A couple weeks ago we had an unfortunate, but inevitable situation arise – a dog we are watching became very ill. At Wet Noses Pet Sitting we have very clear policies in place for when your pet gets sick, in the case of any problem the sitter is to contact the manager on call or myself (the owner) and await directions.
As pet sitters we have 3 situations that can arise:
1) The illness or injury is minor. We can either take care of it ourselves or the problem will resolve on its own.
2) The problem is more considerable but does not yet warrant medical care. In this case we keep a close on the pet and make a decision on care as the situation develops.
3) The animal requires immediate medical care.
So how does our process work?
If it is clear to the sitter that the animal needs medical care they contact us while loading up the pet. The dog or cat is taken to either their regular vet or the emergency vet while a manager goes to meet the sitter and contacts the human family. Our sitters often have other pets to care for, so a manager will take over at the veterinarian to make sure the pet is well cared for and the owner is kept informed.
What if the sitter is not sure if veterinary care is needed?
Occasionally the situation is a little less clear and a second opinion is needed. The sitter will consult with a manager and often the manager goes out to see the pet and make a final decision. In the case of a recent emergency, I went out to see the dog and brought my husband with me just in case. The dog in question weighed in at 160 pounds and we knew would require a few people to lift him. It was good we had extra people as upon our arrival the dog was barely able to walk and had to be assisted into the car. If the sitter ever has a concern about the health of an animal, a second person is called for help.
What about a minor scratch?
For something small we often take care of the problem ourselves. All of our sitters have wonderful animal experience and if they need help another sitter or manager comes in to assist. Some situations depend upon the pet, such as a case a few years ago. We had a client who was a regular dog walk rip his toe nail off while out on a walk one day. The sitter was actually a vet tech and I was in the area, so with both of us being more than capable of handling the problem, we tried to do so. The dog was having none of it. We made the decision to bring him to a vet since we were not able to get a hold of his owner. When we did reach her we found out that he has to be sedated for any medical work to be done on him so we were glad we were already at the vet! This was an unusual situation and in most cases we are able to handle small concerns ourselves.
Do you charge for this extra care?
Handling emergency situations is part of our job. We do not charge extra if a manager goes out to help a sitter or if your pet gets sick and needs to be taken to the vet. If the future services for the rest of the trip need to be changed in order to accommodate additional medical needs, then we will charge more for that time, but there is nothing extra for the initial time while we handle the emergency.
While our clients entrust their pets to us we take their care and health very seriously. We want to know that we did all we could to provide the best care for your fur friends and our clients appreciate the peace of mind that we offer!