Frequently Asked Questions
We have compiled a list of the questions we get most from our customers. If you have a question that you don’t see answered here, please email Sandy and we will answer you promptly as well as potentially update our website with new questions/answers periodically.
What are the benefits of using a professional pet-sitter?
What makes Sunshine Pet Care better than the others?
We are a certified professional pet sitting service and have 12 years of hands-on experience with mostly small animal care; however, we do some horse and farm animal work as available. As well as providing excellent pet care, we also maintain outstanding communication with our customers, before, during and after your trip so that you have total confidence and peace of mind while you are away!
What kinds of pets do you care for?
The most frequently requested pet care is for dogs and cats, but we also care for birds, fish, pocket pets and even horses (each situation would first need to be evaluated). Our pet sitting certification has given us extensive training in all of these species and we will ask just the right questions when we meet with you, to be certain we follow your instructions to the letter!
What is a Certified Professional Pet Sitter
Are you bonded and insured and how am I protected?
Our customers’ privacy is very important, and we take great care to protect all data and identity information. We take measures to make sure the home we are visiting while caring for your pets is secure. Our goal is to provide you with a comfort level that allows you to feel very confident that not only are your pets in good hands, but your home is being cared for as well. During our initial meeting, we collect “home specific” information such as contractor contact information and other pertinent emergency contact information to have on hand.
Here is proof of our bonding and pet sitting insurance:
Dishonesty Bond/Crime Plus Policy +SM
Type: Pet Sitters International
Carrier: Travelers/Casualty and Surety Company of America
Certificate Number: 104297449-106
Master Policy Number: 04297449
Liability Protection Insurance
Type: Pet Sitters International
Carrier: Century Surety Company / Business Insurers of the Carolinas
Certificate Number: 504260-08897-39
Master Policy Number: 504260-00000
What is included in a midday dog walk?
Dog walking is primarily a mid-day or early evening visit while the owner is working, attending school, volunteering or regular scheduled activities. We provide your dog a healthy walk, time to relieve themselves and clean up after them, refresh water, give treats (if allowed) and lots of attention or play time. Visit times are 25-30 minutes.
What is included in a vacation or weekend getaway visit?
Vacation & getaway visits are those that do not fit into the criteria outlined for daily dog walking. These visits include all-year-round vacations, emergency situations, travel out of town, business trips, long weekend getaways, or anything that takes you out of town or requires you to be away from your home for extended periods. The sitter will provide all needs for your pet(s) at this time. Visits include but are not limited to potty breaks, walks (length depends on your pet’s health), feeding, medication administration, play times, and lots of TCL, the best part! Visit times are 30-40 minutes. The number of visits required will be thoroughly discussed with you prior to finalizing your reservation.
I don’t see overnight sitting, running errands, grooming, or pet taxi on your list of services?
We offer the services that our pet sitting insurance allows which do NOT include any of the above listed services. We can however; make recommendations for other services that we know offer these specific pet services.
How do I secure a reservation?
There are several ways:
We will review your request, check our availability and respond within 24 hours. Do NOT consider your request booked until you have talked to us and/or gotten a confirmation in writing.
How much notice is required to secure a reservation?
We do best our to accommodate everyone; however, there are only so many hours in a day! Our busiest times of the year are by far holidays and summer time, followed by weekends and daily dog walks. We require a minimum of 2 weeks notice for all major holidays and at least 72 hrs notice for all other types of pet sitting. Please be considerate of our time and if you know of needs way in advance, don’t hesitate to at least give us a “snapshot” of your vacation so that we can pencil it in and know that you plan to be away. Most of us do this 365 days a year, so schedule planning and availability is critical!
What is your cancellation policy?
All “non holiday” pet sitting cancellations will be charged at 50% of the invoice amount if NOT cancelled with at least 72 hours notice of the start of your scheduled trip.
All “holiday” pet sitting cancellations will be charged at 50% of the invoice amount if NOT cancelled with at least 2 weeks notice of the start of your scheduled trip.
NOTE: All scheduled pet sitting according to your final confirmed reservation will be charged regardless of delayed departures or early returns as we have reserved that time to visits your pets.
No “on call” reservations will be accepted.
What is your payment policy and what do you accept for payment?
For vacation and/or weekend pet sitting, you will have 10 days after your return to send in your payment. Invoice and stamped, self-addressed envelope will be provided.
For mid-day visits and dog walking, you will be billed on a 2 week cycle and we will collect payment at the end of EACH 2nd week in the cycle.
We currently accept checks and cash. Your sitter does not get paid until you pay us.
You will be charged for all scheduled visits according to the above cancellation policy, unless there is a situation that we deem a true, unavoidable emergency or extenuating circumstances, in which case we will work with you to modify your bill.
Do you charge extra for holidays?
We add a $10.00/day holiday surcharge for:
- New Year’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Labor Day
- Christmas Eve
- 4th of July
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
We forfeit our family time on holidays so that you can spend time with yours!
How can I prepare for my pet sitter’s visit?
How does the pet sitter gain access to my home?
The pet sitter can obtain access your house in several ways:
- a key (we require testing it ourselves prior to your first visit)
- a garage code (key required – electrical outage)
- a garage door opener (key required – electrical outage)
Your key will ideally be retained in a locked cabinet in the home office for future use. If you choose, we can return it after you get home but under NO circumstances will we leave it inside or outside your home for any reason. That practice is strictly prohibited by our insurance.
What do you do in case of bad weather?
We always plan ahead for potential bad weather and have an “emergency plan” to be sure all pets are visited and cared for. The visit schedule may be altered to accommodate extreme situations, but your pets will still receive basic care to ensure their comfort and safety. If you are away and your trip is delayed, please know that we will continue to care for your pets until you arrive home.
What do you do if my pet gets sick or injured?
We are trained in basic Pet First Aid and have obtained your permission to use our best judgment should an emergency situation arise. We always exercise caution when your pets are in our care and they are supervised when they are outdoors at all times. If your pet gets sick or injured, we will always make several attempts to contact you or an emergency contact (if that is your request), but if we cannot reach you, we will put the needs of the pets in our care as top priority.
What do you do if my pet sitter gets sick or injured?
With our staff of 8 pet sitters, we will be able to cover your visits no matter what. At most of our new customer meet and greets, we bring at least 2 pet sitters so that right away there is a back-up that knows your pets and your home. While you are away, we keep in constant communication to be sure things are going smoothly and all your pets’ needs are being met! We can send text and or email with updates.