PET CARE POLICIES
Our pet care policies were established in order to allow Tail Co. Pet Sitting and Dog Walking LLC staff members (hereafter referred to as TCPS) to provide exceptional care for both pets and their humans. Please carefully review these policies and contact us with any questions or concerns.
A. GETTING STARTED:
Getting Started on Time To Pet:
If you’re a new client and would like to request services, please visit the following website to create an account on our software system, Time To Pet: https://www.timetopet.com/portal/tailcopetsitting/create-account. Your account allows you to provide details about you and your pet, request a meet and greet, request services, communicate with your sitter and make payments. Additionally, at the end of each pet care visit you’ll receive a visit report card including our check-in and check-out times, GPS tracking for dog walks, photos and details about the visit. There's even a mobile app you can download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
After digitally signing our pet care policies and service agreement on Time To Pet, filling out your client and pet profiles and completing a meet and greet, you may request services.
If you have any questions about using our Time To Pet software or how to get started, please reference our “Time To Pet Help” document for step-by-step instructions. You may also visit our website help page titled “Get Started”, send us a text at (860) 650-1800 or email Jessica@tailcopetsitting.com.
B. REQUESTS AND CANCELLATIONS:
Requesting a Meet and Greet:
A meet and greet is required for all new clients before visit requests can be approved. This is to ensure we’re a good fit for each other before committing to pet care services. Please book a meet and greet well in advance of your desired pet care dates. This meeting does not guarantee or hold our availability.
During this fifteen to thirty-minute meeting, we’ll get to know you and your pet and discuss any specific needs you have. You’ll receive a welcome packet including a copy of our pet care policies and service agreement. If you have any questions, this initial meeting is a great time to ask them!
Please complete your client and pet profiles on Time To Pet before requesting a meet and greet.
To make the request, visit the “Scheduling” section of your client portal and select “New Request”. When asked which service, you may choose either “Meet and Greet with Jess (Complimentary)” or “Meet and Greet with Jess and Holly (Fee Included)”. We’ll be in touch shortly to confirm an exact time for the meeting. Be on the lookout for a welcome message with information about how to prepare.
Occasionally, pet parents need more than 30 minutes to discuss their pet’s needs. We’re happy to stay longer if our schedule allows. However, we charge $5.00 for each additional 5 minutes spent at the meet and greet.
TCPS offers pet sitting, dog walking, adventure hikes and farm animal care seven days a week between the hours of 7:00 AM and 8:00 PM. Our services are on a first-come, first-served basis unless we have approved a recurring visit template. If you’re interested in a recurring template, please contact us for more information. Otherwise, we recommend booking a few weeks in advance in order to obtain service on your desired dates. Please note that services are not considered booked until you receive a confirmation email stating so. Once services are booked, all payment and cancellation policies apply.
Please be aware that the ability to make a request does not guarantee we have availability. You’ll only see a message stating, “Sorry there are no times available on this day” when we’ve blocked requests. For example, we block requests on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, during our vacation in July, for personal time, etc. You won’t be able to submit a request on those days because we’ve blocked requests, not because we’re fully booked. There is no notification when we’re fully booked.
Requesting a Cancellation:
We understand that plans change and we don’t charge for cancellations if given adequate notice. Cancellations may be requested up to 72 hours in advance of your scheduled service. Please understand that failure to provide notice before that time frame will result in a full-service charge. To submit a cancellation request, visit the “Scheduling” section of your Time To Pet account. Click the edit button next to the service you wish to cancel and under the “Request Type” tab, choose “Cancel This Visit”. Services are not considered canceled until you receive a confirmation email stating so.
Requesting a Service Change:
Service change requests can be made if you need to adjust the day, time, length or type of service that has already been approved for your pet. We’ll do our best to approve service change requests but availability is dependent on our schedule. Service change requests with less than 72 hours’ notice are subject to a last-minute change request fee of $5.00 per service. We will not approve a reduction of service length within 72 hours (ex. requesting that a 30-minute pet sitting visit be changed to a 15-minute pet sitting visit etc.).
Visit Time Blocks:
TCPS offers several two-hour time blocks during which your visit will occur. You may choose between an early morning (7:00 AM - 9:00 AM), morning (9:00 AM - 11:00 AM), mid-day (12:00 PM - 2:00 PM), afternoon (2:00 PM - 4:00 PM) or evening (6:00 PM - 8:00 PM) appointment window. We also offer an “Any Time” option for cats only (7:00 AM -8:00 PM). This method allows us to optimize our routes. Additional time blocks or appointment times may be considered depending on demand. Exceptions may be made for pets with time-sensitive medical needs so please let us know if this applies to you.
Occasionally, your pet’s visit may occur slightly outside of the scheduled time block. Stormy weather, traffic, or an emergency with another client are a few reasons why this may occur. We will contact you if the visit is significantly early or delayed.
Holidays are a very busy time for pet care companies so please book your appointments as early as possible. There is a $5.00 holiday fee in addition to the regular visit fee on the following holidays: New Year's Eve, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day. We are closed on the following holidays: Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day unless special accommodations have been discussed. The holiday fee will also apply on those days.
Any cancellations made on or around a major holiday (i.e. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and Thanksgiving) with less than a week's notice will result in a full-service charge. Please understand that the weeks around these holidays are peak service times for pet care companies. It’s very likely that we turned away other clients because the time was reserved for your pet.
Snow Day Cancellations:
We understand that unpredictable winter weather may necessitate a last-minute cancellation. We won’t charge for snow day cancellations when schools in your town are closed or a travel ban is in effect. If you’ve already made a payment for the day, a credit will be added to your account to be applied to a future invoice. Please notify us at least an hour before your scheduled service if you need to cancel due to snow. If we’re already driving to your visit or arrive to find you home, a full-service charge will result. If schools are not closed and you’d like to cancel due to snow, a full-service charge will result.
Clients who book services because they’re traveling out of town are asked to notify TCPS via Time To Pet when they return home. Your pets are our top priority while you’re away and we want to ensure their safety. Please send us a quick message through your client portal stating you’ve arrived home. If we don’t hear from you, we may call your emergency contact(s) and/or arrive for an additional visit. There are no refunds if we arrive and find that you’re home.
If your return is delayed and you need extended pet care, we must hear from you. We’ll do our best to provide service but availability is dependent on our schedule. Please notify us of your extended absence immediately and understand that a last-minute fee will apply.
We understand that it’s not unusual for trip plans to change at the last minute. However, please understand that we carefully schedule our time to service you and our other clients. Therefore, there are no refunds or credits for early returns or last-minute changes to pet care services within 72 hours. Please notify us of your early return immediately so we don’t arrive for the visit. There are no refunds if we arrive and find that you're home.
We understand that everyone has emergencies and may need last-minute pet care. We’ll make every attempt to accommodate your needs, but availability on short notice is dependent on our schedule. We network with other area sitters for this reason and if we cannot fulfill your emergency pet care needs we’ll try to help you contact another professional who can. Please note that there will be a $5.00 fee in addition to the regular visit fee for all visits scheduled with less than 72 hours’ notice.
Although we do our very best to complete your visit in the scheduled amount of time, occasionally we may need to stay longer than expected to care for your pet. Common situations may include clean-up resulting from pet incontinence, accidents or vomiting, complications administering medications, wait time for emergency home repairs, farm animals who are particularly tricky to handle, etc. Additionally, our first visit with a new pet may take us longer than expected as we learn their routine. Please make sure to book an appointment time long enough to cover your pet’s needs. If we cannot complete all the necessary tasks in the visit time requested, TCPS charges $5.00 for each additional 5 minutes spent at the visit.
Minimum Visit Requests:
TCPS requires a minimum of three visits a day for dogs and one visit a day for cats when your pet will be alone for a 24-hour period. This allows us to check on the well-being of your pet and home conditions.
C. PAYMENTS AND RATES:
TCPS only accepts payments through our Time To Pet software. Please visit the “Payment Methods” or “Invoices” section of your client portal to add your credit card information. For new clients, all payment is due at 5:00 PM on the day of the last scheduled service of your first invoice. For existing clients, all payment is due at 5:00 PM on the day of the first scheduled service of an invoice.
Time To Pet is fully PCI compliant (for validation, please visit https://www.timetopet.com/pci). Time To Pet never stores credit card information on its servers. Instead, all credit card information is stored on the integrated payment processor’s secure storage solution. Only the last four digits of a client’s card and the card’s expiration date are visible to TCPS. All of Time To Pet’s integrated payment processors are also fully PCI compliant. TCPS uses Stripe as a payment processor, which is fully integrated into the Time To Pet system.
Please note that TCPS will automatically charge the card on file at 5:00 PM on the day an invoice is due. If you wish to turn autopay off, please send us a message. You can view all upcoming invoices at any time through the Time To Pet client portal. Please note that automatic payments are opt-out only.
A $5.00 fee may be added to your invoice for each day payment is past due. Please avoid this fee by paying for the services you book on time or allowing autopay. TCPS reserves the right to suspend service until payment is received.
Due to the rising costs of operating a small business with employees, TCPS reserves the right to change our service rates at any time. Adequate notice will be given to all clients when rates are scheduled to change. You will find our current rates listed on our website and while requesting services on Time To Pet.
It’s the client's responsibility to provide more than adequate amounts of supplies for their pet (food, kitty litter, medications etc.). However, we understand that mistakes happen and we’ll purchase any essential items that contribute to the health and well-being of the pet if possible. We’ll retain a receipt and the client will be responsible for the reimbursement of these items. In addition, a trip fee equivalent to our current 30-minute pet sitting service will be charged for our time when travel is necessary to obtain these supplies.
D. HOME ACCESS AND CONDITIONS:
One of our goals at TCPS is to make your visits as convenient as possible. Providing us access to a coded lockbox (preferred method) or keyless/keypad door entry will make future visits much simpler. NOTE: we no longer retain keys, use hidden keys or use garage door codes. We accept two options for accessing your home:
Option 1: Lockbox (Preferred Method)
Providing us access to a coded lockbox is our preferred method. Not only is it a simple and safe way for us to gain entry to your home, but it also benefits you should you ever become locked out. Additionally, if your scheduled sitter or walker is unable to arrive for your visit for any reason, a backup staff member can access your home with minimal to no visit interruption. If you choose this option, we recommend placing the lockbox in a well-hidden location rather than near your front door. You may also consider providing two copies of the key within the box.
Option 2: Keyless/Keypad Door Entry
Keyless or keypad door entry refers to the electronic locks installed on a door, NOT garage door keypads. Please be aware that these systems use batteries. If you choose this method of home entry, it’s critical that you check or replace the batteries before leaving for an extended trip. Should the batteries fail while you’re away, we would be unable to access your home and pet.
TCPS does not accept hidden keys as a method of entry to your home. This is for our safety, as well as the protection of your home, should someone see where we place the key.
TCPS does not accept garage door codes as the primary method of entry to your home. If there was a power outage during your absence, we would be unable to access your home to care for your pet. Garage door codes may be provided as a secondary means of entry only.
TCPS no longer takes possession of client keys. Multiple staff members may be responsible for caring for your pet during your absence and exchanging keys adds too much time to our already busy schedules. It’s also less likely that your key will accidentally be lost if it never leaves your property.
By signing this agreement you are permitting to any TCPS staff member to enter your home. We’ll never bring any unauthorized person into your home.
As professional pet sitters, safety is our top priority and this includes the conditions in which we’re willing to work. We may decline services if we feel unable to safely move around in your home due to clutter, unsanitary living conditions for the pets or other unsafe work environments for our staff members. In an emergency, it’s crucial that we’re able to quickly find your pets, leashes, collars, cat carriers, first aid supplies, etc. An untidy house may prevent us from doing so. We’re committed to providing the best care possible for the pets entrusted to us and safe working environments for ourselves.
Accidents happen and we’ll clean up after your pet to the best of our ability within the scheduled time. Please inform us of the designated area for cleaning supplies and where waste should be disposed of. We are not responsible for floor or furniture stains or damage created by your pet. If there are accidents above and beyond the normal amount anticipated, we will charge $5.00 for each additional 5 minutes spent at the visit. Please see our extended visits policy.
Please leave your thermostat setting within a comfortable range (approximately 50 - 80 degrees Fahrenheit). If the house temperature is outside of this range, TCPS will notify you and may adjust the thermostat to ensure the health and safety of your pet and our staff members.
TCPS asks clients to disclose the use of indoor surveillance cameras on their client profile. This notification is to protect the privacy of TCPS staff and to maintain a mutual relationship of trust and security. Should we discover that indoor cameras are active without our knowledge, we reserve the right to terminate any and all contracts at our discretion. No videos, images or audio recordings of TCPS staff are permitted to be shared or posted online without our knowledge or approval, for any reason. In the event of a dispute, whether initiated by the client or TCPS, audio and video footage may be shared with legal parties as necessary.
Fenced-in yards are wonderful play spaces for pets. However, no fence system is completely secure. TCPS does not accept responsibility or liability for any pet that escapes, becomes lost or injured, fatal or otherwise, when the pet is given access to an outdoor area. Please inspect your fence system, gates, latches and doors frequently. This includes electronic, wood, metal or any other fence types. If you use an electric fence, it’s crucial that your pet’s electric collar is charged and functioning correctly. Please inform us if your pet has ever escaped the electric fence. We may choose to keep your pet on a leash in the yard if your electric fence system is unreliable or we discover the collar isn’t effective. TCPS will not let pets loose in yards without a fence system.
We will properly dispose of your pet’s waste during our visit. Please indicate where you would like the waste to be disposed of. It’s the client’s responsibility to provide a clean, waste-free yard upon our arrival. We aren’t responsible for waste in the yard present prior to our arrival, nor can we walk or play with your pet in a waste-filled area. If you’re specifically looking for pet waste clean-up, we may do so for an additional fee. Additionally, we reserve the right to refuse yard play if the area poses a threat to your pet or our staff. For example, unsanitary conditions, stagnant water, excessive animal waste, unkept lawn or hazardous materials.
Unsupervised Outdoor Access:
Farm animals under our care who will remain outside during the duration of service must be in a secured yard or pasture. We do not provide service to pets who are kept in an unsecured area. Additionally, please close all “dog doors” prior to our arrival. We do not allow dogs to have unsupervised access to outdoor areas during your absence.
Additional Persons Entering the Home:
Please be advised that if anyone will be in your home at any point during our visits (yourself or a family member included) TCPS MUST be notified. We can not be held liable for any damages or problems that may arise as a result. Please inform us of anyone who may have access to your home as we will not know the difference between an authorized visit and a break-in. We prefer not to overlap with cleaning services, repairpersons, additional pet sitters, friends, family, neighbors, etc. We do not accept liability for other persons who will be in your home during our service.
Additionally, if we arrive for your visit and there’s an unknown vehicle in the driveway, your visit may be canceled at full price for our safety. We highly recommend giving us a heads-up about which vehicles we can expect to see in the driveway while you're traveling.
Visit Interruption due to Inclement Weather:
In the event of inclement weather (hurricanes, thunderstorms, blizzards, etc.) we will attempt to carry out your visit to the best of our ability. If we’re unable to safely reach your home, we’ll attempt to contact you and the emergency contacts listed in your Time To Pet profile. We highly recommend listing an emergency contact who lives close by for this reason. Please make sure their information is up to date at all times. The health and well-being of your pet is our utmost concern and we will keep you informed as the weather events change. There’s no charge for services TCPS cancels due to inclement weather. If an invoice has already been paid, you’ll receive a credit to be used for future services.
Weather Regulations for Walks:
In the event of extreme temperatures or hazardous weather conditions, your dog walking visit may be modified for the safety of our staff and your pet. These weather conditions may include, but are not limited to: temperatures exceeding 80 degrees Fahrenheit, temperatures below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, hazardous precipitation and storms, poor air quality, etc. Additionally, if your pet has heat or cold sensitivities beyond breed standards, please inform us immediately. Walk time is at our discretion based on the current weather conditions. We’ll update you on Time To Pet with any visit modifications, which may include:
Slowing the pace of the walk
Taking frequent water breaks in a shady spot
Taking a different route to avoid direct sunlight, hot pavement, icy footing, snow banks, roads treated with ice-melt, dangerous road conditions, etc.
Shortening the walk and adding indoor play (puzzle games, tug-o-war, snuggles, etc.)
Remaining home with your pet, playing in the yard and taking multiple quick potty breaks
Remember to give us 72 hours’ notice if you'd like to cancel your dog's walk. Please understand that failure to provide notice before that time frame will result in a full-service charge.
Animals can be unpredictable, especially when their owners are away and someone they’re unfamiliar with enters their home. TCPS does not accept responsibility or liability for animal behavior (normal or abnormal) which results in injury to the client’s animals. Further, if a staff member is harmed or injured by the client’s pet(s), the client accepts full responsibility for the cost of any necessary medical attention required. Please inform us of any behavioral issues or personality traits including, but not limited to, escape artists, diggers, chewers, pets that bolt or aggression. Services may be terminated with no refund or credit if a staff member is unable to safely interact with an aggressive animal.
Injury to Staff:
It’s the client’s responsibility to disclose all previous bites, aggression and health history of their pet(s), as well as all safety hazards in and around their home. If we’re injured by or exposed to any disease or ailment from the client's pet(s) that has not been properly or currently vaccinated, the client will be responsible for all costs and damages that may incur. Services will be terminated immediately with no refund or credit.
G. DOG WALKS:
One-On-One Dog Walks:
All dog walks are on an individual basis unless we determine multiple dogs in the same household are easily walked together. We believe walking one dog, or a well-matched pair, allows the dogs to get the best workout and sensory experience possible while outside. It also allows us to give our full attention to them and to monitor their behavior, health and safety more closely than a pack.
New Client Trial Period:
All new dog walking clients are considered to be in a trial period for the first several visits. One trial walk may not be enough to determine if we’re a good fit. We do not accept dogs who pull excessively, lunge, show aggression towards other people or dogs, or act in any other dangerous manner while on leash. TCPS reserves the right to terminate dog walking services at any time if we discover that the dog lacks leash training. We can offer recommendations for dog trainers or other dog walkers.
Leashes, Collars and Harnesses:
All dogs are required to be on a leash at all times during walks. TCPS often uses our own leashes for our comfort and safety. Additionally, please have a sturdy, well-fitting harness and collar available with up-to-date owner contact tags. We will not use prong, choke or shock collars, retractable leashes or any other equipment we consider harmful. In the event that you provide adverse equipment, we will use a properly fitted harness or leash to help prevent any injury to your pet while they are in our care. If we do not have a harness to use for your dog, we will remain in your yard with them.
Interactions with Other Dogs:
We will not permit your dog to interact with any other dogs (known or unknown). If any off-leash dog approaches, we’ll do our best to keep interaction to a minimum and move away from them. Our first priority is the safety of our staff and the pets in our care. We carry pepper spray and other deterrents to use if your pet is in danger. We’ll inform you of any contact your pet makes with unknown dogs.
Walks in the Dark:
If your scheduled walk falls before sunrise or after sunset, the visit may be modified for the safety of our staff and your pet. Walk time in the dark is at our discretion based on the visibility of our route.
Veterinary Treatment Authorization and Release:
In the event of a medical emergency, TCPS will make every attempt to contact you and your emergency contacts based on the information provided in your Time To Pet profile. In the event that no one can be reached, TCPS will seek appropriate medical treatment for your pet. Every effort will be made to take your pet to, or request on-site treatment from, the preferred or alternative veterinarians listed in your Time To Pet profile. If those veterinarians are unavailable or too far away, TCPS will seek treatment from another appropriate hospital or clinic.
By signing this document you are authorizing TCPS and the veterinarian caring for your pet(s) to share all medical records of your pet(s) with other hospitals or clinics in an effort to provide the best care possible.
Additionally, by signing this document you are assuming full responsibility for payment and reimbursement for any and all veterinary services rendered. TCPS strongly recommends calling your veterinarian to request that your credit card information be kept on file in case of emergency. If you would like treatment not to exceed a certain dollar amount per pet, you must indicate this in your Time To Pet profile.
TCPS assumes no responsibility for the loss or injury of any pet and is released from all liability related to transportation, treatment and expenses.
This agreement is valid from the date of signature and grants permission for all future veterinary care without additional authorization each time TCPS cares for your pet(s).
TCPS staff has experience administering a variety of medications, including injections, pills, liquids, topicals, etc. We’ll attempt to administer medications as directed but cannot be held responsible for any complications that may arise as a result. If we need to stay longer than expected to medicate your pet, we will charge $5.00 for each additional 5 minutes spent at the visit. Please see our extended visit policy. Please leave detailed instructions for all medications and the steps we should follow if we’re unsuccessful. It’s up to you to have a back-up plan available in the event that your pet cannot be handled safely by our staff. We find it beneficial for all new clients to demonstrate how medications should be administered at the initial meet and greet.
Vaccinations and Preventative Medications:
TCPS requires that all pets have the necessary vaccinations and veterinary-recommended flea and tick preventatives before service begins. We may ask to see expiration dates for rabies vaccinations at any time. Under no circumstances will TCPS service a pet that has any form of contagious illness. This is for the safety of other clients and our staff.
I. PRIVACY AND COMMUNICATION:
All of your information will be kept private and confidential. We highly respect our clients entrusting us with the care of their homes and pets.
Pet Photos and Videos:
We frequently share photos and videos of our client’s pets on our website, social media accounts, emails or other promotional materials. We’ll never share photos that include your address or other personal information. Any pet identification tags in photos will be altered so your contact information is hidden. If you do not wish for your pet's photos and videos to be used, please indicate this on your Time To Pet profile.
TCPS offers three methods of communication:
Recommended: send us a message through your Time To Pet client portal by clicking on the “Conversation” button. This is the most ideal method of communication because it allows us to keep all your information in one easy-to-access place. Additionally, all staff members will be aware of this communication. Calls, texts or emails are not seen by all staff.
Email us at email@example.com
Call or text us at (860) 650-1800
Visit Report Cards:
At the end of each service, you’ll receive a Time To Pet visit report card. These include our check-in and check-out times, pictures, GPS tracking information for walks and any details about the visit. We reserve a few minutes near the end of every visit to write our report.
Office hours are Monday-Sunday from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Any messages, calls, texts or emails submitted outside of these hours will be returned the following day.
TCPS has zero tolerance for disrespectful communication or behavior towards our staff. If we determine that the way you are speaking to or acting towards a staff member is inappropriate, rude, disrespectful etc. we will decline all future services.
Thank you for taking the time to review these policies. We look forward to caring for your pets!