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What do you want to know?

Let's Take a Stroll

We have compiled the following list of the most Frequently Asked Questions for our pet care services. If your questions are not answered here, please feel to contact us at 757.745.9868 or

  • Why should I hire a professional in-home pet care company?
    Having our professional pet care service offers many advantages even though having family, friends, or neighbors care for your pet family may seem like a perfect choice. We do this for a living and have the necessary experience to properly care for your pet family. You can always count on us to be there because we are committed to providing excellent service to our clients! For your pet: Your pet will have reduced stress by staying in their own environment. Pets are more content when surrounded by familiar sights, sounds and smells. Your pet will not be exposed directly to illness, noise, or stress in a kennel environment. Your pet will be kept on their current diet and exercise routine. Your pet will receive personalized one-on-one attention. For you: For your protection and ours, we are insured, bonded, and have continuing education in pet care and behavior. We have clear policies, procedures, and documentation in place. There is no need to transport your pet to a kennel. You pet is comfy in their own surroundings when you leave and waiting for you when you return. You will have peace of mind knowing your pet family is in capable, loving hands and receiving the best care possible. We give your home a lived-in look by bringing in the newspaper, mail and rotating lights and blinds. Your pet family is our number one priority! No need to impose on family, friends, or neighbors that all have their own busy schedules to tend to.
  • What type of pets do you care for?
    We have a genuine affection for ALL pets and hold no biases based on breed, age, or size. Our services extend from caring for tiny hamsters to large mastiffs and everything in between. If you have exotic animals, we encourage you to reach out to us for a more detailed discussion of your specific needs. It is important to note that, while we have a deep love for all animals, we do not offer services involving "live feedings". Additionally, we are unable to provide services for pets that exhibit aggression towards people or have major anxiety issues. The safety and well-being of our staff and your pets are of utmost importance to us.
  • Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?"
    Absolutely! We are a full time, professional pet sitting and dog walking company and take our reputation seriously. For your protection and peace of mind, we are fully licensed, insured and bonded. Our employees are also covered under our worker's compensation policy.
  • What do your pet sitting services include?
    Our pet sitting services are customizable according to the needs of your pets and your home. Visits include: Refreshing food and water Taking your pup out for potty time Playtime in the yard or walk Brushing Cleaning up accidents Scooping litter boxes Visit update, pictures and report card via our mobile app Administering medications, including pills, injections and subcutaneous fluids Retrieving mail, newspaper and packages
  • What are your service areas?
    We proudly serve our human and pet clients in Yorktown and Poquoson, Virginia. We also serve certain areas of Hampton and Newport News-contact us to see if we provide care where you live.
  • What is a Registration Meeting?
    This meeting is an opportunity for you and Hearts at Home Pet Sitting to get to know each other. During this time, the Hearts at Home Pet Sitting's owner/management team will meet with you, spend time with your pet family, confirm and review the detailed instructions about your home, pet care routine and answer any additional questions you may have. Service is not provided until this meeting takes place. A one-time non-refundable fee of $35 is charged to your payment method on file three days prior to the scheduled Registration Meeting. This fee covers administrative costs related to creating your account in our online system, proper setup of your Care Team, as well as time spent at the meeting. We offer 15-minute introductions for $25 for Clients that would like to meet each assigned Pet Care Specialist.
  • Do I get to meet my Pet Care Specialist?
    The owner/manager of Hearts at Home will meet with you at the Registration Meeting and will assign your team of Pet Care Specialist your pet family. One of the benefits of hiring Hearts at Home Pet Sitting is that we work as a team! This means in the event that your primary Pet Care Specialist (PCS) is unavailable, we always have a backup to provide continuity of care. We try to do our best to keep the same PCS team assigned to your pets. However, a rotation of PCS’s might be needed due to the length of your vacation and availability of our Pet Care Specialists. If it is imperative for you to meet each Pet Care Specialist, we offer 15-minute introductions for $25.
  • How can I communciate directly with my Pet Care Specialist?
    You can communicate directly with your Pet Care Specialist through our all-in-one client portal and mobile app.
  • How will I know when my Pet Care Specialist has been to my home?
    You will receive a notification upon a visit completion in our all-in-one client portal and mobile app. Your visit update will include pictures, notes and a report card on how the visit went so you will always know your pet family is doing.
  • Do you board pets?
    We only provide pet care services in your own home. We believe pets that remain in their own environment are happier and healthier!
  • Would you visit my cat every other day?
    Your cat may be independent. However, we strongly feel cats should be observed at least once during a 24 hour period. Cats can be very curious and may become trapped somewhere away from their food, water or litter box. They also may become ill and require immediate medical attention. Therefore, we require a minimum of one visit per day.
  • What is the minimum amount of visits required while I am out of town?
    Hearts at Home requires a minimum number of pet care visits each day for the welfare of your pet and we customize our services to meet the needs of your pet family. Minimum amount of visits required per day: Adult dogs - three visits. Crated dogs and puppies - four visits. Cats and caged pets - one visit. Kittens - two visits We do not provide every other day visits for cats.
  • How will you access my home?
    In order to deliver the most dependable service, Hearts at Home requires two sets of house keys and the utilization of a key storage lockbox, even if electronic access is given. This policy ensures continued access to your pet in the event of electronic entry malfunctions. The use of a secure lockbox provides clients with the assurance that their keys are safely stored at their residence. Clients are encouraged to acquire a lockbox with a minimum four-digit code, suitable for hanging from a doorknob or railing, or wall mounting. It should be easily accessible to both you and a Hearts at Home pet care specialist, fostering efficiency and convenience for future and emergency services. For pet parents residing in apartments and condos, exceptions may be considered, and alternative arrangements will be discussed to accommodate specific circumstances.
  • What is your cancellation policy?
    Our cancellation policy is diligently enforced without exceptions, encompassing trip cancellations, early returns home, and illness, including cases related to Covid. In the event that you need to cancel your reservation, we are committed to facilitating the process by providing documentation for your travel or trip interruption insurance carrier. Adhering to a firm no-overbooking policy, we prioritize your reservation by reserving exclusive time with a dedicated Hearts at Home Pet Care Specialist. Recognizing the trust you place in us, we refrain from accepting other reservations during your reserved time. Therefore, our cancellation policy, applicable for any reason, is as follows: Dog Walking / Frequent Walker / Pet Sitting (one-off visit only) / Puppy Care: A full visit charge will apply if cancellation is not submitted by 12:00 PM ET on the day prior to scheduled visit. For Saturday, Sunday and Monday visits, cancellation must be submitted by the Friday prior at 12:00 PM ET. Pet Sitting / Cat Sitting / Small Animal Sitting Reservations 25% non-refundable deposit of total invoice due at time of booking. 14 days prior to start of Service Period: total invoice due. If cancelled: 8-14 days prior to start of Service Period: 25% credit applied to Client’s account. 7 days or less prior to start of Service Period: no credit. Holiday Reservations: 50% non-refundable deposit of total invoice due at time of booking. 21 days prior to start of Service Period: total invoice due. If cancelled: 15-21 days prior to start of Service Period: 25% credit applied to Client’s account. 14 days or less prior to start of Service Period: no credit. Late Departure/Early Return: There are no refunds or credits issued for late departures or early return home.
  • May I have family or friends share pet care?
    Due to liability, safety concerns and complications, we are unable to accept Pet Sitting reservations if you have someone else sharing pet care responsibilities during the time we are caring for your pet family.
  • What happens if my pet becomes sick or injured while I am away?
    Pet parents need to complete our Veterinary Release form that we keep on file. In case of an illness or injury that we believe threatens a pet's quality of life, we will make every reasonable attempt to notify you and to secure prompt treatment that is approprate for the welfare and health of the pet in our care.
  • Do you administer medications?
    Absolutely! Our team has extensive experience in providing various forms of medications to pets. We handle pills, liquid medications, and other oral forms with expertise. Please note that we no longer administer injections or subcutaneous fluids. If you have any specific concerns or questions regarding your pet's medication needs, feel free to reach out to us.
  • Does your company walk more than one dog at a time?
    Yes. However, we only walk dogs that are part of your pet family. We do not “pack walk” dogs. This means that we do not walk dogs from other households along with yours.
  • What happens in inclement weather or if the temperature is too hot/cold to walk my dog?
    Rain or shine, our we will always make sure to show up to your home to take your pet out to potty! However, the weather may not always permit a safe walking environment (for your pet or others around them). In such cases, your Pet Care Specialist will instead provide an engaging playtime and/or cuddle session.
  • What happens in the event of a weather emergency or natural disaster?
    Every effort will be made to complete pet sitting visits for those that are out of town. Hearts at Home will use the best judgment to ensure the safety of your pet family and home while keeping in constant contact with you. The emergency contact will be notified if it is not possible to safely get to your home. It is highly suggested that arrangements are made with someone to evacuate your entire pet family in case of a disaster or weather-related crisis.
  • Will you use an e-collar if my dog is trained with it?
    Hearts at Home considers the well-being and safety of your pet family our highest priority. Therefore, we only follow positive reinforcement/force-free methods. To provide this standard of care, prong/shock/e-collars and retractable/flexi leashes will not be used due to safety hazards and lack of control. We prefer to use a properly fitted harness, or a flat collar and leash.
  • What forms of payment is accepted?
    We accept credit cards and ACH payments online via our Time To Pet portal with no added fee. Payment is due prior to the start of service.
  • May I tip my Pet Care Specialist?
    Absolutely! Tips are never expected. Though, they are greatly appreciated when a Client chooses to recognize the dedication and care their Pet Care Specialist provides. The assigned Pet Care Specialist will receive 100% of the gratuity. If there are multiple Pet Care Specialists assigned, a portion of the gratuity is divided among them.
  • What happens if my Pet Care Specialist cannot make it?
    We are a professional pet care businees and will always provide your pets with their scheduled visits. If your Pet Care Specialist has an emergency, such as illness, a car accident, etc. our team will step in to ensure service is not interrupted.
  • Is there an extra charge on holidays?
    Yes, there is an additional holiday fee of $15 per visit. This supplementary charge serves as an incentive for our staff members who sacrifice their time with their families on holidays to provide exceptional care for our clients. Observed Holidays: Martin Luther King Day President's Day Easter Weekend Memorial Day Weekend* Juneteenth Independence Day/Weekend* Labor Day Weekend* Indigenous Peoples(Columbus)Day Veterans Day Thanksgiving(Thursday-Sunday) Festive Season: Dec 23 through Observed New Year's Day *Weekends are considered Friday through Monday
  • Are there additional fees?
    Yes, there are additional fees. 5% Administration Fee: To ensure that our overall rates remain competitive while sustaining excellent service, we implement a 5% Administration Fee. This fee, which is the total of each invoice, is designed to contribute towards various essential business costs, encompassing but not limited to, managing administrative tasks, providing Hearts at Home Pet Care Specialists with employee benefits such as workman’s comp and paid time off, maintaining liability and bonding policies, managing insurance and tax liabilities, conducting employee vetting and background checks, facilitating mileage reimbursement, and supporting orientation programs and continued education initiatives. This comprehensive fee structure helps us maintain high standards while covering the diverse operational aspects that contribute to exceptional pet care service. Additional Pet Fees: The base cost for pet care is $30 which includes accommodation for up to two pets within the same household. For each pet exceeding the initial two, there is an additional charge of $3 per pet. Have family visiting that has a pet? If we agree to care for a non-resident visiting pet not belonging to the same household, there is also a $10 fee per non-resident visiting pet. The pet parent will need to sign our service agreement, but the pet will be under your account. For households with more than three pets, we may be able to accommodate 45-minute and 60-minute visits for an additional fee. Please do not hesitate to ask! Holiday Fee: $15 is added to the standard rate per visit scheduled during "Peak" Holiday time periods. This supplementary charge serves as an incentive for our staff members who sacrifice their time with their families on holidays to provide exceptional care for our clients. Observed Holidays: Martin Luther King Day President's Day Easter Weekend Memorial Day Weekend* Juneteenth Independence Day/Weekend* Labor Day Weekend* Indigenous Peoples(Columbus)Day Veterans Day Thanksgiving(Thursday-Sunday) Festive Season: Dec 23 through Observed New Year's Day *Weekends are considered Friday through Monday
  • Is in-home Pet Care a premium service?
    Yes, pet care in your home is a premium service that provides convenience for you and keeps your pet family in the comfort of their familiar surroundings. Our services are customizable in regard to your pet’s needs. Hearts at Home Pet Sitting is a professional pet care business that takes your pet’s safety seriously. We are educated in animal behavior, certified in pet first aid/CPR, fully licensed, bonded and insured. This level of dependability, professionalism and peace of mind is priceless! For homes with multiple pets, pet sitting in your home tends to be more cost effective when compared to kenneling your pets at a boarding facility.
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