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FAQ

About Loving Paws & House Sitting

What is pet sitting?

Pet sitting is the work of a pet sitter, usually a contracted professional, which involves caring for pets in their own home while their pet parents are away from home. Care normally involves: giving affection, playtime, feedings, dog walks and/or cleaning the litter box, and is provided by way of daily visits made on a scheduled basis and for fixed duration.

Why use the services of a professional pet sitter?

Professional pet sitters are just what the description implies – professional. This means they have the knowledge, skills, experience, and support necessary to provide the proper, ongoing care for pets, including during emergencies. It means you can count on them to be there each time and for the duration agreed to, and to do their job to your satisfaction. They are obligated to operate according to high and strict standards of conduct in performing their work, both in terms of proficiency and of ethics, and to place your interests and those of pets at the forefront by exercising due diligence in serving those interests. It also means they are insured, and have had their backgrounds checked. In short, they’ve got your tail covered!

Why use the service of a professional dog walker?

Dogs need regular exercise to stay physically healthy. Regular exercise and socialization also helps dogs to stay mentally healthy and be less anxious, excited, and/or destructive. Hiring a professional dog walker ensures quality and safety of care when you are not there and it helps meet your dog’s needs for affection, companionship, and exercise. A professional is insured and has the support and knowledge to deal with an emergency. While the teenager down the street may offer to walk your dog for an incredibly low price, paying slightly more for a professional ensures accountability: walks will be done on time, for the duration required, and by someone with the knowledge, skills, experience and support to provide proper dog walks.

What makes LP&HS different?

Peace of Mind: We are bonded and insured. Our sitters are trained and given a full array of tools and ongoing support. All sitters undergo a thorough criminal background and references check. Sitters are also monitored on a regular basis to ensure they successfully completed their assignments.

Qualified & Caring Sitters: All of our sitters are pet owners themselves; they give pets love, heartfelt attention and skilled care that you would expect from a professional; they simply treat each pet as though it were one of their own.

Service Selection: We offer a wide variety of services that can be easily and quickly tailored to meet your unique needs. Our dog walk (Fitness for Paws) service ensures that your dog will always receive a enough exercise with each visit. We also strive to accommodate any special request.

Availability: We use sophisticated systems and employ a large team to assure a sitter is available whenever and wherever you need us – especially during your all-important holidays! At LP&HS, you can count on a heartfelt friend.

Meet & Greet Consultation: A one-on-one meeting between you, your pet, and your sitter is provided to ensure all of your questions are addressed and to allow your sitter to gather important information about and become acquainted with your pet.

Prompt Communication: We verify emails and voicemails on an ongoing basis 365 days a year and respond within 24 hours, and sooner for urgent bookings or emergencies.

No Guesswork: You can call or email us, or look online, anytime to monitor the status of your pet(s) when you're away. When you arrive at home, a detailed assignment report and/or brief diary notes about each visit, prepared by your sitter, are waiting for you.

Glowing Reputation: With thousands of satisfied clients, we have earned a sound reputation as one of the most trusted and relied upon pet care service providers in the region. Feel free to read our clients’ testimonials and Google Reviews!

What kind of insurance does LP&HS have?

As a provider of professional pet & house sitting and dog walking services, we realize that it is important for you to feel reassured and comfortable before leaving your pet, home, and belongings in our care. We are fully insured in case we are found responsible for damage to your property, including your pet. We also have coverage for third-party bonding, guaranteeing to you that your belongings are safe in our hands.

Why is LP&HS a member of PSI?

We belong to PSI - a U.S. pet sitter / dog walker association - since we value their commitment and efforts to promote and ensure excellence in pet care. Part of this commitment is driven by the condition that members abide to a code of conduct, which we fully support and to which we adhere. PSI = Pet Sitters International, U.S. based (est. 1995).

Office hours, hours of service, and service outside of normal hours?

Office hours: We undertake our administrative, office work between these hours. Note, however, that we verify emails on a frequent basis every day so that we may promptly address any emergency that comes to our attention.

SunSunMonTueWedThusFriSat
-10 AM to 6 PM10 AM to 6 PM10 AM to 6 PM10 AM to 6 PM10 AM to 6 PM-
SunMonTueWedThusFriSat
-10 AM to 6 PM10 AM to 6 PM10 AM to 6 PM10 AM to 6 PM10 AM to 6 PM-

Hours of service : We make the bulk of our service visits between these hours.

SunSunMonTueWedThusFriSat
8 AM to 8 PM8 AM to 8 PM8 AM to 8 PM8 AM to 8 PM8 AM to 8 PM8 AM to 8 PM8 AM to 8 PM
SunMonTueWedThusFriSat
8 AM to 8 PM8 AM to 8 PM8 AM to 8 PM8 AM to 8 PM8 AM to 8 PM8 AM to 8 PM8 AM to 8 PM

Service outside of normal hours: We can make sitting visits before or after our normal hours of service, including overnight, subject to sitter availability. For more information see our rates.

Can I hire the sitter directly?
No. Our sitters are prohibited from soliciting or accepting assignments directly from clients, and have signed a contract to this effect. The private cell or home phone number of your sitter is only provided so that you can contact him or her in an emergency or to report that you have arrived home. We ask that you do not contact your sitter directly to set up a future assignment. Thank you for your understanding.

Does LP&HS have references?
Yes. Please look at the testimonials we received or ask your sitter during your Meet & Greet Consultation.

What kind of experience / training do sitters have?
Some of our sitters have Veterinarian Technician or Assistance Certification, and have successfully completed a pet first aid and CPR course. All have extensive personal experience caring for pets.

Do LP&HS sitters advertise on their vehicles?
No, this to protect your privacy.

About Our Services

Where are you currently providing your services?

  • Greater Ottawa, Ontario
  • Mississauga & Hamilton, Ontario
  • Windsor, Ontario
  • Greater Gatineau, Quebec

We want expand to new cities. Want to join our team and have our help to offer our services where you live?

What free value-added services are included with each visit?

  • The drive to and from your home for each sitting visit (max 15 km one way).
  • Plenty of tender, loving care.
  • Playtime with favorite toys or activities.
  • Fresh food and water, daily, at times specified by you.
  • Walks or let out in the yard for elimination and exercise.
  • Daily reports that chart the activities and health of your pet(s).
  • Grooming, if enjoyed by your pet(s).
  • Daily clean up of feeding and watering area and bowls.
  • Clean up of litter box and/or cage during each visit.
  • Administration of some medications.
  • Clean up of small accidents.
  • Watering of a few plants.
  • Taking trash and recycling bins out to the curb, and returning them to the home.
  • A daily checklist of tasks completed, and an end-of-assignment report card for the pet(s).
  • Our Veterinarian Notification Card - to let your Vet know we are taking care of your pet(s).
  • Bringing in mail, newspapers, and packages into your home.
  • Alternating the turning on and off of lights.
  • Opening and closing window treatments.
  • Opening and closing the television and/or radio.
  • Moving your vehicle(s) in your driveway.
  • A complete visual security inspection of your home.

How many visits do I need per day?

We can visit your home from 1 to 4 times per day on the days we visit, or more often if you desire. The frequency you choose depends on your personal preference, which should be guided by the type and number of pets you have, and what you believe would be the best care for your pet(s). Cats and other more self-reliant pets need at least one 15-minute visit per day. A dog may need as many as four.

How long should a visit be?

Standard visit durations are 15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes, and can be longer by adding 15-minute increments. A 15-minute visit is a quick visit, and a 30-minute visit is the most common duration chosen, while the 45- and 60-minute visits are growing in popularity. The duration you choose depends on your personal preference, which should be guided by the type and number of pets you have, and what you believe would be the best care for your pet(s).

Are services guaranteed?

Yes. We guarantee the duration of each visit, and the number of visits per day. We also guarantee that the care will be provided by a skilled, reliable, and compassionate individual.

If, however and for any reason, you are dissatisfied with our quality of service, we will do what is necessary to assure your satisfaction.

Is overnight sitting available?

Yes, depending on sitter availability.

Is boarding in a sitter's home available?

Yes, depending on sitter availability.

What type of animals are not cared for?

We do not normally sit a pet that poses a danger to the health and safety of our sitters, e.g. a very aggressive dog or cat.

Does LP&HS care for outdoor cats?
No. It would make it too difficult for the sitter to notice if the cat is ill or injured and, if the cat were ill or injured, it would be coming to an empty home for help.

Are special service requests possible?
Yes, depending on sitter availability. We've had requests for house cleaning, care of elderly persons, and were able to accommodate these successfully. Please provide details of your special request in the comments box at the bottom of our online quote request or reservation request forms.

About Our Procedures

When should I book services and how?

If you are a new client (you never used our services before and we don't have the necessary information on file to serve you), please send us a quote request. To request a quote: Quote request

If you are a returning client (you used our services before and we already have the necessary information on file to easily serve you again), please send us a reservation request. To make a reservation: Reservation request

You may also email and/or call us if time is of the essence and we will make every effort to quickly accommodate you.

We confirm every request for our services by email or by telephone – never assume that our services are confirmed if you have not heard from us; this is to ensure your pet is never left alone and always receives the necessary care.

If you did not receive an email from us and are expecting one ... please look in your spam or junk email folder, or call us immediately so we can try resend it to another email address.

We encourage you to book our services as soon as possible (ideally 2 weeks before the assignment starts).

Are last-minute requests for service possible?

We accept last-minute bookings routinely from returning and new clients, and can usually accommodate such requests quite easily. We consider a request for our services to be at the "last-minute" if it is made within 3 days of the start of an assignment. If you are a new client, we need to have a Meet & Greet consultation with you, a signed Professional Sitting Service Agreement, keys to your home, and a 50% deposit before we make our first visit - a one-time fee applies for the Meet & Greet consultation. A one-time fee may apply for the last-minute request. For more information: Rates

Is a signed contract required?

Yes. We ask all our clients to sign a Professional Sitting Service Agreement: pages 1 and 2, which we complete together, tell us what we need to know about you, your pet(s), your home and the service(s) you need from us; pages 3 and 4 outline the terms and conditions. We keep the Agreement on file, you can request a copy for your records if you like.

Why is an initial consultation required?

The Meet & Greet consultation is required so that your sitter can confirm where you live, meet and become acquainted with you and your pet(s), go over some important documents, obtain your keys and deposit, and consult with you about the service he or she will provide. 

What happens during the initial consultation?

The Meet & Greet consultation typically lasts from 30 to 45 minutes during which we will:

  • Identify your emergency contact(s);
  • Complete a Veterinarian Identification Card;
  • Identify the medication(s) to administer to your pet(s);
  • Test (de)activation of your home alarm system;
  • Tour your home, noting the hiding places of your pet(s) and location of pet food, etc.;
  • Complete and sign the Professional Sitting Service Agreement;
  • Obtain and test 2 keys or sets of keys to your home; and
  • Obtain your 50% deposit.

Is an initial consultation required for every new assignment?

No. If you are a new client, the consultation is only required before the start of the first assignment. If you are a returning and a new sitter will be doing the assignment, you may request a consultation but it is not required.

How safe are the keys to my home?

We treat the safety of your keys and security of your home very seriously. To demonstrate how serious we are about being responsible custodians entrusted to care for your pet(s), home and its belongings, we adopted a strict Key policy that let you know exactly how we handle your keys and what our responsibilities are. Important measures include:

  • Safely storing, in a locked file cabinet, every completed agreement and form;
  • Tagging and encoding keys to protect against being linked to any client name or address;
  • Storing each key in a secure, locked key box when the key is not in transit;
  • Undertaking periodic physical inventory of keys to ensure all keys are accounted for; and
  • The monitoring of all key transactions.

Ready Key is a service we provide that let you leave your house keys with us for any time that you need us. This service is very popular with our regular clients because it avoids the hassle of having to get us keys before an assignment and of having to retrieve keys from us after.

How are my keys returned to me?

Your sitter can return the keys to you to your home or to another location mutually agreeable to you and your sitter, in which case a key return fee normally applies. Alternatively, you can pick up the keys from your sitter, in which case a fee does not normally apply.

Does my pet need to be vaccinated?

We strongly recommend that all dogs and cats be vaccinated, and that they receive an internal and external parasite control and prevention treatment.

A dog or cat being sat and/or walked on an individual basis does not need to have been vaccinated or to have received monthly parasite prevention before receiving our care, but we need to know when he or she received his or her last vaccination and parasite testing.

If a dog is registered in a group walk, he or she must have been vaccinated and must have received monthly parasite control and prevention as would all other dogs in the group walk.

What happens if my pet runs away, is injured, or falls ill when I'm away?

We've developed an extensive Emergencies Handbook that outlines detailed protocols to follow in a majority of situations: Fire / Disaster / Theft, Lost Pet, Lost Key / Forgotten Alarm Code, Sitter Safety (When Treating an Injured/Ill Pet), Reporting Abuse / Neglect, Dealing with Bites or Scratches, Dealing with Wildlife, Pet First Aid, Giving Medications, Obtaining Veterinarian Assistance, Monitoring of a Pet in the Hospital/Clinic, Incident Reporting, Illness Symptoms, How to Check Vital Signs, How to Administer CPR, and a Library covering the top 25 pet-related injuries or illnesses and how to identify and treat them.

Can I get an update when I'm away?

Yes. You can telephone your sitter or request that he or she call you from your home. Alternative and for a fee, we offer an Online diary notes service, which your sitter can provide with each visit or on less frequent basis, e.g. every couple of days or less often if you like. Online diary notes can be accessed anytime, from anywhere in the world through the Internet, and will tell you that visits are completed and what happened during the visit(s).

Will the same sitter visit each time?

We want you and your pet(s) to build a relationship with your sitter so you and your pet(s) feel comfortable, and to respect the attachment your pet(s) develop(s) with the sitter. If your sitter is not available for a particular assignment or some visits of an assignment, you have the option to meet his or her temporary replacement if you like and the Meet & Greet fee will apply.

Are visits every other day possible (e.g. for cats or small caged pets)?

Providing care to a pet on a daily basis is one of our values since it is important for the care/nurture of a pet and also for the safety/security of a pet and home. We insist on exercising due diligence when caring for a pet and home, which means each pet in our custody and control must receive a minimum of one visit in each 24 hour period during your absence (this applies to cats and/or any small animal that may be autonomous for several days when provided lots of food and water).

If you do not wish to have us visit your home every day during your absence, you must: attest that alternate arrangements have been made for someone else to visit your home in lieu of us; provide us with the name and contact information of the other person who will provide care jointly with us; and release us from any damage that may arise as a result of the other person's negligence.

What happens if my travel plans change?

We realize your plans may change. However, please understand that we go through considerable effort to organize and be in a position to provide you with our services in a professional and timely manner. When we set time aside for your visits, it means we are not in a position to make appointments with any other client in your neighbourhood during that same time slot. We therefore request advanced notice of a cancellation and charge or provide a credit for a last-minute cancellation, as per our Procedures.

Can visits be shared between LP&HS and someone else I know?

Yes. If you would like us to visit your home on some days and a friend, neighbour or family member to visit on those days when we will not, we ask that you:

  1. Attest that someone else will visit your home in lieu of us;
  2. Provide the name and contact information of the other person(s); and
  3. Release us from any damage that may arise from the negligence of the other person(s).

Can sitters give medications and injections?

Yes. We administer medication pills, drops and/or injections following a Veterinarian's directions. This requires your signature and instructions on a Permission to Administer Medication(s) and/or Medical Treatment form. We do not administer any medication or treatment to any animal that could pose a danger to its life and or to the sitter.

Will my personal information be shared with anyone?

We use or disclose your personal information only for the purpose for which it was collected, unless you consent, or the use or disclosure is authorized by the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. We will provide your personal information to authorities, e.g. police and/or the Ottawa Humane Society, when reporting that your pet was bitten or bit someone or another animal, is lost, or if we suspect that your pet has experienced neglect or abuse.

What happens if I come home early?

Please call your sitter as soon as you arrive home so that he or she does not make any unnecessary visits. We cannot reimburse you for a visit that is not needed if you return home early since we set time aside for visits and cannot make a new appointment with another client in your neighbourhood for a visit during the same time slot.


What happens if I don't call my sitter after I get home or I am delayed getting home?

If you do not call your sitter to let him or her know that you arrived home, your sitter will try to call you or your emergency contact or your carrier (e.g. airline) and, if unable to establish your whereabouts, we will continue to visit your home according to the visit schedule you requested.

If you call us to let us know you will be late and need your sitter to make one or more additional visit, we will gladly accommodate you and make the additional visit(s).

In both of these cases, our goal is to ensure the continued health and safety of your pet(s), and the security of your home. A surcharge above our regular rates may apply per visit.

About Our Rates, Our Payments, and Your Account

How much does it all cost?

Our rates are based on a number of variables that depend on how many visits we make, how long visits are, how many pets are being cared for, and if visits are taking place during a holiday. A single visit to care for one pet for a duration of 15 minutes costs $16.50, plus HST, for example. We provide free, detailed quotes to any new client who submits a Quote Request, or to any returning client who submits a Reservation Request.

Are discounts available?

No. Our philosophy is to quote the best rate possible from the outset. It should be noted that our rates only increased very slightly since 2005.

Are there additional costs for visits on holidays?

Yes. We charge an additional 50% for all services provided during holidays.

Why is there an added cost for each additional pet?

The added cost for each additional pet compensates us for the added responsibilities and liability.

How are services invoiced?

Fixed-time services: you will be invoiced by email on the last day of the assignment.

Ongoing services: you will be invoiced be email every week, every two weeks, or every four weeks, depending on the frequency you choose.

How can a payment be made?

We accept cash, personal cheques, Visa & Master Card, and Interact Email Money Transfer.

A 5% fee applies for Visa & Master Card.

When is a payment due?

Fixed-time services: within 7 days of the last day of the assignment.

Ongoing services: weekly, every two weeks, or every four weeks (depending on the frequency of payment you choose). And must be provided prior to the services being rendered.

Should a gratuity be given?

Optional. Whether or not you choose to give your sitter a tip is a matter of personal preference and your own level of satisfaction with the service you received from your sitter. If you give your sitter a tip, he or she will receive 100% of it. Some clients leave gift cards or cash for their sitters, while some give a heartfelt thank you card with chocolates ... the choice is yours.

If You Cancel

We realize your plans may change. However, please understand that we go through considerable effort to organize and be in a position to provide you with our services in a professional and timely manner. When we set time aside for visits to your home, it means we are not in a position to make appointments with any other client in your neighbourhood during that same timeslot. We therefore request advanced notice of a cancellation and charge or provide a credit for a last-minute cancellation, as follows.

Cancel
If We Cancel

We reserve the right to deny service or terminate service for any reason, especially for safety concerns, health emergency with your sitter, financial reasons, due to unsanitary conditions, and/or because the sitter was placed in an inappropriate or uncomfortable situation. If this happens, you will receive a refund for any visit we do not make.

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