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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What types of pets do you care for?

Dogs, cats, caged birds, pocket pets, reptiles/amphibians, and fish.

2. Will my dog be walked with other dogs?

The only dogs that will be present during a dog walk are sibling dogs from the same family. We do not provide pack style walks.

3. What are your hours of operation?

We provide pet care 24/7, 365 days a year, as we are needed. Our office hours are as follows in support of providing pet care: • Monday & Tuesday: 10am-4pm • Wednesday: Closed • Thursday & Friday: 10am-2pm • Saturday & Sunday: Closed

4. Can I schedule a specific service time?

We schedule services within service windows based on the number of daily visits, and do not accept specific times. Once daily services: • Morning 7am - 10am • Mid-Day: 10:30am - 2:30pm • Evening: 3pm - 6pm • Anytime Window: 7am - 7pm • Customized: Submit a 3-hour window to PSP for approval Twice daily services: • Early Morning: 7am - 9am • Late Morning 9am - 11am • Early Afternoon: 11am - 1pm • Late Afternoon: 1pm - 3pm • Early Evening: 3pm - 5pm • Late Evening: 5pm - 7pm

5. How do I set up services with PSP?

We schedule services within service windows based on the number of daily visits, and do not accept specific times. Once daily services: • Morning 7am - 10am • Mid-Day: 10:30am - 2:30pm • Evening: 3pm - 6pm • Anytime Window: 7am - 7pm • Customized: Submit a 3-hour window to PSP for approval Twice daily services: • Early Morning: 7am - 9am • Late Morning 9am - 11am • Early Afternoon: 11am - 1pm • Late Afternoon: 1pm - 3pm • Early Evening: 3pm - 5pm • Late Evening: 5pm - 7pm

6. How do you facilitate home entry?

At the time of intake, we will review your preferred and back-up methods of entry. We are comfortable with lock-boxes, electronic codes, traditional locks, etc. We typically require a minimum of two copies to ensure both the sitter and the office have a copy in case of an emergency.

7. When and how will my keys be returned?

Hopefully you’ll be so happy with the care your pet’s received that you’ll agree to store your key at our office for future use (makes scheduling, especially with less notice so much easier and cost effective). We take your home’s safety very important and have designed systems we will discuss at intake to ensure your keys remain safe while in our possession. If you need your keys returned, we all discuss what will work best for both parties.

8. What is your screening process for staff?

Our hiring process starts with the applicant submitting a cover letter, resume/CV, and 3 employment references. If the applicant demonstrates a strong ability to communicate in writing, has the necessary background/qualifications and good references, I will schedule a phone interview to further assess their pet care skills. While we do prefer candidates with 1-2+ years of pet care experience, we encourage those with alternative backgrounds to apple as often individuals on different paths can bring a unique perspective to our team and are often wire easy to bring up to speed in terms of standards of care. Any applicant that will be continuing on in the process will be subject to a multi-state background check that includes a driving record. If the candidate passes those phases of the interview, they are invited to a working interview where Tory (the owner) and her “ambassador dogs” will go on a walk to assess comfort with pet care/handling, communication style, reliability, leash handling, and several “what-would-you-do” scenarios. The top candidate will be offered a position of part time employment and, should they accept, start training as soon as possible. Employee training begins with 2 hours of “homework” to prepare them for their first day at work. On that first day, we review HR style items (employee handbook, using the software system, policies, gear, etc). The trainee also practices a pet sitting visit (including oral medication administration) and dog walk with the ambassador dogs to wrap up their day. They then spend 2-4 weeks training with Tory. Tory will introduce the new hire to families that elect for introductions to new team members, dogs that require it, and the majority of the rest. Training days will slowly be intermixed with solo days as the team member gets more comfortable and after they’ve met all their designated training pets, they will be given a final skills assessment to ensure they’re ready to take those training wheels off! If they pass their assessment with a 90% they are approved for solo visits and solo introductions to established/onboarded pets. Within 6 months of being hired, the employee will take an 8 hour, hands-on Pet First Aid & CPR class with Tory to obtain their 2-year certification through ProPet Hero.

9. What forms of payment do you accept?

Credit car with a 3% swipe fee, ACH transfer with 1.3% transaction fee, or pre-payment by check.

10. Are you insured?

Yes. Puget Sound Pets is insured and bonded with Business Insurers of the Carolinas.

11. Do you administer medications?

Puget Sound Pets is happy to assist in medication administration for pets that are not overly stressed by the process, and so long as their temperament allows a single team member to complete the task. All of these services are subject to additional cost and vetting.

12. What happens if my pet needs veterinary care while in your care during travel?

One thing that differentiates us from the other guys is our veterinary background and the unique ways we support you, your pet, and our team when our families travel. To start, our intake process includes a safety assessment of your home to identify any possible safety hazards from a pet’s perspective. Pets are more prone to “act out” when their routines are disrupted, and so ensuring their safety from an environmental standpoint is paramount in setting everybody up for success and avoiding unnecessary trips to the veterinary emergency hospital. The intake visit also includes a discussion of any medical conditions your pet may have and how those have previously affected your pet so we can ensure that our team knows what to watch out for during their visits/stay. We collect a veterinary release that discusses your wishes in the event of an emergency, to have an in-depth understanding of how you wish for us to proceed in the event of a medical emergency, and provides thorough notes to the team in the software program Time to Pet so that all parties have access to pertinent medical information. Why so thorough? Because if there is a true emergency, seconds matter, and having a plan can mean the difference between life and death. During your travels, your pet’s report cards are monitored with each visit. Our report cards quantify certain important aspects of pet care (appetite, bathroom habits, attitude, etc), so we can monitor for early/subtle trends and changes. Our licensed veterinary technician (and her veterinarian husband) is on-call during active services, which means if your pet is scheduled for a visit, she is reachable by phone to the providing sitter. Please note this does not mean to pet parents- this is via the after-hours line that only Puget Sound Pet sitters have access to. If I need to get in touch, I will contact you through the primary phone line: (206) 354-7851. Should a sitter be concerned, they will call the office and provide a description of what is going on. If needed, sitters will be asked to take various vitals (heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature, etc), and from there we will determine a course of action based on how “stable” the situation is. If your pet is in immediate danger, the sitter will be provided the address of the nearest veterinary emergency clinic and instructed to transport the pet to that location. You will be called with a description of what is going on and asked to be available by phone. If you are unreachable by phone, 2 more attempts over 30 minutes will be made and if at that point we have not connected, we will reach our to your emergency contact. Emergency contacts are required for any family that is traveling out of Seattle. Your emergency contact should be someone you trust to make decisions on you and your pet’s behalves. They should have access to your home, your pet’s care instructions, and ideally their medical history. They will be notified of the situation. We, the emergency contact, and veterinary hospital will continue to attempt to reach you throughout the process. If your pet is stable, the sitter will provide the details of the situation to the technician. The technician will provide any interim instructions to the sitter and from there reach out to the family to determine the next best course of action. The concerns will also be noted in the report card. If no response is received within 24 hours, or the pet works, we will change our course of action. Regardless of this being an urgent or minor medical need, we want you to bet n the driver’s seat of your pet’s care in such moments, and are there to support you and act as a liaison until you are reunited with your pet.

13. I have a house alarm; is that a problem?

Not at all. We work with alarms regularly.

14. Should I tip my dog walker/pet sitter?

Absolutely! We make sure our team earns at least minimum wage on our end and love to see our sitters rewarded for their dedication to your pets via gratuity- The providing team member will get 100% of the gratuity (we can prorate between multiple team members). It makes them feel appreciated, and such generosity can help ensure you have a healthy pool of team members ready to help should a last-minute need arise.

15. How far in advance should I request pet care services?

While we do consider requests with 72+ hour notice, the more notice you provide, the easier it is to arrange coverage, especially should you be traveling over a holiday or other high-demand times of year. Due to the limited number of team members available to provide sleep-over services, requesting those with as much notice as possible is your best practice. We confirm reservations 10 weeks out from departure dates and encourage our families to put in requests beyond that point by submitting to our waiting list.

16. Where do you provide services?

We offer dog walking & pet sitting services in the greater Seattle area including Ballard, Fremont, Capital Hill, Queen Anne, Greenlake, Greenwood, Wedgwood, U-District, Beacon Hill, Renton, and Bellevue.

17. When is payment due?

Credit card/ACH transactions are charged every Tuesday for services [provided the previous Monday-Sunday. Cash/check payments are pre-pay only and required 72 hours PRIOR to scheduling. All pet sitting reservations are subject to a 20% non-refundable scheduling deposit within 72 hours of confirming.

18. Are you available over the holidays?

Yes. To compensate our team time and a half, we bill time and a half for services that fall on the following holidays: I) New Year’s Day II) Veteran’s Day III) Memorial Day IV) Independence Day V) Labor Day VI) Thanksgiving & Black Friday VII) Christmas Eve & Christmas VIII) New Year’s Eve

19. What are high-demand date ranges?

High demand date ranges are date ranges that have an expected annual surge in travel, typically associated with the school year. To incentivize our team remaining local to care for the pets of our traveling families, we invoice services provided over such date ranges at a premium. The date ranges are as follows: I) Seattle School District Mid-Winter Break II) Seattle School District Spring Break III) Memorial Day Weekend (Fri-Sun) IV) Labor Day Weekend (Fri-Sun) V) Week of Thanksgiving (Mon-Sun) VI) Seattle School District Winter Break

20. What is your cancellation policy?

Our cancellation policy is set up to ensure the longevity of our team. Last minute cancellations greatly reduce our ability to provide a stable income. There comes a point with cancellations where we cannot replace the income for what we’ve already lost preparing for your reservations as we’ve already turned away other opportunies in anticipation for your reservation. As such, we have structured our cancellation policy to ensure we have adequate time to fill any voids a cancellation may result in. Our policies vary based on the time of hear (holiday/high-demand/non-holiday/non-high-demand) and type of reservation (recurring vs. non-recurring). Recurring services need to be cancelled with 72+ hours of notice over non-holidays/non-high-demand days. 30+ days notice of cancellation is required for recurring services that fall on holidays or high-demand date ranges. Failure to provide the described notice will result in the service being billed in full (including surcharges) to allow us to compensate the assigned team member for the reservation in their calendar for your pet. Non-recurring services that are scheduled during a date range that does NOT include one or more non-holiday or non-high-demand date ranges is as follows: I) 21+ Days Notice: No fee II) 15-20 Days Notice: 25% of reservation total III) 11-14 Days Notice: 50% of reservation total IV) 8-10 Days Notice: 75% of reservation total V) <7 Days Notice: 100% of reservation total Non-recurring services that are scheduled during a date range that DOES include one or more non-holiday or non-high-demand date ranges is as follows: I) 28+ Days Notice: No fee II) 22-27 Days Notice: 25% of reservation total III) 15-21 Days Notice: 75% of reservation total IV)

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