Frequently Asked Questions
How long are visits?
Midday walks usually last about 20 - 30 minutes. Each pet has special needs. If clients specify only a 10 - 15 walk around the block due to health reasons, we comply with those instructions. Please note that there is no reduced rate due to shorter walks. We offer hour-long walks for dogs who need the extra daily exercise. On severe rain or snow days, we play it by ear. If the city is shut down and traffic is bad during a snow emergency, we will have no choice but to give each dog a shorter walk. On days that are above 80 degrees, we generally ask clients to allow us to give dogs known for their heat sensitivity (Pugs, English Bulldogs, Boston Terriers) shorter walks because their health demands it. We ask clients to be appreciative of these factors and cooperate with us when it comes to the health and safety of the pet and the walker. Pet sitting visits are 30-minutes long with the exception of visits with cats who are terribly afraid of strangers.
What happens if there is an emergency while a WILD AT HEART pet care provider is responisble for my pet?
An emergency is when your pet is hurt and needs veterinary care. An emergency is when your basement is flooded. In times like these, we call the client or the client's emergency contact. During the pre-service interview, we gather a lot of information, including your contact information and that of your designated emergency contact. If you are unreachable while traveling in Alaska and your emergency contact is not responding to phone calls, it is our responsibility to seek care for your pet or secure your home. If a plumber needs to be called, the client will reimburse Wild At Heart Pet Care for expenses incurred. If a vet visit is deemed necessary, we will take your pet to your regular vet. If your regular vet's office is closed, we will take your pet to a nearby 24-hour emergency veterinary care clinic. Clients are expected to have credit card information on file with their vets.
Is Wild at heart pet care insured and bonded? If so, through whom? May clients request copies of proof?
Wild at Heart Pet Care has a liability insurance policy through Century Insurance Group. Our crime bond is issued through Travelers Insurance. Yes, you may request photocopies of our policy certificates and/or cards.
Can you provide references?
If prospective clients request references, they can be provided.
How do you screen employees?
We make sure that all employees are first and foremost animal lovers. True animal lovers, will, out of a genuine concern for the pet, make it a personal priority to make visits, make visits on time and be interested in the overall well-being of the pet. All employees must have experience with taking care of pets whether that experience is professional or through personal pet ownership. Each employee must pass a criminal background check and his or her recent employment history is verified.
Can we meet our sitter / walker?
Yes, clients can always request to meet their pet's sitter or walker. Please schedule such meetings with the Wild at Heart Pet Care administrative staff. There is a $10 charge for such visits.
Can I have my sitter or walker's contact information?
It is always a better idea to communicate through Wild at Heart Pet Care. Management and staff are in constant communication by e-mail and cell phone. Messages can be relayed through the company. Walkers and sitters check in with the Office Manager each morning and pick up updates to their schedule at that time. Check-in usually occurs between 8 and 10 AM. Please ensure updates are given to the office well in advance.
I am interested in midday walking, will I have the same walker each day?
Generally, yes. Each new midday walking account is assigned to one walker. This walker will walk your pet each midday UNLESS (s)he has requsted time off or has an unforeseen emergency. During this scheduled and unscheduled time off, midday walking subs will be in place to cover walker routes so there is no disruption in service.
I am interested in pet sitting while I go on vacation or buiness travel, will I get the same sitter each time I make a request.
This is very unlikely. Pet sitting clients can not rely on getting the same sitter each assignment. A request can be made, however, if the sitter is not available during a requested period, another sitter will be more than happy to cover the assignment.
Will my regular midday walker come by on holidays?
It is understood that on observed, national holidays (Easter, 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day) clients are home so can walk their pet. Should a client have to work on a holiday, (s)he can make arrangements for a pet sitting visit to take place. Please note there is an extra holiday charge of $10 per visit. On federal holidays (MLK Day, Presidents Day, Columbus Day) we DO work and will be by to walk your pet UNLESS you cancel beforehand. The onus is on the client to make these arrangements in advance.
When do you hold pre-service interviews?
To accommodate clients, we can hold pre-service interviews Monday - Friday in the evening and anytime over the weekends.
How is billing handled?
What form of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, checks made out to Wild at Heart Pet Care and elctronic payments via Pay Pal. Pay Pal accepts mastercard and visa for clients who like the convenience of paying by checking account, credit or debit cards.
Is there a cancellation fee?
Cancellations made 24-hours in advance are not subject to a charge. However, cancelations made with less than 24-hours notice will be subject to full visit charge wheather or not the visit actually took place.
Are visits made during times of inclement weather?
RAIN: We walk dogs midday and make pet sitting visits in the rain & sleet. Walks might be shorter for the comfort of your pet, but visits are made.
SNOW: If there is light snow and the city is operating as a normal business day, midday walks and pet sitting visits continue as usual. Usually, if the local Public School System is closed for the day, midday walkers do not walk. Obviously, when there is a severe snow emergency, it is not a wise idea for sitters to be on the road jeapardizing their lives on slick or unplowed roads. One solution we have suggested to clients is to have a local emergency contact like a neighbor who can be relied on during these rare emergency situations to take care of your pet when it is physically impossible for a sitter to make the visit.
Is there a fee for last minute request for visits?
If clients request visits will less than 24-hours notice they are subject to a $25 late reservation of services fee.
How soon in advance should I make a pet sitting request?
he rule of thumb is as soon as you are aware of your travel plans. Do NOT procrastinate. With ample notice we can guarantee service 100% of the time. If clients contact us a few days before they leave, there is no guarantee that we can accommodate requests. Usually if clients give us at least 48-hours, arrangements for pet care can be made successfully. Between Thanksgiving - New Year's, PLEASE book early as this is the busiest time of the year for pet sitters.
What is the best way for clients to communicate with Wild at heart pet care staff?
For non-emergency,non-urgent issues, please e-mail your branch. We check messages constantly throughout the day and respond to inquiries and requests promptly. Additionally, we prefer this means of contact because it allows a paper trail to refer to later. (Less inaccuracies.) Calling us is also an excellent way to reach us. Please leave messages on your branches voicemail. During emergencies, you may reach the office manager directly on the work cell. (Contact info for each branch is listed below.) If you opt to communicate by e-mail or phone, please make sure a staff member confirms receipt of your request. Please do NOT assume that technology is working 100% of the time. We can not take care of your pet if we never received the request! We always e-mail back confirmations as soon as we learn of a request so if you do not hear back from us, chances are we did not get the e-mail or call.
Do you charge extra on holidays?
There is an extra $10 per visit holiday charge. This provides incentive for pet sitters to actually commit to working on a holiday.
Are there any late payment fees?
Clients who hold an outstanding balance are subject to a late fee of $25 per month that there is an outstanding balance and collection and lawsuit proceedings may follow. Please make sure to pay your invoice in a timely mannor.
Why do you need two sets of keys?
We request two sets so that the walker or sitter can have a copy and the office can store a copy for emergency purposes. It's an unfortunate situation when a client is out-of-town, gives us only one set of keys and that set of keys gets broken off in the lock, misplaced or lost. (A wide variety of scenarios are possible.)
Is there a charge for key pick-up, drop-off? What if I request at the keys be mailed back to me?
The key pick-up or drop off charge is $10. If we mail your keys to you, you will be charged for postage & packaging. Dropping off or picking up keys from us is free!
Can you keep our keys on file?
Yes. Keys are labelled by pet name only and stored in a locked safe.
Do you administer medication? If so, what kind?
We can pill pets oral or crush medication into food or a treat. We can rub medicated ointment onto pets. We can provide insulin injections to diabetic cats or give subcutaneous fluids to cats with kidney problems.
Do my pets need to be current on his or her shots?
Absolutely. During the time of the pre-service interview, we check vet records to ensure that pets are up-to-date with their innoculations.
Do you accept aggressive dogs as clients?
We, under no circumstances, will agree to care for a pet (cat or dog) with a history of biting people. Dogs who are aggressive with other dogs, we will accept on a case-by-case basis, however, individual walks will have to be given. Individual walks are subject to a higher rate.
Do you provide pet taxi service?
Yes, we do! We provide your pet and you with safe and dependable transportation to and from anywhere in the DC metro area. We transport for emergency and non emergency situations. We can take your pet to the vet, grooming and trainer appointments, boarding facilities, doggy day care, airport (Dulles and Regan International) and other pet related locations. Our goal is to ensure that your pet has a stress free move. It is $20 for a half-hour and $30 for an hour.
Can you buy and deliver pet supplies to clients?
Yes, we do! Our errand service, uniquely focusing on items related to your pet and home, can help manage your pet care responsibilities. By whittling down your pet or home care-related "to-do" list, we help you become better pet owners allowing you to spend your precious time with your pet. Errand services include the following: 1.) Pet food, medicine and supply runs at pet stores or veterinary clinics. We also provide delivery of these products to your home. 2.) Conduct pet-related product or services research. 3.) Wait at your home for repair people, installers or contractors. 4.) Hang out with your pets for an "extended" outing while you deal with showing your home to prospective buyers, have work done to your house by contractors, home exterminations, etc. Please see our service page on pet supply runs for rate details.
Do you brush pet teeth, bathe, groom or clip nails?
No, we do not provide these services, but will be more than happy to transport your pet to a groomer or vet clinic so that these personal hygiene services can be completed.
What are normal business hours?
Monday - Friday 9 am - 5 pm. If you call and get the voice mail. Do not be discouraged. We check messages constantly and respond to messages promptly.