FAQ, frequently asked questions, pet sitting and dog walking in Depew, NY and Lancaster, NY

Pet Sitting FAQs & Tips

When you leave your pets in the care of a Pet Sitters International (PSI) certified pet sitter, you can travel with peace of mind.

To make sure your walker or sitter has all the necessities to take the best care of your pet, check off the items on this handy list of Tips and FAQs before you leave home.

Then, relax and enjoy the trip – knowing your animals are in good hands.

How Do I Prepare for a Pet Sitter?

  • It is the client’s responsibility to disclose all previous bite, aggression, and health history of their pets. It is also the client’s responsibility to disclose ALL possible safety hazards in and around their home.
  • Notify your veterinarian in writing that a pet sitter will be caring for your pet and authorize the vet to extend medical care during your absence if it becomes necessary. Ensure that your vet has an up-to-date credit card on file.
  • Provide written verification that your pet is up-to-date on their shots/titers. Have your pet wear current identification and vaccination tags on its collar
  • Keep all supplies in a visible area. This includes food, treats, utensils, bowls, medications, leash, can opener, toys, paper towels, cleaning supplies, garbage bags, litter and scoop, broom and dustpan and/or vacuum cleaner, towels (for rainy walks), newspapers/pads (if paper training) and watering can for plants
  • Be sure to tell your pet sitter about any unusual habits your pet has; i.e., destructive behavior when left alone, change in bowel or eating habits, change in behaviors, hiding places, etc
  • Tell the pet sitter if bathrooms or any other household areas are off-limits to your pet and/or sitter. Secure access to these areas before leaving home
  • If your pet is prone to chew, please leave “chew toys” and take proper precautions to guard your personal items and home furnishings from their teeth while you are away
  • For the comfort of your pet(s), adjust your thermostat before leaving on your trip and advise your pet sitter of the range it should be kept in
  • I have a complete ban on choke chains, shock collars, prong collars, and other coercive or punitive tools, in accordance with the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior and the Pet Professional Guild‘s Guiding Principles. If your dog has a choke chain or prong collar, those tools will not be used by me on our walks. Please either supply a flat collar or harness, or notify me if you do not have one and I will supply one for the walks.

Pet-Proof Your Home

  • Secure your cupboards and storage areas
  • Put toilet lids down in any accessible bathrooms
  • Lock up your medications
  • Remove candy and nuts from coffee tables or locations where a pet can reach them
  • Put away any hobby supplies; i.e., paints, glue, needles, and thread, etc., out of an inquisitive pet’s reach

Home Security

  • Is your pet sitter is aware of anyone who may be on your premises or entering your home during the pet-sitting assignment?
  • Are there timers on interior lights and that is programmed to turn on at dusk and off at bedtime? Use motion sensors on exterior lights.
  • If evening visits are scheduled to your home, the pet sitter will really appreciate this safety precaution!
  • Are doors and windows securely locked before leaving? This should include garage doors, sliding glass doors, and basement doors and windows. If outside doors have panes of glass near a push-button lock, consider installing a deadbolt lock as well.
  • Did you make sure any fences are secure and gates are locked?
  • *If applicable, did you advise gate security that a pet sitter will be visiting your home and authorize entry? Inform your neighbors of your absence and use of a pet sitter.

Information courtesy of Pet Sitters International.

🐾 Frequently Asked Pet Sitting Questions 🐾

Do you keep pets in your home?

No,  I do not keep any pets in my home (other than my own). I would be happy to refer you to others who do in-home boarding or I can recommend quality boarding facilities in the area.

How many times a day will you visit while we travel or on vacation and what times?

During our initial consultation, we will discuss with you how many visits a day would be best for your pet family. I require a minimum of two visits per day for indoor dogs but recommend three or four. Cats and other pets are generally happy with one visit a day but never complain about two.

What kind of animals do you care for?

Dogs and cats are by far my most common clients, but I have also cared for birds, hedgehogs, chinchillas, rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, snakes, fish, rats, hamsters, turtles, iguanas, bearded dragons, and geckos!

What happens during a visit when there is inclement weather?

On inclement weather days, I will use my best judgment in making modifications to a pet’s routine. In general, for showery/drizzly/snow flurry weather, dogs will get their normal walk time but for moderate/heavy rain or snow, a dog’s walk may be substituted for a short potty break and some social/playtime in the house. I will make every effort to wipe up any mud/water tracked into the house if proper supplies (paper towels, towels, mop, etc.) are readily available, as well as towel drying your pet and wiping its paws. Please leave out supplies on rainy days or let me know where they can be found.

Can you give medications to my pets?

I am skilled in giving medications as needed. I can give oral, liquid, and topical medications, as well as injections (such as insulin), and I can also give subcutaneous fluids as well. There are NO additional charges for insulin and SubQ fluid administration.

Will you let my pets interact with other pets (i.e. play dates, pack walks, dog parks, etc.)?

I will not/do not let other dogs approach, I will not/do not do pack/group walks, and I will not/do not do dog parks. Even if a client ensures me that their pet is “friendly”, I will not allow any such interactions.

Dog Training FAQs

Sometimes, group lessons aren’t the right fit for you and your dog because you have particular goals or schedule limitations. Private lessons offer an easy alternative and can be held conveniently in your home.

Do You Offer a Guarantee?

  • I will make every reasonable effort to achieve the training goals outlined for your dog; however, I provide no guarantee. Behavior is a function of numerous variables, some of which cannot be controlled by me during training, nor by the owner. In the field of psychology, guarantees are not offered (whether working with humans or dogs) because of the infinite number of variables impacting behavior.
  • That being said, I know there are factors that correlate with successful behavior change such as following Comfort Zone Critter Care Dog Training’s instructions without modification, working with your dog consistently, and consistently reinforcing appropriate behaviors. I will provide you and your dog with high-quality, humane, and science-based approaches to training. I will also teach you about why your dog behaves as they do, how to interact with your dog in a positive way that builds a relationship based on trust, and how to reduce problem behaviors if they arise.

Is My Dog Too Young/Too Old for Training?

  • The old adage was wrong… you CAN teach an old dog new tricks! It’s never too late to train your dog to have better manners. Vaccinated puppies 8 weeks and older are welcome to my training program.

How many sessions do I need?

  • That’s a tough question to answer without knowing more about you and your dog! We’ll chat about it in our behavior consultation. But, I can tell you upfront that you’ll need more than one. Training your dog is like sending them to school; they won’t learn it all on the first day. It takes time and practice for them (and for you) to pick up a new skill and adopt a new behavior.
  • That said, simple manners are easier than major behavior modification, so it will depend on your dog, your goals, and how much time you’re willing to spend between sessions.

How should I prepare for a session?

  • It’s best if your dog shows up to a session exercised and is at least a little hungry. Please be prepared with treats or some of your dog’s normal meals to use as a reward.
  • Why exercised?  I don’t want them exhausted, but uncontrollable energy doesn’t lend itself well to learning. You know your dog best.
  • Why hungry? They’ll be motivated to learn! We’ll use yummy food treats to encourage your dog in certain behaviors, and they’ll care a lot more if they’re hungry.

*Note: If your dog is wary of strangers, please tell us before we arrive for an in-home session. This will give us time to plan ahead for a positive first impression.

Where are in-person training sessions held?

Private sessions can be done at your home or in different public settings like parks, depending on what we’re working on.

 

Methods of Payment Accepted

Comfort Zone Critter Care offers Fear Free®, force-free, positive, reward-based dog training, dog walking, and pet sitting in your pet’s comfort zone – your home!