to work since traffic will be slower in bad weather.
  • Saves more time – with a click of your mouse on a pet sitting company’s online system you can book an extra supper visit, you can add extra time, you can go on a regular schedule for mid day let out and book every Monday – Friday or every mon-wed-fri or whatever your schedule is, even if it is sporadic.

A good Professional Pet Sitting Company will have an online reservation system, which will allow you to make all reservations 24/7, 365 days per year and you can update your personal pet care information any time you wish.

Also, a Professional Pet Sitting Company will be able to care for your pets 365 days per year. Daycares, unless they are boarding facilities as well, can not. Even if they can board your dog, can you pick your dog up at 3am when your flight comes in?? Probably not. If your pet is home all snuggled in his bed, he will be there waiting for you no matter what time you come home.

In a highly professional pet sitting company (see What to Look for in a Pet Sitting Company), A trained and qualified Professional Pet Sitter will let your pet out to go to the bathroom, get some fresh air, stretch and let off some anxiety, play with toys or play ball, have some treats and always get lots of TLC and personal attention during the day while you are at work. The biggest plus is the one on one attention that your dog receives.  Hugs, love and treats are all part of the attention and is the best part for dog and pet sitter !!

Pets need human interaction – Most pets really need human interaction.  Being home alone all day every day, some pets get depressed.  They just sleep.  Inactivity, boredom, depression can lead to other problems, like obesity and health issues, as well as destructiveness and other behavior issues.

Here is a link to my other blog for more information on Mid Day Let Out/Dog Walking

Why your dog needs a break in the middle of your work day

 

Here is how a Daycare is different from Mid Day Let Out;

  • Daycares do not give your dog one on one attention. Attendees are busy watching over many dogs. If you see your dog clinging at anytime to an attendee instead of out and about with the dogs, your dog is not interested in Daycare.
  • Dogs maybe crated at many daycare facilities – many facilities have a 2 hour playtime with an hour of downtime for dogs. In these Downtimes, dogs are crated. The reason this is done is to keep dogs from getting overstimulated, over stressed, over tired and cranky increasing the possibility of a dog fight. There is no benefit to an over stimulated, over stressed,  over tired cranky dog.
  • Your dog may pick up a parasite, tick or fleas – Most Daycare facilities are pretty good at keeping parasites at bay. However, if a dog had been running and playing on a trail yesterday and had picked up an internal parasite, fleas or ticks, Today, that dog and yours are running, playing, kissing and grooming each other…..well, its possible to get parasites, ticks and fleas. In all fairness, your dog could get parasites, ticks and fleas anywhere other dogs are- daycares, dog parks, trails, your neighborhood. Its just more of a possibility when your dog is around other dogs a lot. A fecal to your vet to check for parasites might be a good idea at least 4 times a year if you frequent daycares or dog parks. Tick and flea checks on your dog are always a good idea every time you go home from anyplace where a lot of dogs have been.
  • Daycares are not open every day, so if you need pet care or want to pick up your pet on a Sunday or Christmas, these facilities might not be available.  Very few Daycare facilities are open 365 days per year.  A good Professional Pet Sitting Company has pet care 365 days per year.
  • Daycares may not be there for you in an Emergency –  if you have a family emergency, there may not be availability.  A good Professional Pet Sitting Company generally will always help with pet care in an emergency.
  • Cuts, scrapes and bruises – This is inevitable when dogs are running, playing, rough housing, jumping on each other, play biting each other, skidding, and the list goes on.  Its like kids on a playground, someone will go home with a skinned knee.

 

When considering Daycare vs Mid Day Let Out, please know your pets.

These are a few pets that are not good candidates for Daycare;

  • Shy pets – shy pets really do better in a one on one mid day visit rather then being dropped off at a busy daycare. Ive seen shy pets huddled up in a corner, stressed just waiting to get out of there.
  • Dogs that do not like other dogs – a fight waiting to happen.  If they are home getting one on one attention in your yard, they will be away from other dogs.
  • Dogs that insist they are always the boss with other dogs – a fight waiting to happen. Again, If they are home getting one on one attention in your yard, they will be away from other dogs.
  • Dogs that tire easily – they will just get cranky and not happy.  If they are with a pet sitter and start to get tired, they can just find their bed and take a nap.
  • Dogs with any health issues – they need to be home, only 100% healthy pets should be at a daycare with other dogs, for the well being of your dog with health issues
  • Dogs that are elderly, arthritic, joint problems – dogs in this category should be home, its just not fair to them with all the pouncing and jumping not to mention how painful arthritis and joints can be.
  • Dogs that get over stimulated – again a fight may happen.  These dogs do much better with less things going on around them with just one on one attention.
  • Dogs that get anxiety when there’s too much going on – These dogs like to control the room and feel they must calm everyone down, they run around biting other dogs backs which is a dog sign for that dog to calm down but its just too much fun, so your dog runs around and around, wearing herself out because no one is listening.

Sometimes, when people pick up there dogs, they pick up exhausted dogs and for the happy go lucky high energy dogs, that’s a good thing but for others that exhausted dog, who had been running and running in a panic all day, may not be having a good time.  This is when you really need to have at least 2 people who know dog posture (not a daycare worker or someone who works there) go with you and observe your dog.  Is all that running around good, are they really having fun or is that miserable exhaustion full of anxiety and nervousness.

If you are considering a Pet Sitting Company, here are a few links to information to help you

Top 10 Things to look for in a Pet Sitting Company

What to look for in a Pet Sitting Company

Advantages and Benefits of  using a Pet Sitting Company

Tips to get the Most out of your Pet Sitting Experience

5 Ways Pet Sitting company keeps you and your pets safe

 

If you are considering a Daycare, here are a few things to look for;

 

  • The facility show look and smell clean – some dog smell is expected but shouldn’t be unpleasant.
  • The facility shouldn’t smell musty, moldy or too chemical -too much of a  harsh chemical is not good for dogs or people.  It doesn’t take much to kill bacteria.  Musty, moldy or unclean smells may mean that they are not cleaning correctly and that germs and bacteria aren’t being properly killed.
  • You shouldn’t see things in disrepair, rusty, rotting roof – The facility should be keeping up with their maintenance, if not maybe there is a reason, poor management, clients leaving, etc.  Plus you do not want your pet to chew or cut themselves on anything.
  • A tour of where your dogs will be is a must – unplanned tours are better, so you can see things as they are not cleaned up for your Tour. Be aware that any dog facility is not pretty before clean up but it shouldn’t be built up dirt that has been there for a few days.  You can tell the difference.
  • There should be separate area for young pups away from the big rambunctious boys – There should be special areas for puppies, small dogs, old dogs and Rambunctious dogs – THIS IS IMPORTANT.  It could be the life and death of your dog.  True Story in NH – One of our clients had a fox terrier puppy and wanted to bring her puppy to daycare because she wanted her puppy to “play” all day.  She brought him to a local daycare and on the same day, 2 new big dogs about 8 years old, also came that day.  The puppy thought it was soooo much fun, grabbing the long fur on one of the dog’s chest, apparently, this dog tolerated it for a few minutes then grabbed the puppy by the back of the neck shook him violently……puppy did not survive 🙁   This puppy should not have been allowed to mix with the big boys, there are a few other things that were wrong with this picture, but this was the biggest problem.
  • What is the protocol for disease prevention – most facilities have very good disease control with disinfectant and requiring up to date vaccines.
  • What is the protocol for parasites – most facilities do a great job as keeping their facilities parasite free, but please know, that if a dog goes on a trail walk the day before and comes to daycare today, the facility will kill any parasites that may shed in the facility, but if the dogs are kissing and grooming one another, they can spread the parasites to one another.  It’s good to check for parasites with your vet at least 2-4 times a year, more if you frequent places with many dogs, such as daycares and dog parks.
  • What is the protocol for a dog fight – if dogs start fighting, how do they safely break it up fast.
  • What is the protocol if there is a fire – All facilities need a fire protocol to get all pets out of the building safely.  Also ask about the sprinkler system, when was it last maintained and tested.  
  • What is the person to dog ratio –should be one person in the group for every 20 dogs. This is for your dogs’ safety.  That is still ALOT of dogs for one person to keep an eye on.  Attendees should be continually walking around and watching the dogs.  The person should not be sitting, texting or on Facebook!
  • Is there certain drop off and pickup times? – some facilities want dogs dropped off all in the same time frame and picked up later around the same times.  In essence, this makes sense because all the dogs get all excited when dogs enter or leave and then they settle down.  Dogs entering and leaving are the times that problems happen the most, dog fights, etc.  So, some facilities won’t accept dogs after a certain time for safety.
  • What is the earliest I can drop off – If you start work at 7am and the earliest they open is 8am, this won’t work for you
  • What is the latest I can pick up – If you work until 6pm and there latest pick up time is 5pm, this won’t work for you
  • Does it cost extra if I’m too early or too late or are the doors locked – in the case of not picking up in time you would pay a boarding fee, but many facilities charge a early or late fee if someone needs to be there for you

 

The best dog for Daycare

  • Non stop high energy dogs that get along with every dog they meet. Do you have one of those? A dog that will play non stop for 4 plus hours. This is the perfect dog for daycare.

 

Dogs that are not a candidate for Daycare nor Mid Day Let Out

  • Dogs that are aggressive towards people, dogs that have bitten people. For safety of all employees, you should never consider your aggressive or biting dog for either of these services.

If you still want to use a daycare, we have two clients whose dogs do better if daycare and mid day visits are alternated, such as mid day visits are scheduled for every Mon-Wed-Fri and use Daycare every Tues-Thurs. the constant go go go for these dogs was too much. They were cranky pants at home.

If you think that a great Professional Pet Sitting Company sounds more you style, please feel free to use my guides above to find the right one for you in your area.  Even though you may not be in my area, if you have any questions about pet sitting, please don’t hesitate to call or email me.  I love helping if I can!!

I hope you found this interesting and helpful.

 

 

 

About the Owner/Author

Dorinne Whynott, is a long time animal professional.  She is a successful business owner establishing one of the largest pet sitting companies in New Hampshire since 1990. Click to Read her complete History. 

Professional Pet Sitting Etc. is a leading business in the pet care field and continues to grow since 1990.  It boasts 30+ amazing pet sitters on staff, over 3000 clients in 38 cities from Nashua to Concord, NH.  Hundreds of satisfied client testimonials can be found on their website and more 5 star reviews on their Facebook pageGoogle+ page and more.  They have sustained an A+ rating with the BBB and are unmatched in the Pet Sitting Industry in New Hampshire.

Click For a Complete List of all of our educational Blogs

Go to Professional Pet Sitting Etc. Website for more information on the best pet sitting company or click on “New Client” to contact us or register for dog walking or pet care.

Contact us by phone at 603-888-8088

Email Profpetsit@aol.com

Pet Sitting NH , Pet Sitting Nashua NH , Pet Care NH, Petsitternh, Petsittersnh, Professional pet sitter, pet sitters, professional pet sitting, pet sitting, pet sitter, professional pet services, professional pet sitters, pro pet sitting, pet sit, pet, puppy sitting

cat sitting, cat sitter, cat sitters, professional cat sitter

dog, dog sitting,  professional dog sitter, Dog walking new hampshire, dog sitter, Dog Walking NH, dog walking services, Dog Walker, Dog Walker NH

All rights reserved, copyright 2013, 2014

This article can not be copied in part or in whole without specific written permission by the Author/Owner.

 

 

Share

Professional Pet Sitting Etc. reviews on Yelp, should they be trusted

NH Pet Sitting Company’s one long year ordeal with Yelp finds how Yelp takes away your Freedom of Speech

Author, Dorinne Whynott, Owner of Professional Pet Sitting Etc.

Yelp is not as well known in New England as it is in other parts of the US. Yelp’s business practices are hurting many businesses, especially small businesses, and they are being called into question. Currently, there are many lawsuits and petitions calling for Yelp to change. Here is my experience with Yelp.

July 2011 – The phone rings and it is a wonderful client, who tells me there is a negative review about my company and did I know…..She told me it was on Yelp. Yelp?? What is Yelp? Never heard of Yelp. So, I go on and sure enough, there is a negative review from a Paul. His review was trashing all of my policies and procedures. Why was this person who never used my company trashing us?? Well, after doing some research, I was informed he was a competitor pet sitting company!!! So this is how I was introduced to Yelp about 1.5 years ago.

Since then, I have learned more about Yelp than I ever wanted to know. Yelp is a business. Yelp makes money selling paid advertisements. Yelp gets people to see those paid advertisements with reviews about businesses the public posts, good or bad. Yelp uses human psychology to their advantage to make more money. Yelp knows that most people will click through to read a negative review more often than a positive review. Therefore, the paid advertisements on these pages will be seen more. So Yelp LOVES negative reviews. Supposedly, a negative review will have a better chance to stay on a business’s main public review page than a good one.

What does that mean…..well Yelp has a filtering system. Yelp claims that this filtering system weeds out a competitors review, a review that a business may have paid for, or a review that the business wrote about itself…Yelp claims that with this filtering system it gives a more accurate reviewing process the public can trust. Hmmmmm, really?? It did not filter my competitors negative review…..Yelp deals with those complaints by stating their filter is not 100%…..

Okay, so my client who originally found me and told me about Yelp, decided to write a wonderful 5 star review. GREAT. Well, it disappeared??? Where did it go? It was filtered!!! So, Yelp keeps the negative competitor review and filters/hides the positive legitimate client review??? Filtered reviews are hidden from the public unless you know to click on the very faint (filtered) on the bottom of the review page. BTW-anyone on a smart phone Yelp mobile app, does not even have a choice to see filtered. Filtered reviews are not counted toward the business’s overall star rating, so my company that has been in business for 23+ years, who has done over a quarter of a million pet care visits, helped 3000+ happy satisfied clients and given wonderful service has a 1 star Yelp rating (today it has grown to a huge 2.5 star rating- Whippee!!).

When I wrote to Yelp, asking them why this review was filtered, they returned my first email with information on their filtering process. I replied back, that this was a client, a legitimate client and that this review should be seen. I was told that once a review is in filter it cannot be removed. After a few more emails, I was then told to tell the reviewer to keep writing reviews, over time after they have written many reviews, it was possible for that review to come out of being filtered……So, which is it? Once a review is in filter it never comes out or over time and after writing many reviews, it will come out….

Here is my only 5 star review that is seen out of filter and counted toward my Yelp star rating, click on each picture to enlarge, if needed:

Brenda Blog 5

 

As you can see above, we currently have 15 filtered reviews as of February 22, 2013!! Which if all these reviews were seen by the public and counted toward our overall star rating; we would be a 5 star company!! This is what we are!

Before the above review was written, I receive a call from Yelp. Why? They want me to pay for advertising!!! I told them, why would I want to pay for advertising to bring more people to see a negative review and a 1 star rating for my company? That would be an utter waste of money. I guess that was the wrong thing to tell Yelp because apparently, if you do not advertise with Yelp, the business is destined to have most, if not all, positive reviews filtered and this is certainly true in my case. Try Googling Yelp-extortion and see all the lawsuits!

Over the past year or so, a few clients have found me on Yelp, they have written some of the most wonderful reviews, all (except one), have disappeared into the filter, hidden from the public. These wonderful clients took time to tell the world how pleased they were with our company. For that I am touched and grateful but I am also OUTRAGED at Yelp. Yelp has literally silenced these people. They have expressed their anger, hurt, helplessness and unfairness at Yelp. Yelp has not responded or just tells them their filtering is not 100%.

The only exception to the rule is my great client Brenda (she wrote the above review and has recently moved away to Ohio, We miss you). She has embraced reviewing, trying to let the public know of all the great places she has been and companies she has used. She has racked up over 100 reviews and is known as a Yelp Elite Reviewer (look by her picture above, you will see elite and the number 149, that’s how many reviews she has done). The Yelp Elite positive reviews have a better chance of being seen and not end up being filtered. Thank you Brenda, for your great review, the only positive review counted by Yelp. The first reviews Brenda wrote, were filtered. The above review was her third and fourth attempts.

As I learn more about Yelp, searching online for articles and Facebook etc, I find that the businesses who pay for advertising seem to have a better attitude about Yelp because their positive reviews are kept. The businesses who either cannot afford Yelp advertising or choose not to advertise are the ones who seem to have the problem with most or all of their positive reviews placed in filter (in my research, I’ve read many businesses were forced out of business because of the public seeing only the negative Yelp reviews). If you are a small business and find that not to be true, just wait. I had a friend who was thrilled with Yelp, she had 6 great 5 star reviews, she said I was wrong; Yelp is great, getting clients, etc. Yelp called her for advertising; it just wasn’t in her budget. Within the next 2 weeks all of the positive reviews were filtered and now she has ZERO star rating!!

Here’s a link to a similar situation:

http://pppvb.com/pet-sitter-reviews-virginia-beach-yelp/

So, why don’t I just remove my company from Yelp?? I tried. I wish I could. Yelp claims that my company information is public domain and it will not be removed from their site. So, my Company is held hostage. If you search, you will find many who have filed lawsuits. Unfortunately, Yelp has a lot of money and so far, they have won or have settled and it has not been made public. I tried to add to my business information on Yelp, to tell people to click on Filtered. The next day, it was gone, Yelp had removed it. Apparently, if you write anything that Yelp does not approve of, especially if it is about Yelp, they will remove it!

In the midst of all this, I received an email from Yelp stating they were holding an online seminar. Well, I thought, maybe if I learned more about how Yelp works – maybe, just maybe, I can turn this negative into a positive….I learned that one of Yelp’s guidelines, is a person must have used my services in order to write a review. Well, the one negative review from Paul (the competitor), spoke about how he disagreed with my policies and procedures, not once did it say anything about how he used my services. I wrote to Yelp three times, stating what I learned and they did finally remove it. WOW, a step in the right direction. Keep in mind that I wrote to Yelp a dozen times before, telling them, this was a competitor and that he did not use my business but until I specifically pointed out their guidelines, they did nothing.

What happened next was very discouraging. We received 2 additional negative reviews on Yelp within a month or so of each other, from people who seemed to want to use our service but never finished their files, Kim and Michele.

Keep in mind; we do 10,000-20,000 pet sitting visits per year. We have over 3000 clients, so 2 negative reviews shouldn’t bother me, right? But it does. We all work very hard and we strive to be the best. We have an A+ Better Business Bureau rating; have been awarded Pet Sitting Company of the Year, along with a very long list of credentials as well as numerous amazing testimonials. These negative reviews (without seeing the filtered positive reviews) skew the good loving care that we provide as a whole, to many pets for the past 23+ years. Our business is based on trust, trust with the care of your beloved pets, keys to your home, etc. We value that trust highly. If a person has ANY doubt, why would they take a chance?

I spoke with the first reviewer, Kim, on the phone answered all of her questions. She decided she wanted to register. I told her she had a choice to do the Free online registration or a personal phone registration for $20 that will be charged to her credit card. She opted for the personalized phone registration for $20. She made an appointment with my Office Manager. At the beginning of the phone registration, our office manager asked Kim for her credit card info and told her, it was a one time charge for the phone registration. Kim gave her full credit card number, expiration date, 3 digit code and exact name on the card.

Please keep in mind that we have phone scripts that my Office Manager and myself, follow word for word so we do not leave out anything important and we tell everyone the same information. Kim was even told at the beginning that she, my office manager, would be following a script and to please bear with her, she didn’t want to leave anything out. Our registration is very thorough to ensure we know everything we can, to take as good of care of your pets as we can possibly do. Most of the people we speak with love our thoroughness. It does include the 6 actual pages of our registration (vet releases, emergency information, service agreement, and pet care) and the rest is a client reference guide with lots of helpful ideas to get the most out of our great service as well as our fee sheet.

My office manager spent an hour (it did not take 20 minutes as Kim later stated) taking down all of Kim’s information, answering questions, and listening to Kim’s stories about her dog. We understand that no pet owner can resist talking about their pets, telling funny stories and letting us know all about their personalities, (plus its fun for us to hear as well).

The office manager did tell her that for her future pet care services she could leave a check or use her credit card on file, what did she prefer. She did opt to leave a check when she used us in the future. For the next week or so, we tried to fax our forms to her (her fax machine was off), left voice messages and never heard from Kim again. The next time we heard from Kim was on Yelp…..telling the world how awful we are and in her first review she warned – BEWARE we charge people’s credit cards without authorization!!! Here’s Kim’s negative review, this is her revised version (not sure why she changed it):

Kim Blog

After Kim left this, I was shocked; I tried to leave a reply (seen below). But Yelp wouldn’t let me until I first uploaded a clear picture of my face (yes, that it was it told me)!! My picture was rejected TEN times because I wear glasses. Finally, one went through. However, as you can see with Kim above, it is not required. The reviewer does NOT have to be so forthcoming. They can leave it blank or post a picture of anything.

Here was my reply to Kim:

Kim Blog Response

The next person, Michele called Wednesday, December 19, 2012, just before Christmas (our office was to be closed Friday, December 21 – 25 for Christmas, however, we do pet sit 365 days a year, just our office is closed). Michele was desperate because she needed pet care and could find no one for Dec. 31 – Jan. 7 (Michele supposedly found us online, which states our coverage area in NH). The big problem was she lived 25 minutes one way drive from the nearest pet sitter over the border into Massachusetts!! We do not cover Massachusetts due to the high taxes. (On Yelp, it states she is from Florida, under her picture, in that case, we definitely couldn’t help her !) I told her we would have to cover the drive time in the price and I will need to ask our pet sitter if she wouldn’t mind the drive. Our sitter said she would be happy to help; it was Christmas, after all! (I LOVE our pet sitters !)

Michele was thrilled. We rushed to get her all set up, Michele was to go online for our free registration, and I put her reservation on the sitter’s schedule to make sure that we could cover her. This was a reservation that would take up 3 half hour slots for each visit to enable the sitter to have enough time to drive and care for the pets. We received Michele’s information, filled out and faxed the forms; everything was all set to go. All we needed was the signed forms to be faxed back that night.

The next morning, December 20th, there were no faxed signed forms. Time was running out and we would soon be closed for the long Christmas holiday weekend. Next week was the holiday week, we would only be open for Wednesday/Thursday and we were extremely busy. We called to see if she was having trouble faxing. We were told that her niece would be caring for her pets and she wanted to cancel.

According to Michele, she wrote in her review I was “huffy”. I do not think I was anything but professional on the phone. If I wasn’t, I definitely apologize. I did mention that we do have a 14 day cancellation notice (especially for holiday reservations). This cancellation notice was on the registration questionnaire as she was answering all the registration questions, it was on the reservation sheet that was faxed to her and it was on our website under FAQs. However, I did not tell her verbally before she did the registration.

As I spoke with Michele on the phone, she went on to say that I should not have scheduled her, she never signed anything, however, she further stated she did want to use our services in the future!!! The next thing I know, she has written a horrible review on Yelp, stating that I was huffy to her and that she called her bank to make sure I didn’t charge her credit card!! (We didn’t charge her credit card, not even a cancellation fee).

Here is Michele:

Michele Blog

Our registration process does clearly state to clients that as soon as we receive their information, they are registered clients. Both Kim and Michele are registered clients (whether they fax signed forms back or not, they just needed to send signed forms back to us to finish their files, which legally allow us to enter their homes to care for their pets when needed).

Soon, our registration will be expedited with our online Program (hopefully ready in March 2013), and then everything will be done directly on our website (no more faxing!). Clients will be able to make their reservations and payments online themselves. I can’t wait!!

 

Here is my reply to Michele:

Michele Blog Response

I felt so awful for the clients that we had to turn away, when we could’ve helped.

I felt even worse for our sitter who selflessly tried to help her (as we all did) and lost out on 3 visits (1.5 hours) three times a day for 7 days ! That was a total of 63 pet care HOLIDAY visits that she and our company lost out on. We had no choice but to place Michele on our schedule as soon as we promised we would help her. If we didn’t, then while Michele was in the process of doing her paperwork, we would have filled in those slots with the 3 clients who called in, and we wouldn’t be able to cover her after we told her we could !! Michele did not state that this reservation was tentative, or that she was looking into her niece helping. We were told that we were her only option.

I did try to resolve both cases, but neither returned my calls or emails.

After this happened, I tried another Yelp webinar, this time on Yelp Deals and Gift Certificates. I learned if I offered these through Yelp (Yelp would make 10-25% of whatever I sold), that when a person purchased them and redeemed them for my services, the next time a person went on Yelp, they would be asked to write a review!! Okay, that sounds good. I know we have great service, so, I signed up. In the next 5 weeks, 4 people purchased a deal/gift certificate. After they were redeemed, I ask these 4 people if they were asked to write a review, they stated no. So, they decided to go on Yelp and write a review anyway (Joyce, Brad, Elizabeth and Pat). Each had purchased a gift certificate through Yelp (Yelp made money on my Gift Certificates), and each had redeemed it to use our services. They should be considered legitimate reviewers for our services, right?? All four reviews were immediately placed in Yelp’s filter. Joyce couldn’t believe it and thought she had done something wrong. So, she deleted her review and did it again- But same thing, in the filter it went. Elizabeth said she worked in computers and understood about filters, not to worry, but hers was filtered too and she couldn’t understand why. Brad was just angry. Pat was so upset; she wrote to Yelp but received no response except information on their filtering process. She was angry that her voice was silenced, so unconstitutional !! So, Pat removed her review all together (she was going to try to write as many reviews as she can over time and try to become an elite, come back and write a review that will stay).

Here are Joyce, Brad and Elizabeth’s reviews, now in filter:

Joyce Blog

Brad Blog

Elizabeth Blog

Soon after, Yelp had another webinar on Yelp Deals and Gift Certificates. I wanted to ask why these people had not been asked to write a review and why were they filtered. Of course we can only write in our questions. As I was listening, I realized that things had changed (the last webinar was just a month ago). They took out the part where after redeemed, people would be asked to write a review. So I wrote in my question – Yelp’s response…..We like reviews to happen organically……Organically??? What does that even mean? It couldn’t have happened more organically then it did.

Here are more of our filtered reviews, if you would like to read them. Why give Yelp the traffic when you can read them here. Plus Yelp has made it more difficult for you to see the filtered reviews by adding “Captcha”. Sometimes you need to put in those annoying, hard to read codes more than once.

However, feel free to check them out online if you wish, just remember to please click on the filtered to get the whole picture, not just Yelp’s view of what they want you to see.

Liz K Blog

Joyce Blog

Eva Nicole Blog

Richie Blog

Dan Blog

Kate Blog

Matilda Blog

Becky Tricia Blog

So, should you believe every Yelp review? That is up to you.

We know our company and we work VERY hard to give every one of the beloved pets in our care the best service we can possibly provide for the past 23 years. We have pet sitters that have been in our company for an average of 3 – 13 years, that’s longer than most pet sitting companies have been in business.

Again, I repeat, we do 10,000-20,000 pet sitting visits per year. In 23+ years, we have racked up over a quarter of a million pet care visits!! We have over 3000 clients, so 2 negative reviews shouldn’t bother me, right? But it really does. We (my petsitters and I) all work very hard and we strive to be the best. I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if you, the public, were given the ability to see the whole picture and not a skewed version of what Yelp wants you to see.

This skewed version has hurt my business, which not only affects me, the owner; it affects all of my employees and clients. If we lose money, we cannot improve our business to offer more to our clients and sitters. Every month Yelp sends me a report of the number of people who has seen these 3 public reviews (1 positive from Brenda and the 2 negative). In November we had 14 people see those reviews, in December, 16. Every new client is asked where they heard about us and NONE have said Yelp. We lost 30 potential clients in 2 months. In my opinion, those potential clients did not know to click on filtered to see ALL the reviews to enable them to make an informed decision about a great pet care company. So, yes, this bothers me. It outrages me and it hurts all of you.

I don’t know about you, but when I am looking up reviews for a product or business, I like to read ALL reviews. I WANT to read all reviews, good and bad. For me, this helps to get a full picture of a product or business. As a whole, it helps to put everything into perspective so I can make an informed decision that is right for me. Generally, when reading all reviews, it is easy to pick out the reviews that are rants, or not helpful as long as you can read all of them.

Yelp takes away your ability to read ALL reviews (unless you know to click on filtered but why should you have to). Yelp takes away your ability to make an informed decision when you have all of the information, not the information that Yelp chooses for you. Does Yelp believe that you do not have the ability to make an informed decision with all the reviews available to you? Yelp takes away your rights, your right to be heard, and your right to voice your opinion. Yelp silences and takes away your freedom of speech. Yelp takes your constitutional right away. Who are they to tell us what we can read or write? Yelp hurts good small businesses. For my business, my amazing clients and many of the people and businesses in the same boat; Yelp is not a trusted company for an unbiased place to find reviews, in my opinion. Is it in yours?

Here’s a few links to help in your own research about Yelp:

http://bellashouseandpets.com/yelp-reviews-scottsdale-pet-sitters/

http://pixsym.com/blog/reputation-management/yelp-extortion-the-lawsuits-dismissed-are-they-back-at-it-in-2012

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/19/yelp-lawsuits-allege-revi_n_506339.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/yelp-lawsuit

http://sueyelp.webstarts.com/

If you would like more, just Google Yelp Lawsuits, Yelp extortion, etc.

If you would like to sign a petition to stop Yelp from hindering your right to see, read and write a review, here is a link:

http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-yelp-start-holding-yelp-accountable-for-the-reviews-written-on-their-website

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Faloha-ca.com%2Fyelppetition&h=UAQEtMtbL

 

Did you know that Yelp filtered reviews? Did you know that many lawsuits have been filed against them? Do you agree that Yelp should have the choice to filter you review?

 

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( Pet Sitting Nashua NH , Dog Walking NH , Pet Sitting NH , Pet Care NH )

 

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