Top 10 Best Practices for Pet Sitters in Columbus, Ohio

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Being a stellar pet sitter in Columbus, Ohio requires a unique blend of passion, responsibility, and meticulous attention to detail. To rise above the rest, you must transcend the ordinary tasks of feeding and walking people’s pets. There’s more to it. The work you do involves more than what meets the eye, and that is, giving pet parents peace of mind through your work. This is the core mission here at Hands N Paws, a commitment we firmly stand by.

Among our various practices, we prioritize building strong bonds with animals, respecting the homes in which we work, and continually enhancing our knowledge of the intricate art of pet care.

Let’s unravel the top 10 tips and practices that will catapult you into the realm of outstanding pet sitters, capturing the true essence of Columbus, Ohio’s pet-sitting magic.

1. Be an animal lover at heart

At the heart of exceptional pet sitting lies a genuine love for animals. More than just fulfilling basic needs, it’s about forming a deep connection that appreciates the individuality of each pet. This involves understanding their unique preferences, behaviors, and health requirements, creating a foundation of trust and personalized care.

This heartfelt connection translates into a commitment to the pets’ emotional well-being, going beyond routine care to moments of play and comfort. Pets sense this genuine care, fostering trust between the pet sitter and the animals. Ultimately, this sincere love transforms the role from caretaker to devoted companion, making the pet-sitting experience a heartfelt connection rather than just a service.

2. Patience is your superpower

In the realm of pet sitting, patience is the linchpin that transforms a good pet sitter into an exceptional one. Recognizing that animals, much like humans, possess individual temperaments and preferences, a patient pet sitter adapts their approach to cater to the diverse needs of each furry companion. This skill becomes particularly crucial when dealing with shy or anxious animals, where patience acts as a bridge to establish trust and build a meaningful connection.

In the broader context of the pet-sitting world, patience is more than a virtue – it’s a commitment to providing personalized and compassionate care. It goes beyond the routine tasks, influencing how a pet sitter responds to subtle nuances in behavior and ensuring a harmonious and enriching experience for both caregiver and cherished pets. Through patience, a pet sitter demonstrates not only their expertise in animal care but also their respect and empathy for the unique personalities of the animals they serve.

3. Punctuality is essential

In the realm of pet care, the concept of time takes center stage, and a stellar pet sitter understands that punctuality is more than a virtue – it’s a lifeline for the furry friends under their care. Pets thrive on routine, finding comfort and reassurance in the predictability of their daily schedules. Punctuality ensures that meals are served when expected, walks are taken as usual, and attention is given promptly. Reliable pet sitters in Columbus, Ohio, cognizant of the significance of these routines, become a consistent and dependable presence in the lives of the pets they tend to.

Moreover, this reliability extends beyond the immediate care of the pets – it resonates with pet parents. Knowing that their pet sitter is punctual instills a sense of confidence and trust in the caregiver’s dedication. Pet parents, just like their furry companions, rely on consistency and reliability in the care their pets receive. Punctuality becomes a tangible demonstration of the pet sitter’s commitment to providing not just a service but an experience that prioritizes the well-being and happiness of the entire pet family.

4. Treat homes with respect

Understanding the sanctity of a pet parent’s home is a cornerstone of excellence, and this principle resonates strongly with adept pet sitters in Columbus, Ohio. Every home is a sacred space, and the best Columbus pet sitters recognize the significance of treating it with the utmost respect. It’s not just about ticking boxes with the pets; it’s about adding a touch of care, responsibility, and thoughtfulness to every part of looking after the home as well. This keen attention to detail even just extends to maintaining the cleanliness of the space, ensuring a safe and comfortable environment for the pets. If anything about the home is unusual or unsafe, a careful pet sitter promptly communicates these findings to the pet parent.

Additionally, respecting pet parents’ home privacy is not just a courtesy but a fundamental element of trust-building. A proficient pet sitter in Columbus, Ohio acknowledges the personal nature of a home and ensures that pet parents feel secure in entrusting their beloved companions and the space they call home. This respectful approach goes hand in paw with being mindful of personal belongings, creating an atmosphere of trust that extends beyond the immediate pet-sitting responsibilities.

5. Be detail-oriented

Attentiveness to pet care instructions is the pinnacle of exceptional pet sitting, and top-tier Columbus pet sitters understand its pivotal role in the well-being of the animals they tend to. Each pet under a pet sitter’s care is unique. Therefore, meticulous adherence to feeding schedules, precise medication administration, and a thorough understanding of individual requirements are distinguishing features of a skilled pet sitter.

This recognition reflects the pet sitter’s commitment to catering to the distinct needs and preferences of each furry companion. This level of attention to detail transforms the pet-sitting role into a trusted companionship, emphasizing the dedication of the pet sitter to the health, happiness, and individual needs of every pet under their care.

6. Be a good communicator

Open and regular communication is the heartbeat of exceptional pet sitting. It goes beyond the routine task of updating pet parents; it’s about forging a transparent and reassuring connection throughout their time away. Proficient pet sitters in Columbus, Ohio recognize the desire of pet parents to stay informed about their furry companions’ well-being and go the extra mile by sharing photos, videos, or concise summaries of each visit, transforming the pet-sitting experience into a personalized and trusting relationship.

This open line of communication not only serves to address any concerns pet parents may have but also provides a window into their pets’ daily lives. Whether capturing playful moments or summarizing the day’s activities, the goal is to create a virtual connection that transcends physical distance, ensuring that pet parents feel not just informed but intricately involved in their pets’ experiences under the pet sitter’s care.

7. Invest in the proper equipment

Being a prepared pet sitter in Columbus, Ohio goes beyond a love for animals; it’s about having the right tools for a seamless experience. Understanding the importance of essentials, such as comfortable shoes for dog walks, a reliable vehicle, and weather-appropriate gear like boots and towels, is crucial. These items not only enhance your comfort but also contribute to the safety and enjoyment of outings.

A reliable vehicle is indispensable for efficient transportation between homes, especially in unpredictable weather. Good pet sitters, always ready for any situation, carry extra leashes for unexpected scenarios, poop bags for cleanliness, and snacks and water for both personal needs and treats for furry clients. This preparedness is a visual representation of professionalism, conveying to pet parents a serious commitment to excellence in pet care.

Here’s a list of pet-related equipment:

Here’s a list of personal equipment, for your own safety and comfort:

  • Phone charger
  • Car phone holder
  • Old towels
  • Extra change of clothes
  • Gloves, hats, scarves, hand warmers and other winter gear
  • Umbrella, rain boots, rain coat, and other rain gear
  • Ball cap, sunglasses, sunscreen, and other summer gear
  • Non-perishable snack foods and drinks
  • Hand-sanitizer

8. Understand taxes and tax considerations

Whether you operate as an employee or an independent contractor in the realm of pet sitting in Columbus, Ohio, understanding the distinct tax implications and responsibilities associated with each status is essential. As an employee, your employer typically withholds income tax and Social Security/Medicare taxes from your paycheck. Familiarizing yourself with these withholdings and any potential deductions available to employees can help you navigate your tax obligations more efficiently.

On the other hand, if you find yourself operating as an independent contractor (like our pet sitters at Hands N Paws), the responsibility for managing your taxes shifts to your hands. Independent contractors are generally responsible for handling their own income tax and self-employment tax. Stay informed about relevant tax regulations, changes, and any potential deductions available to contractors. Seeking guidance from a tax professional can provide valuable insights into maximizing deductions and ensuring compliance with tax laws.

Regardless of whether you’re an employee or an independent contractor in the pet-sitting realm, meticulous record-keeping of your income and expenses is crucial for a smooth tax season. Ensure you document all earnings from your pet-sitting services and track eligible business expenses, including transportation, supplies, and equipment. To simplify this process, consider using Keeper, an app that automatically tracks your expenses every time you use your card. This not only streamlines accurate tax filing but also offers a transparent financial overview of your pet-sitting ventures.

9. Master your problem-solving skills

Unforeseen challenges are par for the course in the world of pet sitting. Beyond routine care, encountering unexpected medical or behavioral issues demands quick thinking and effective problem-solving skills, showcasing not only dedication to the animals’ well-being but also a proactive approach to their care. Good pet sitters have a comprehensive plan in place for emergencies, including a first aid kit, emergency contact information, and knowledge of nearby veterinary facilities, ensuring a swift and capable response to any situation.

Furthermore, proactive pet sitters understand the importance of accessing veterinary care promptly when needed. They stay informed about the nearest vet clinics, operating hours, and potential risks in the pet’s environment. This level of readiness not only demonstrates commitment but also instills confidence in pet parents, knowing that their furry companions are in the hands of a capable and prepared caregiver.

10. Foster continuous learning and education

Remaining knowledgeable about the evolving landscape of pet care is a hallmark of a proficient pet sitter. Engaging in continuous learning through attendance at workshops, reading relevant literature, and active participation in online communities is a proactive measure that sets good pet sitters apart. This commitment to staying informed allows them to absorb the latest trends and developments in pet care, ultimately enhancing their ability to provide top-notch services.

In addition to staying updated on broader trends, adept pet sitters delve into understanding basic training techniques and pet behavior. This comprehensive knowledge equips them to not only meet the routine needs of the animals but also to address potential behavioral issues proactively. By grasping the fundamentals of training and behavior, good pet sitters create a more enriching and tailored experience for the pets under their care. This level of expertise not only fosters a positive environment for the animals but also reassures pet parents that their beloved companions are receiving care from a well-informed and attentive professional.

Become the Best Pet Sitter in Columbus!

Being the best pet sitter in Columbus, Ohio goes beyond the basics; it involves a holistic approach that combines empathy, professionalism, and continuous learning. By embodying compassion, being detail-oriented, and investing in your skills and equipment, you can create a positive and enriching experience for both the pets and their owners. Remember, the key to success lies in your dedication to the well-being of the animals entrusted to your care.



Hello! Thanks for visiting our blog. I'm the proud owner of Columbus's own Hands N Paws, started in 2018 to bring joy to pet parents. See you in the next post!

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The terms of this agreement are as follows: “Client” refers to you, “Company” refers to us (Hands N Paws), “Team Member” refers to the person from our team providing services for  your pets, and “Team Members” refers to the Hands N Paws team as a whole.


It is important to inform Hands N Paws of any specific emergency instructions or medical conditions related to Client’s pets. This will help ensure the safety and well-being of pets during emergencies.

In case any of Client’s pets need emergency veterinary treatment, Team Member will contact the designated vet on file and/or a local emergency vet. Team Member will also communicate with Client and/or emergency contacts regarding the situation.

Client gives permission to Team Member to transport the pet(s) to a veterinary clinic and/or make treatment decisions (except for euthanasia), especially if it’s a life-threatening emergency and/or Client cannot be immediately reached. Client is responsible for any veterinary fees incurred. 

Client releases Hands N Paws from any liability for any damage or harm to pets or property that occurs beyond the reasonable control of Team Member during the provision of emergency veterinary care. 


To comply with local laws and ordinances, it is required that all pets have the appropriate vaccinations and licenses before Company begins services. For further information on these requirements, please visit the Ohio State Bar Association’s website at Client should also check with his/her veterinarian to determine which vaccinations/shots the pet requires. 

For safety reasons, we encourage all dogs and cats to wear an ID tag or collar that includes name and contact number while Team Member is working with them.


To ensure access to Client’s home during scheduled services, Hands N Paws requires that Client purchases a lockbox and places a spare house key(s) inside of it for Team Member to use. Client can purchase the lockbox on Hands N Paws’ website by clicking Buy Your Lockbox. Once it arrives, the lockbox should be programmed with a unique four-digit code. The lockbox should then be placed on the main door handle or in another secure location, and the lockbox code and location information must be entered in the Client’s account on Precise Petcare.

Alternatively, Client may elect to provide a code for entry via a garage door or electronic keypad and if so, must enter all necessary codes in Precise Petcare. Client is strongly encouraged to purchase a lockbox, however, to ensure that Team Member can access pets at all times during scheduled services, especially in situations where the power goes out or batteries die and Team Member need alternative access to the home.


All Team Members have access to Clients phone number, but are instructed to only use them when necessary or for urgent purposes during services with pets. Hands N Paws prioritizes the privacy and confidentiality of phone numbers as personal information.

All correspondence between Client and Team Member should be centered around Client’s pets and the services provided. If Client has inquiries regarding scheduling, cancellations, app-related matters, or any company-related concerns, these are to be directed to the Company via the office number: (614) 636-6644. The Company’s client support team is available during office hours, Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm. We are closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal Holidays. The Company will make contact with Client outside of office hours should there be any urgent need for communication.


In order to provide the best possible service to pets, it is crucial that Client provides Team Member with detailed and up-to-date information regarding their pets. This information should be accurate, complete, and accessible through the Client’s account in Precise Petcare. Team Members can only work on the basis of the information that is available to them through the Client’s account in Precise Petcare. Likewise, Client acknowledges that the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the information they provide directly impacts the quality of the services delivered. Client, therefore, takes full responsibility for any consequences that arise from inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated account information.


Arrival times for services occur within a two-hour period. Team Members are unable to guarantee exact arrival times due to various factors that may affect scheduling and travel times. To accommodate these considerations, we use time blocks rather than specific times. Client will see this in the dropdown menu when Client selects Arrival Time in the request service form within their Client account.

While Team Members understands that Client may have preferences regarding arrival times, it is essential to acknowledge that Team Members cannot guarantee meeting those specific requests. Flexibility is needed in order for Team Members to accommodate for needs of other Clients on schedule.


For the most up-to-date and detailed descriptions on service offerings, please visit our website at


The following service surcharges may apply under certain conditions:

Last Minute Service: A fee of $15 per service will be charged for bookings made with less than 24 hours’ notice.

Holiday Service: A fee of $20 per service will be applied for services provided on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve.

Additional Pets: Base pricing for services includes up to 2 pets. For each additional pet beyond the initial two, an additional fee of $7 per pet will be added.

*Additional fees may apply, as discussed/negotiated between Company and Client. 


Hands N Paws strives to accommodate as many service requests as possible. However, the approval of service requests is subject to the availability of Team Members. Upon submitting a service request, Client will receive a confirmation or declination email/notification indicating whether Hands N Paws can fulfill the requested work. Sometimes, this may take up to 48 hours or more.

If a service request is declined, we encourage Client to explore alternative options or contact our dedicated client support team for further assistance. Company is here to help and find the best solution for all pet care needs.


To ensure a personalized experience for new Clients, Hands N Paws requires a virtual or in-person Meet N Greet before getting started with pet services. These meetings allow us to connect with and onboard Clients and discuss their pet care needs.

All virtual Meet N Greets are free of charge. All in-person Meet N Greets come at a $50 cost. Meet N Greets are no more than 30 minutes in length.

New Clients can book their Meet N Greet on our website at Existing Clients can book their Meet N Greet in their designated client account in Precise Petcare.


Payment Method: All services with Hands N Paws are to be paid for using a credit or debit card. All major cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover are acceptable. Client can securely add and store card information within their Client account. Adding and keeping a valid credit card on file is a requirement for requesting any services with Hands N Paws.

Ongoing Services: For services scheduled as ongoing, Client will be automatically charged every Friday for the previous 7 days’ worth of completed, canceled, and in-progress services.

Non-Ongoing Services: For services not scheduled as ongoing, a 50% down-payment will be charged on the day the services are accepted and confirmed. An invoice will be sent immediately. Client has until the date of the last confirmed service to manually pay the remaining balance on the invoice. If manual payment is not made, the remaining total will be automatically charged to the card on file on the date of the last service day on that invoice.

Declined Payments: In the event of a declined auto-charge, Client will be promptly notified. After the first declined charge, Client has a 24-hour grace period to rectify the issue. In the case of a second declined attempt, a late fee of 10% of the invoice total (minimum $10) will be added. Client must be attentive to emails regarding overdue notices.

Payment Terms: Hands N Paws will be paid the agreed-upon amount as discussed, with no exceptions, unless our Cancellation Policy (outlined below) applies and the Client receives a refund in the form of an Account Credit(s). In emergency circumstances, a refund may be issued as transferable credit(s) back to the Client’s card.

Additional Fees: Client may be charged additional fees if Team Members are instructed to, or determine the need to, purchase items for the pet(s) while under the care of Hands N Paws. These items may include pet food or treats, litter or cleaning supplies, transportation to the vet, or emergency expenses for the general care of the pet(s). Hands N Paws and/or Team Member will consult with Client before making any purchases, and will retain and share any receipts as proof of purchase.


When Client schedules services with Hands N Paws, the Company has likely turned down other work so as to devote our time to the work requested from said Client.

Client understands and accepts the Company cancellation/refund policy as outlined below:

– 100% refund is issued as Account Credit if cancellation is made at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled service(s).

– 50% refund is issued as Account Credit if cancellation is made at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled service(s).

– NO refund is issued for same-day cancellations/less than 24 hour notice.

PLEASE NOTE: Refunds are NOT transferable. Should Client be eligible to receive an Account Credit (based on terms above), that will be auto-added to his/her account and applied to the very next invoice with us.


Hands N Paws agrees to provide the services stated in this contract in a reliable, caring, and trustworthy manner. In consideration of these services and as an express condition thereof, Client expressly waives and relinquishes any and all claims against Hands N Paws arising out of or relating to the provision of services hereunder, except those arising from gross negligence or willful misconduct on part of Hands N Paws.

Client understands and acknowledges that the environment in which they are requesting Hands N Paws to complete services is reasonably sanitary and safe. If it is determined that home conditions are unsanitary and/or unsafe at any point in the working relationship, Company will make it known to Client. Action will be taken accordingly thereafter.

Additionally, Hands N Paws will not terminate during a period of scheduled service unless Hands N Paws determines, at their sole discretion, that a serious danger exists to the health or safety of Team Members or pets. If such concerns preclude Hands N Paws from providing further care for the pets, Client agrees to pay for their pet to be boarded at a boarding facility or taken under the care of another party until Client returns. All attempts will be made to notify Client and/or emergency contacts regarding such situations.

Client understands and acknowledges that he/she is responsible for letting Hands N Paws know of anyone who has access to their home during the duration of services booked. Client releases and holds Hands N Paws harmless of all loss, expense, and damage caused by any third-parties entering Client’s home at that time.


This contract will take effect upon digital signature by Client (clicking “Agree & Submit” below) and will remain in effect until terminated by either party. Client may make online reservations for additional services at any time during the terms of this contract, as subject to Hands N Paws availability. All scheduled services will be governed by all the terms of this contract.

Client acknowledges that by signing below, he/she is providing written approval for the provision of services by Hands N Paws during any service period scheduled by Client and confirmed by Hands N Paws. Upon service confirmation, Hands N Paws will be authorized to enter Client premises and perform services without additional signed contracts and/or written authorizations.