FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why should I use a Happy at Home dog walker/pet sitter?
That’s a great question! Your pet will remain in their familiar, secure environment and follow their customary diet and exercise routine. Your pet is not exposed to the illnesses of other animals. Most importantly, your pet receives lots of love and personal attention while you are away. Our sitters have been certified in Pet CPR and First Aid. We have NO blackout dates! 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.
What is your hiring process?
First, we contract ONLY dedicated pet care professionals. Not the college or high school kid trying to make extra cash. All of our workers have previous experience in the pet care industry, such as groomer, doggy daycare worker, vet tech or pet store employee.
Second, we have 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.
Are you bonded and insured?
Yes. All walkers/sitters of Happy at Home are covered with Bonding and Liability Insurance.
What is an initial Meet and Greet consultation?
You wouldn’t hire a babysitter without having him or her meet your kids first – it should be the same with your pets! Otherwise, it might be a shock when a strange person appears. The M&G visit, which lasts 30-45 minutes, allows us to get to know you and your pets as much as possible before customizing your unique package. We want to be sure to offer you the most enriching and healthy experience possible for your pets.
How do we enter and exit your home?
Happy at Home requires two (2) sets of your house keys which we will collect from you at your initial Meet and Greet consultation. The first copy will be kept with your assigned walker/sitter, the second copy will be stored at our main office for emergency purposes only, such as faulty keys or lockouts.
** Even clients with keyless entry methods must leave two working keys in case the power goes out or the batteries should fail. There is a $15 key pickup/drop off fee (no charge if keys are provided during the initial interview).
What is your payment policy?
At this time, Happy at Home accepts cash, checks, PayPal and Venmo only.
Will I be charged extra for holiday visits?
We consider the following to be our major holidays: New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. A $25 surcharge will be added to the standard rates for services being provided on these dates. A $5 surcharge will be added for each dog walk. 100% of this surcharge is given to your walker/sitter to thank them for spending time away from their family and working on the holiday.
How do I schedule services?
You’re on the go using an app for everything else, why not your pet care needs? After we set you up with an account, you will be able to use our app as an all purpose pet care concierge! You will be able to schedule visits, receive updates, and communicate directly with the staff and management, right from your phone. You are not just hiring a dog walker/pet sitter, but a dedicated team to ensure that your pet is getting the best and no detail goes unnoticed!
What if I need to cancel my appointment?
We know life happens. Cancel up to 10am on the day of with no charge.
What if I have a last minute booking?
We’re flexible. Book up until 10am on the day of (excluding major holidays).
Can I be assured of the same walker/sitter each time?
Staff is available 365 days a year, weekends, holidays, rain or shine. We never cancel. Each client is assigned a walker/sitter and a backup in the event your regular walker/sitter is sick.
Can I hire my pet sitter directly?
No. For the safety of our client’s pets, ALL VISITS MUST BE SCHEDULED THROUGH HAPPY AT HOME. Our smartphone app scheduling ensures that “no pet is left behind”. If a client schedules through their walker/sitter, and the walker/sitter forgets to inform the office, that takes us out of the loop and therefore unable to follow-up with the sitter to make sure that the pet has been seen. Finally, if you do not make/change reservations through Happy at Home, then neither you nor the pet sitter will have the protection of the bond or liability insurance. Pet sitters are our contracted workers and such behavior would breach their contract.
What's your vaccination policy?
Happy at Home requires that all pets have the necessary vaccinations and immunizations before service begins. 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
When can I expect you to come and walk my dog?
Appointments can be scheduled in one of the following time frames. No longer than 12 hours ever goes between visits. For example, if your pooch were visited at 8pm, the walker/sitter would arrive at your home no later than 8am the following morning.
• The Morning time slot between 8am and 10am.
• The Mid Day time slot between 11am and 3pm.
• The Late Day time slot between 4pm and 6pm.
• The Evening time slot between 7pm and 8pm.
Dog sitting we require 3 – 4 daily visits. For cats, we require at least one daily visit.
Will my dog be walked with other dogs?
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!
What happens if a pet becomes ill and the client is out of town or unable to leave work?
If there’s a problem, we’ll tell you about it. We know we’d want to know and treat you the same way. 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 judgment to decide if the vet should see your pet.
We will not accept requests for your neighbor coming in the morning and we come in the evening – please don’t ask. This is known as “share care” and we are not willing to be liable for other peoples mistakes. That is our insurance policy, and that is also our way of protecting our workers, business and livelihood. The one arrangement we usually DO accept is if someone is physically staying at your house but they work full time so you want someone to come let the dog out at lunchtime.
Inclement Weather Policy
Although all reasonable efforts will be made to provide the agreed upon services, inclement weather (e.g., snow or ice), State of Emergencies, acts of God, or other circumstances beyond our control may delay or prevent Pet Sitter’s visit(s). In such a case, Client and/or the emergency contact person will be notified so that other arrangements can be made, if necessary.
To ensure the safety of our Pet Sitters and of the community, we initiate our Inclement Weather Plan when localities close schools due to potentially dangerous weather conditions. During inclement weather situations, our midday dog walking services may be canceled and our pet sitting service schedules may be altered.
We ask that all Clients provide us with an inclement weather emergency contact that can care for your pets in the event we cannot access your home. Your emergency contact should be able to walk to your home and have working keys for entry.
We also ask that you consider your Pet Sitter’s safety by clearing steps and walkways of ice, snow and debris as well as designating a neighbor to do so in your absence.