Please review the following Frequently Asked Questions. If you don’t see what you are looking for, please let us know and we’ll be happy to provide an answer!
Frequently Asked Questions
Our office headquarters are located @ 446 Broad Street, Windsor, CT. However, “Home Sweet Home” means we care for your pets at home, where they are most comfortable and regimented. Thus, we service pets across the Greater Hartford region, specifically, Windsor, Bloomfield, West Hartford, Canton, Avon, Simsbury, East Granby, South Windsor, Manchester, and Glastonbury.
It depends. Services are priced “per visit”. This means clients are generally free to customize their own schedule. The total cost will depend on the number of visits a client requests. We do have 1 visit per day vacation care minimums for cats and 3 visit per day minimums for dogs which includes a wakeup call, an afternoon/mid day session, and a bedtime visit.
Also, our rates are generally all-inclusive. Depending on the service type, care for 1 dog can cost the same as 3 dogs and a cat. This is because rates are based on time and travel only. If the tasks requested by the pet parents can be done in the same time for either scenario, its included. We’ll even water your plants and take in your mail and garbage bins! Typically, when providing pet care for more than one pet, the rates are much less than a kennel.
Yes we are. We carry a 2 million dollar liability policy with Animal Bailee inclusion coverage, a full bonding policy applied to all employed staff, and a full worker’s compensation policy, written through AP Intego and The Hartford Insurance Co. This allows injuries on the job to be addressed accordingly.
Unfortunately, anyone can become insured and bonded. What matters most is the inclusions provided within the policies. We provide all our clients with this information as part of our standard “Welcome Kit” email packet. If you still need more, we gladly stand by over 550 current client recommendations, professional references from veterinarians and colleagues, as well as our industry leading A rating on Angie’s list!
Yes. All of our clients use credit cards. We typically do not see our clients but for our initial walk through session. Thus, schedule requests, pet profile changes, and payments are all processed through our secure online client management system. We accept:
We prefer debit cards when at all possible due to various fees associated with standard credit cards.
A mid-day dog walk really does give your dog a workout! Most of our walks are high-paced and regimented (we tone it down for our canine senior citizens). The reason dog walks are so important is not only the physical, but the mental workout that a dog experiences as well. Our walks can cover 1-3 miles of terrain which means lots of sights, scents, and stimulation! 8 hours in the familiar back yard is no match for 30 minutes of intense outdoor adventure!
If an emergency occurs while you are at work or away, we facilitate all emergency protocol until you are available. Veterinarian costs will be expedited to the liable party. Self induced injuries or illness that your pet may experience would be the responsibility of the pet owner. Injuries or illness caused by Home Sweet Home Pet Care would be compensated by us.
Transport to an emergency facility is always covered by us regardless of who may be liable.
We will perform a standard behavior evaluation with complete history workup before doing so, but fundamentally, we believe that if the dog accepts you, he/she can eventually accept us. We use many different techniques and approaches when working with reactive dogs and have had better than a 95% success rate in working with these situations. It can sometimes take days or weeks of preparatory work, but we will stick with it until we are vetted members of your pack.
Yes. This is what we do! Chances are your dog is wild on the leash because he or she has not had the proper exposure OR has not been exposed to the right tools, techniques, and resources that provide for healthy walking. Let us do our thing, and your dog will be a model canine in no time!
We do not keep a copy of your house key. We request all clients provide a lockbox on their property that HSH is able to access. The most secure place for your key is at your home and with you in between sessions.
For the life of your pet, we hope! We do not take on new clients in need of emergency coverage, or some other temporary need. This is because of our 365 day/year dedication to our existing and long term clients. The delivery of our service is most effective when we have long term relationships with our clients. We have clients who have used our dog walking services on a daily basis for 8 straight years!
Our goal is to NOT be a stranger. We understand how unsettling this idea can be which is why we build relationships with each and every one of our clients. EVERY ONE. We are extremely transparent with who we are and why we operate the way we do. We may not be the best fit for everyone, but we are for everyone else, and that’s all we care about. Inversely, you are a stranger to us as well. We will not be comfortable working with someone who is not comfortable with us.
We don’t mark our rates up so we don’t rely on a discount program to entice clients. However, we do offer a loyalty program to our daily dog walking clients.
Our rates, though only a few dollars more than your neighbor’s kid and many sole proprietors, guarantees a variety of things:
- Availability. We offer service 365 days per year including holidays.
- Experience. Experienced, professional care handling animals of all kinds from rodents to reptiles to chickens and horses.
- Guaranteed satisfaction. We will never just “not show up” or “have something come up at the last minute”. This is a business.
- We are insured. We carry an extreme burden in liability in entering your home to care for your pets. So we have the insurance coverage to protect you and your home.
- Trust. We don’t imagine you’d want to trust an uninsured, fly by night college kid with your pets and home.
- Employees. We pay our employees well to keep them around. This can increase standard costs an additional 25%. Keep in mind, our staff must travel an average of 15 minutes between jobs. To and from = 1/2hr. Therefore, each 30 minute service takes 1 hr.
Policies & Procedures
To ensure continued availability and the safety, privacy, and security of my pet and home, as well as to satisfy the liability risks that HSH undertakes in providing an IN-HOME service, we encourage you to read and understand the provisions below.
HSH will guarantee availability of recurring dog walk services to clients with these specific needs. These services take place the same days and times each week and are defined on our service menu as Daily Dog Walks. We reserve the right to cancel Daily Dog Walks in inclement weather. No payment is required in these instances.
Other pet care and dog walk services that ARE NOT already part of a recurring schedule must be requested 7 days in advance. These service types are defined as Pet Care Visits and A La Carte Dog Walks.
Payment for all Daily Dog Walk service will be automatically processed at the end of each week.
Payment for all Pet Care Visits and A La Carte requests will be processed in full 48 hours prior to session engagement.
Any service request made with less than 7 days notice MAY be assessed a premium of $5.
Recurring Daily Dog Walks must be cancelled by 8AM the day of service in order to not be charged. Anything cancelled after 8AM will be charged and the pet care provider assigned will be paid.
Pet Care Visits and A La Carte Dog Walks must be cancelled more than 48hrs prior to service start date in order not to be charged. For any cancellation less than 48hrs from the service START date, the client will receive a 50% credit for all requested visits, with 50% to be retained by Home Sweet Home Pet Care. The credit portion may be used any time within 1 year from the date of my cancellation.
Snow removal is the responsibility of the client between November 1 – March 30. During this time, any residences that prove unsafe or inaccessible to HSH staff are subject to snow removal by HSH/HSH Partners at a premium of $75/removal session.
HSH clients must email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the emergency line to inform HSH and its staff of any delays and subsequent extended service that is needed. It is the client’s responsibility to email email@example.com to officially inform HSH that he or she has returned home. CLIENTS MUST NOT INFORM THE TEAM MEMBERS ASSIGNED TO THEIR CARE AS ONLY HSH ADMIN SCHEDULES AND ASSIGNS COVERAGE.
HSH Pet Care cannot use retractable leashes while walking client dogs.
Clients are permitted to schedule and cancel their respective services ONLY through:
1. The HSH client management system accessed via the HSH website
2. An email to admin
3. May ONLY call to cancel.
Requests for service cannot be submitted over the phone.
Clients will have discussed rates, payments, and other related administrative matters during their over-the-phone consultation with one of HSH’s management staff. Questions in this arena should always be addressed to the HSH office by phone or email.
Only the initial sitter walk-thru and key transition is free.
All subsequent walk-thrus will be charged @ $20 per instance, per 15 minutes UNLESS it is required by HSH.
HSH keeps client keys coded and filed at secure, remote location so that HSH may mobilize even when presented with short notice. This also keeps “hidden” keys from being seen at a client’s home each time we attempt to uncover it. Any client who wants his or her key picked up and returned before and after the session respectively, will pay a premium based on their location as it relates to the particular jobs HSH has on its docket that day.
Throughout the time that a client’s home and pet(s) are in the care, custody, and control of HSH, HSH cannot allow any third party to enter a client home, unless the client has authorized third party entry in advance. Furthermore, this will only apply to work UNRELATED to the nature of pet care. For liability reasons, HSH can be the ONLY party charged with care of the pet client.
For the safety and comfort of their dog clients must book at least 3 visits per FULL day when they travel overnight. Bookend dates can be customized.
For the safety and comfort of their cat, clients must book at least one visit per day when they travel for extended periods.