So, you’ve made the pact – someone will be pet sitting your furry friend for an agreed portion of the week. You could be flying hither and thither on a work schedule, or going abroad with the family. Whatever the reason, it’s nearly time for a pet sitter to visit your home.
But what should you do in advance? How can the sitter feel informed, welcome, and familiar with the pet in question? Read on for some prep tips from Scamps & Champs…
Arrange an introductory visit
Dogs and cats rely on their sensory experience to make sense of something new. If they’ve never smelt, seen or had physical contact with your pet sitter before, it may take a while for them to feel comfortable around a stranger. Take the initiative by organising a ‘meet and greet’ session – in which the carer can spend time with your pet, with you by their side, to lay the first stone of a relationship.
List any household instructions
Longer pet sitting periods will carry extra responsibility for looking after the home. So write a guide to anything your sitter needs to know. How often, for instance, should the plants be watered? Does a window stick more than others when you’re trying to close it? What appliances should be left on at night? Simply having these instructions written on your online profile, will ensure the handover goes smoothly.
Tidy up anything that isn’t pet-friendly
Kids’ toys, chocolate, random batteries, loose change… All of these represent a hazard for dogs, or other pets who like to chomp whatever’s in sight. You don’t want your pet sitter to comb the house in a bid to move everything out of harm’s way. So do it yourself, a day before the pet sitting is due. Further precautions may include setting up all the necessary child security gates, barring your pooch, kitty etc. from off-limits areas.
Set timers and security systems
As we’ve mentioned, a long-haul sitting schedule is about more than feeding, watering and exercising your pet. The chosen professional will also (to an extent) guard your home from intrusion. To do this, they must have the alarm code to prevent an unwarranted emergency, as well as any timer/switch information for security lights at night. Do them an additional favour by revealing how the boiler and thermostat work, just in case they need to take the chill off your home.
Detail your pet’s fears, allergies or medicinal routine
Like people, no two are pets are ever the same. Dogs and cats are vulnerable to their own fears – the hoover, for instance, or being stroked in a certain spot on their belly. Tell the pet sitting expert about them in advance. Similarly, break down any dietary/medicinal requirements that your dog or cat may have. This should include allotted portions, the types of food they’re able to digest well, and how often it’s supposed to be topped up.
Update your pets profiles
A successful visit with your pet begins with proper instruction from the pet parents and makes it more enjoyable for your pet. We’d rather spend time loving and caring for your pet than searching for supplies or food. In each of your pet profiles, please update:
• Photograph of your of Pet
• Pet’s Daily Routine
• Pet Temperament, Quirks
• Feeding, Allergies & Medication Instructions
• Where are Toys/Treats Kept?
• Rooms/Areas Your Pet Is Not Allowed
• Favorite Spots to Hang Out or Hide?
• Veterinarian Information
By taking these precautions, you have a masterplan for pet sitting success! All that’s left is to scour the web for someone to do the job… But you don’t need to, of course, when Scamps & Champs are right here, poised to offer the best pet sitting services in the UK. Browse our site or speak to our team now for availability.
No you don’t. We understand some people may work shifts or have irregular work patterns and may need us at different times each week or month.
Our online booking system allows you the flexibility to schedule your own dates and times that you would like to book your dog walks. We receive an email notification and then we will assign a dog walker or pet sitter who has availability, confirm your booking and email you a confirmation email.
Love, as a famous musician once said, is a burning thing. None of that comes into focus more than on your wedding day. Your friends are there, your dearest family… but someone might be missing. Yep – it’s your dog, who’s traditionally relegated to staying at home whilst its owner makes the biggest commitment of his or her life.
Well, we want to provide another option, and introduce you to our dog wedding chaperone service for weddings! Here’s how we help you include your furry friend as part of the celebrations:
Prep your pooch for the ceremony
It’s 9AM or so, and everything is in full swing. The bride is getting ready. The groom is packing his suit into the car. Guests are milling about their breakfasts, hoping that the venue parking is good. Already, your dog is sitting in its basket, feeling a bit left out…
You may have considered pet sitting for the day, or asking a neighbour to pitch in. A pet chaperone, on the other hand, can turn up at your door and (literally) take the lead. Your dog will be given a walk to stretch their legs then, if requested, receive a grooming session to leave their coat shimmering, stylish and ready to arrive at the venue.
Let them play a role in your big day
Once groomed and exercised, your furry friend will accompany the pet chaperone to the hall, church or open area where the wedding is taking place. They can even fit a little suit on, readying it for the formal occasion.
Through the whole day, the chaperone will stay with your pup, entertain it, feed and water it, and ensure that it never gets too excitable. They’ll be a perfect pair together, sitting comfortably in the crowd whilst you make your vows.
Some of our clients take it a step further, asking us to shepherd their dog down the aisle! There’s an increasing love for making pets the ring-bearer, where the rings are clipped to its collar. Your dog can also be star of the show in a photo shoot – it’s a ready-made entertainment factor, and your attendees will love strolling over for a selfie.
Have a guilt-free honeymoon
So, the confetti has fallen from your hair, you’ve thanked everyone for coming, and all that’s left is to head straight to the airport, where the honeymoon can begin… But wait, what about your dog?
Luckily, the pet chaperone will bring the pooch back to a pre-agreed location whilst you’re partying on the night of the wedding. Afterwards, when your flight is due, they can move into a pet sitting capacity, or care for it in their own home as a dog boarder. For newly-married couples, this is a blessing, as it lets you go and enjoy being Mr and Mrs without fearing that your canine doesn’t have the company it needs.
For group walks, when scheduling permits, your dog will walk in a small group of usually between 1 – 3 other dogs, maximum 4.
The dogs are carefully matched together based on temperament, size and energy levels. We do our best to keep the same dogs together but we can’t guarantee it as people’s schedules vary.
You will never see us taking a 10+ dogs together in a transit van and then letting them all loose in the park. This is not safe for either your dog or the dog walker.
The answer is as many times as you want.
For inside cats, a lot of owners will just book one visit a day and their cat is perfectly happy with that. Some owners like to book two visits per day if their cat enjoys company and affection or they may want us to let the cats out in the morning and then back in again in the evenings.
Pet sitting/pet visits are completely flexible and you can decide the schedule that fits your pets usual routine.
For dogs we would always recommend a minimum of 3 visits per day. In most cases dogs will get used to their new routine quickly and look forward to the pet sitter visits. They will definitely miss you but for some dogs, especially older dogs they are happier in their own surroundings and it is much less stressful than going to stay with a dog host family or a dog kennels.
If your dog is used to you being at home all day then you may want to book extra visits to keep their normal routine or you could even book our overnight pet sitting service so they have someone for a sleepover to keep them company during the night.
For pets who have regular medication, they may need 3 or 4 visits per day. We can schedule the timing of the visits that fits in with this.
We can be completely flexible and put together a schedule that fits in with you and your pet.
Some dog walkers walk dogs simply because they enjoy it. They may make a few pounds but they are doing it more as a hobby than anything else, a bit of pocket money. A professional dog walking company runs a business. This means that clients never have to worry about whether the dog walker is going to show up, how to pay the dog walker, whether the dog walker is insured or whether they can trust the dog walker. All that is part of a professional dog walking company.
A professional dog walking company will hold professional insurance to protect you as a client, your dog but also the dog walker themselves. You do not want to risk hiring a dog walker who does not have insurance. It simply isn’t worth it.
Length of Walks
The length of the dog walk your dog requires will determine how much a professional dog walking company will charge.
Group or Solo Walks
A group walk where your dog can be taken with up to four other dogs will cost less than a solo dog walk where your dog is taken alone.
Number of Dogs
How many dogs you have will determine the price you will pay. If you only have one dog, you will pay the professional dog walking company base price. If you have two or three dogs then you will pay an additional fee per dog that is part of the same household.
Your dog walker needs a reliable vehicle to get to and from their dog walks. This means vehicle insurance, fuel and upkeep costs. All this is taken into account when setting a dog walking rate.
Ask friends for recommendations
Ask your friends/colleagues if they use a dog walker and ask whether they are happy with them and get their contact details.
Instagram and Facebook are great places to see what kind of experience your dog will be getting. Most dog walking companies will have their own Facebook & Instagram accounts. Instead of taking the dog walking company’s word for it, you’ll be able to scroll through their pages and see where your dog goes, what kinds of dogs your dog is playing with and how dirty your dog is getting.
You should also be upfront with your potential dog walker if your dog has any particular quirks. Does your dog not get along with certain breeds? Is your dog scared by loud noises? It’s important for you to be honest with the potential walker to ensure the best care for your dog.
Are you insured?
There are a number of Insurance companies who deal specifically with pet care related businesses and offer cover that includes Public Liability, Key Cover, Care, Custody and Control and Employers Liability (if the company has staff members). Do not be afraid to ask to see their insurance certificate.
Do you have a pet contract, terms and conditions and references?
You should be asked to sign a contract to clarify the walkers responsibilities as well as your own. Ask to see references/reviews.
Are they DBS checked?
The dog walker will most likely hold a key to your home so trust is essential.
Will the same person walk my dog every day?
Consistency is good for your dog and will enable your dog to build a relationship with the same person.
Do you arrange cover for when my usual dog walker is on holiday or sick?
A professional dog walking company will have a team of dog walkers that can cover for each others holidays or sickness.
How many dogs do you walk at a time?
It’s common for walkers to take more than one dog out at a time, and that can help keep the costs down for you. But the more dogs, the less attention given to your dog. This can be an issue for dogs with special needs or more timid dogs.
How much time do you guarantee on the walk?
Make sure the time quoted e.g. a 60 minute walk should be 60 minutes out having fun. The journey time shouldn’t be included.
Will you come out to meet me and my dog beforehand?
Most professional Dog Walkers will arrange to meet you and your dog beforehand to discuss all your requirements. This is a great opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have and for your dog and the walker to start building a relationship.
If you would like any more information on our services, or on Dog Walking in general, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The answer is yes we can!
We can do puppy visits and you can book as many visits as you are need. Most owners will book 2 or 3 visits when puppy is first brought home.
We come in, let the pups out into the garden, feed them and then have some play/cuddle time. If you let us know what training commands you are working on with the puppy, we can also do the same.
As the pup gets older and usually when they lose the midday feed, many owners will change from a puppy visit to a 30 minute walk and then dependant on the breed and how much exercise your dog requires, some increase to a 60 minute dog walk. We can also introduce your dog to other dogs of a similar size and temperament which will help with socialisation.
We very carefully introduce dogs together and only take dogs together that have a similar temperament. We only ever take up to 4 dogs per dog walker but usually limit it to two or three so it is manageable for the dog walker and to ensure safety for your dog.
We can let your dog off the lead but only with your written permission and you must ensure that your dog has excellent recall.
It’s good to get away from the humdrum of work, chores and domestic graft every now and then. Us Brits love to up sticks for a holiday several times a year. Even a long weekend can be enough to refresh our spirits.
But what about our cats and dogs?
They have to be cared for, and your first thought might be to send them to a kennel or cattery. The thing is, such places are rarely the most comfortable, warm and stress-free residences for your furry pal.
Not to fear! Scamps & Champs have other, better suggestions for who minds your pet.
Pass them over to friends or family
Some of you may have an obliging pet fanatic close to hand. If they’re trustworthy, ask a friend to house your four-legged companion for the week; chances are they won’t mind the extra company.
Family members are a second option, as are neighbours, but beware of overstepping the mark. Treating a cat or dog well isn’t easy. Your contact will have to stimulate, feed and exercise the pet they’ve been charged with, not mention keep a beady eye on their toilet habits…
Arrange a dog boarding agreement
Instead, you might choose a dog boarding service. This lets any pooch into the home of an experienced carer who will treat them like royalty, however long you’re gone. Walks, meals and belly tickles are part of the package; with Scamps & Champs, you’re bound to find the right boarding choice.
Generally, cats prefer to stay put a home – they like familiar settings, and may wander off through streets they don’t recognise. Dog owners, though, have a great alternative to the kennel conundrum.
Hire an occasional visitor to check in
Some animals prefer being in their own environment, rather than nosing around unfamiliar places. They have their own basket, bowl, and blankets to enjoy. They’ll miss you, but we can alleviate this pressure by sending a pet expert over several times a day, who’ll give them cuddles and regular play.
A dog walker, for instance, can drop by in the morning, afternoon and evening. The same goes for felines, except without walkies – we’ll top their water and biscuits up, ruffling their neck when puss strides in through the cat flap.
Choose a pet sitting service
However, we know that leaving a home to the whims of your cat or dog could throw a red flag in the air… Pet sitting could be the answer! It doesn’t drag an animal away from somewhere they’re used to, yet still ensures they have human company 24/7.
Scamps & Champs have already sniffed out some of the finest pet sitters in the UK. In addition to the basics – feeding, exercise and companionship – the hire will protect the property he or she is (temporarily) living in. They can water plants, monitor gas/electrics, deposit rubbish or stay sensitive to allergies that your pet has to deal with.
We can do the last three things on this list; it all starts with a phone call! By avoiding the chilly confines of a kennel or cattery, there’s every reason to make the most of your getaway. Scamps & Champs are the go-to service for quality pet care when it’s needed.
“Alright, alright, I’m coming,” you chuckle as your excitable pooch hops around haphazardly at the front door. Every canine has an uncanny ability to sniff out when it might be time to go walkies. And their palpable delight when you start dressing for the outdoors is often a joy to behold.
But life happens, and as much as you might like to take care of dog walking duties yourself, it might not be possible. That’s where professional dog walkers come into play – people who will take care of your canine’s exercise in exchange for a fee.
It’s a simple enough concept, but there remains some misunderstanding around dog walkers – including their duties, skills and what you ought to expect from their services. Let us clear a few things up…
Flexible dog walking times
You wouldn’t be expected to stay rooted to your workspace when nature calls or hunger strikes. Similarly, dogs can only stay cooped up inside the home for a certain amount of time before their behaviour becomes erratic. Never underestimate their need for exercise. Without it, they become completely different animals.
If you spot your best buddy becoming restless and/or irritable, it could be time to start making walks a more regular thing. A flexible dog walking service will work with you to find a schedule that suits your dog’s needs and your own busy lifestyle.
Varied walking routes
Traversing the same old route gets tiresome fast. You’re probably sick of that commute to work, aren’t you? Well, dogs feel much the same. Whilst they’re always grateful for any opportunity to bound around in the great outdoors, they’ll be far more mentally stimulated if their walker is willing to switch normal paths for new scenery.
Any professional dog walker should always looking be for ways to increase the value of their services. If your pooch is yearning for animal company, a pack walk with carefully chosen (and complementary) canines ought to be an option. If they’re on the shy side and need undivided attention, your walker should also be able to provide solo walks.
Good communication skills
As much as you want your dog to have fun whilst you’re gone, it’s possible they might take the opportunity to misbehave in your absence. That’s why any good dog walker ought to be disciplined as well as caring – knowing exactly what to do if your pup plays up. Similarly, they should show knowledge of safety training and how to calm any dog that’s distressed.
Communication – both with you and your pooch – is mightily important in a dog walking service. You need to remain in the loop with regards to where your pet is at all times, and also know well in advance when your dog walker is free. This way, you build a crucial bond of trust.
Ultimately, it’s often worth accompanying your new dog walker on their first outing – just so you can see them in action and determine whether they’re a good fit for your family.
What is a Pet Sitter?
People considering a pet sitting service are usually people who don’t want to ask family or friends, don’t want to put their pets in a kennel or cattery and are looking for a reliable, professional pet sitting service.
A Pet Sitter takes care of your pets in your own home. Your pets remain in their familiar surroundings maintaining all routines, with added loving companionship.
We can visit your pets as many times a day as you need or stay overnight if you prefer, depending on their needs. After every visit we then send you a feedback report which updates you on the visit and includes photos of your pets enjoying their time with their Pet Sitter.
You will be allocated a primary pet sitter but we also have back up sitters so if your primary pet sitter was on holiday or off sick, no visits would ever be missed. You would never receive a text to say we couldn’t visit your pet. We always have pet sitters available.
All visits are tracked by GPS for your peace on mind and checked regularly by the office. We have an online scheduling system to monitor visits daily.
Our pet sitting service helps to ensure your home is protected from security risks. Your pet sitter will bring in post, put out your recycle bins, turn lights on and off, draw and open curtains and blinds, take immediate action in the event of a flood or emergency.
It is much less stressful for you and your pets. Your pets don’t have to get used to new surroundings as they will be in their own, familiar environment. You don’t have to worry about dropping your pets off and collecting them at a specific time. You schedule your pet sitting visits at times to suit you.
We will always ask you to complete your online pets profile before we commence the visits and we follow your instructions exactly.
You may ask us to feed your cats, change the litter trays, give fresh water before letting the cats out for the day and then letting them back in on our second visit of the day.
You may also ask us to bring in any post, open the curtains on the morning visit and then close them on the evening visit. Water your plants inside and outside if it is hot weather. Put out the recycle bins on bin collection day and turn lights on and off.
For dog visits/walks, you may ask us to take your dog out for a walk, give him fresh water and treats on our return and maybe confine him to one room so he doesn’t have access to the whole house as he may be wet. You may have prepared a filled kong for him earlier and ask us to give that to him as we are leaving.
Pet visits/pet sitting is completely flexible and we follow your instructions so we can keep to your pets usual routine and it has the added bonus of making the house look as though someone is there all the time.
We’re never thrilled about leaving our pooches behind, but certain situations, like holidays abroad, dictate we must. When you can’t take your dog along for the ride, there are generally two courses of action available: pet sitting or dog home boarding.
But which option is best for our furry friends? We’re going to throw you a couple of bones, if we may, as we gauge the benefits and drawbacks of both choices…
Dog home boarding – Pros
Dog home boarding is a popular alternative to kennels, giving you peace of mind that your pup is being cared for in a comfortable environment, whether that’s a friend’s house, or that of a professional dog sitter.
It’s ideal for dogs who have had bad experiences with kennels in the past, struggle with socialising, or simply require a few home comforts – especially older animals. With dog home boarding, your pet can be taken for regular walks, plied with cuddles, kept safe and healthy, and enjoy some companionship for the days ahead.
Most top-tier services (like us!) ensure you’re totally comfortable with the boarding experience beforehand; only when you’ve had a chance to meet the carer do we ask for a deposit.
While dog home boarding may sound like a luxury escape for your pooch, it’s not suited to every animal. For starters, if your dog isn’t toilet trained, or struggles with basic obedience, you could lose your deposit in the event of an incident at your carer’s home.
Plus, even though home boarding is a much nicer alternative to kennels, it can still place a lot of stress on animals with a nervous temperament, or those who are sick or injured.
Pet sitting – Pros
Most dogs take a while to adapt to a new place; they like to sniff, sleep and feel their way around a territory. With pet sitting, a committed carer will turn up at your door – armed with treats, toys, or just an overnight bag – and stay in your home for a prescribed amount of time.
By staying dry, fed and loved in a space they recognise, any dog will be calmer, mediating their separation anxiety. The pet sitter can have as much or as little influence on the day-to-day routine of your pooch as desired: merely popping over to walk them and filling up their biscuit bowl, perhaps, or camping over for a week or two. They can even water the plants…
Depending on the levels of service you ask for, pet sitting can be pricier than dog home boarding; after all, we’re asking someone to (potentially) spend every minute with your furry pal. It also requires a much greater degree of trust; while this shouldn’t be a problem with a reputable service, like ours, some people feel uncomfortable giving strangers free roam of their home.
There isn’t a single answer to what’s preferable here; it all comes down to your personality and, of course, the needs of the pet in question. Still can’t decide on the way forward? Contact Scamps & Champs today, or delve into our range of pet care services, each of which can be tailored to you.
Dog home boarding is where your dog goes to stay with a host family. Your dog will live as part of the family, there are no kennels and no cages, unless you bring a crate for your dog as it is part of his usual routine. They will walk them, feed them and care for them in their home according to your specific instructions.
When you call to make the initial enquiry, we will check which family has availability and then we arrange for you to take your dog to meet the family and you can see where they will be staying. Ask the host family to show you their garden.
All of our families are licensed for dog home boarding through their local council, have no children under the age of 5, have a secure, private garden and are at home for most of the day.
Some of our families do have a dog of their own but some are retired and like the companionship of a dog without the full time commitment.
We only look after dogs from the same family, we never mix clients dogs together that don’t know each other.
There are some great dog kennels out there. I myself use one for my Irish Wolfhound and he absolutely loves going. Finlay is a very boisterous, large 2 year old Wolfhound so not really suitable for dog home boarding!
The dogs are typically kept in a kennels, walked and fed at regular intervals and your dog will need to have all vaccinations up to date including kennel cough. Your dog’s routine will likely not be the same as at home which could result in stress or even illness. Some dogs just don’t cope very well in a kennel environment.
If you are considering using a kennels, ask to visit beforehand and read all the online reviews before making an informed decision.
Pet Sitting is where your dog can stay at home in their own familiar surroundings. They can sleep in their own bed, eat out of their own dog bowls and have their own favourite toys around them.
We can visit as many times as you like, maintaining your dogs usual routine.
The pet sitter will feed your dog, walk him and give him plenty of love and affection.
In addition to this your pet sitter will bring in your post, turn lights on and off, close and open curtains and take out the recycle bins, all of which gives your home a lived in look.
We will always try and allocate you the same dog walker as this is nicer for your dog and the walker. We do however have plenty of other experienced dog walkers so if your dog walker is fully booked, off sick or on holiday we can provide cover.
Many of our dog walkers have been with us for a long, long time but some may be working towards other goals, i.e. at college or university and their plans are not to be with us forever, thus you may end up with a new walker every so often. Rest assured though all of our dog walkers are thoroughly vetted and you will always be given the opportunity to meet your new walker beforehand.
The answer to this question is no and the reasons why we don’t do every other day cat visits are below.
Cats in general can be very independent, they give and receive affection on their terms, play only when they feel like it, if at all but as independent as they may seem they still need supervision.
Some people think that leaving their cat alone with only a pet visit every other day and an automatic cat feeder will be okay.
A cat left home alone for more than a day at a time could lead to tragedy. To ensure your cats safety, Scamps &Champs does not offer every other day cat visits for the following reasons:-
Your Cat Could Get Ill
Cats can become very unwell, very quickly as we have experienced. Swift action can be taken by your pet sitter to take your cats to the vets for emergency treatment. A visit 48 hours later may well be too late.
Your Cat May Become Injured
Accidents can and do happen. A cat left unsupervised for more than 24 hours increases the risk of an injury. Your cat could injure themselves after the pet sitter has visited but would then have to wait 48 hours for her to return causing them unnecessary pain and suffering before being able to get them veterinary treatment.
The Automatic Pet Feeder May Malfunction
Again this something we have experienced where an automatic pet feeder has not opened at the time it was scheduled to. Your cat would be extremely hungry having to wait 48 hours for their next meal.
Your Cat Could Become Trapped
Another of our experiences. We arrived at a clients house and the cat didn’t come to greet us as she normally did. After hunting all around the house, we discovered that the cleaner had locked her in a bedroom. Imagine we hadn’t found her for another 48 hours, we would have had an extremely distressed, very hungry and thirsty cat, not to mention the damage done to the clients bedroom. A daily visit by a professional pet sitter will ensure your cat remains safe.
Your Cat Could Run Out Of Water
We have visited cats where they have managed to upturn their water dish. Even the most sturdiest of bowls can be flipped over. Your cat would have no access to fresh water for 48 hours.
We have had lots of different experiences over the last eight years and because of what we have learned, we will not offer pet visits every other day for the safety of your cats. Leaving your cats home alone without a pet visit every day to check on them just doesn’t make sense when you consider the potential risks.
Scamps & Champs daily cat visits will ensure the safety of your pet and provide them with care, love and attention while you are away providing you with peace of mind.