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FAQ

We have answers to all your questions

FAQ's at Ocala Pet Sitting
  • What are the benefits of using a professional pet sitter?
    Your pets and your schedule are our priority. This isn’t a hobby or a favor, and we won’t cancel on you at the last minute. We have experience in animal behavior and we are skilled at noticing the little things that matter to your pet and home’s safety. A professional pet sitter is insured and bonded and of course, has a love of pets, but a professional also holds themselves to a much higher bar of accountability than your average hobby sitter.
  • What types of animals do you care for?
    At Ocala Pet Sitting, our specialty lies in caring for cats. However, we possess expertise in taking care of other animals as well, including birds, parrots, and a diverse range of small animals such as gerbils, guinea pigs, sugar gliders, reptiles, chameleons, turtles, and even snakes! Moreover, we offer mid-day drop-in visits for dogs and puppies as well.
  • Will my house be safe if I use a pet sitter?
    Our reputation matters to us. We screen pet sitter applicants intensively and trust is the #1 requirement. Our clients can rest assured that our team are trustworthy and reliable. The training process includes our protocols for locking homes securely upon our exit and double checking latches are secure. As an extra layer of security our sitters are bonded.
  • Do I have to have a New Client Consultation?
    We do require we meet you and your pets in person before service begins. The new client consultation gives us both a chance to get to know one another and discuss all the finer details of your pet and home's care. We ask you to take us on a tour of your pet's favorite places, and show us their routine.
  • How much does the New Client Consultation cost?
    There is a $30 charge for the New Client Consultation. Onboarding new clients is a fairly time intensive process from both the client and the business' perspectives. We value you and the time you take to keep us up to date on your pet's care and we also value our staff who take part in all points of the onboarding process. Charging for consultations helps us maintain the high level of care we provide.
  • Who will be my pet sitter?
    We operate as a team and our process is to assign a primary and secondary sitter for your pet's care. Your assigned sitter's name is on every visit on your schedule and you can be assured every member of our small team is trained on the details of your pet's care. Due to a variety of reasons, staff may be off work on any given day and we may send in a different sitter. We try our best to keep sitters consistent for our clients, especially the more shy and timid personalities. Often, the most outgoing pets actually enjoy the larger variety a team can provide. We understand a team model isn't for every household, but for us, it provides an extra level of security having a team member available as a backup.
  • How do you handle access to my home?
    We place great importance on entering your home as it houses your beloved pets. To ensure the utmost care for them, we employ lockboxes instead of keys for our sitters' access. This eliminates the need for them to drive around exchanging keys with each other and the office, which can be time-consuming. You have the option to either purchase your own lockbox or acquire one from us at a cost of $25, as we buy them in bulk. The lockbox will be exclusively yours, and you may modify the code as you see fit. While door codes, garage doors, and other digital entry methods are convenient, they can be unpredictable due to the possibility of electronic malfunctions. For this reason, we do not recommend relying solely on electronic entry methods. However, if you prefer to use them, we require that you provide a backup key on-site, kept in a lockbox for safekeeping. In addition to the lockbox and any digital entry codes, we require a backup key for our office lockbox to be stored at our office location for emergency situations. This ensures that our team members can access the key quickly in case of any unforeseen incidents.
  • Can I meet with every sitter before they are in my home?
    Because we work as a team and schedules may change within the team, it is not feasible to facilitate a meeting between you and every caregiver prior to granting them access to your residence. We assign a primary and secondary pet sitter to every client, matching you with the best sitters for your pet's care, but schedules can change and a visit may be switched to another competent team member while you're already out of town. Rest assured that our team members undergo considerable training to look after your pets and management is monitoring your journals and doing spot checks. In addition, we conduct comprehensive background checks on each employee during the hiring process to ensure the safety of both you and our company. Moreover, Ocala Pet Sitting is bonded and insured. Therefore, you can be confident that only dependable, reliable, and morally upright staff members will have access to your home. Building trust with you is important to us and Shannon does not hire anyone she wouldn't trust with her own furkids' care. You will have a chance to meet with Shannon or a Team Lead at the consultation and determine if we are a business you can trust. Read our reviews and see what other first time clients have said about their experience with us.
  • Will you travel outside of your service area, county, state, or even the country?
    Yes! Shannon is available for Live-in Pet Care and will travel to you. Don't miss the chance to reserve the exceptional 5-Star care you and your beloved pets deserve. Contact us by phone or email to discuss the details.
  • What happens at a pet sitting visit?
    Upon arriving at your home, our sitter will first conduct a preliminary check of the exterior before entering your home slowly and carefully, taking necessary precautions to prevent any pets from rushing out. Your sitter will then greet all the pets in your home and ensure everything looks in place. Feeding will be done as per your instructions, and water bowls will be washed and refilled. We understand that pets have their preferences, and your pets will be given the opportunity to eat in a way that’s comfortable for them, either with company or alone. Our sitter will attend to cleaning litter boxes and other pet areas, keeping an eye out for anything unusual. Following this, it's time for cuddles, playtime, listening to soft music, or simply sitting quietly with your pets. As the visit draws to a close, our sitter will make sure everything is properly put away and locked up before leaving. To keep you informed, your sitter will send you a journal with notes and pictures at the end of each visit.
  • What happens at a dog walking / mid-day potty visit?
    Upon arriving at your home, our sitter will first conduct a preliminary check of the exterior before entering your home slowly and carefully, taking necessary precautions to prevent any pets from rushing out. Your sitter will then greet all the pets in your home and ensure everything looks in place. Your dog will either be taken out in their backyard for potty and playtime or your dog will be leashed up properly and taken for a walk in your neighborhood. Our sitter will play or walk your dog, all while keeping an eye out for anything unusual. For their safety, dogs in our care are not permitted to have contact with other people or animals during our walks and our sitters are trained in avoiding those situations. Following this, it's time for some fresh water and a treat (if allowed). As the visit draws to a close, our sitter will make sure everything is properly put away and locked up before leaving. To keep you informed, your sitter will send you a journal with notes and pictures at the end of each visit.
  • Can you visit my cat (or small critter) every other day?
    At Ocala Pet Sitting, our topmost priority is the safety and well-being of your pets when you are away. Cats, in particular, can get into mischief and trouble when left alone for extended periods of time. Therefore, it's imperative we check on them at least once every 24 hours, to ensure they are happy and healthy. In the past, we have encountered several instances where our daily check-ins have proven to be life-saving for the cats, including: Rambunctious cats turned on the bathtub, knocked towels over the drain, and caused it to overflow. Thankfully our sitter arrived just in time to prevent it from flooding the entire house. A cat got tangled in the mini-blinds and panicked, requiring our immediate intervention. A cat got caught in a plastic bag and required assistance. Cats knocked over their water bowls and were without water until our sitter arrived. A cat pushed herself behind a 6-foot framed mirror causing it to fall and shatter. A burst garden water hose caused flooding into the front living room, which our sitter noticed and took swift action to prevent further damage. A cat got stuck in a bedroom without food water or a litter box, which the client was unaware of before leaving. A normally friendly cat went missing, which required a team effort to locate. It was discovered the cat was in distress and was provided immediate medical attention. These incidents highlight the importance of regular check-ins, and we are committed to ensuring your pets receive the care and attention they deserve, even in your absence.
  • How do you deal with shy cats?
    At Ocala Pet Sitting, we understand that some cats can be very timid and nervous around new people. That's why we take a gentle approach when entering the home, allowing the cat to come to us on their own terms. Our sitters will softly call out and observe from a distance, avoiding any actions that may startle or scare the cat. We find that with patience and a calm presence, even the shyest cats will warm up to their sitter in time. However, for cats that require extra time and care, we offer a KittyCam Rental service to visually ensure they receive the care they need.
  • How do you deal with aggressive pets?
    This is where experience and having a new client consultation comes in. We take our time getting to know your pets and not pushing their boundaries. If a pet is aggressive to begin with, then we recommend a trainer before you hire a pet sitter. In cases where a pet becomes aggressive unexpectedly, we put distance between us and the situation as fast as possible and contact the owner. In a worst case scenario a client may have to arrange for their backup contact to take over care. Having a plan for these situations is the best any of us can do.
  • Do you administer medications?
    If your cat is friendly and very tolerant of being given their medication, then yes we can. We want all of our interactions with them to be positive because cats have very long memories. We ask that you have a plan for separating their meds (if mixed in their food) from other pets in the home. We also require one or more test visits before you leave out of town. We’ll ask you to leave the home while we do a visit and administer meds, then we’ll report back to you how it went without the pressure of you already being out of town. Test visits get everyone comfortable with the routine.
  • Do you offer overnight stays?
    We offer 3 options for overnight care. Our Live-in stay is 20+ hours of dedicated care, and our Overnights are 15 hours (approx 5pm-8am). Both of these experiences are booked exclusively with the owner of OPS, Shannon Hendon, who has over 17 years of pet sitting experience and an abundance of love to give. Our highly popular “Almost Overnight” package is The Cat's Pajamas! This unique offering consists of 2 hours in the evening for chores, cuddles, and tucking them in, then our experienced team members will return for their morning visit. This package is both affordable and versatile and still provides your pets with a luxury experience.
  • What are the benefits of using a pet sitting team like OPS?
    We are always prepared and have backup if your pet sitter gets sick or injured. Our team model also allows for our sitters to have adequate time off and rest and helps prevent pet sitter burnout. And, with a team, we have more opportunities to say yes to your pet care requests.
  • Can I book a visit with a sitter directly?
    OPS is dedicated to providing exceptional pet care services. We put in a lot of effort to train our sitters thoroughly and to establish strong relationships with our clients. To maintain our high level of care, all communication must be conducted through our software application. This ensures that Shannon and our team leaders can monitor everything that's happening, including journal entries. When clients or sitters bypass our app, it can lead to breakdowns in communication and loss of trust.
  • What if my pet sitter isn’t doing exactly what I’d like?
    This is one of the benefits of having a team of pet sitters. Contact the office, and we will have that awkward conversation with them instead of you. We will handle it and switch out the sitter entirely, if necessary.
  • Can other people take care of my home, like cleaners, while you’re taking care of my pets?"
    Please inform us in advance if you have scheduled house cleaners, pool, or yard maintenance personnel to visit your home. We understand and respect that you may have other staff working for you. However, we do not share the responsibility of your pet's care with anyone else. If anyone else is visiting your home, it is your responsibility to explicitly inform them not to feed, give medication or let your pets outside. This is a liability issue for us and a safety concern for your pets.
  • What happens in the event of severe weather?
    Our Client Agreement outlines our detailed plan for all stages of severe weather, and we prioritize the safety and well-being of your pets during these events. If it is safe and possible, we will visit your pets during severe weather, and we have strategies in place to ensure their care during extreme conditions. For mild thunderstorms and lightning, we usually wait for the storm to pass and then visit your pets before or after the weather event. However, for severe weather like tropical storms and hurricanes, we recommend cancelling your trip. In case you are already away, we have contingency plans for pet care. As a native Floridian who has experienced many hurricanes, Shannon and our team will take extra precautions by providing additional food and water and coordinating with your emergency contacts, vet's office, or even bringing your pets to our own home if necessary.
  • If I come home early, do I get a refund?"
    There are no refunds if you return home early. If you have extenuating circumstances we are happy to discuss it.
  • What happens if my flight gets delayed?
    If you experience flight delays, we understand and kindly ask that you inform us as soon as possible. If your sitter is already en route to your home and you notify us of a delay, there may be a charge. However, if you are delayed in returning home, simply inform us and we will ensure that your pets receive the necessary additional visits.
  • What if I have to cancel at the last minute?
    We understand emergencies happen. Our cancellation policy can be found here. If you have extenuating circumstances we can discuss it.
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