About C-U Pet Sitting Service
What about lots of pets? Or unusual pets? How are costs determined?
Many of us share our lives with a mixture of creatures. I offer special billing for those of you who own a combination of cats and dogs. My policy is to charge 100% of the dog rate plus 50% of the cat rate. For example, if you booked me four weeks in advance of your vacation for two daily visits with your one dog and two cats, my fee would be $35 a day: $25 for two visits with the dog + $10 (one-half of my usual $20 fee) for two visits with two cats = $35. Add another cat, and the total cost for two daily visits would increase to $40: $25 for the dog + $15 (one-half of $30) for two visits with three cats. Add a fourth cat and there would be NO increase (since I believe cats thrive best in pairs, I charge the same for 2 as for 1, for 4 as for 3, and for 6 as for 5). Add another dog, and the total cost for two daily visits would increase to $45: $30 for the dogs + $15 (one-half of $30) for two visits with three cats. I cannot provide two visits a day for your dogs but only one visit a day for your cats (the cats KNOW I’m in the house and will expect their share of time and attention; AFTER ALL, they are SURE they’re the superior beasts!). I do not discriminate on the basis of species, and I will give every pet her/his equal share of love and care every time I am in your home.
Note that I do not offer the option of just 1 visit a day for dogs. I do not believe dogs should be left alone 23 hours a day, even in an outdoor run. If outdoor dogs are provided proper shelter from heat and cold, I will serve them with 2 visits per day. INDOOR DOGS NEEDS THREE VISITS PER DAY, since their urination/defecation needs require an outing at least every 8 hours. I have tried to work with clients who only wanted to pay for 2 visits per day on the premise that their dogs could stay outside for 16 hours at a time, and I have seen this cause the animals extreme stress. Neither can I “share” pet sitting with friends or neighbors. My liability insurance does not cover sharing the responsibility of your home care or your pet’s welfare, and it requires too much daily coordination to reassure me that your pet’s needs have indeed been met. I trust no one but myself with your precious pets!
If your home is more than ten miles from my central Champaign location, if you have unusual pets (such as the live coral reef aquarium in the home of one of my more challenging clients), or if your pets have special needs, you and I will come to mutually agreeable terms about the fee for your unique situation based on my extra driving time and gasoline costs or whatever extra time or skill a special needs pet may require.
A True Story from the Life of a Pet Sitter
Several years ago, I arrived at a client’s isolated farmhouse to find their mattress lying out in the yard. As I sat in the car pondering this novelty, a burglar passed in front of the sliding glass door and saw me see him! I tore out of there and drove to a neighboring farm. The farmer jumped in his truck to follow the burglars’ car while his wife and I phoned the state police. During a 30-minute chase along county roads, the farmer radioed us on his CB; we relayed his messages to the police, and they informed the squad cars who had joined in the chase. Even though the suspect’s vehicle was lost, because police had the license number the culprits were eventually brought to justice. Where were my clients? Unavailable by phone for an entire day, out on a tour to see Hawaii’s volcanoes. With police accompanying me to the scene of the crime, I made sure all the animals were safe and secure. But I couldn’t leave until the house’s broken window was repaired. I called the only glass company willing to come out on a hot and humid Sunday evening, paid $182 to replace the glass myself (my client gladly reimbursed me), and had the troopers help me carry the mattress back into the bedroom. Although a lot of the furniture had been removed, the animals were safe, my client’s home was secure again, and their valuable heirlooms and art being readied for the next load were saved. I now approach my clients’ homes with extreme caution. Hopefully nothing like this will ever happen to your house when you’re away. But if it does and I’m your pet sitter, I’ll set things right and care for your frightened pets until you can return.