Frequently asked questions: Answered!
- What is pet sitting? [answer]
- Can my pets come to your home? [answer]
- Why should I use an in-home pet care service? [answer]
- Why not just have a friend, relative or neighbor look in on our pet(s)? [answer]
- I have a family member that lives close by and willalso visit. Is that okay? [answer]
- How many visits do you make per day? [answer]
- How long are the visits? [answer]
- What animals do you pet sit? [answer]
- I have a cat that doesn't require much attention. Will you visit every other day? [answer]
- My cat lives outside. Will you come and make sure he/she is okay? [answer]
- What areas do you visit? [answer]
- How do I set up a pet sit with Safe Pets Trust? [answer]
- What should I expect at the consultation visit? [answer]
- What services do you offer? [answer]
- Isn't this expensive? [answer]
- Will you provide updates on how my pet is doing while I am away? [answer]
- What happens if the pet food runs out while I am away?
- Are you insured, bonded and licensed? [answer]
- Do you have references? [answer]
- What happens if my pet becomes ill while I'm gone? [answer]
- My pet needs daily medication. Will you administer it? [answer]
- What if there is an emergency in my home, unrelated
to my pet? [answer]
- Does Safe Pets Trust spend the night? [answer]
- Do you provide care during holidays? [answer]
- How much notice is needed for pet sitting services?
- How do you deal with keys? [answer]
- Do you keep client information/key/alarm codes confidential? [answer]
- How is payment handled? [answer]
- What happens if I need to cancel or reschedule? [answer]
- What if there is a delay in our return from vacation? [answer]
- Why do I have to call Safe Pets Trust when I return home? [answer]
- Will you charge me for visits if I come home early? [answer]
- What should I know about leaving home? [answer]
What is pet sitting?
A: Pet sitting is a terrific service for you and your pets.
Our trained pet sitter comes to your home to visit your pet(s) one or more times per day while you are away or vacationing. We
spend at least 30 minutes on site giving love and attention, feeding, replenishing water, exercising your pet(s) and looking
after your home. We are also offer services for those who
are unable to clean litter boxes,
care for plants and similar tasks due to illness, injury,
Can my pets come to your home?
A: No. We look after your pets in their own home where they
will feel secure. Our home is not zoned for commercial
boarding and our insurance does not include care in our home. In case of emergency, we will take them to a veterinary or boarding service specified in advance until
your return or alternate arrangements are made.
Why should I use an in-home pet care
A: Using an in-home pet sitter offers many advantages, including:
- Your pets stay in their own home environment where surroundings
are friendly and familiar;
- Your pets get love from their trained pet sitter according
to your specific instructions while you're not home;
- They will follow established diet and other routines as
- Pets will NOT be upset by being taken to a kennel;
- They WON'T be exposed to the illnesses that may be found
in boarding facilities;
- Your needs will NOT be an annoyance to a well-intentioned
neighbor or friend;
- Best of all, when you get home, your companion
is there waiting for you, no matter what time you get
Also, a pet sitter provides home care and security services
including bringing in your newspaper and mail, trash removal,
alternating drapes and lights, watering plants and other routine
Why not just have a friend, relative
or neighbor look in on our pet(s)?
A: For many people, a trusted neighbor or relative that
is familiar with your home and pet(s) may work just fine.
However, an acquaintance may have a change in plans and
be unable to look after your pet(s). Pet sitting is our
job and we will enter into a contract with you to perform
the services you need. We are professionals and we will
be there. There is also the tricky issue of whose homeowner insurance will cover damages should they occur. Our insurance is comprehensive (and expensive) in order to protect your most precious assets.
I have a family member that lives
close by and will also visit. Is that okay?
Having any third party entering your home while we're on assignment compounds security concerns and negates insurance protection because it convolutes our care, custody and control which is a requirement for insurance coverage.
House cleaning and construction services also need to be suspended during our visits. Work distractions, loud equipment, doors left open and the use of earphones lead to accidents and/or lost pets. Please plan accordingly.
How many visits do you make per
A: Typically one is enough for healthy cats and cage pets, and as many as needed for special needs pets. This can be customized
or changed as necessary to meet the needs of your pet(s)
and your schedule. We are happy to accommodate special requirements
that are time sensitive as much as possible.
How long are the visits?
A: Visit time varies according to each pet and home's needs.
An average visit is 20-30 minutes. Additional pets
usually require more time and the rates are adjusted
according to those needs.
What animals do you pet sit?
A: We are comfortable with most companion pets such as cats,
rabbits, most reptiles and other small pets. If we aren't
experienced with a certain variety of pet, we will either
decline the job or ask you to teach us if you are willing.
I have a cat that doesn't require much attention. Will you visit every other day?
A: No. Any veterinarian will tell you that feline health problems can advance rapidly and may become terminal in 48 hours, even with pets that are in good health. Additionally, coming every other day increases the opportunity for little problems (such as a broken pipe or gas leak) to become catastrophic.
My cat lives outside. Will you come and make sure he/she is okay?
A. Yes, but only to the extent of providing food, fresh water, shelter inspection if any is provided and affection should the cat be present during our visit.
We will also facilitate veterinary attention if we find an outdoor cat in distressed health, however there is no insurance coverage or liability on our behalf for outdoor kitties.
What areas do you visit?
A: Our service area is defined by our ongoing obligations and driving time instead of distance. Our standard service rates are based on us being able to provide the care expected by each of our clients and the time required to guarantee satisfaction every visit. We won't short clients on time due to traffic,construction or serving subdivisions too far to maintain our standards.
Driving time is factored into our fee structure which means no added surcharges to you such as adjustments for fuel cost or additional mileage wear and tear.
We are currently serving homes bordered by these major roads:
Scott Blvd, I-70, Hwy 63 and Grindstone Connector/Nifong/Vawter School Rd.
How do I set up a pet sit with
Safe Pets Trust?
A: We prefer email for client convenience and to keep the telephone line open for emergencies, clients in transit or return home verification.
You can email us at tony@SafePetsTrust.com.
Once we schedule an appointment please allow 40-60
minutes for the initial visit. The $18 fee will be credited toward your first service invoice.
What should I expect at
the initial consultation visit?
A: The initial consultation visit is an opportunity for
us to meet and get to know about your
pets. Questions or concerns you have can be addressed at
this time. We will gather specifics from you regarding the
care of your pets such as their feeding schedule, favorite
games and toys, hiding spots, etc.
This will ensure that we can provide your pets with consistent care while you are away. We also review your
home care instructions such as watering plants, adjusting
lights and bringing in mail/paper, etc. We complete
paperwork (Service Contract, Home and Pet Care Agreement
and Vet Release) and cover potential concerns respective to the care of your home.
We require two keys and payment (check or cash) at the conclusion of the visit. The consultation fee is applied as a credit toward your service invoice.
Our consultations typically take 30-40 minutes and we can email the paperwork in advance should you wish. Our format is proven successful in addressing any concerns and you will be
confident that your pet and home will be in good hands while
you're gone. This meeting is required for new clients or as follow up to changes in address/pet care/new pets to the family.
the initial consultation, future reservations may be secured via email. We prefer telephone conversations be limited to first time callers, urgent matters and return home verification.
What services do you offer?
A: In addition to pet and home sitting, we also provide
home security. All services occur in your home.
Visit the Services and Rates page
for a full list.
Isn't this expensive?
A: It may seem so but in-home petcare has many advantages over boarding including no drop off/pickup hassles for you and your pets. Plus no putting family, friends or neighbors in the awkward position of liability coverage if something goes wrong. You can feel secure knowing that your pet is comfortable in
their own environment with the pet sitter adhering to
your pet's regular routines while protecting your single largest investment; your home.
Your pet will be waiting for you when you return home
from your travels.
Our rates are consistent with local professional petcare services and lower than the market average for in-home petcare. We are licensed and fully insured.
Will you provide updates on how
my pet is doing while I am away?
A: We will maintain a daily checklist/report of what occurs
in your home when we are there while you are away. We will
note the time we are there and everything that we do. We
will notify you know of any strange behavior or strange
eating habits. If you will have internet access while you
are away and would like brief email updates or digital photos,
we can arrange that with you on an individual basis.
What happens if the pet food runs
out while I am away?
A: We will never let your pet go without food. We recommend
that you purchase extra pet food before leaving. If you
run out of food (or kitty litter), an extra fee (in addition
to the cost of food) will be added to your bill. See our
Services and Rates for more information.
Are you insured and licensed?
A: Yes. We carry quality liability insurance that protects your pets,house and property. We
will provide proof for you during our initial visit. Safe
Pets Trust is a member in good standing with Pet Sitters
International. There is no "pet sitter's license" since
the pet sitting industry is self-regulated. We have completed
training as Certified Pet Technicians and are prepared to
deal with emergencies.
We are licensed to do business within the City of Columbia.
Do you have references?
A: Yes. Please call or email us for reference and contact information.
What happens if my pet becomes ill while I'm gone?
A: We always observe pets for signs of irregularity illness.
At the initial consultation visit, we will ask for your
vet information and complete a form giving us permission
to take your pet to your vet for treatment. In an serious
emergency, we will take your pet to your veterinarian immediately.
Otherwise, we will call you first. If your vet is closed
we take pets to an emergency vet clinic. We ask that you
provide your vet with the Vet Release Form to let them know
you are will be gone and you have a pet sitter in case we
do have a need to contact them.
My pet needs daily medication. Will you administer it?
A. Yes unless your pet needs injections or has to be restrained in order to medicate.
We may administer medication but it is important we first discuss your pet's condition(s). We are trained and competent with oral and topical medications, but we can't guarantee that your pet will cooperate or keep the medicine down after we leave. Insulin and other injections aren't protocols we provide.
What if there is an emergency
in my home, unrelated to my pet?
A: We will do everything possible to resolve the situation
without disrupting your trip. We will contact your emergency
contact for instructions or if directed during the consultation we will contact
Does Safe Pets Trust spend the night?
A: No. Our pets would miss us! We have to spend time with
Do you provide care during holidays?
A: Absolutely! Holiday times are busy and reserve early
because so many people travel during those times. We suggest
calling us as soon as you know your holiday travel schedule or when you need to be away more than a weekend around the
holidays. There is a $7 holiday surcharge for those daily visits.
How much notice is needed for
pet sitting services?
A. We ask you to schedule us as
soon as you schedule your trip. We want to make sure we are a good fit
for you and your pet(s) prior to your departure. We strongly recommend reservations for Thanksgiving and Christmas be made no later than Halloween. We want to accommodate all
established clients on short notice and we understand that
emergencies arise. Please give us a call and we will
do our best to accommodate you. We have limited space for
reservations. We promise the highest quality service to
all clients and therefore we never over book regardless of
demand. It is one more way we can guarantee your satisfaction every time we visit.
How do you deal with keys?
We will pick
up keys before you leave and return them upon your return.
There is no charge for the first service; however if you elect not to let us keep keys on file for future service calls, there is a $10 pick up and return fee. Keys kept on file are stored in a security vault. We do not pick
up or leave keys in a client's home or secret hiding place.
Do you keep client information/key/alarm
A: Yes, we do not share client contact information for
marketing or any other purpose. We don't sell products or client information. We refrain from posting any client information on social media platforms specifically to avoid potential exposure to security/privacy threats. No disrespect to tweeters, facers,4squares et al. We'd like to keep your pets in the loop with loving care that you can share upon your return.
How is payment handled?
A: Full payment is required at the time of the booking.
Any additional charges are due within five days of your return. We accept
cash and checks.
What happens if I need to cancel
A: Call right away.
We will either refund the prepaid amount by check or credit it toward when you reschedule. Sometimes the best laid plans go asunder and we won't keep money we haven't earned, unless you tell us to. This is another small difference we think sets us apart from most services and a hallmark to our way of doing business.
What if there is a delay in our
return from vacation?
A: Our policy is to continue service until we hear from you that you are indeed back in your home. We pay close attention to travel information and weather forecasts to anticipate such events. It is worthwhile to phone us as soon as you're able in these situations.
Why do I have to call Safe Pets
Trust when I return home?
A: So we don't awaken or startle you by arriving to care for your pets after not hearing from you. We continue to visit your home
until we get that phone call or email from you. We don't want to
assume that you arrived home at your scheduled time only to learn you've been delayed and unable to contact anybody.
Will you charge me for visits if
I come home early?
A: Only if you don't notify us you're home and we visit as scheduled. Otherwise you have the option of a refund check or credit toward the next time we care for your pets.
What should I know about leaving
A. I will learn about your home and pet's routines after
we have our consultation visit. Keep the materials I need
to care for your pet in their usual places (food, brushes,
toys, leashes). Please leave plenty of food and any other
items. If food runs out, we do charge an additional fee
to restock. Be sure to check your home for possible dangers
around the house (toxic materials, small items that could
get stuck in their throat, drape cords). We recommend leaving
an outside light on during your absence. Lock up doors and
windows. We will note location of items and emergency numbers
before you depart, but please leave us a note or phone if
anything changes. Other suggestions:
Getting your pet(s) ready:
- Make sure that there will be enough food, treats, kitty
litter, etc. for the period you will be gone. If you are
low on supplies, leave a note with the specific brand/type
your pet is accustomed to.
- Please put identification tags on all of your pets and
make sure collars are secure.
- Leave your pet's toys out for him or her while you are
- Inform your vet know that you will be away, that a pet
sitter will be looking after your pet and provide the
Vet Release Form.
- Do a quick head count for each pet immediately before
departing. You don't want to leave anyone outside or locked
in a room.
- Leave a note or email your pet sitter of any changes
(such as rooms that should not be entered, new pets or
Getting your home ready:
- Set your thermostat at a comfortable temperature.
- Tell neighbors that a pet sitter will be visiting your
- If we are entering the house via a door that you don't
normally use, please clear obstacles. It is important
that we have safe access.
- In winter, please plan for snow removal before departing.
We cannot perform snow/ice removal.
- Let us know of anything unusual like faucet drips, runny
toilets or drains that may stop up.
- Show us the breaker box, thermostat and water shut off.
- Let us know of others who have a key to your house Please, please make sure that they not enter your home during our assignment period. This voids our contract and is non negotiable.
- Never leave a message on your social media or answering machine that
tells callers you will be gone or when you'll return.
- Leave preferred cleaning supplies where they will be
easy to find in case of accidents.
- Prior to each trip, be sure to give us your current
Don't forget to take the Safe Pets Trust telephone number with you. If you have a change in plans, you'll want to be able to contact us. We'll give you a business card with the phone number printed on it.
Do you have a question that isn't answered here? Email us at tony@SafePetsTrust.com.