Top 5 Critical Moments for Pet Sitters to Contact Pet Parents

Dog holding a phone for pet sitter communication

Ever felt uncertain about how to communicate effectively with pet parents without feeling like you’re burdening them? As a pet sitter at Hands N Paws, you have a wealth of resources at your disposal, including team support and online tools to help you excel in your role. However, there are times when direct communication with pet parents is crucial, and it needs to be done with intentionality.

Here are the top 5 instances when communication with pet parents is essential:

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1. During Pet Distress or Emergencies

When a pet is in severe distress or experiencing a medical emergency, contacting the pet parent immediately is paramount. Quick action and clear communication can make a significant difference in these critical moments. Always have the pet parent’s preferred contact information readily available and ensure you can reach them at a moment’s notice. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the closest emergency veterinary services in Columbus, Ohio and have a plan in place for rapid response.

Example: Imagine you’re caring for a dog named Rocky, and during your visit, Rocky starts showing signs of severe distress such as excessive panting, drooling, and difficulty standing. First, you try to calm Rocky while assessing the situation. Realizing the severity, you immediately contact the pet parent using their preferred contact method. You explain Rocky’s symptoms clearly and concisely, seeking their guidance. The pet parent might instruct you to take Rocky to the nearest emergency vet, provide specific home care instructions, or decide to come home themselves. Your prompt and clear communication ensures that Rocky receives the urgent care he needs, demonstrating your dedication and competence as a pet sitter in Columbus, Ohio.

2. To Clarify Unclear Pet Information

Well-detailed and clear pet care information is essential for understanding a pet’s needs and routines. If you come across unclear or missing information, your first step should be to contact your team (if applicable) for clarification. If the team is not quick to respond or if they are also not 100% certain, reach out directly to the pet parent. This proactive approach not only demonstrates your professionalism but also ensures you are fully prepared to provide the best care for the pet.

Example: Suppose you’re caring for a cat named Luna, and her profile mentions she needs medication but doesn’t specify the dosage or timing. You first ask your team for any additional information they might have. If the team doesn’t respond quickly or if their information is not entirely accurate, you immediately contact the pet parent for precise details. By doing so, you ensure Luna gets the correct medication at the right time, showcasing your dedication to her well-being and reassuring the pet parent of your attentiveness and professionalism.

3. To Escalate Help Requests

If you’re working on a team with other pet sitters in Columbus, Ohio and your help query with the team has gone unanswered, it’s crucial to contact the pet parent directly. Keeping all communication lines open ensures that any questions or concerns are addressed promptly, maintaining the trust and reliability that pet parents have in your services.

Example: Imagine you’re caring for a dog named Bella and you need clarification on her feeding schedule. You’ve posted your query in the team’s help channel but haven’t received a response. Instead of waiting, you promptly reach out to the pet parent to get the necessary information. This ensures Bella receives the right care on time and demonstrates your commitment to providing attentive and reliable service, reinforcing the pet parent’s trust in you.

4. To Report Inaccessibility Issues

If you encounter any issue accessing the pet or the home as planned, inform the pet parent right away. Whether it’s a locked door, a broken lock, or any other access problem, promptly contacting the pet parent ensures that the issue can be resolved quickly and potentially provide you with an alternative entry method. This could include using a spare key hidden on the property, contacting a neighbor with access, or even arranging for a locksmith if necessary. Immediate communication with the right source prevents unnecessary stress for you, the pet parent, and the pets, allowing for a smoother pet sitting experience.

Example: Suppose you arrive at a client’s home to care for a cat named Whiskers, but the key they’ve provided doesn’t work in the lock. Instead of waiting or attempting to fix the issue yourself, you immediately contact the pet parent. They may be able to provide a solution, such as guiding you to a spare key or contacting a neighbor with access. This swift action not only resolves the problem efficiently but also reassures the pet parent that their pet will receive the care they need without delay.

5. To Disclose Difficult Situations

For any challenging situation that requires immediate disclosure, such as unexpected behaviors, accidents, or any other concerns, contact the pet parent as soon as possible. Prompt communication can allow the pet parent to provide valuable insights or guidance in real-time, helping you to address the situation more effectively. Moreover, informing them as issues arise rather than after the fact prevents any surprises during post-service updates, making the experience less jarring for the pet parent. Above all, proactive and transparent communication is key to maintaining trust and ensuring the pet’s well-being.

Example: Imagine you’re pet sitting for a dog named Max, and during your visit, Max starts showing signs of separation anxiety by excessively barking and pacing around the house. Instead of waiting until the end of your visit to report this behavior, you promptly contact the pet parent. By doing so, the pet parent might suggest some calming techniques that Max responds well to or advise you to check if something specific is causing his anxiety. This timely communication not only helps Max feel better but also reassures the pet parent that their pet is in good hands.

Communicate with Pet Parents Like a Pro!

Effective communication is the cornerstone of professional pet sitting. By choosing to communicate with pet parents in these five common instances, you’ll not only enhance your service quality but also build stronger relationships with pet parents. Remember, being proactive, clear, intentional in your communications with pet parents is what’ll set you apart as a reliable and trustworthy pet sitter in Columbus, Ohio.



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.