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Appointment

Your pet’s health and well-being, are our top priority.

8 + 8 =

Treat your pets like the stars they are!

Friendly Asked Questions

FAQs For

SERVICE QUESTIONS

Why should a pet owner use a dog walker/pet sitter/cat sitter?

Veterinarians and pet experts believe pet sitters/dog walkers are instrumental in helping to maintain your pet’s health and well-being. Keeping your pets in their home and familiar environment is recommended by many veterinarians and pet experts. Pets have their schedule, which includes their diet and exercise routine. They bond with their pet sitter/dog walker and enjoy their undivided personal attention for just them. Eliminates any stress or trauma from traveling and reduces their exposure to illnesses from other animals. We reinforce your positive/fear-free training methods, whether it is house training or loose leash walking. Often when animals are exposed to illness from other animals or get sick themselves while at a facility, the owner is required to pick them up so as to not infect any other animals. We are trained to see the small details and notice changes in temperament or bathroom issues. We provide that companionship and bond while their family is away.

What type of services do you provide?

We provide in-home pet care such as dog walking or cat sitting. Each client gets a customized pet care plan based on each pet’s needs. The majority of our daily clients have dogs and cats, but we care for bunnies, birds, small reptiles, guinea pigs, hamsters, farm animals (i.e.chickens, ducks, goats, steer, and horses).

Please check out our full list of services.

What’s the easiest way to become a client?

Call us at (410) 935-7170 or click the ‘Become a Client’ in the main navigation above. We will get back to you within 24 hours if not earlier.

Do you take animals into your home?

No, we believe pets thrive in their home environment thus reducing their anxiety by maintaining their current routine in their home.

What time do your pet sitters make their rounds and how long do they stay?

Our visits start at 7 am with our last visit starting at 9 pm. We will give you a two-hour window for when all visits will be completed unless there is medicine needing to be administered. Pets requiring timed medication will be given top priority when scheduling visits (i.e., insulin, heart meds).  We visit our client’s homes up to 4 times a day.

Our ‘Morning’ visits start at 7 am and run to 9 am.

The ‘Midday’ visits run between 11 am and 3 pm.

The ‘Evening’ or ‘Dinner’ visit runs between 4 and 6 pm.

Our ‘Bedtime’ visit run between 7 am and our last start no later than 9 pm.

No longer than 12 hours goes between dog visits and 24 hours for our cat clients.

We offer 30-minute, 45-minute, and 60-minute visits.  The client may choose the duration of the visits and mix and match to create the best plan for your pets.

We do not have an animal, will you still come to check on the house while we are away?

Yes, we will provide the same star quality care with or without animals present in the home.  Give our client the peace of mind their home is safe while they are traveling.

What is a registration meeting or Meet and Greet? Why is it important?

Before we start any service or when a new client brings home a new pet, we send one or two of our sitters to the client’s house.  We go over each pet’s routine to create their own customized care package.  Our midday clients will give us the 2 keys we need to start service (one for the primary, and the other for the alternate sitter).   Vacation clients will show us where they will put the hide-a-key or lockbox.  We need to ensure that the pup and our staff feel comfortable before starting any job to ensure we to effectively provide you, the owner, that guilt-free peace of mind.

Do you have a registration fee or charge for your Initial Consultations?

Our initial consultations (aka. Meet and Greet) are FREE for the first 15 minutes. They typically do not run longer than 15 minutes.  If they run over, then we will add $20 onto your first invoice, the cost of a visit.

The client completed the Registration Meeting (AKA. Meet and Greet), can you schedule services? Anytime?

Yes, once you have successfully met with your primary sitter.  Midday clients, we will automatically schedule your services with a weekly or bi-weekly billing schedule.  Vacation clients, you may schedule your services at any time of the day you would like.  The office processes the schedule requests during our business hours and will send a confirmation email once the schedule has been approved.

May I schedule visits directly with the sitter or make changes to the schedule?

No! All scheduling must be done with the office staff for the safety of our client’s pets. We ask that ALL visits be scheduled through our Time to Pet scheduling software or by contacting the office via a phone call or email. Our high-tech scheduling software ensures that “no pet is left behind or forgotten.” If the sitter forgets to inform the office, that takes us out of the loop and, therefore, unable to follow up with the sitter to make sure that the pet has been seen. Platinum Paws Pet Services will not be held liable for visits scheduled without scheduling the services through the office.

How do you accept payment?

We accept credit cards through our Time to Pet scheduling software.  We do not accept checks or cash.  Clients may leave a cash gratuity for their dog walker or sitter.  They are always appreciated but never expected.

How will I be billed?

We send invoices through the scheduling software, Time to Pet.  This is where you will make your payment.

What is your payment policy?

Monday to Friday clients may be set up on payment schedules that pay weekly, or every two weeks.  Vacation clients are required to put down a 25% during non-peak season or 50% deposit to hold a booking during our peak season/holiday. The remainder of the invoice is due the day before your services are set to begin. 

What are your holidays and peak season?

The holidays we observe are Christmas, Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Labor Day, July 4th, Easter, New Year’s Day, and New Year’s Eve. Our peak season runs from May 15th to September 30th. Peak season dates are subject to change and will be updated on the website or the client will be notified via email with a 30 days’ notice before any changes will take place.

Do you charge extra for holidays?

All visits are doubled.

How much advance notice do I need to schedule a vacation visit?

For existing clients, we will try our best to accommodate last-minute requests, but the earlier you book we will be able to guarantee availability, especially during our peak season and holidays. We do not overbook our sitters so best to call or email to book today. For new clients, we ask you to give at least four days before you leave. We need time to meet your pets before you go away to make sure it’s a right fit for you and for us.

What if I need to stay late at work? Can you give my dog an evening walk and dinner?

We will do our best to meet your needs. A last-minute request, with less than twenty-four hours’ notice, will cost an additional $5 if you are not a regular midday client or you are a vacationing client with whom we are currently caring for your pets.

What is your cancellation/refund policy?
  • Monthly Walks and Visits: 24-hour’s notice of cancellation. Clients have 2 free last-minute cancellations a month and a total of 12 cancellations for the year. Any last-minute cancellations based on weather conditions or school cancellations/delays (i.e. snowstorms, pandemics, etc.) do not count towards the 12 limits of cancellations and will not be charged for a visit. We ask all clients who are going away for vacation, stay vacation, or moving to give the office two weeks’ notice.
  • Vacation Visits: 7-days’ notice of cancellation
  • 50% of total credited to your account with less than 7-days’ notice
  • 0% of total credited to your account with less than 48-hours’ notice
  • Early return home resulting in cancellation of additional walks will NOT be credited

ANY weekend or holiday service scheduled, booked, and confirmed; regardless of how many visits MUST BE CANCELLED 24HRS PRIOR TO THE FIRST SCHEDULED VISIT in order to receive credit, regardless if visit being canceled falls 24 hours or more of day cancellation is requested.

i.e. If the client has visits scheduled Thursday through Sunday and would like to cancel Sunday, and notifies the office to cancel Thursday [or after] the visits will NOT be credited

i.e. If the client has visits scheduled Thursday through Sunday and would like to cancel Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and cancels Thursday [or after] the visits will NOT be credited

FAQs For

Pet Care Questions

Who will be our assigned dog walker/pet sitter? Why do we need a primary sitter or an alternate sitter?

Platinum Paws Pet Service will choose from one of our sitters that we feel will best fit your needs, is in close proximity to your home, and has the availability you need. We will typically use your primary sitter and only use your alternate sitter if your primary is not available. You will always have the option to meet any and all people that will come in your home during your absence. We will only send pet sitters/dog walkers into your home that you and your pet have met. We never want to add additional stress with you thinking that you never know who is coming into your home. You have the power to veto any pet sitter/dog walker at any time.

Do we care for pets that have aggressive behavior?

If the pet has aggressively bitten someone in the past then no, we can not provide service. We run into liability issues when we start caring for dogs that have aggressively bitten other humans or dogs. If the pet is skittish to other people, i.e. men, then we will be happy to meet with your pet to determine if your pet or our staff are comfortable working together. Additional visits may be required to necessitate a positive relationship between the pet sitter and the dog walker. The client must be present and responsible for paying the normal service fee until the two are properly acclimated to each other to be able to be left alone. If at any time the pet sitter/dog walker no longer feels safe or able to perform the service, we reserve the right to discontinue services without notice.

How do the dog walkers/pet sitters discipline the pets?

Platinum Paws Pet Services believes solely in fear-free and positive reinforcement training ONLY for all pets under our care. If we are running into issues or there is a disciplinary issue, we will inform the owner and work at a positive/fear-free resolution for your pet.

Do you administer medication?

We will all administer medicine to the pet(s). If owners are away, will not job share responsibilities with anyone who does not live in the same house as the owner. PPPS is the only one to administer ALL medication.

What are your family/friend access rules?

We do not job share with any family and friends who do not reside in the same household as the primary contact. If a pet requires medication, PPPS is the sole responsible party for administering all medications (there are no exceptions to this policy). We require anyone else providing care to log all pet activities (whether they ate, went to the bathroom, etc.) in a journal and have open communication. We require an introduction beforehand to go over expectations of the pet care to be provided by both parties.

What happens if a pet becomes ill and the client is out of town or unable to leave work?

If we suspect something is wrong with your pet, we first reach out to our client via phone.  If they are unavailable then we will reach out to the emergency contact we have on file.  If the client or emergency contact believes the pet should be seen by a veterinarian, we will transport the pet to the veterinarian’s office for examination and treatment.  In the event we can not reach the client, we will decide if the veterinarian should see the pet.  If necessary, we will transport your pet for treatment.  The client will be billed for any extra time we spend.

What happens if a pet becomes ill and the client is out of town or unable to leave work?

If we suspect something is wrong with your pet, we first reach out to our client via phone.  If they are unavailable then we will reach out to the emergency contact we have on file.  If the client or emergency contact believes the pet should be seen by a veterinarian, we will transport the pet to the veterinarian’s office for examination and treatment.  In the event we can not reach the client, we will decide if the veterinarian should see the pet.  If necessary, we will transport your pet for treatment.  The client will be billed for any extra time we spend.

We have farm animals, will you care for them too?

We will happily care for your goats, chickens, horses, or pigs (to name a few). We have a minimum charge of $25 for 30 minutes of work.

FAQs For

About Platinum Paws Pet Services

Jennifer, how did you get started in the pet sitting/dog walking industry?

During my time at grad school attending LSU, I would often pet sit or house sit for professors or other grad students when they were off doing fieldwork. Then when I came home and was finishing my thesis, I would pet sit for friends. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could make my love for caring for animals into a business. When my sister-in-law asked me to come work for her company and possibly take it over, I thought maybe for a year or two, but I fell in love with being able to follow my passion. I started Jennifer’s Elite Pet Sitting in 2014 but later rebranded it as Platinum Paws Pet Services in 2019. Best decision ever! I am a lucky gal!

Are you insured and bonded? Why does it matter?

Yes, and we are fully bonded, insured, and registered with the State of Maryland. We also carry commercial auto insurance on all of our employees’ vehicles. We also have workers comp insurance on all employees, including the owner. A legit dog walking company will have insurance and show you proof of insurance.

Do you belong to pet professional organizations?

We are a proud member of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) and an active member of our local Washington County Chamber of Commerce. Our owner, Jennifer, was elected and started her term on the Board of Directors for NAPPS in January 2020. NAPPS is the only non-profit association made up of volunteers dedicated to being the authority in raising and abiding by the pet sitting and dog walking standards.

What type of clients do you work with?

We work with pet owners in Hagerstown, Smithsburg, Williamsport, Boonsboro, Funkstown, Maugansville, Robinwood, Chewsville, Cascade, Fort Richie, Cearfross, St. James, Half-way, Broadfording, Cavetown, Ringold, Sabillasville, Leitersburg, Greencastle, and Waynesboro who are searching for star quality pet care and true peace of mind while they travel or when they have to leave their pets for long hours due to work or other obligations.

How much do your services cost?

Prices are curtailed to services rendered, type of pet, and how many pets require care. Please click here to see all of the rates on the services we provide.

What is the service area?

Our sitters will travel to most of Washington County – We do not travel to West Virginia.

How many dogs will you walk at one time?

We may walk up to three dogs at one time if the dogs walk easily together. If one of the dogs is a known puller or reactive, we typically will walk them separately, and bill as a separate walk. Best to call or email if you have more than 3 dogs.

How will refunds be disbursed?

We do not offer refunds, we only credit our midday client’s account for future visits. The credit expires after 6 months.

Are you really open 365 days a year?

Yes! We are open for business and caring for our client’s pets every day of the year, including all holidays. Our office is open 7 days a week, except for holidays. Any new inquiries will be answered on the following day. You can reach the office staff Monday to Friday from 9 am to 7 pm, and on weekends from 10 am to 3 pm. There is always a staff member on call for emergencies.

What is your policy with unsecured pet(s)?

Platinum Paws Pet Services will not leave a dog unattended outside nor will any of our sitters walk your dog without a leash.

What do you do with your client’s key? You must have a lot!

Platinum Paws Pet Services firmly believes our vacation and occasional clients should be in full control of access to their homes. In doing so, we highly recommend all vacation clients use a lockbox or hide their key in a disclosed location given only to us. Lockboxes can be purchased through us or you may purchase one on your own. This way you, the client, may change the combination code at your discretion. We are happy to pick up and drop off keys before and after service is rendered. This service is $10 each way and will be added to your invoice. We ask our Midday clients to provide us with two keys to their home, one for their main sitter and the other for their alternate.

Note: Platinum Paws Pet Services will not be held responsible for keys that a vacation/occasional client asks a sitter to keep on file.

What is your hiring process?

My hiring philosophy is: We expect our employees to provide star quality animal care to our clients and their pets. All of our sitters go through a detailed screening, vetting, and training process before they earn a spot on our team. We require a clean background, a clean driving record, pet first aid certification, and go through a comprehensive orientation process before they start doing solo walks. We have a high standard for our employees and only want the best for our clients. We will only hire those that fully complete our extensive hiring process.

How is Platinum Paws Pet Services different from other pet sitting companies?

We have put our heart and soul into creating a 10 step process to ensure we provide extraordinary pet care service to our clients. We want our clients to be put at ease and have peace of mind that their pets and homes are well cared for in their absence. Check out our The Platinum Paws Pet Services Peace of Mind Blueprint to ensure every one of our clients receives the BEST possible service and overall experience. Each of the 10 steps is our Blueprint is ‘What Sets Us Apart’.

What is your ‘Platinum Paws Pet Services Peace of Mind Blueprint’?

Our all-time goal is for our clients to have confidence and peace of mind that while they are traveling or working, their pets and home are in the best possible hands.  We accomplish this by following our Platinum Paws Pet Services Peace of Mind Blueprint

The 10 Steps are:

  • Professionalism
  • Reasonable and Competitive Rates
  • Customized Services
  • Safety
  • First-Rate Staff
  • Experience and Educational Development
  • Technology and Convenience
  • Unsurpassed Personal Services with Outstanding Communication
  • Follow-Up
  • Genuine Love of Animals

You can read all the details about the Platinum Paws Pet Services Peace of Mind Blueprint here.

Most importantly, what kinds of results can people expect when working with Platinum Paws Pet Services?

Peace of mind! Our clients know that their pets are in the best possible hands. They can leave their pets at home guilt-free because their pets are going to be relaxed, comfortable, well-exercised, and spoiled with love and attention. When our clients come home to a safeguarded home that’s neat and tidy, with most importantly happy and healthy pets!

So, are you happy with the company you have created?

Yes, over to the moon with happiness. Seeing how Platinum Paws Pet Services has grown and evolved since 2014 is beyond my wildest dreams. As we grow and become more successful, the more opportunities I have the ability to make our service even more extraordinary for all my clients. The best thing ever! I am happy and extremely lucky to be doing what I love for the best clients any business owner could ask for!! Best decision ever!

 
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