After 24 years in the pet sitting business, it always amazes me when a client (or potential client, particularly) attempts to book several days of pet sitting over a holiday….days before the actual holiday! Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t judge. I know there are sometimes emergencies, and work obligations, and I ALWAYS do my best to accommodate everyone, but holidays are an especially busy time of year for pet sitters, so your chances of landing an overnight or live-in service on short notice over a holiday (even a minor holiday) is slim. So, I’ve often been asked the oh so pertinent question…”How much notice do you need?” Well, there is no straightforward answer to this important question. So I’ll try to break it down and give you a behind the scenes look at scheduling….there are a few ways I look at it:
1. It depends on what type of service you’re looking for.
For example, half-hour visits are much easier to accommodate than overnights and live-in service. And cats, due to their flexibility and not as urgent need to get visits at specific times, are infinitely easier to accommodate. So a cat client wanting 1x/day with flexible timing is almost guaranteed a spot on my calendar, potentially last minute (less than a week’s notice). However, an overnight, live-in or even every 12-hour visits for dogs will have less of a chance of getting accepted, unless you give at least 2 weeks’ notice. On holidays, I prefer 2 months’ notice. I have had some clients book major holiday overnights and live-ins almost a year in advance (bless their ever-loving hearts)!
2. High maintenance can be tricky.
If your pet needs medication or has to be seen 2-3 times/day at specific times or at least every 12 hours, I suggest you give at least 2 weeks notice. On holidays, 2 months notice. Due to the time-specific nature of medications and potty-time, early mornings, late nights are high-value time slots. Since I can only be in one place at a time, it’s best to book me early. Think of these time slots as high-value real estate…the early bird gets the worm!
3. Large time blocks with one pet (especially overnight) make me unavailable to all others.
If you’re wanting me to live in your home, day and night (live-ins), or overnights, I will need at least 2 weeks, preferably more notice. Again, on holidays, 2 months notice is preferable. This is because I like to keep my calendar as clear as I can on your dates, so I can spend the quality time with your pet that you desire and are paying for. If I have already committed to 8 other pet visits that day, I’ll be coming and going from your house, likely in 2 shifts. So be aware that may be the case if you book with short notice. My service is a first come, first served type of business. I try to be flexible and accommodating, but please understand I’m only one person and can’t be in two places at once. I wouldn’t even want to be, even if I could, as I value quality time with your pet as much as you do. Rushing around is too much pressure, on everyone involved. So please be considerate as possible by booking early, or at least checking dates with me early as possible. The general rule of thumb for me is at least 2 weeks notice, or in the case of holiday booking, 2 months notice. But nothing is written in stone as far as availability is concerned! Earlier is better, although I know last minute requests often can’t be avoided.
That being said, get your calendars out and contact me for possible trips being planned for next year! Hopefully, travel will come back soon!