Frequently Asked Questions
Paw Pals has compiled the following list of the most frequently asked questions for our pet sitting and dog walking services. If your questions are not answered here, please feel to contact our knowledgeable staff.
Why should I use a Paw Pals sitter?
Your pet will remain in their familiar, secure environment and follow their customary diet and exercise routine. Your pet is not exposed to illness of other animals. Most importantly, your pet receives lots of one-on-one love and personal attention while you are away. Our sitters have been certified in Pet CPR and Pet First Aid. We have NO black out dates! Our sitters are completely backed up by one of our other sitters in cases of emergency, illness or sitter vacations. Paw Pals sitters are employees who have passed a thorough background check, gone through extensive training, and are under our bonding and liability insurance as well as Workers Compensation of Paw Pals. Additionally, you will receive real time updates via email with pictures and stories of how much fun your sitter had with your furbaby! But most importantly, we are loving, dependable, trustworthy pet lovers who will adore your pets just as much as you do!
What information do I need to provide at the initial consultation?
Prior to the consultation, you will need to setup an account on our Client Portal and fill out your profile and a profile for all of your pets completely. We will then have all the information we need about your pets allowing us to spend the consultation time getting to know you and your pets. To get started, please click on the Client Portal link.
We do ask that your pets are up to date on vaccinations and require an up to date rabies vaccination. We require a copy of their vaccination record from your veterinarian along with a completed Veterinary Authorization Form. We need 2 keys so the sitter can have one and the other kept in a locked file cabinet at the office in case of emergency.
Is the meet and greet free?
The initial consultation (meet and greet) is FREE . We prefer to have the meet and greet within 3 weeks of your services beginning.
Who do we meet during our new client meeting and where do we meet?
During the meet and greet you will meet the pair of walkers who will be responsible for caring for your pets. They are set up in pairs so there is always someone there to care for your pet in cases of someone needing a day off or crazy schedule days with last minute requests. We come to your home for the new client meeting so that we can meet your dog in his or her familiar environment, learn where you keep food, treats, bowls, leashes, etc. and test your key. Please have a copy of your dog’s vaccination records and a completed Veterinary Authorization Form for your sitters.
Will I always have the same dog walker / pet sitter?
Our goal at Paw Pals is to create a personal experience while enjoying the comforts of a professional service. For this reason, we make every effort for the same assigned sitters to visit your home every time. For clients with a daily reoccurring dog walking schedule you will be assigned a specific dog walker and this walker will have a designated back up walker so you can enjoy the comfort of not having too many individuals in and out of your home. However in cases of emergencies and last minute bookings, we will utilize any of our staff members to ensure your pet receives the care they need. If you have multiple visits in one day, you will see both of your assigned walkers share the responsibility of caring for your pets. Our visits start as early as 8:30am and end as late as 10:30pm (not including overnight visits). In order to foster a healthy work environment and ensure your pets are receiving the quality of care that you expect and deserve, we have your team of walkers split walks. For the occasional dog walk, pet sit, or in cases of emergency visits, we will do our best to send your usual walker/sitter however that may not always be a possibility.
How do I communicate with my dog walker/sitter? May I have their phone number?
At the completion of every visit, your walker/sitter will fill out the pet visit log in your home and message you through our online portal with a quick note and/or picture. We ask that you do not request the cell phone number of your walker/sitter, however through our amazing online client portal you are able to communicate with your sitters through the conversation piece. They check this periodically throughout the day between walks when time permits. Please keep in mind our walkers/sitters have very busy schedules and their main focus is on your pet(s) and the road when they are driving, for this reason you may not receive an immediate response. For any questions you may have or emergencies please contact us directly at 845-444-2255, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If an emergency should arise your walker will also contact the owner or their manager immediately in order to contact you.
What do you do on a visit?
Our dog walking and pet sitting visits are personalized to your pet's needs and routine. Each visit will include energizing interaction, a walk in or around your neighborhood and/or playtime in your back yard, feeding per your instructions, fresh water, dogs walked, love and play time, brushing, litter box cleaned, bird cage cleaned, medication given if needed, mail and newspaper brought in, plants watered, lights on and off. Lots of TLC.
We do not need a walk every day, can you still help us?
Absolutely! We understand that everyone's schedule is a little different and we do our best to accommodate in any way that we can. Additionally, we do not require any weekly minimums.
Do you always visit at the time we ask for?
We book your visits within a time frame and will be there during that time. If you are booking a cat visit for the morning and it is during peak times such as holidays we will be there in the later mornings due to the fact that we need to get to dog visits first, unless of course you have a cat that needs medicine at a critical time. If time is critical, please let us know.
If my pet has an “accident”, do you clean it up?
Absolutely! We will clean up after your pets to the best of our ability. If there are always accidents, we will ask you to book an additional visit in the day. We will do a walk through to check for accidents.
Do I always have to give you 2 keys?
Yes. Paw Pals will pick up 2 copies of your house key during your complimentary meet and greet. These keys must be labeled with your pet’s name and the town you live in. Please do not include your address or your last name for security purposes. Paw Pals will retain your house key unless you request otherwise. In the event of an unexpected trip, you’ll be glad we have it on file. Keys are kept in a secured lock system and are coded for customer’s confidentiality. If you choose not to have Paw Pals retain a key, picking up and returning your keys requires two extra trips and there will be a $10 charge per trip for time and mileage. A second option for key return is via U.S. mail. To cover costs, the charge for this option is $5. If we are provided with only one key, Paw Pals will make one additional copy of the key and a charge of $5 will be added to your invoice. It is incredibly important we have a second copy of the key in case there is an unforeseen occurrence. Additionally, garage codes are accepted for ease of entry, however, we still require 2 copies of keys. There have been instances of power outages or garage malfunctions and for this reason we require a set of keys so that we may still care for your pet. We do not leave keys in your house upon our last visit. If your trip unexpectedly becomes extended, we need to ensure that we still have access to your home to care for your pets. Please remember we are licensed, bonded, and insured.
I have a garage/door code, do I still need to give the sitter a key?
Yes, we still require a key. There have been incidents of power outages, garage/door codes not working, and batteries dying on garage/door key pads inhibiting us from entering your home and caring for your pet. For this reason, we still ask for a copy of the house key.
live in a secure building, how is that handled?
Due to our schedule we are not able to wait for a desk person to let us in the building and up to your floor each day. If the fob is required for the elevator, then clients generally provide us with the fob.
What happens in an emergency? Is there a form I need to fill out to authorize emergency care?
Yes, Please fill this form out and give it to your sitters during your complimentary meet and greet. Veterinary Authorization Form
May I give my pet sitter / dog walker a gratuity?
Absolutely! You may leave cash for your sitter at your home and leave a note so they are aware it is for them. You may also leave a gratuity with your payment made through the client portal. Gift cards are also a great idea and appreciated.
Do you pick up my dog’s waste when you are walking?
Yes, we do. Although not required, it is appreciated when you provide the bags.
What kind of animals do you care for?
We care for most animals, as long as they don’t pose a danger to our pet sitters.
Do you only care for dogs?
No. We also care for cats, birds, fish, chickens, and numerous other animals.
Do you only accept well-trained dogs?
No, we accept dogs at whatever stage of learning they are at. Dog walking often helps with training. We like to know and use whatever commands and behaviors you and your pet are practicing so that we can reinforce the behaviors you want to see with your dog. We use basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” “heel,” “off “, “lay down,” and “leave it,” and welcome your suggestions. In cases where a dog is unable to be easily controlled on a walk, we may ask that a different leash, collar, or harness be purchased to continue services.
Will you walk my dog with a retractable leash?
No, we only walk dogs with standard leashes.
Do you offer discounts?
In an effort to be consistent and fair to all of our clients, we foster a haggle free environment. We only offer discounts on our pet sitting rate which requires a minimum of three visits per day with a reservation made at least 2 weeks prior to start of service. Additionally, we do not require any weekly minimums for dog walking.
How do you ensure my pet’s safety?
Your pet’s safety is a top concern of ours. All dogs are walked on-leash (unless otherwise instructed) and never left unattended. If walking in a group, dog temperaments and dispositions are matched to ensure they are a good fit with one another. All of our dog walkers and pet sitters are Certified in Pet CPR & First Aid. During our initial consultation, please go over any health or safety concerns you may have with your pet.
May I book my visits through my pet sitter directly?
No, All visits should be booked through our online booking system or calling/texting (845) 444-2255. You may also email us at email@example.com. Your visits will NOT be covered under our liability insurance if you do not book through Paw Pals. Please contact the office for all bookings and cancellations. It is fine if you would like as a courtesy to let your sitter know you may not need a visit but please realize we make your sitters schedule and we do have a cancellation policy and it is not up to your sitter to give you a credit.
What hours do you provide services?
Pet Sitting and dog walking visits are generally between 8:30 am to 9:30 pm. Other times can be arranged. Overnight visits are also available from 9:00 pm to 7:00 am. Our office hours are 9:00-5:00pm Monday-Friday.
Can I be assured of same pet sitter each time?
We prefer to have the continuity of the same pet sitter each time. However, If the sitter is not available then a fully informed substitute sitter will be available for back up.
How long are your visits?
Visits depend on the amount of time you request. We offer visits as short as 10 minutes and as long as 1 hour. Please keep in mind that we will need a few minutes to leash your dog, wipe paws, fill water bowls, etc during each visit, so not every moment will be spent outdoors.
Do you offer any sort of satisfaction guarantee?
You want to know that your pets will be cared for just the way you specify. We will guarantee it every time! If you are not 100% satisfied with the service that was provided, we will be happy to address your concerns. We believe in lasting client relationships, so our service is only complete when you return home and are completely satisfied.
I don’t have time to meet one of your sitters. Will you take care of my pets without meeting them?
No, we do require an initial consultation before taking care of your pets.
Can I have every other day cat visits?
No, all cats will be visited no less then once every 24 hours. No exceptions will be made. This is for the health of your fur-baby.
What happens in severe weather?
Paw Pals requests the name and phone number of a person living nearby. If the Paw Pals pet care provider is physically unable to reach your home due to impassable roads, we will contact that person. Your pets’ health and well-being is our utmost concern and we will contact you as soon as possible to keep you informed of these events. This is pertaining to snow, ice, hurricanes, severe storms.
Can you let me know how my pet is doing while I’m away?
Yes, absolutely! We are use industry leading software that will provide you with real time updates after each visit.
Do you charge a holiday fee?
Yes, we do. We pet sit 365 days a year. We do charge a holiday fee of $5 per visit on the following holidays. New Years Eve, New Years Day, Easter, Memorial Day Weekend, Independence Day (weekend if applicable), Labor Day Weekend, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day. On the following major holidays we charge for the weekend. This is a way for us to reward our pet sitters who are giving of their holiday time. We do not offer overnight visits on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, and Independence Day
Are you insured and bonded?
Yes. We carry liability insurance and all sitters are bonded as well through Pet Sitters Associates. Our sitters are also employees vs independent contractors so they are covered under workers compensation. This is a very big difference when you choose us! All sitters are screened prior to employment.
Do you board pets?
We do not board pets in our home. We do provide daily visits for your pets or we can stay overnight as well. We will customize a schedule to fit your pets needs. Your pets will be much happier in their own home stress free!
I have never used an overnight pet sitter before; can you tell me a little bit about this service?
We offer a 10 hour overnight visit from about 9/10 pm to 7/8 am. Overnight visits give you peace of mind of knowing that your home is being looked after as well as your pets getting lots of extra attention. If your pets are used to sleeping in your bed with you, we are happy to have them sleep in the bed with us too! Typically our clients will add one midday visit in addition to the overnight so their pets may relieve themselves during the day.
How is payment handled?
We accept cash, check, and credit card. In order to make a reservation a valid credit card must be on file. Fees are earned upon email confirmation of service reservations. Payments must be made prior to service. Clients are required to have a credit card on file in our system before they can schedule dog walking or pet sitting services. Our scheduling system integrates with Stripe and Pay Pal to securely store customer credit card information. Only the last four digits of your credit card number are visible to Paw Pals. After your service requests are approved, you can login to your account and pay your invoice. You may still pay via check or cash. If you opt to pay with check or cash, your total amount due must be left out for your sitter at the first visit. If you have not paid with credit card prior to your first visit and cash or check was not left for your sitter at the first visit, we will automatically charge your credit card for the balance. All of your paid and unpaid invoices are always available for you to view or print at any time in your online account. For pet sitting accounts: If we do not receive payment by your first visit and/or your credit card is declined when we attempt to charge your card, we will make every attempt to contact you to resolve the issue. If we cannot get in touch with you within 24 hours, we will call your emergency contact to take over pet sitting services. Daily dog walking accounts may still leave payment at the weeks end, however, if we do not hear from you or receive payment by Monday at your first walk, we will charge your credit card.
What is your mailing address?
55 Ramapo Road Suite 182, Garnerville, NY 10923
What is your cancellation policy?
Cancellations - Pet Sitting, Overnights, and Pet Taxi: Cancellations may be made through our online portal up to 1 week in advance of your scheduled service at which a total refund will be given. If canceling less than 7 days prior to the first visit of your scheduled service period, a fee of 25% of the total service fee is applied and if cancelled less than 3 days a fee of 50% of the total service fee is applied. Any remaining balance of fees paid will be credited to your account. If you are home during a scheduled visit and neglect or forget to cancel and your sitter arrives at your home, the full price of the service will be charged. If you cancel any part of your scheduled reservation, such as ending the reservation early, you are responsible for the entire initial reservation fee. We only reserve so many spots for these services and may have turned down potential stays/visits due to your reservation, for this reason no refunds or credits will be issued for any visits canceled on the day of service and you will be charged in full.
Cancellations - Dog Walking: Cancellations must be made through the client portal. For regularly scheduled dog walks cancellations may be made up to 7:30 p.m. on the day prior to scheduled service to receive full credit. Cancellations made after 7:30 p.m. or if your sitter arrives at your home due to non-notification, you will be charged in full for the visit(s) for that day.
Will I receive a refund if I leave later than expected or return early?
No, please understand that we have made time for your visits and may have turned other people down to allow time for your pets. We appreciate your understanding in this matter. There will be no refunds.
What happens if I did not leave enough food for my pet(s)?
We will notify you that there is not enough food so that you are aware and perhaps you have more food in another place in your home. If we do need to make a special trip to purchase food we will be glad to do so. There will be a $25 trip charge plus the cost of the food. Your credit card will be charged. If an extra trip to your home is needed for an extra visit to feed your pets, that will be charged as well.
How will I get my key back if I move or discontinue service if you are keeping my keys on file?
We will be glad to mail your keys upon your request. The fee will be $5. If you need them to be dropped off, we can arrange that as well. There will be a trip charge of $10 per trip for time and mileage for this service.
The credit card information provided by you to Paw Pals will be stored in a confidential manner.