Below is a video we filmed live in 2017 covering some of your most commonly asked questions about pet sitting and dog walking.
Liana: Hi, I’m Liana the owner of Wet Noses Pet Sitting,
Gabby: and I’m Gabby, the manager of Wet Noses Pet Sitting.
Liana: And we are live today to answer some of our top questions that we get. Basically, I was out the other day at Poudre Feed, which is our local feed supply place, which I love, adore them. And one of the employees was asking me some questions. So we thought maybe we should just take the questions that we got and answer them here for everyone in case anybody else was curious. So we’re just going to do a series of questions. And then if anybody else has questions or comments for us, we welcome them. So we’ll be here for a little while. My dog is also here off camera throwing us his tennis ball and his Frisbee. So if you happen to see dog pop into the screen, that’s why. Yeah, he’s not having much of this. All right. So first off, so, Gabby, how does this work? How does visiting with what ends up happening work? Like do you go to people’s houses or what do you do?
Gabby: So we are an in-home pet sitting company. Everyone, you know, all visitors come to our clients homes. We don’t bring any of our pets into our client’s homes and we don’t keep them at our homes. So it’s super convenient for our customers. You know, we come to you and your animals get to stay in their safe, happy environment. There’s not extra stress put on them and it just makes for healthier happier pets.
Liana: So somebody will actually like come to your home multiple times a day.
Gabby: Absolutely. So depending on your pets needs we will create a custom schedule for you. And we’ll schedule anything from, you know, once or twice a day for kitties every day. And for dogs will do something like two to five times a day if needed and even overnight as well.
Liana: Somebody will actually sit at somebody’s house overnight?
Gabby: Absolutely. And, you know, we actually find that some some cat owners want overnight visits as well. Interesting. So we have been seeing a lot of those recently, but most of our overnight sitters stay for dogs.
Liana: That’s neat. Very cool. All right. What else do we get? How many sitters do we have?
Gabby: So I believe we currently have about eight or nine sitters on staff, you know, in the pet sitting industry there is turnover but we always try to keep our sitters with us for at least a year or two.
Liana: So they get to know the clients, get to know the pets, get very good at their jobs.
Gabby: Absolutely. And all of our sitters absolutely love their jobs. If you ask any one of them, they’ll tell you it’s the best job in the world.
Liana: They’re pretty fantastic group. Yeah, we love them.
Gabby: So what kind of animals do – (Liana) And we’re hiring!
Liana: We’re hiring!
Gabby: We are hiring.
Liana: Where are we looking for another sitter?
Gabby: We’re looking for sitters in Fort Collins and Loveland. And the catch is we need you to be available for overnights. And that doesn’t mean you have to be available for overnights every single night of the week, 365 days a year. Some clients have appointments that are one night long. Some, you know, a week long. It just depends. We want you to have typical daytime availability to stop in feed breakfast, feed dinner. But if you have overnight availability, that is a huge plus and a huge help for us. And you also make more and spend more time with the animals.
Liana: Yeah. I always love staying overnight. That was my favorite. Yeah, that was my favorite thing. I do not do visits very regularly anymore. But overnight, stays were always my favorite. So should I answer the next one.
Liana: So what kind of animals do we watch? So, of course, most commonly dogs. Dogs are our biggest client. We do watch a ton of cats. They’re a close second. So a lot of people in Fort Collins have cats. Fort Collins in general is a very animal friendly area. So we have a lot of clients. We also do I think the next runner up after dogs and cats is chickens. We have a lot of chicken clients. They’re becoming more popular, especially here in Fort Collins. Since people can have them in their backyards. So that’s pretty common. We also do some specializing in parrots. So we have a fair bit of clients that have parrots. And then we have all the oddball things,
Gabby: reptiles, horses. I think we’ve even had clients that have had pigs and tortoises. Gosh.
Liana: I was going to answer that question. What’s the most fun animal I’ve ever watched or most unique animal? So most unique animal I have ever watched back when I was doing lots and lots of visits myself. I had a client that had dogs, she didn’t have any cats, but she had dogs, parrots, guinea pigs, all sorts of critters to pot belly pigs that went in and out of. She had a basement that was finished for them. So they would go in and out of the basement into the backyard with a dog door.
Gabby: That is so cool.
Liana: They were the best. But her coolest, most unique pet was a massive tortoise. He was like he was huge. I mean, and we’re talking like,
Gabby: That’s incredible.
Liana: And she rescued him from someone that didn’t understand that he was going get that big. Like most people don’t understand that turtles and tortoises get can be very large depending upon the species. So she had rescued him and he would go out in the backyard with the dogs and the pigs.
Gabby: That is so fun.
Liana: And so you’d be outside playing with the animals and stuff. And all of a sudden you turn around and there’d be this tortoise standing behind you and he would follow you around the yard like a dog. He was so cool. And he was like I mean, his head was like knee-high. So he was a big, big boy, and they’d hibernate him in the basement during the winter and stuff because you have to hibernate turtles and tortoises. A lot of reptiles hibernate. So,
Gabby: Sounds very cool.
Liana: He was like the most unique one, I think, that I’ve ever watched just because his personality, you know, we have other turtles and stuff as far as customers. But, yeah, he had not many of them follow you around the backyard. Yeah, it’s definitely unique because that’s pretty fun. So what about specific breeds? Do do we have any breeds that we don’t watch?
Gabby: You know, I don’t think there is any breeds that we don’t watch. However, there are breeds at some sitters are more educated in. I know a lot of our clients like us to have some education and specific breeds that are known as bully breeds, especially so sitters that I have experience with pit bulls and healers that are more aggressive or aggressive tendencies that people know of. But the animals don’t actually have you know, people usually like us to have experience just for their peace of mind, knowing that their animals are going to be well taken care of. You know, all of our sitters are wonderful with all the animals that they watch, but we always like to make sure there’s the best fit possible.
Liana: Sure, and that goes for species as well. So if we have, you know, somebody who has horses, we make sure that the sitter has horse experience. Same thing with parrots.
Liana: So if we can match somebody really well. Also, some of our sitters, some are better with shy animals and some better with cats and and things like that. So we try to match those as well as we possibly can.
Liana: Looking down as my dog is throwing his toy at my feet.
Gabby: Yeah. So whenever a customer calls and ask us, you know, do your sitters have experience with shy animals? A lot of them actually have had experience with all kinds of animals, but shy and more timid animals. You know, we definitely have sitters that are more patient than others, you know, that know how to work with them and when to step away and just give the animals some space and let them come to us.
Liana: A lot of it’s just more experience and stuff about how to handle those. Some people naturally have more boisterous personalities, which matches a little bit better maybe to a dog that has the, very enthusiastic or high dog, for example.
Gabby: My dog is a young two year old shepherd. And yes, he loves people who are energetic, have high pitched voices. And if you are just lurking in the background, he’ll be a little bit more timid of you than someone who more energetic. So you always want to find that best fit possible.
Liana: Absolutely. So we try to match that as best as possible. All right. So let’s see what other questions. We have got some written down here. So if a person has a dog door can they use the dog door?
Gabby: So we ask that if you have a dog door, you know, the dogs can go in and out throughout the day if you’re comfortable. I know some of our customers, even if they have a dog door they don’t want an open during the day or during the night, especially in Fort Collins, we have a lot of, gosh, raccoons and fox that make their way around the neighborhood.
Liana: Skunks especially with all the rabies issues. Yes.
Gabby: Yeah. So when when we’re not at the client’s home and the customers aren’t home, we like to close those dog doors. Sometimes unless we’re instructed to keep them open. But if a client has dog doors, we’re comfortable with letting the dog go, you know, 12 hours at a time. So we’ll come in for breakfast and they’ll come in for dinner or late evening visit. But we always want to come in at least twice a day, even if you have a dog door, just to make sure everyone’s happy and healthy, well taken care of.
Liana: And we prefer to do more visits if possible. We always prefer at least three visits a day for dogs. So we think that that is what keeps them happy and healthy and sane while you’re gone. So that’s definitely our preference. But, but some people want less than that. We try to accommodate when possible we if we need to. Let’s see. So we skip to minimum number of visits.
Liana: Because we just kind of address that. What about cats?
Gabby: So cats, we require at least one visit per day. And we typically say, you know, 30 minutes for a cat. If you have a shy cat, you know, typically 15 minutes or, you know, that’s the average time for a shy cat, just so we can make sure to get our chores done. You know, the regular things like feeding, water litter, and if we can get some playtime in, that’s always wonderful. But, you know, some cats, they just don’t want to have strangers in the house. And so they kind of just shy away, do their own thing.
Liana: But friendly cats, my cat, oh my god, my cat gets overnights and visits during the day when I’m not needy. My cat is a needy cat. So so everybody’s cats are a little bit different. And that is one thing that we always try to emphasize with people. We really try to match visits to your household. So depending upon your pets and what your normal schedule is and your routine, we really try to fit that as much as possible. It’s never going to be exactly the same as when you’re home, but we can get pretty darn close. So we tried it. We tried to do that. Your pets are going to be happier and everything’s going to go better and they’re going to be more relaxed that way. So that’s always better.
Gabby: Yeah. So what is our minimum for dogs then?
Liana: So our minimum for dogs, if they have a dog door and outdoor access is two visits a day. For dogs that do not have outdoor access, we really encourage three times a day. We can we sometimes will negotiate on that, but we’re pretty well set on three visits a day for dogs that don’t have dog doors. So we really don’t. I wouldn’t want to go more than eight hours without going to the bathroom. So I don’t, I don’t want to ask that of a dog in our care. That seems that seems like a lot, especially sometimes people don’t really think about how often they let their dogs out until they really have to count. And the other day to ask my dog, he goes out like 12 times a day.
Gabby: So, yeah. And the other thing we want to consider is how old the dog is. So if you have a puppy, you know, you want to make sure that the puppy is going out enough. You don’t want to keep an kenneled and have accidents in the kennel or maybe have accidents in the house. And you want to make sure that you get on a routine, especially with puppies. You want to make sure that they know where to go to the bathroom and when they can go to the bathroom. So, again, having that sitter stay on your normal puppy potty schedule is always great. So, you know, we’ve been getting a lot of calls from people with puppies.
Liana: You know, it’s spring time here.
Gabby: Exactly. So it’s springtime and puppies are all around now. So we’ve been getting a lot of puppy visits. And we just want to make sure that we keep your puppies happy and comfortable and keep them on their routine.
Liana: Absolutely. And it’s good for their health as well. Yeah. For sometimes when dogs get a little bit older, they can stand to go a few less times a day. But but generally, the more that you can do, the better, huh?
Liana: My dog’s sitting making happy faces like we should show him.
Gabby: Yeah, we should.
Liana: Yeah. Let’s look at Podrick because Podrick’s cute. I’m going to flip the camera around here. There’s Podrick, and he’s a good boy. There’s his ball. He’s been getting us to throw his ball. Wow. While we’re doing this. Yeah, he’s very happy that we’re here having fun because he does not care about us doing camera work. He just wants to play good boy. All right. Well, let’s get right back around to see if we can get this position again without falling on us, OK? All right, pin that there a little bit. All right.
Gabby: So let’s talk about drive time to appointments and why we require a 15 minute appointment for a cat that doesn’t want to be seen or played with.
Liana: Sure. That’s pretty straightforward. So our cities are driving to your house. And no matter whether they have to be there for five minutes or 15 minutes, we still have to pay them the same. And they still have their time and their time is valuable. So we always do our minimum length of visit is 15 minutes. Which industry wise actually some companies don’t offer a 15 minute visit. We do still offer that simply for a really quick dog stop-ins if a dog needs a quick potty break during the day or for cats that,
Gabby: small animals do, we hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, you know, those are small visits.
Liana: Chickens. That’s a common thing, too. Why do I have to pay for long chicken visits? The fact of the matter is, is we have a minimum length of visit. And and that simply so that we can compensate the sitters for their time driving, because the time is not just spent when they’re at your house, they have to usually drive to and from not usually always have to drive to and from. They’re not going to get there otherwise. So you need to. So we have to make sure that they get enough money for that. Our sitters are professionals. And so we really like to make sure that they’re going to stay with us as long as possible. And the cost of living in Fort Collins is going up and up and up.
Gabby: Anyone who lives in Fort Collins, in Loveland and lived here for a while, they’re aware of the cost of living rising.
Gabby: And so, you know, the other thing is our our sitters are employees. They’re not just independent contractors and they’re not just the neighborhood kid off the street. They are actual employees. So we have to make sure they are compensated.
Liana: Yeah, they get. I know this is where we’re going to talk about this, but insurance and bonding and all that kind of stuff. Yeah, because as a company, we’re insured and bonded. So we we provide that. We provide workman’s comp for our employees. We provide car insurance for our employees. So they they get a bunch of stuff covered and, which is great. It’s good for you. It’s good for us. It’s good for the sitters. So we just need to make sure that they get their adequate number visits.
Gabby: Yeah, absolutely.
Liana: Specific time for visits. So that’s a common question. I want my sitter to come at noon, right at noon. Nothing else but noon.
Gabby: So I hear this pretty frequently with people calling saying they want a midday potty break. You know, they’re leaving for work at seven, eight in the morning and they’re coming back at 5:00 or 6:00 in the evening. So I want my dog to be taken out for a walk and go to the bathroom directly at noon. So from noon to twelve thirty, you’re going to be with my dog. And my answer is we try to accommodate that as best as possible. However, you have to understand that our sitters are coming into multiple homes as not just your home, that they’re coming in to once a day.
Liana: And animals are unpredictable.
Gabby: Absolutely. Yeah. One day you might be able to visit and it might take exactly 30 minutes the other day.
Liana: Well, the dogs go to the bathroom in the crate and you need to spend an extra 20 minutes cleaning the crate, and then you’re 20 minutes late for your next appointment.
Gabby: We just ask that you be respectful. Of our time and, you know, be very flexible when it comes to that, we always say that we allow that usually a two hour time frame for our sitters to come to your visit, if you would like us to specify a specific time frame due to medications, though. Sure. You know, dogs or cats, insulin, your insulin needs or medications. We always try to, you know, specify a specific time that your sitter will come and we’ll make that a top priority in their schedule.
Liana: Yeah. Otherwise, what we do. So we’re using the noon as a good example. We might say your time block is from 11 to one and you’re going to be there during that time and then your sitter will make that time. So it’ll be sometime between 11 and one. And generally it’s going to overlap that noon time frame and if at all possible, they will hit that noon schedule, but it’ll just depend upon the day. And truth be told, ideally, everybody who has midday dog walks wants a noon time frame.
Gabby: It’s definitely the most popular.
Liana: So we try to accommodate as many people as possible and get everybody in there. And we do that by using those time frames. So that works out. That generally works out pretty well for everybody.
Liana: So what else can we answer? Hmm. Well, you drive to take my dog to the vet or to get groomed or whatever else.
Gabby: So that’s another question I get asked really frequently is can you take my dog to this appointment? They only have openings during the day when I’m at work. So unfortunately, we don’t do transportation services. We aren’t licensed to transport animals.
Liana: In the state of Colorado you have to have a vehicle license with an approved vehicle that has to be inspected in order to transport to appointments for pay like that.
Gabby: However, if your animal does have a certain emergency, veterinary need. So if we come into your home and your animal is unconscious on the floor and is seizing or we’ll do anything necessary.
Liana: Of course we’ll go to vet. Yes, we will definitely go to the vet. So if you have a medical emergency with your pet, while we are watching them. We will definitely take them to the vet. But for normal, just routine care schedules. We do not do those visits. There are other pet sitters in this area that definitely do. And there is a pet transport company that does that. So there are other ways. Unfortunately, we just are not able to do that right now.
Gabby: And that tags, along with the other question I get is, will you take my dog to daycare?
Liana: Hmm. So same thing.
Gabby: Same the same idea. I know other people have called asking for us to take their dog to boarding facilities while we do potty breaks during the day. Again, same idea. You just need to make sure you find the best fit possible for you and your pets. So feel free to always contact us and see if we are the best fit for your pets.
Liana: Yeah. So sometimes the people work other things out. I did have one client that did daycare during the day and they just had an employee from the daycare come and pick up the dog. And then we did all the evening care and stuff. So that worked out. We will share some stuff like that. We just get all the information. So that worked out pretty well for that client very soon. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Mind blowing. OK, let’s see. Tips on talking about tips.
Gabby: Yeah. So most of our clients tip, tip our sitters, you know, they they want to tip them for their good service. And we find that most of the time the clients that tip usually have used us on a regular basis and have known their sitters for a little bit while before they’ve tipped. But sometimes we find that new customers tip on the first visit, and I think…
Liana: There’s no expectations for tips. There is no difference there in service or anything. I know that that’s sometimes a concern for people. A lot of times people will, like she said, not tip until the third or fourth time they’ve used us, if at all. Some people never tip, and that is totally fine with us. So that is an individual decision made for your house and your pets and your family. And yeah. So everybody’s a little bit different on that one. Yeah. What are your questions for me? What else have we discussed.
Liana: What was the most unique animal you ever watched?
Gabby: Oh, goodness. The most unique animal was probably, oh, I would say a cat that I would say a cat that vomited every visit. So not a not a unique animal per say, but just a unique cat. So I remember going it was probably when I first started pet sitting when previously we were Sidehill Sitters. And I remember, gosh, it’s probably three or four years ago.
Gabby: I walked in and this cat had vomited all over the house and it was a two story home and it was all carpet. Oh. And so it was just once a day, 15 minute visits in the morning for breakfast. I remember this cat just vomited everywhere.
Liana: Was that a health problem, do you know?
Gabby: I don’t know, actually.
Gabby: You know, it’s been a while since we’ve seen that cat. So I don’t know how that cat doing now. But I will I will never forget. I walked in and I was a student at CSU at the time, so I always had 8AM classes. So I would go right at six thirty seven in the morning to do this visit. And every morning would start out. We’re cleaning up cat vomit all over the floor. And luckily. The cat was OK, I think, at the time, but I don’t know. It might have jumped into a health issue, but yeah, at the time it was it
Liana: Interesting. That’s yeah. Some cats. Yeah. There’s like a running joke about this stuff.
Gabby: Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Liana: So but every visit that’s a lot we’re getting.
Liana: What else can we answer to? Any other questions? Something. Nobody has any questions for us. I know one person is watching. At least someone is watching. No, nobody had any questions. That’s OK.
Gabby: So maybe I’ll talk about, you know, just the pets that I’ve had in the past.
Liana: Sure. Go for it.
Gabby: My pets, personalities. So I always have to have difficult animals. I don’t know. Maybe that goes along with just having a ton of animal experience and being a complete animal lover and maybe just a complete nut. I don’t know.
Liana: But a little bit of both.
Gabby: Yeah, I always tend to have animals that have special needs or very needy personalities. So both of my pets, I have a cat and a dog. My dog’s name is Jack and he’s a little two year old shepherd mix. My cat’s name is Sampson. He’s a four year old that I rescued from the cat rescue here in Fort Collins. And both of them have medical issues. My cat, he has been to the vet probably. Gosh, more times than I can count. Not going. And my dog is an allergy dog. So we all know how that goes. And he gets into everything possible. But my animals have always been terrific. They’ve always been love bugs and I always just want loving attention.
Gabby: And growing up, I always had every animal on the planet to, gosh, fish. I’ve had some I, I should remember having a turtle when I was a kid. It didn’t last very long, unfortunately. I didn’t know how to care for turtles. But they’re always great pets to have. And I’ve always had cats growing up, hamsters, rabbit. My rabbit was probably my favorite pet I’ve ever had.
Liana: Yeah. Yeah.
Gabby: He was awesome. Yeah, he was my little little black and white bunny named Oreo.
Liana: That’s very cool. We didn’t even mention that in the list of pets. We’ve had to watch house rabbits. Yeah, that’s that’s the typical thing. Yeah, that’s fun. So right now you just have the dog and cat.
Gabby: Yeah, right now I just a dog cat and we’re hoping to adopt another dog here soon. But you know how it’s going the right fit. Yeah, yeah.
Liana: Yeah, absolutely. So yeah, I guess I could answer what I have. So I have my dog who’s playing at our feet here. I also have a kitty who just like Gaby, I also have pretty much high special needs pets. So I have a cat who is at least 18 years old, probably more like 20. She, she’s adopted at one of those interim ages where she could have been two or eight. And you just don’t know. But she’s at least 18, 19 years old. So she’s got some health problems of her own going on. She’s super social. I’m actually kind of surprised she hasn’t come to join us.
Liana: I have a fish tank. What else? Oh, I’m a chameleon, too. So if people have looked online, I’ve posted pictures and videos of my chameleon. So he’s probably the most high maintenance because chameleons need a really high humidity in their tanks and their caging. And of course, we’re in Colorado. We’re in Colorado. Yeah. So so that takes a little bit of work to keep him humid enough. And he has a massive cage with live plants in it and stuff. So pretty cool. But he’s a really neat personality, really like him. Of course, along with that, I’ve started trying to breed the insects that he eats, which is a whole other task. So now I’m trying to raise crickets and super worms and stuff, which is interesting. I think that’s the thing. I haven’t been super successful thus far, but I’m working on it. And they really like warm temperatures. But keeping them in the eighties here in Colorado is also hard during winter. Yes. So I’m working on that. So that’s fine. In the past, what have I had in the past? I grew up with hamster and dogs and cats. In fact, I grew up with probably no less than five pets in the house at any given time. Right now, my dog is pretty happy being an only dog, and my cat hates other cats. So we only have one cat. And then. But yeah, I grew up having at least three or four, two or two or three cats at a time and a couple of dogs at a time and had a parakeet, hamster that kind of, you know, normal kid pets.
Liana: Yeah, I had those growing up and I did a lot of fostering, though. I’ve done so much fostering. So I’ve had a lot of different dogs have done fostering for different, you know, Rottweiler rescues my dogs before where a Rottweiler and a Dalmatian. So we did all sorts of different, fostering different groups. And we even fostered for wild kinds of foster snakes for a while.
Gabby: Oh wow.
Liana: That was interesting.
Liana: Yes. We’d get big pythons and stuff that for whatever, those are always pretty unique cases. So we’d have things like that. So that was a lot of fun. Sort of had a lot of different animals through here. And then I don’t know. Four or five years ago, we switched to fostering human children, so then we had fewer animals in the house because human kids take a little bit more time.
Gabby: Yeah, so that’s why I just have my four kids right now.
Liana: Yeah. Yes. I think eventually we’ll get back to doing more fostering of different animals. But I had to be a little bit more cautious with, you know, kids around that can’t bring in a very aggressive rottweiler. Yeah. When you’ve got kids. So they’re not as easily. Not as easily. So that that was your thing?
Liana: So that was what I specialized in for a while. We would take really shy dogs in really awkward breeds. Did you say. So it was fun.
Liana: Oh, what else? I think that’s probably all the questions we had.
Gabby: Yeah, that’s everything I can think of.
Liana: All right. Well, thank you for whoever joined us. There’s some I saw some people hopping on and off. And thank you for anybody who watched the replay of this video. And we will be doing Q&A’s more regularly and we’re making other videos as well. So if there are any things that you have questions about, just go ahead and post your questions or send them on to us. And we will either answer it live on Facebook like this or we will post another video or something to get the answer to you. So we’re always looking for new ideas about what everybody else wants to know. Appreciate it.
Gabby: Thanks, guys. Bye-Bye.
Liana: Oh, Podrick wants to say bye to. See this Podrick says by. He’s still there playing with the ball? It’s all about balls when you’re a hurting breed. Yeah, it’s all about the cute toys in the balls. Yeah. Yeah. There’s a good boy. All right. Thanks, everyone.