View some of our most commonly asked questions and answers below.
How long do you spend with a pet on an average visit?
Cat visits range from 20 – 30 minutes, dog visits from 30 minutes. However, we increase the time according to how many pets are in the household. After completing all the jobs that need to be done, we allow sufficient time for lots of TLC to ensure that your pet is happy and healthy. Our prices reflect the amount of work involved and length of time we believe is appropriate. Of course, if you’re worried your pet needs a longer visit that can be arranged too.
Is exercise included in the price of a Pet Sitting visit for my dog?
Absolutely!!! We believe the key to having happy dogs at home is exercise! If you request 2 visits per day, then your dog can have 2 walks per day.
If your booking falls on a week day, then we will automatically upgrade your dog onto our Doggie Days Out!
(See our dog walking service for further information, this is subject to availability and dependant on where you live)
My cat is very timid and I’m worried you may not see him/her
To do this job day in and day out, you have to have a certain bond with animals! Quite simply, most animals love us! Plus when you’re not around, they are more inclined to see who is getting their next meal! It doesn’t take long for them to understand that we are at their service and happy to oblige in giving them the food, fuss and cuddles they require!
I’m worried my neighbour’s cat may come inside and eat my cat’s food.
This can be a problem whether you are at home or not. However, as we don’t just feed your pets and leave, we are able to ensure that your pet gets their allocated amount of food.
It is best not to have food close to the cat door or outside as this can make much easier pickings for the neighbour’s cats. Also your cat can still maintain its territory while you are gone, instead of returning home to find another cat has taken over.
Will my pets get lonely once you have gone?
Of course your pets will miss you. However, it isn’t any different than you going to work every day and coming home. The beauty of leaving your pets at home means they know you are coming home! We try to come at around the same time every day and keep their routine as close to their existing one as possible.
We can leave the TV or radio on overnight and there are also remedies available to calm pets if you are concerned. Just ask us or your vet for further information.
Most cats are independent and will come for food and cuddles on their terms, but if your cat is a smoocher and loves to have soppy kisses and cuddles, then that makes our day!! We love smooches!
With dogs we basically tire them out so they pretty much sleep the rest of the day! If your dog joins our Doggie Days out, it means that they can be out of the house from 2-4 hours a day! If you have an elderly dog, they just appreciate being left in the comfort of their own home and having a walk, food and cuddles then bed!
Can you give my pet medication?
Yes, we are happy to administer medication at no extra cost including insulin. We will not sit for acutely ill pets, but recommend they be boarded with a vet.
What if my pet becomes ill while I’m away?
At our initial consultation, we take details of any medical conditions your pet may have and the veterinarian you are registered with. If we believe your pet needs the attention of a veterinarian, then we will take them. We will ask the clinic to charge your account and we will send you an invoice for the extra time/travel involved.
Will you come and visit my cat every 2nd day?
We will not take on bookings where we are asked to visit every second day.
Although cats tend to be very self-sufficient, we must always remember that the domesticated cats depend on us for their food and basic well being. All pets need care and attention on a daily basis. They need to be checked that they are in good health and appropriate action taken if they are not.
Below is an extract from Pet Sitters International Publication, the WORLD, February 1995 Vol. II Issue 1 by Lynn Roberts, DVM
While it is common practice for an owner to leave for the weekend and leave a cat behind with “overflowing” food and water bowls, it could also be dangerous practice. Just last week a lady brought a cat into our hospital. The owner was away on vacation and this person, a friend, was checking on the cat every few days. On this particular day she found the cat in a coma with pools of vomit surrounding it. She rushed the cat to the hospital, where we were able to put the pieces of the puzzle together. The cat had developed a urethral blockage (the tube that connects the bladder to the outside) and could not urinate. The bladder had become very distended and kidney toxins began to poison his bloodstream. If this lady had waited another hour or two, this cat would have died. Fortunately for the cat, we were able to relieve the blockage and place the cat on intravenous fluids. After three days of hospitalization he was doing well.
My friend / neighbour has offered to help out. Can you do some visits and they do others?
We will not take on bookings where we have shared care of customer’s animals, visiting one day and not another day. This is not fair on the pets or us, who don’t know for sure if anyone has been to visit that day or not.
The well intended actions of helpers can cause a great deal of confusion, such as dogs not being on the property when we arrive for our visit (which calls for emergency procedures to be put into action), only to find that the mother in law decided to pop in and take the dog for a walk, without our knowledge anyone else would be visiting.
There could be lost or missing keys, over feeding, or missed feeds, unlocked doors etc.
On one occasion, when a customer’s cat had not eaten its food that day, we conducted a thorough search of the property and found the cat shut in the greenhouse. It turned out that the well intentioned neighbour volunteered to water the greenhouse and hadn’t notice the cat go inside. This was in the middle of summer, and if we had not found the cat, it would have surely died the following day. We are happy to water plants/greenhouses.
If something was to go wrong, there is also the question of who is responsible. As we carry insurance and are a professional company it could having a very damaging effect on our business for something that may have had nothing to do with us and our service.
My dog needs looking after but my cat will be fine as my neighbour / friend /family member will feed the cat.
Again, we will not take on one pet in a household and not another. If your cat ‘who will be fine’ turns up with an abscess or takes ill, then we can’t be expected to ignore it, but nor should we have to deal with a pet that a customer doesn’t wish to pay or render our services for. It costs a few extra dollars to have your cat cared for, less than a cup of coffee.
We genuinely love and care for all animals and seeing a cat that hasn’t been given fresh water for days, is fed off the same plate without being washed and has had very little interaction with a human is very disturbing for us. Of course we will get it fresh water, but we may not have access to its food, nor is it our responsibility and we wouldn’t have allocated the extra time, meaning we therefore run late for everyone else’s pets.
Why should I use a pet sitter instead of a neighbour / friend / family member?
Hiring a professional pet sitter means you no longer have to impose on friends, family or neighbours! You can relax knowing that someone who loves animals is going to visit around the same time every day and spend time with your precious pets.
The dangers of using a neighbour / friend / family members
Friends, family and neighbours may have the best intentions of caring for your pets, but with the busyness of everyday life, it doesn’t take much for your ‘carer’ to completely forget all about your pets for a day or even longer. What if they were to become ill or suddenly have to leave Nelson to be with a sick relative, who would care for your pets then?
We often hear of cases where friends have agreed to housesit or care for people’s pets, only for something to come up at the last minute and they are no longer able to help out. Often there is insufficient time at this stage to arrange for a Pet Sitter or we may be fully booked.
Once you are one of our valued customers, even a last minute booking is not a problem for us.
However, over Christmas, New Year and Easter this may not be possible as we are always fully booked, but of course we will try to accommodate your request.
Our team of Pet Sitters have been selected due to their passion for pets and their care. They are mature, honest and reliable and able to follow instructions and any additional requests you may have, such as watering the plants. They have initiative and are trained to deal with any problems that may arise and there is always backup if needed.
Sitters go through a training program, first aid course and their work is regularly assessed to ensure they are meeting our high standards and providing the best possible service to our customer’s pets. All our Pet Sitters are police and referenced checked.
You never need to worry about a visit being missed due to our professional systems to ensure every pet has been visited.
We will text you updates of your pets to let you know how they are getting on. One thing we do ask, is that you text or call us when you return home from your trip, because our job isn’t complete until we have confirmation you are back home safely with your pets.
Why do you charge a surcharge on Public Holidays?
This is New Zealand law. If a staff member works on a Public Holiday, they are entitled to at least time and a half pay for the time they work on the public holiday.
We aim to keep our rates reasonable and therefore our prices are not high enough to be able to pay our staff at this rate without the Public Holiday Surcharge.
Why do you require payment in advance?
Payment in advance is standard practice in the Pet Sitting/Dog Walking Industry.
Why do you require payment 1 month in advance for your Doggie Holiday Homes?
Again, this is standard practice in the Pet Sitting industry. Most of our families only take 1 dog at a time. Therefore, if a customer cancels within one month of their booking, it is highly unlikely we will be able to replace the booking, leaving the family without income for that time. We also may have turned other customers away.
Our families are committed to caring for our customers' dogs and will usually arrange their time and holidays around our customers’ needs and requests. This understandably makes it frustrating if a booking is cancelled at the last minute.
In our experience, customers who are serious about using our Doggie Holiday Home service are fine with this policy. Some customers may want to book our service as a backup in case they can’t find someone else to care for their dog and do not wish to agree with this policy, so therefore it eliminates these people who are likely to cancel.