Choosing an In-home Pet Care Provider
By Isabel Alvarez Arata
As the benefits of in-home pet care become more and more obvious to pet parents everywhere, pet care companies are popping up left and right. From huge technology companies trying to capture marketshare with millions of dollars worth of investments to the teenager down the street hoping to make some extra money over the holidays, pet sitting “services” have saturated the Northern Virginia pet care market over the past decade or so. In the day and age of endless options, however, it’s important to know how to choose an in-home pet care provider that truly knows the job, has considered the serious responsibility involved, and will provide the level of service that pets need and deserve.
In the hopes of sparing pet parents devastating accidents, forgotten visits, and more, following is what I recommend pet parents look for in an in-home pet care provider. You can never be too careful, especially considering you’re giving said provider access to your home, your pets, your privacy, and your valuables. If a pet care provider fails to offer the items listed below, I recommend you keep looking.
Whether you’re considering The Wag Pack or another pet care provider for midday dog walks OR travel pet care, the goal is to hire a company that does its due diligence to ensure that pets are cared for without interruption and by true professionals. Asking yourself and the company representative the following questions should help you navigate your options:
– Is the company locally owned and operated?
– Can I speak to a manager/owner if something goes wrong? (Large tech companies will have a call center, which we recommend you avoid)
– Does the business have appropriate business licensing?
– Does the company hold adequate bonding and insurance coverage? (If the company hires independent contractors, do the ICs have their own insurance that you need to verify directly with them?)
– Does the company use online scheduling software to prevent errors and oversights? Do you receive confirmation emails and receipts for review?
– Does the company employ a team of dedicated back-ups? What if someone gets sick or is involved in an accident?
– Does the company pull criminal background, driving record, and other important reports on all pet care providers?
– Does the company offer employees both pet and home care training to ensure quality service? How does the company do quality control?
– Does the company have home access protocols that keep your home and pet safe while you’re away? How are keys kept?
– Does the company charge rates that fall in line with the market? Below market rates indicate that the company may be new and inexperienced or is an app-based provider that hires ICs instead of employees and therefore does not provide insurance or training
Obviously, The Wag Pack’s clients enjoy all the above listed benefits and more! We offer these benefits because we believe in their value and have seen the what happens when companies accept any less. If you’re located within our service area, I highly recommend you contact us for your pet care needs. The Wag Pack is Northern Virginia’s top rated in-home pet care service for MANY very good reasons.