Meet & Greets
How important is the Meet & Greet?
We strongly recommend a Meet & Greet if you are going to be away and your pet is going to stay in the home of a pet sitter, be visited at home by a pet sitter or if you are going to have the sitter stay in your home.
How soon should we arrange the Meet & Greet?
Even if your Booking isn’t for many weeks it is important to arrange the Meet & Greet as soon as possible in case either you or the sitter decide that it is not a good match. That will then give you time to contact the other sitters on your list so that you aren’t having to do all this at the last minute.
Do I need to pay anything before a Meet & Greet?
Yes. Payment of a deposit or the full Booking amount, if the start date is 14 days or less from the current date, is made once the Pet Owner and the Pet Service Provider both accept the Booking or Job. However, the Pet Service Provider does not receive the funds until the Booking has been successfully completed.
Should, therefore, a Meet & Greet show an incompatibility between the Pet Owner or pet and the Pet Service Provider and, an alternative not be available, you are entitled to a 100% money back guarantee.
What information do I need to prepare for the Pet Service Provider?
Where your pet is being cared for in either your home or the Pet Service Provider’s home the instructions for the Pet Service Provider should include:
- Your vet’s phone number and address.
- Vaccination certificate.
- Details of any medication required – please be very careful when writing the dosage instructions.
- An emergency contact who can make decisions for the pet if you are uncontactable at any point while you are away.
- Feeding instructions.
- Words that your pet knows – especially for toileting, feeding and general behavior.
- Your pet’s exercise schedule and any behaviour the pet sitter needs to be aware of when walking your pet.
- Anything that may cause anxiety or fear for your pet.
- Any specific idiosyncrasies your pet has that could impact on how the sitter cares for them (e.g. will only eat from the green bowl).
- Your preference as to whether or not you want the sitter to contact you directly in the event of a query or emergency.
What questions should I ask the Pet Service Provider during the Meet & Greet?
The Meet & Greet is the opportunity for both parties to find out more about each other so think about what you want to know about the sitter. They will want to ask you about your pet’s needs so will also have a number of questions. Here is a starting list of questions that you may want to ask the Pet Service Provider:
- How much experience have you had with sitting this particular type of pet/breed of pet?
- How many pets have you minded before?
- What other pets or children will be present when your pet is staying with the sitter?
- How much time will you be able to spend with my pet?
- (If your pet is a dog) How often will you be able to walk my dog, for how long and where will you take him/her for walks?
- How far is your nearest vet? How far is your nearest 24 hour vet? Do you have a car and licence in case you need to take my pet to the vet?
- Why do you like being a pet sitter/house sitter?
- Do you have any references?
What is the best procedure for Meet & Greet at a Pet Service Provider’s place?
Here are some tips to assist you in finding out all you need to know and to ensure your safety:
- Try to arrive on time and be sure to let the pet sitter know if you have been held up or are likely to arrive early.
- Bring your pet with you so that you can see how the pet sitter interacts with them. Importantly, the Meet & Greet also allows your pet to become familiar with the pet sitter’s home and garden, which in turn helps them settle when they arrive for their holiday.
- Tell a friend or family member where you are going and at what time, just like you would when meeting with any stranger.
- Spend enough time at the Meet & Greet to get to know the pet sitter so that you can feel comfortable that they are right for your pet.
- If your pet is a dog check the fences to be sure they are secure enough for your dog. It is a good idea to look at corner points where the fences meet as that is sometimes a weak point.
- Check that gates are secure. Ask if they will be locked.
- Check that there is adequate shelter from storms if your dog will be outside when the sitter is out.
- Ask which areas of the house your pet will have access to.
- Have a good discussion about your pet’s needs and be sure the pet sitter is in agreement that they can fulfil these requirements.
What should I do if I can’t personally meet the Pet Service Provider?
Conducting a Meet & Greet is vital to ensuring both Pet Owner and Pet Service Provider are comfortable with the arrangement. It gives the opportunity for all parties to be sure the arrangement is in the best interest of the pet involved. If you can’t personally attend the Meet & Greet you can elect a nominated person/guardian to attend the Meet & Greet. Out of courtesy please advise the Pet Service Provider that a different person will be attending the Meet & Greet.
What if I am not totally happy with the Pet Service Provider?
After your Meet & Greet, you may not feel that the Pet Service Provider is compatible with either yourself or your pet.
A Booking can be cancelled and a refund arranged, if applicable, so that you can then search for an alternative Pet Service Provider.
If the Meet & Greet was in relation to a Job rather than a Booking, the Job applicant can be rejected and other applicants can be considered. You will still be able to see any other applicants who had already applied for this Job and the Job will be reposted so that other Pet Service Providers will see it and can apply.
If, after your Meet & Greet, you do not feel the Pet Service Provider is compatible with either yourself or your pet a Booking can be cancelled or a Job applicant can be rejected and a refund arranged so that you can then search for an alternative Pet Service Provider. This can sometimes happen because their environment is not suitable for your pet or there has been some misunderstanding between you and the Pet Service Provider about your requirements. Don’t worry, there are many other wonderful Pet Service Providers who could be perfect for your pet.
If you are going away and are looking for a place for your dog to stay but don’t want to do this research yourself you can use our Pawfect Match service where we do the search for you amongst the dog minders we have interviewed.
Can a Pet Service Provider decide not to accept a Booking?
With our many years of experience we provide as much information as possible to assist our pet sitters and other Pet Service Providers to do the best job possible and to enjoy what they do and remain as safe as possible.
We consider the following to be very good reasons for sitters and other Pet Service Providers not to accept a Booking or Job:
- If you live in a high crime, unsafe neighbourhood and you want a pet sitter to visit your home or a house sitter to stay in your home – this could be dangerous for a sitter so you may find that you can’t find a sitter willing to do this. Perhaps, if it would be suitable for your pet, you should consider arranging for your pet to stay in a pet sitter’s home.
- Your home is not at all clean or very untidy and you want a housesitter to live in your home to look after your pets – housesitters have the right to not accept a Booking or Job that could be hazardous to their health and safety or where they would feel totally uncomfortable.
- Your dog suffers from severe anxiety and is destructive – it would not be reasonable to expect a sitter to take on such behaviour. We recommend that you search our site under Pet Training for a dog behaviourist to assist you in dealing with this.
- Your dog is aggressive – this could put both the sitter and your dog at risk if it should attack them. Sitters are advised not to take on aggressive dogs. We recommend that you search our site for a dog behaviourist under Pet Training to deal with this behaviour.
- You expect the sitter to care for a pet in a way that is cruel– pet sitters are people who love animals and will not participate in animal cruelty. We and our sitters do not condone any actions or inactions that we believe are not in the best interest of the pets in our care.
- Your pet’s routine does not fit in with the sitter’s schedule –your pet may not settle very well if the sitter is away from home for more hours than your pet is used to. Not only will they be in a different environment but suddenly they will have less company. This can lead to your pet becoming anxious and escaping or being very destructive.
- Your pet does not get on with their pet –if the Meet & Greet reveals that your pet and the sitter’s pet do not get along this would be a very good reason for both parties to decide not to proceed. Your next step should be to get back onto the “Don’t Fret Pet!” portal straight away to search for a different sitter.
- Sexual harrassment – sexual harassment and flirting is not tolerated. Please just keep things professional.
Can I arrange Meet & Greets with several Pet Service Providers before I deciding which to accept?
Yes, you are able to do this.
Should you wish to meet more than one Pet Service Provider for the same Booking we recommend that you Post A Job. You are then able to discuss the Booking, have Meet & Greets etc with as many applicants as you wish before making your decision as to which Pet Service Provider you will accept.