Policies and FAQ
We always require setting up a Meet & Greet before any start of service. We like to give both owner and pets the chance to get acquainted with us and vice versa. This is a time to discuss your pet’s habits and what kind of service would be best suited to their needs. At our Meet & Greet we will discuss all our policies, go over your home and pet info located in the client portal and acquire a set of keys. We can even go on a brief walk with you and your dog to go over important issues, ensure well fitted equipment, and anything else you think we may need to know about.
In preparation for our Meet & Greet we ask for you to have ready:
New client paperwork:
Our new client paperwork is now located in our convenient pet sitting software, Time To Pet. Within this software you will now be able to update pet and home info from your phone/computer. You will also be able to schedule services, see invoices, make payments and message us.
We will also be able to send you daily reports of how our visit went, along with pictures of your pets on their walk, hike or playtime inside.
Two sets of keys:
One set we use while we are in service with you. The other is a copy that we keep securely at our home office, just in case of back up or emergencies. We are also giving the option of the use of a lockbox, that would be kept outside the home at a location specified by the client.
We require all dogs to be up to date with their Rabies vaccination and puppies must be up to date on all vaccinations/boosters. Please provide us with your current records.
We require your pet use a flea/tick preventative, as Massachusetts in the warmer months is a mecca for fleas! If we see fleas as a problem, we have the right to cancel service until flea/tick situation is controlled.
Daily Dog Walks
Our Dog Walking and Pet Sitting business hours are 7am-8pm Monday - Friday. We also provide pet sitting, cat sitting and dog hikes on the weekend. If you need a walk outside of these hours, please contact us to see what we can do!
Walking Time Frames:
A.M visits: 7am-10am
Mid-day walks: 10am-3pm
Evening visits: 5pm-9pm
Types of walks:
We currently offer our 30 minute walks Monday- Friday and 1 hour long weekend hikes.
Setting a weekly schedule:
Whether you need one consistent walk a week or if you need full Monday-Friday walks, if you schedule exact days and time frames to recur each week with us, this guarantees our availability to you.
3 Hour Window:
All dogs are walked within a 3 hour window frame. Please let us know what time frame works best for you and if there is a certain time within that frame you would prefer, we will aim for that. Due to unpredictable scenarios animals can throw at us (messes to be cleaned up, sick pets, etc.) and to accommodate last minute requests, a 3 hour time frame is necessary for all clients.
The time of walks/pet sits start from when entering your building and ends when leaving your building. Depending on the dog, this usually means actual walk time of a 30 minute walk ends up being around 20-25 minutes long. If you need a full 30 minute outside walk, then we suggest you sign up for a longer time of service, that way your dog will get over 30 minutes of good walking time. We can also feed, change water, wipe paws, play fetch, give treats and more, as long as it falls into the requested time period. Let us know what works best for you and your pup!
Single Dog Walks vs. Group Walks:
All walks are individual unless there are 2 dogs in the household who are easily walked together. We never walk more than 2 dogs at a time. Walking one dog, or a well matched pair, allows the dogs to get the best workout and sensory experience possible while outside. It also allows us to give our full attention to them, and to be able to monitor their behavior, health and safety more
We require at least one visit daily for cat sitting. While cats seem to have a highly independent nature, one visit per day helps to ensure the safety, health and comfort of your feline while they are in our care.
If you are going away for a day or a week, we can visit your dog throughout the day and night to make sure they get as much attention, exercise and care as if you were there. We require that your dog/s gets visited at least every 6 to 8 hours during the day and 12 hours overnight, that you are away for 30 minutes at a time or longer. Since every dog is so different, we can work with you to create a perfect schedule to keep you and your dog happy while you are away.
With all pet sits we kindly ask that you send us a quick text or email when you return home just to let us know you are back and are resuming full responsibility of care for your pet(s).
Shared service with other pet care companies or individuals:
Due to our insurance policy, and other factors, we cannot accept any shared responsibility of pet sitting for your animal with friends, family, neighbors or other pet care companies.
In Case of Emergency
If an emergency takes place and your pet requires medical attention, we will do everything possible to get the right treatment for your pet in a timely manner. We will always try to get in touch with you immediately in these circumstances. In the event that we are unable to reach you, we reserve the right to make medical decisions on your behalf for the care of your pet. We will always try to use your veterinarian of choice, but we reserve the right to take your pet to one of our choosing if yours is not available or if emergency critical care is needed. You are responsible for any veterinarian bills that result from getting your pet the proper medical attention. Please work out a payment plan ahead of time with your veterinarian. Also discussing an emergency plan with us, as well as providing us with one or two local emergency contacts will better help us to help you and your pets in case of such emergencies.
Inclement Weather Policy
In order to ensure our safety, safety of pets and of the community, we initiate our Inclement Weather Plan when localities close schools due to potentially dangerous weather conditions. When initiated, we announce our Inclement Weather Plan for that day and specific weather concern on our Facebook page. 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 that 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 and snow and by designating a neighbor or professional company to do so when you are traveling. Please also note that West Side Pet Sitting is empowered to shorten exercise time during heavy rainfall, freezing temperatures and lightning and/or thunderstorms. In such cases, exercise time will be replaced with indoor playtime and TLC.