Specific Information About What We Do!
Our Services, Policies and Procedures
to Answer Your FAQs
Affectionate Pet Sitters (APS) provides loving, at home pet care while owners are away. Whether you go on vacation, a business trip, have a few days in the hospital or are in town to visit - staying at a hotel) or need a midday visit to walk, feed, cuddle, or medicate your pet, Affectionate Pet Sitters will be there when you can’t.
Before you consider booking service with Affectionate Pet Sitters, please read this information so that we will be "on the same page" in regards to caring for your pets.
This information should answer most of your questions, tell you about our rates, and indicate if we are the right care-giver for your non-human family members. We sit pets in smoke-free homes only. (If you smoke outside and your home doesn’t smell like smoke, we should be good.)
IF you are a potential New Client, in addition to reading this page, you must fill out the form on First Contact to APS page, so we can get started.
Reservations: It is best to plan as far in advance as possible in order to obtain services on the dates you desire.
Additionally, you will want to meet us, call our references, and get all the information you need before making an informed decision about hiring us as your pet sitter.
While we can tentatively pencil in your dates for service, we must meet you and your pet(s) in your home, and find out about your pets' routine with you to assess your needs before we make a commitment to providing your pet’s care.
During this initial Welcome/“Meet ‘n Greet”/Get Acquainted Meeting we will briefly review our policies and forms, then leave them for you to read completely, fill out and sign. We will also ask questions regarding your needs for your pet(s) and get the basic “lay of the land.” We will return for a second shorter Follow-Up Meeting, to pick up the paperwork, two sets of keys, a deposit and visit with your pet(s) once again, which aids in our bonding.You must have all of the forms completed for this return visit.
Ideally we would like to meet for the first time a minimum of a couple of weeks before you plan on leaving town, with a follow-up meeting approximately a week before you leave. This time frame gives us both plenty of time to prepare for your pets ultimate care.
Setting up an Get Acquainted Meeting is required before we can sit for your pet. We need to meet you and your pet to see how you take care of him or her, to see how s/he reacts to others in his/her environment, to learn the basic schedule, to check the safety of your home, yard and the gates, to see how your security system and other elements work in your home, etc. and ultimately, if we are a good fit. There is no charge for this initial meeting if you are within 15 miles of our home base (See Service Area). This first meeting usually lasts at least 45 minutes to an hour.
Even In the event that this is last minute scheduling all the forms and information still must be filled out for us to provide service for you.
If you are a new client with a last minute need, please allow adequate time to fill out and sign all forms completely (about an hour to an hour and a half) and for us to spend at least an hour with you and your pets. A $10- to $20- Last Minute Fee applies for all last-minute services (within 24- to 48-hours of our first visit).
If you move or add a pet to your household, we will need to have a Get RE-Acquainted Meeting which requires a $10- fee. You will want us to meet your new pet and we will want to see how your new pet fits into your family, reacts to us, and just get to know them! As well, we will also need to see your new digs and how your pets have acclimated to their new home; see new hiding spots, new routines, check out the area, get new sets of keys, etc. And of course we will need new paperwork filled out on this new family member (or new address, security system, etc.). A new mileage rate will possibly need to be calculated, as well.
Confirmation of services
is secured with a down payment (half the total fee — plus a holiday fee if applicable) within 10 days of the first service date, with the remainder of the fee due on the first day of service for sits lasting longer than 5 days. Otherwise payment is due in full on the first service date.
The second part of Confirming Our Sits for Your Pet(s), you must let us know when you leave town by text or phone call. This confirmation ensures we are both on the same page - that we know you have officially handed over the care of your pets to us.
Scheduling & Visit Times: Scheduling is on a “first come, first serve” basis and we will do our best to accommodate your needs. APS will visit your pet at the requested time(s) as closely as possible, but “morning” for example, is a time frame, such as between 9:00a to 11:00a or 10:00a to 12:00p. If we are caring for multiple clients or if an unforeseen situation arises, the times may be shifted a little to accommodate ALL our clients.
Note: All pets on timed and life-sustaining medications (such as heart or seizure medicine, or insulin) will have first priority to meet their required medical timed specifications/needs.
Emergencies/Last Minute Scheduling:
Everyone has them! Please call if an unexpected need arises! While we will make every attempt to accommodate your needs, availability on short notice is dependent on our current schedule. We will do our best to get you on your way without worrying about your pets! A $10- to $20- last-minute fee may apply, and if we have to go back to the vault for your keys, another $10- fee will apply to fetch your keys.
Choose the Visit(s) that Best Fits Your Pet’s Needs:
Note: We adhere to a specific code of ethics and visit guidelines to ensure the health and safety of your pet(s). We will not, for any reason, schedule a dog for any less than 2-a-Day visits for vacationers (mid-day potty break visits or a single visit because you are leaving or coming home on the other end of that day don't fall under that category*). Dogs in crates will require three visits a day, not only to potty, but for the exercise and pent up energy and possible anxiety. Cats require a visit a minimum of once a day.
Additionally, we reserve the right to add extra visits as necessary if we find that a limited number of visits is not enough for your pet (for instance, instead of once a day, coming twice a day for your cat OR three times a day for your dog, instead of twice, during the heat or cold of the year or for excessive indoor urination, or other health reasons).
Scheduled Services – Our services are variable. Whether you need a one or two day visit or if you’re going on vacation or a business trip for the weekend, a week or longer, we are ready to take care of your pet and your home. Your visits are scheduled using 1-a-Day, 2-a-Day, 3- or 4-a-Day visits system or overnight visits. We must have keys and a signed contract and other paperwork on file for any type of visit.
All visit rates are for one to three pets; these rates are effective January 22nd, 2018.
See Additional Pets, below, for those rates.
1-a-Day Visits – The minimum number of daily visits for cats, rabbits, birds, fish, hamsters and other small caged pets. *This is also for an evening visit when you leave the same day, or a morning visit if you will be coming home later that day. This visit rate is $20-/visit 30-minutes or $22/visit 45-minutes.
2-a-Day Visits – The minimum number of daily visits for dogs and available for all pets. Visits take place approximately 12-hours apart, between 8am–12pm and 6pm–10pm. While we are there we do let them out more than once to do their business. This visit rate is $19/visit ($38/day) for 30-minute visits or $21/visit ($42/day) for 45-minute visits. If your pet cannot hold it's bladder for 12-hours, you need to schedule 3 visits a day.
3-or 4-a-Day Visits – Available for all pets. Visits take place approximately 3-1/2 to 4-1/2-hours apart, between 9am and 9pm. These visits are available for any pets, suggested for dogs that do not have outside access during the day and cannot hold their bladder for 12 hours, and especially for pets with special needs or pets who are sick/just home from surgery, on a medical treatment that requires more attention, etc. These 3- or 4-a-day visits are $18/visit for 30-minutes visits or $20/visit for 45-minute visits.
Last-Minute Visit (less than 24-36-hours notice) – Available anytime, if we can add you to the schedule last minute. Charged at the basic rates, plus $10-. You must be an existing active client for this service. If we have to return home to get your keys, it is not a problem, however, you will be charged an additional $10- to make the trip.
This can be for an early evening visit, for example, if you find you are going to be really late getting home from work or at lunch if you find you cannot make it home for your pet's noontime break that you would normally make yourself.
This kind of visit is especially good for pre-planning. A rough week at work coming up? IF you know you have a crazy work week next week and think you might need us to run by, please let us know in advance so we don't have to go get your key - we can have it with us and save time and you money! We will need to know ahead of time and have an “I’ll call or text you by XX:00 if I need you to stop by for Max.” It doesn't cost to "be prepared"!
“Midnight” Visits – (between 10pm and 12am) are available; this visit is the single visit rate with an additional late night charge starting at $10-.
Overnight Visits – Overnights are generally scheduled as 8- to 12-hours between 7pm and 9:00pm to between 7am and 9:00am. Longer hours can be arranged for an additional fee. We guarantee that we will be there continuously between midnight and 7am. Ask for more information about this service.
These visits range from $65 to $95 per night. We can only sit overnights in smoke-free households in clean quarters with no kitties in the guest room. We are offering limited overnight visits since we are pup parents and our girls aren’t happy when we are gone.
Additional Pet Fees – There is an additional pet fee after the third pet.
This is a rough guideline.
$1- for each additional small pet (below 20 lbs),
$2- for each additional medium-size pet (20 lbs to 49 lbs)
$3- for each additional large pet (50 lbs to 69 lbs)
$4- for each additional X-large pet (70 lbs to 99 lbs)
$5- for each additional XX-large pet (100 lbs and over)
Duration of visits: All basic visits are 30 minutes. Every attempt will be made to give your pet the care and attention required in the allotted time. Depending on each pet’s needs, additional services requested and unforeseen incidents, your pet(s) may need extra time. Some pets just require more playtime or cuddling time in addition to regular care. Therefore, we also offer 45-minute visits. However, if the number of your pets and chores required to take care of them exceeds 30- or 45-minutes, expect to be charged additional fees to complete all the necessary “must dos” and still give them the love, attention and human companionship they deserve. Or just plan on making it 45-min. or an hour-long visit ($30-). We feel you cannot adequately give individual attention to a multitude of pets in a short amount of time - that's what they deserve and why we do what we do!
Extended Absences and Early Returns: We understand plans can change and are flexible as possible if notified. In the event you have to be away longer than planned or are coming home early, please notify us immediately. If, you do not notify APS of an early return and APS makes a scheduled visit and finds you home, the regular visit charges applies, plus $10-. If you will be coming home early and don't let us know within 36 hours, you are still charged with the upcoming visit(s).
As well, if you need/want to stay longer or are delayed coming home, call us. This is usually do-able.
Early Returns/Cancellations with 24-hours notice or less will be charged fully. We have already scheduled a sitter by his/her availability specifically for you and your pets. In some instances, sits can be credited to your account for sit dates within 3-6 months.
Your pet’s well-being depends
on our communication!
Cancellations: Since plans can change, we will try to be as accommodating as possible. We generally do not refund money, as your service could have been filled by another client had it had not already been booked. See our Services, Policies and Procedures form for additional cancellation information.
Holidays: Holiday seasons are hectic for everyone.
Make your reservations early!
Understand that pet sitting services and kennels receive more requests for reservations than they can handle during these holiday time periods and we may have turned away other clients because we have reserved time for you during a busy season. If we are full, we will put you on a waiting list or try to help you find other accommodations (knock wood, we haven't had to do this to date).
**There is an additional, non-refundable holiday charge on these holidays as a tip for the sitters who are working their holiday. Feel free to include a little something extra if you wish.
New Year Eve and Day; Memorial Day; Fourth of July; Labor Day; Thanksgiving; and Christmas. All holidays require a deposit (including the “Holiday fee”) of half the total due for the entire service when the reservation is made or 10 days before, with the balance due five days before the first visit. Deposits for these holidays (dates stated below) are non-refundable.
In many instances of observed holidays, we charge our fee for the eve of the holiday, the day of and if it is applicable, through the weekend, as these are the busiest pet sitting days of the year.
** The 2018 holiday fee (an additional $6/visit for regular visits and $17/night for an overnight visit) applies to the following dates:
New Year 2018 — Eve and Day; Dec. 31st, 2017 and Jan. 1st, 2017
FYI - March 11th Daylight Saving Time Begins
FYI - March ??th – ??th Spring Break
Memorial Day (Actual May 30th; Observed May 28th) — Fri., May 25th through Mon., May 28th
Fourth of July (Wed. July 4th) — Mon., July 2nd through Th., July 5th
Labor Day (Mon. Sept. 3rd) — Fri., Sept. 1st through Mon., September 4th
FYI - Nov. 4th Daylight Saving Time Ends
Thanksgiving (Nov. 22nd) — Wed., Nov. 21st through Sun., Nov. 25th
Christmas (Tues., Dec. 25th) — Fri., Dec. 21st through Wed., Dec. 26th
New Year 2019 — Eve and Day - Mon. Dec. 31st, 2018 and Tues. Jan. 1st, 2019
Read about holiday cancellations in our Services, Policies and Procedures literature in our Get Acquainted packet.
Tips for Sitters: Are very much appreciated! You may leave a tip for your sitter or mail a tip after you you are home. The tip will be given to the sitter making the visits to your home; if two sitters are sharing your visits, it will be divided equally. Sitters appreciate many sorts of tips...it doesn't have to be monetary. Unforeseen Purchases: There will be a shopping charge, as well as reimbursement for travel & mileage, if we have to restock depleted supplies. It is the owner’s responsibility to provide more than adequate amounts of food, litter, treats, medications, paper towels, cleaning supplies, and other items needed, that contribute to the health and well being for the complete care of their pet(s). We will retain a receipt and you will be responsible for reimbursement of these items. We will leave an invoice for the outstanding amount.
Acceptable Methods of Payment: Cash or checks are accepted. There will be a $30 charge on all returned checks and cash or a money order will be required to settle your bill. (Currently we do not accept credit or debit cards.)
Referral Program: For each referral you send our way that books and completes service with us, we will credit your account with a “referral,” to be redeemed on your next set of visits. Read more about this in our literature. One referral per set of visits.
You may call or text or e-mail Affectionate Pet Sitters between 9am and 7pm CST/CDT daily to check on your pet during your absence. Since we are often out of the office caring for your pets, please leave a message and your text, email or call will be returned as soon as possible. We can also text or e-mail or call you with an update daily or several times during your absence. We generally do not take calls when we are on a visit, however, as we are concentrating on a pet’s care. The exceptions: If you call while we are at your house or if we have called you and we are awaiting your call.
“Honey, I’m Home” Calls: “Call When Home Policy” Please remember to call when you have returned home (not when you touch down at the airport)! Read more about this on our Call Home Policy form.
In addition to the daily pet care:
We include these “extras” at no additional charge: Bring in the mail (including junk mail and fliers), newspapers and packages. We rotate/alternate lights; TV/radio turned off/on, set out and retrieve trash/recycling for your collection day. Although you will water your plants before you leave, we will check and water a few container plants (if requested, with detailed instructions). If watering plants exceeds 5 minutes there will be an additional charge, as this is time taken away from your pet.
It is our policy to leave your home as we found it. We will vacuum or sweep around your pet's main living areas, and do all the general things that is necessary to care for a pet. OUR VISIT is to care for your pet, not to clean your house.
There is additional information regarding
our Services, Policies and Procedures
in our information packet, which you will receive
at our Get Acquainted Meeting.
The information on this page was last updated
January, 2018 and supersedes any previous
Services, Policies, and Procedures
Information or Rates.
Affectionate Pet Sitters is a Non-Smoking Organization.