FAQ OLD

FAQs

We take pride in making your pets’ well being a priority while you are away from home.

        Diane P., Westerleigh
   
Thank you Happy at Home for taking such good care of our Zoey while we were away! She was happy to stay in her own home and we were happy to have someone loving and trustworthy to take care of her!!

Why use a professional pet sitter?

What types of clients do you work with?

What services do you offer?

Where is your facility located?

So, you don’t board animals or bring them into your homes?

Are you bonded and insured?

Many veterinarians and experts believe that keeping pets in their familiar surroundings helps to alleviate the stress imposed on them when you have to leave home. Your pets are able to maintain their diet and exercise routine, and enjoy the personal attention provided by a sitter. You also eliminate the trauma of being transported and minimize their exposure to illnesses of other animals.

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If you’re just looking for someone to let your dog out and go through the motions, we may feel over the top for you. If you are looking for someone who is experienced and professional at dog walking, goes bananas every time they see your dog, knows them so well they notice one hair out of place, speaks their language, knows their favorite treat AND movie and most of all becomes their second favorite human in the whole wide world, we are for you … and YOU are for us!

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Happy at Home provides in-home pet care plain and simple. This means our sitters travel to our client’s homes to care for their pets. We provide service for whatever they need: travel, long work hours, a late meeting, recovering from surgery, working from home but not enough time to walk the dog, don’t trust the kids to care for the animals properly. Whatever the reason, we’ll be there! Our clients are mostly cat and dog owners but we’ll also visit rabbits, birds, frogs, guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters, iguanas, etc. If you have a pet that is not listed, just ask!

We will also bring in the mail, take out the trash, water the plants, rotate the lights and open and close the curtains to give the home a “lived-in” look.

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We are NOT a facility. We are an in-home professional pet care company. We take care of pets in the comfort of your own home. Our pet sitters live throughout Staten Island in order to cover our service area.

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Nope! We care for your pets in YOUR home.

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YES and YES! You’ve heard so many times when looking for a pet sitter to make sure they are bonded and insured.  What exactly does that mean to you?  Why not just have the neighborhood kid come and save some money?

Well, for one if a pet sitter is bonded and insured it means they are running a legitimate business.  By operating a legitimate business they are not treating this as a hobby or a way to make some easy cash.  We are happy to provide our clients with proof of insurance and our bond.

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What exactly does pet sitting insurance cover?

Pet sitting insurance is a general liability policy which covers pet sitter negligence.  Most describe coverage as “care, custody and control” (CCC).  These are a few examples of things that might be covered:

  • Pet sitter forgets to visit your diabetic cat and cat requires a trip to the emergency veterinarian.  The veterinarian visit and subsequent bills would be covered.

  • Pet sitter drops the leash during a dog walk and the dog runs off and gets hit by a car.  The bills would be covered.

  • Pet sitter accidentally knocks over and breaks an expensive vase.  The cost of the vase would be covered.

  • Pet sitter uses your bathroom and the toilet overflows and continues to run until you return home.  Floors are ruined.  Repair costs would be covered.

  • Pet sitter left dog out of its crate between visits instead of crating per your instructions and the dog ate your couch.  The cost of repair or replacing the couch would be covered.

A Fidelity Bond (or Dishonesty Bond) gives you peace of mind that you will be reimbursed if anything is stolen from your home. Anyone that has workers enter their home should be sure that they have a dishonesty bond.

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What is your hiring process for pet sitters/dog walkers?

First, we contract ONLY dedicated pet care professionals. Not the college or high school kid trying to make extra cash. We work with sitters who have practical experience in the pet care field and view their time with Happy at Home as part of their career path.

Second, we run an extensive screening process, which includes a face-to-face interview, followed by reference checks, followed by a complete background check. All sitters are then hired on a trial basis until we have followed up with enough clients to ensure that they are an excellent fit for Happy at Home.

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What is the importance of mid-day dog walks?

We know that some pets need more attention than others. Our sitters can visit their client’s homes up to 4 times per day. We offer 30 minute, 45 minute and 60 minute visits. The client chooses the duration of the visits and can mix and match to design the best plan for his/her pet.

  • The “Morning” time slot is between 7am and 9am.

  • The “Mid Day” time slot is between 11am and 3pm.

  • The “Evening” time slot is between 4pm and 6pm.

  • The “Late Night” time slot is between 7pm and 9pm.

No longer than 12 hours ever goes between visits. For example, if your pooch were visited at 8pm, the sitter would arrive at your home no later than 8am the following morning.

For cats, we require at least one daily visit.

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Will the same pet sitter be coming to my home for all future visits?

Yes, we always make our best effort to send the same pet sitter each time you book visits with us. However, our sitter roster is chock-full of excellent pet care providers that would love to care for a client’s pet if their primary sitter is unavailable. If the client feels more comfortable with having a meeting with the alternate sitter, we are more than happy to schedule a “Pre-Departure Meeting”.

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Can I hire my pet sitter directly?

No, please do not place our sitters in the uncomfortable position of offering them employment apart from Happy at Home Pet Sitting and Dog Walking. Our sitters are contractually prohibited from soliciting or accepting employment directly from Happy at Home Pet Sitting and Dog Walking clients. Every pet sitter is our contracted worker and such behavior would break their contract and they would be stealing from the company. We are aggressive in protecting our business from theft.

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What’s your vaccination policy?

Happy at Home requires that all pets have the necessary vaccinations and immunizations before service begins. If a Happy at Home pet care provider is bitten or exposed to any disease or aliment received from a client’s pet, which has not been properly or currently vaccinated, the client will be responsible for all costs and damages that may incur. WE CANNOT ACCEPT YOUR PET IF WE DO NOT HAVE CURRENT UP-TO-DATE VACCINATIONS ON RECORD! 

The required vaccinations for Dogs include Rabies and DHPP

The required vaccinations for Cats include Rabies and FVRCP

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What time do sitters make their rounds and how long do they stay?

A well exercised dog is a happy dog, and therefore less likely to display destructive behavior in your home. Also, walks provide a stimulating break during the day and can help alleviate seperation anxiety and other common problems. Dogs crave human companionship, and if you’re gone most of the day that means your furry friend is all alone.

We do NOT walk dogs in “pack walks”, unless it’s with another dog in your own household. Not only is this potentially dangerous for your pet, as dogs are at times unpredictable when in packs, but also unfair to your pet! We believe that your dog deserves our undivided attention each and every walk! Besides, we also want YOUR DOG’s undivided attention … we love them!

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How do the pet sitters discipline pets?

Happy at Home believes in positive reinforcement ONLY for behavior issues. We never hit, spank, slap, etc. If there is a disciplinary problem, we will inform you and together come up with a solution.

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What happens if a pet becomes ill and the client is out of town or unable to leave work?

If we suspect your pet is ill while in our care, we will immediately contact you at the emergency phone numbers we have on file. If the client believes the veterinarian should see the pet, we will transport him to the veterinarian’s office for examination and treatment. In the event we are unable to reach you, we will use our best judgement to decide if the vet should see your pet.

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How do I get started with Happy at Home Pet Sitting and Dog Walking?

Give us a call or send us a text at (347) 916-6146. Or email [email protected] and we will contact you to setup your free Meet-and-Greet visit. Why a Meet-and-Greet? You wouldn’t hire a babysitter without having her meet your kids first — it should be the same with your pet! Otherwise, it might be a shock when a strange person appears. The Meet-and-Greet visit allows you to get to know your assigned pet sitter/dog walker prior to the start of service. During the visit your pet care provider will introduce themselves and spend some quality time with your pet(s). Together, we will tour your home to learn about your pet’s daily routines, where you keep the pet supplies and your home security routines. We will also introduce you to our PetCloud smartphone app and collect two working keys (we require two working keys from all clients as a safeguard against unforeseen situations such as faulty keys and lockouts. Even client’s with keyless entry methods must leave two working keys in case the power goes out or the batteries should fail).

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So, after a client has completed their Meet-and-Greet can they schedule service anytime?

Absolutely! All clients are provided with a unique login to their secured PetCloud account. From this gateway they are able to schedule service, check their personal service calendar, update their billing information and also update their password. It’s a handy little tool! If you prefer, you can email your request to [email protected] or call/text our office (347) 916-6146.

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Why do you need two copies of my keys?

We require two working keys from all clients as a safeguard against unforeseen situations such as faulty keys and lockouts. Even client’s with keyless entry methods must leave two working keys in case the power goes out or the batteries should fail.

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