When you book overnight pet sitting with River Walks Pet Care, it’s like having an attentive nanny stay over in your home and watch your beloved “fur kid” when you cannot be there. Because each pet is different, each overnight is different but certain patterns stay the same. It is those patterns which I’ll be sharing with you here. Note: Overnight stays do not include midday visits however midday visits are strongly recommended when booking overnight pet sitting for your dog. Also, this language speaks mostly to a dog’s needs however overnight pet care is not exclusively limited to dogs.
First, let’s run the numbers. If you were to purchase the top tier luxury package at a local boarding facility with a web-cam in your pet’s private room, it would be about $95 a night for one pet. If you wanted a house sitter to stop by your home and maintain a “lived-in” look, that would be another $25-30 a day. Boarding your pet plus booking a house sitter could cost you about $120 per day.
An overnight stay for one pet in the safety and comfort of their own home is $80 through River Walks Pet Care starting October 1st onward. When you book an overnight stay for your pet with me, you are saving about $40 per day.
Now let’s break it down by how many hours of individualized attention your dog receives during the non-sleeping portions of the overnight stay. If we call it a day at 11 or midnight, your dog will have had active companionship for four to six hours. And that’s just the first part of the overnight stay, because in the morning they’ll have my company and care for another hour or two before I leave for the day.
Arrival time is between 6-8pm and the overnight stay lasts about 12 hours. I send you, the client, a text message when I arrive so that you know the minute your pet has company again and that your overnight has begun. The text message alert, while popular, is an option and you can say if you’d rather skip it. If a client does not specify, I will continue text message alerts at the start of every night.
As soon as I arrive, I take your dog out into the fenced yard or for a walk – whichever he’s used to. Then I serve him dinner and fresh water as well as administer any medication, if needed. All medication and supplements are included in the price of the overnight as I object to “nickel and diming” clients for simply working to keep their pet healthy. The only exception is insulin injections as properly handling needles and a diabetic pet’s needs is a higher skill, however, depending on the severity of the case it may be best to kennel the diabetic pet with your veterinarian.
After dinner, if he is used to going out into the yard again, I’ll take him out again. Or perhaps your dog is used to eating before going out for his evening walk, then that is fine and his routine will be maintained. There is usually some quiet time, some settling in time following the dog’s dinner to avoid regurgitation, upset stomach, or worse – bloat. While I am partially there to play and exercise your dog, I will do so after they have had some time to digest.
The evening is spent as close to normal for your dog as possible, almost as if you were there. I’m there to give them lots of love and attention!
*If he is used to climbing on the couch next to you and watching some tv while being pet, then that’s what he’ll get.
*If he is not allowed on the couch but does enjoy lying beside you (or on you) on the living room rug, then that’s what we’ll do.
*If the client allows treats or the use of a small handful of kibble as treats, then I will refresh his memory with some simple tricks – sit, paw, down, wait, or touch. And please let me know if your pet knows more or has different words as cues for doing this or that.
*If your dog is playful dog, then surely I’ll be playing fetch every day inside or outside, whatever you allow or what they are used to.
*If your dog loves to destroy toys and is allowed to do so, then I will be there to closely supervise to prevent the swallowing of toy stuffing, fabric, or squeakers. I’m not squeamish about opening a dog’s mouth to remove a choking hazard such as the piece of a toy.
*If your pet enjoys being brushed, then I am there to brush them every day and make sure they’re matt-free and relaxed.
*I am always aware of where your pet is and what they are up to. After all, personalized supervision and care is what I’m there for.
Your dog will get at least one more night time outing before we turn in for bed. Your dog will sleep wherever he is used to sleeping when you are home whether that’s in the bed with you or tucked into the crate at night with a blanket on top. I’m there to keep their night time routine as normal as possible.
Every single night, I email a detailed report to you to let you know the latest with your pet – how they’re doing, if they’re eating well, what we played, were he cuddled up, etc. Also – you’ll receive pictures of your pet each night! I know that sometimes hearing about something isn’t as good as seeing it, not to mention the added assurance of my arrival and time spent with your pet. I believe you can tell how your pet is feeling by these pictures and I believe it helps relieve some homesickness for them while you are away.
While I am there for the night, I may have to leave to check on my dog, River, if no one else can let him for his last walk of the day or I may grab some dinner very quickly. However, other than that I do not leave the overnight stay. Additionally, no one else is coming over to your home – unless you are continuing with your housekeeper’s schedule. If housekeeping or lawn service or any other service team is scheduled to arrive during the pet sitting schedule, please let me know prior to the start of the overnights and let me know if the schedule should be different on any of those days.
In the morning, your dog gets their morning walk or yard outing as well as breakfast and fresh water. I take care of them before I get myself ready for the day and leave about 12 hours after I arrived the night before. I’ll do a final check to make sure every door is locked that should be locked, gates are up and/or dogs are where they should be in the house. If you have a home security system you’d like me to set, then that will be set as usual.
As a general rule when walking a client’s pet, I avoid other dogs and people and will continue to do so during overnight stays even if your dog is best buddies with the neighbor’s dog. The limiting of interaction with other dogs and people decreases the chances of negative encounters occurring such as bites, fights, injuries, and/or the spread of illness occurring with the client’s pet or with me, the pet sitter. Keeping everyone safe is the biggest concern and keeping your pet happy, healthy, and safe is why you chose in-home pet sitting in the first place.
Care instructions for each pet should be shared via email or in person in advance. Of course last minute notes typed up and left at the first visit in a common area (ie: foyer, kitchen, living room) will also be respected. You may request a home visit prior to the overnight stays even if you have been a dog walking client exclusively for a long time as overnight care instructions are more extensive and include details and instructions on the home in general.
House Sitting Duties – When you book an overnight stay, you are also booking a house sitter who will bring in the mail and any packages sent for you, water your plants if you’d like – indoor and outdoor, alternate lights and curtains, as well as check the basement or a “trouble spot” in your home for leaks if you’d like. Additionally, you’ll have the visual of having a car parked in your driveway all night to show that someone is home and that the house is not vacant.
I hope this helps to paint a thorough picture of what can be expected with an overnight pet sitting visit. My goal is to help ease the worry of leaving your pets at home when you travel and to limit your pet’s stress. My overnight stays are structured the way I would want them to be if I were the client booking overnight pet sitting for my own dog, River.
If you have any additional questions or would like to book an overnight stay, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410.934.0056.