Times for visits: It is recommended that you provide a 2 hour window for all mid day services. Mid day services to be defined as walks for dogs provided between the hours of 11am and 3pm Monday through Friday. Our walkers will do their best to be at your location at the specific time you would prefer, but know that NOVA has the worst traffic this side of the east coast being so close to DC that often we get stuck in traffic or behind an accident. However, we will do our best to accommodate the preferred time. In reference to vacation time frames for visits, please allow an hour window for all services. Know that we cannot provide anything less than 1 visit every other day for a household with felines, and no less than 2 visits a day for any households with canines. If you have a special request for services, please discuss this with us to see if we can accommodate.
People on Premises: Sitting with a friend is liable for what happens in your home, as we are contracted to provide service while you are away. We do not recommend that you have anyone other than our staff entering your home while you are gone other us. If it is necessary to have other people in and out of your dwelling while your pets and home are in our care, please let us know as you will need to sign a form, letting us know who will be in your home, contact information and what time/day they will be there as well as a waiver stating that we cannot be held responsible for what happens in your home as long as other people have access to your property and we are unable to secure your property 100%.
Keys/Keypad/Garage Access: Oh keys. Yikes!! You will need to provide 1 tested and approved key to the company so that we are able to have access to your pets at all times. But there is a way around the key of which I have recommended to many. If you purchase a lock box, much like a realtor would have, than we don’t ever have to have a key in company possession to access to your house to get to your critters. You can hide the key in the lockbox in a secure location near your door. If you have a garage, you can also provide a garage code. If you live where there is a secure entrance, please give our information to the security desk prior to the start of your service.
Extra Fees: We hate extra fees, really, we try not to charge them but…
(Here they are)
Inclement Weather Policy: Common sense says, if Fairfax County Public Schools and the Government offices are either closed or is the ol’ “Essential Employees Only” but the rest of NOVA is shut in, we should all just hide away and cuddle under a blanket with the critters that own us. However, sometimes that is just not possible and unfortunately there will be a $10 surcharge applied to all services due to the nature of providing service during such a time. Please call us at the start of the business day to cancel your walk or visit if it is not needed. Inclement weather will not constitute a late cancellation fee. We hope you understand that as pet care providers, we want to keep all animals and humans safe when weather becomes dangerous. “When the weather outside is frightful”, we will do everything in our power to make sure that your pet is provided the best care possible while keeping safety and timeliness in mind. Depending on the unpredictable nature of the weather in Northern VA, if Government offices and schools are closed and roads are deemed safe (because they were calling for a foot of snow and nothing actually happened), the charge may be reconsidered by the owner of the company.
To the dog owners: Walks may not be provided in full if conditions are too dangerous. We would like for you to keep in mind that your pets do not want to be outside in bad weather anymore than you do. If the weather is too hot and advisories are in place, we will take every measure to make sure a proper walk/potty time is provided but still keeping in mind the danger of overheating, dehydration, and hot pavements on puppy toes.
Late Scheduling Fee: If you call us with less than 3 days notice for any requested service that is not a Monday through Friday mid-day walk, we will need to assign a late scheduling fee to your service. We go in stages friends! Your first offense is on the house and you will get off clean with a warning. After the first offence there will be a $5.00 late scheduling fee, than $10.00. Once you reach 3 late scheduled services, your cost will remain at $10.00. This policy will reset at the beginning of the New Year. Hey, we all have emergencies, we understand, it would just be super helpful to let us know with as much notice as time allows, so that we can provide the best service
Late Cancellation Fee: Stop me if you’ve heard this one! You were going on vacation with the entire family, when your oldest child suddenly makes playoffs and now she is staying home and can care for Fluffy and Mildred the cat. You had set up service for them to be cared for starting Saturday evening for 2 weeks and this is Friday evening. Again, we go in stages just like the late scheduling, 1st: Free, 2nd: $5.00, 3rd:$10.00. However, there is one little difference. You will need to cancel your reservation 12 hours prior to the start of your service. We really prefer that you let us know as soon as possible, but we understand that life happens!
For regularly scheduled Mid day Dog walking customers: If you have a scheduled mid day walk, you will need to cancel via text, phone call, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 9am the day of your scheduled visit.
Holiday Surcharges: We believe here at Sitting With a Friend LLC that a holiday surcharge is not appropriate. We think that this type of additional money to the pet sitter should be the client’s decision, more like a tip. Please remember that your pet sitters are away from their family to care for yours during the holidays throughout the year. If you love your pet sitter and think that he or she does an awesome job, reward them with a little bonus money to let them know that they are amazing! If your pet sitter goes out of their way to help make your trip worry free and easy to come back from, this is a great way of saying, “I appreciate you and thank you for making this experience so wonderful!” So however not necessary to receive awesome service, we highly encourage the practice.
Security check-in wait time: If the building or community your reside in has a security gate, check-in desk, and your pet sitter or our company name is not on the “allowed” list for access, or you have simply just forgotten to provide us with the proper working key, and your pet sitter has to wait to gain access to your property, there will be a charge that is equal to the cost of the service. Trust me, it takes the patience of a superhero to be hanging out with security while they contact you to make sure that they are allowed inside your space to provide service.