Pet Sitting Frequently Asked Questions
Q What is a Pet Sitter?A
A Pet Sitter is a person that is hired to come to a persons home to take care of their pets. Most pets are much less stressed when allowed to stay in their safe, familiar environment along with their familiar sights and scents. Besides allowing your pets an alternative to caged boarding you will enjoy the peace of mind knowing that someone is visiting your home while you are away and keeping you updated on any potential issues.
Q How much does a visit cost?A
ASTRO Pet Sitters standard Dog and Cat Sitting visits start at just $17.55 per visit for up to 2 pets. We add $3.55 for each additional pet over 2 for up to 4 pets. Call for pricing details over 4 pets. Afternoon only visits or Daily Dog Potty Breaks is available weekdays during the hours of 11 & 2 starting at just $14 per day depending on the term of your contract and services required. Please see our pricing page for more information.
Q How do I get started with ASTRO Pet Sitters?AThe first thing you need to do is contact us via telephone or email. We will get back to you to set up a Free Initial Interview to meet you and your pets.
Q How many visits a day do you provide for pets?A
The choice is up to you. For inside dogs, we do a minimum of two (2) visits per day and as many as six (6). Most people request 3 or 4. It really depends on your dog's particular needs. Outside dogs also require a minimum of two (2) visits a day unless you feel your dog requires more visits for medication or other needs. Although you may think they can "get by" with just one (1), it's important to check in to be sure they are ok and not in any kind of distress. For cats, we do a minimum of one (1) visit per day. We will not do "every-other-days" under any circumstances. All animals, including cats, can fall ill or become injured so we must adhere to the above policy as not to unduly jeopardize the pets well being.
Q What areas of Tampa Bay do you service?A
We service Brandon, Valrico, Seffner, Lithia, Riverview, Fishhawk, Bloomingdale and some areas of Tampa. Extra mileage charges may apply. Depending on fuel costs a surcharge may, at times, be added.
Q What goes on at the initial interview?A
We review the Service Agreement, obtain keys, alarm codes etc., and discuss pet and house care details. Most importantly, we have the opportunity to meet your pet(s). There is a $25 charge which assures the availability of your sitter for your requested dates at the time the interview appointment is made. Once your reservation of 6 or more visits is confirmed the $25 fee will be credited to your total fee due.
Q Who comes to meet me at the Initial Interview?A
Either Heidi or Carl Capozza will visit with you and your pets. There will be some instances that another pet sitter will come with us. We want you to meet us (the owners), your assigned pet sitters. It is important that you be comfortable with pet sitting in every way,
Q Is my personal information on the Service Agreement kept private?A
Yes, of course! We do not disclose any client information to any third parties. All Service Agreements are kept at the ASTRO Pet Sitters Home Office. Only the owners and/or the designated pet sitter will have access to your personal information.
Q Will I have the same pet sitter each time?A
Since we anticipate caring for your pets ourselves, the easy answer is, yes. If there is a change, we will give you a call and inform you of this. We will send the new sitter over to your home to meet with you and your pets. We want to make sure they completely understand the care required for your pets and home services.
Q How long is each visit?A
The Basic Visit is 15-30 minutes but may be more or less depending on pets needs. During this time, we take your pets outside (dogs) for a potty break, refresh their food and water. Clean their litter box (cats) and of course, give them hugs and and play time! We also fill out a "Ruff Report", a daily log that lists time in/time out, what your pet is up to and what services we have performed (getting mail, taking out trash bin, etc...) and any other comments that you might be interested in about your pets.
Q What is the cancellation and refund policy?A
Please be advised: when your reservation is made all visit time slots are reserved especially for your pets' care. We are unable to take other reservations for your time slot and must turn away other potential business. Therefore, we are unable to offer refunds or transfer reservation payments to alternate dates. All reservation fees are due and payable by cash or check in full at the time the reservation is made. You can rest assured that you're pet care provider will be there to care for your pet as promised. Under no circumstances will we double book or overbook for any time period. Should your reservation change we will do all we can to accommodate you by reserving alternate time slots for your new schedule but later than expected departures, earlier than expected returns and cancelled reservations are not refunded or credited. Thank you for your understanding.
Q Will you accomodate "last-minute" reservations?A
YES, once we have had a meet and greet with your pets, we obtain a key, and have a completed and signed Service Agreement. Depending on the weeks schedule there may be a small charge of $10.00 if less than two day notice (48 hours). We do understand that emergencies arise, so if we have the time available, we will make every effort to accommodate you in those special situations at no additional cost. We may also be able to accomodate last minute NEW clients around the Holidays so give us a call. During high demand periods we will request a non-refundable 50% deposit. Please understand that once a reservation has been confirmed that time is reserved for your pets. As a result of your secure reservation we may have to turn away additional requests for service as we will not over book.
Q What kind of animals do you care for?A
We care for dogs, cats, hamsters and we will gladly feed your fish. Please call for any pets not listed. We will also provide food and water for non-aggressive birds.
Q Are you insured?A
Yes, as a professionally owned and operated business we are insured for peace of mind. At this time we do not utilize the services of employees and therefore are not bonded. Many explain the fact that they are bonded as a positive when in fact it should have no significance if an honest owner is also the pet sitter. Here is a brief explanation of bonding:
An Employee Dishonesty Bond or fidelity bond protects a business' clients against dishonest acts committed by employees. A bonding company or agency will hold a bond for a pet-sitting business who utilizes employees and opts to bond those employees. If an employee steals or causes damage to a client's property while watching your pet, the bond covers the situation. The bond company will pay an amount equal to the worth of the stolen or damaged property. The bond holder will then seek out the employee who committed the offense and obtain reimbursement for the money that has already been paid.
Should we elect to hire employees in the future you may rest assured they will be bonded as well. Our certificate of insurance is available for viewing at our initial meeting.
Q How do you choose the Pet Sitters that you hire?A
ASTRO Pet Sitters first priority is safety and security of our client's pets and home. This is a main reason why we intend to provide and/or oversee all the pet sitting services ourselves. In the unlikely event we need to refer a substitute pet sitter, we will only work with those that we are familiar with and are also Bonded and Insured.
Q Do you administer medication to pets?A
Heidi is a registered nurse and Carl has been administering insulin injections for our own diabetic dog for years, so yes, we can administer medication, pills, drops and/or injections in most cases. Pets, for the most part, are easier than most humans when it comes to medicating. However, we will not administer medication to any animal that poses a danger to the sitter and will agree to medicate on a case by case basis. (i.e....a cat/dog that is aggressive and may bite) We are also Pet First Aid Certified. There may be an additional charge.
Q Can I hire my Pet Sitter directly?A
Please call us and we will do our very best to accomodate your situation.
Q What if my property is damaged or my pet is injured while I am gone?A
ASTRO Pet Sitters agrees to provide the services stated in our service agreement in a reliable, caring and trustworthy manner. However, ASTRO Pet Sitters is only liable for claims arising from negligence or willful misconduct. Due to the extreme unpredictability of animals, we cannot accept responsibility for unusual mishaps (i.e., biting, furniture damage, spills, pet stains, water stains due or not due to pets actions, etc.). Also, if your pets have access to the outside, we are NOT responsible for injury, disappearance, or fines. Please be certain to have a name tag and collar attached to each pet complete with address and phone number.
Q How am I billed, and when is it due?A
Payment is expected PRIOR TO beginning of the pet sitting reservation. We currently only accept cash and personal checks.
Q What do you do in case of an emergency?A
It depends on the type of emergency. If something was to happen to us, we have a backup sitter that can take over. If an emergency occurs with your pets, we will first contact your vet or emergency veterinarian services and transport them if necessary. Every effort will be made to contact and advise you about the situation. If there is an emergency with your home, we will call you, your emergency contact, the appropriate authorities, and a preferred repair service if needed.
Q May I give my Pet Sitter a tip?A
We feel our fees are more than reasonable for the quality and level of professional services our company provides. Anything over and above our agreed to fee is much appreciated but never assumed or expected.
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