You’ve just booked your perfect vacation for the summer.
Then it hits you: Who’s going to care for Bella, Thor, or Twilight Sparkle?
You’ve heard about professional pet sitters, and the advantages of real care for your pets. You want the full peace of mind a professional can bring, plus all the little perks like sending you daily updates, bringing in the mail and watering your garden. This time around, you won’t be asking your in-laws or your elderly neighbor to look after your cats.
A quick search on Google has found you a few company names. You pick up the phone and dial the first one…
You try again a few minutes later, and you get the voicemail again.
You are unsure of why nobody is picking up the phone. After all, it’s the middle of the day. You’re asking yourself “What is going on? I need to find a pet sitter now!”
Don’t panic! We get it. We know it can be frustrating to get voicemail when you call… But we’re not ignoring you!
Here are some of the top reasons why your pet sitter may not be picking up the phone right away:
– Your pet sitter is driving
By any definition, pet sitting includes providing pet care at their owner’s home. As such, pet sitters are required to spend a lot of time on the road and in their vehicles, getting to many clients in a day. Not only it is illegal to use a cell phone while driving, it is also very challenging to note information or check the schedule for availability while doing so. We’ve heard of pet sitters taking phone calls and bookings while driving, only to forget about the details (literally) down the road, with the consequences you can imagine.
– Your pet sitter is walking dogs
It is basically impossible to have a cell phone conversation while holding a leash (or two, or three), a poop bag, and a notebook. The sound of the wind, people, and cars passing by make it difficult to listen clearly. Add a rabbit to the picture, and it’s a recipe for disaster. Not only is it not professional to operate this way, it can be flat-out dangerous. As most dog walks are performed between 10 am and 3 pm, you can expect your pet sitter to be busy during these hours.
– Your pet sitter is currently at a client’s home
Many may wonder why their pet sitter may not be picking up the phone during the rest of the day, like when they are caring for a kitty or after bringing a dog back from a walk.
We used to pick up the phone and return calls in our client’s houses, but then we realized that most phone calls would last anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. It’s unfair to our existing clients to have their pet sitter on the phone instead of paying attention to their pets. Plus, with more households having indoor cameras, security systems and home automation these days (hello Alexa!), it raises genuine concerns regarding privacy and personal information, where conversations could be watched and recorded.
– Your pet sitter is on a tight schedule
To continue the previous point, many professional pet sitters are on a tight schedule. There are only so many hours in a day to perform all the pet sitting visits and walks, and delays can significantly impact a pet sitter’s ability to get everything done. Needless to say, there is no way we can miss a single visit where you pets are concerned!
Most of the (legit) phone calls we receive are from new clients inquiring about services, availability, pricing and policies. Because we want to be thorough in our answers, it is not unusual for these phone calls to go on for longer than a few minutes. As we can receive several inquiries a day, answering each one “on the spot” or when we’re between two clients would mean putting us back in the schedule each time. Unfortunately, this is not a sustainable situation, especially during busy times – and we feel it’s unfair to our scheduled clients to be late for their visits.
– Your pet sitter is meeting with a client
A delicate part of this job is the meeting new clients and their pets. Most pet sitters will conduct consultations and “meet & greet” sessions after business hours, or on the weekend. Of course, as a courtesy, your pet sitter won’t be able to pick up the phone during a meeting.
– Your pet sitter receives dozens of unsolicited calls everyday…
When you own a business, the cold calling never ends. The increasing number of calls that are scams, spams or just cold calling for services is astonishing and a big waste of time. If we suspect the caller to belong to one of these groups, there’s a fair chance we won’t pick up.
– Your pet sitter is currently spending time with their family, or taking care of children, etc.
Just like everyone else, your pet sitter needs some personal time and can’t always pick up the phone, especially around dinner time, when picking up kids at school, or late at night. Be mindful that when you call around those times, it is likely you will have to leave a voicemail.
So, what’s the best way to communicate with your new pet sitter if he or she can’t pick up the phone right away?
We’re glad you asked!
First, visit the website. These days, many pet sitters will put a lot of effort into their website, or like Paskapoo Pet Services, hire professional help to design an eye-catching homepage where all the information is readily accessible. Most websites will list the services provided, information about pricing, cancellation policies, credentials and their “area of service”. Within minutes, you can learn if a company is a good fit for your specific needs and save YOU a lot of time.
Once you’ve found your perfect pet sitter, reach out with an email through the website. Make sure to specify:
1. The type of service you need
2. The type and number of pets
3. The specific dates of service
4. Your location within the city, and
5. Any additional questions you may have.
Watch out for an “auto-reply” or a confirmation of reception. It may end up in your spam folder!
At Paskapoo Pet Services, we love these emails – the more detailed the better! With a glance, we’re usually able to tell if we can help in a situation or not. The information is written, clear and easily accessible for our record. The wonderful thing is that if we are not available to answer right away, we will when we’re back in the office, usually on the same day, regardless of the time of day, or the night.
Now of course, there’s nothing wrong with leaving a voicemail or sending a text. But for all the reasons listed above, you might have to wait for the pet sitter to be in the best situation to call you back.
Hopefully, we’ve been able to explain why pet sitters and dog walkers may not pick up their phone during the day and return calls as quickly as they’d wish. A successful pet sitting company is a busy company, with lots going on and many clients and pets to keep safe and happy. We desire nothing more than to add you and your pets to our ever-growing family.
If we don’t pick up the phone, don’t give up on us! And if you don’t feel like talking to a machine, shoot us an email. We will get back to you soon. We promise.
Enjoy your next vacation! We’ll make sure your pets do too.
Written by Paskapoo Pet Services