Frequently Asked Questions

Q When did you start your company and how many pet sits/dog walks have you done?

We started 11 years ago in 2010 and, in that time, have carried out over 10,000 pet sits and dog walks in and around Edinburgh. We've loved every minute of it and can't believe how quickly the time has flown!

Q Is your service good value for money?

It's true that anyone can set up a pet care business overnight, but it takes years of hard work, dedication and lots of financial investment and time to provide a truly professional, reliable and trustworthy service. We're looking after two of the most important things in your life - your home and your much loved pets - an obligation and responsibility that requires the utmost commitment and dedication. Our prices are set to ensure we pay ourselves a living wage and to cover all our running costs which include: free consultations, admin time & visit scheduling, telephone calls, professional insurance, professional registration, transport, car maintenance & insurance, petrol, travel time to and from houses, professional book-keeping, accountancy, corporation tax and all the other usual costs involved in running a small, family limited company. Simply taking a taxi in Edinburgh will nearly always cost more than the price of one of our pet visits so, taking into account the weight of responsibility on our shoulders, we think we're pretty good value for money.

Q You're a little more expensive than some other companies?

As a local, family-run business, it matters to us that our clients trust us and that we earn enough to ensure our company can be relied upon for many years to come, while so many others simply come and go, often having operated unregistered and uninsured. We deeply care about our clients and their pets and have set our prices to ensure we can continue to sustain the business well into the future. We're proud to have been in business for more than a decade and are in it for the long-run.

Q Are you a proper company?

Yes, we are a Scottish limited company registered with Companies House in Edinburgh. Our company registration number is SC445671. It's extremely important for us to be a formal company, in order to demonstrate our long-term commitment and professionalism. Given the amount of trust put in pet sitters, we believe that all legitimate and committed pet sitting companies should be run and registered as a formal company.

Q Are you Disclosure Scotland Checked?

Yes. All our pet sitters are Disclosure Scotland checked. At first registration we will show you our certificates and they can be asked for at any time. It is essential that all our clients have complete confidence in us and the important service we provide. We are not only looking after your pets, but also your home and we take this responsibility extremely seriously.

Q Are you insured?

Yes. We are insured with Pet Business Insurance for dog walking, pet sitting, pet minding and pet boarding including collection and delivery. We have £3 million Public/Products Liability, £10,000 for Care, Custody & Control and £2,000 Key Cover Insurance. We will always show you our certificate of insurance at first consultations and whenever requested.

Q Do you charge anything for signing up and registering?

We charge a one-off registration fee of £20 to cover our administration and travel costs. Should you decide not to proceed with our service there is no charge. This fee will be added to your first invoice.

Q How do I make future bookings for pet care?

The best way to make a booking is to call Fiona directly on 07428 005 621, or email fiona@edinburghpetservices.co.uk.

Q How will my keys be kept safe?

The security of your home is of essential importance to us at all times. If you choose to keep your keys on file with us, we have very robust security measures in place to keep them safe and your address unidentifiable to everyone except us.

We never attach your name or address to your keys and they are kept in a locked key cabinet when not in use with a pet reference attached. Keys will always be returned immediately on demand and non-essential information destroyed if you choose not to continue with our service.

Q Does my pet need to be Vet registered?

Yes. We cannot care for pets who are not registered with a local vet. We will take your pet's veterinary details and an emergency contact number during first registration and ask you to sign a Veterinary Release form for any health emergencies that might arise in your absence.

Q Does my pet require to be up to date with vaccinations?

Yes. We do prefer all pets to be fully up to date with their recommended vaccinations. If your pet is not vaccinated, please let us know at registration. If you do have a copy of your pet's vaccination card, please make it available for us when registering your pet. All pets must be free of fleas, worms and infectious diseases.

Q Can you give my pet medication?

Yes, we are able to give your pet medication at no extra cost. Details of how to administer any medication must be put in writing. Please note that we are currently unable to care for diabetic cats or cats that require injections.

Q What happens if there’s an emergency with my pet while I’m away?

At first registration we ask you to complete our Veterinary Release Form. This records all your pets medical and veterinary details, along with emergency contacts. In the event your pet needs veterinary assistance we will call you first, failing which we will consult with your designated emergency contact. In a true emergency, where time is of the essence, we will use the authority you have given in our Vet Release Form to take your pet to its veterinary practice for immediate medical attention.

Similarly, if there's any emergency with your home, such as a water leak or storm damage etc. we will contact you first, failing which your designated emergency contact.

Q What happens if I’m delayed returning home and I can’t contact you?

We will never leave a pet unattended. If we don't hear from you that you have arrived back home, we will automatically continue to care for your pets, or arrange suitable alternative care. Please therefore always telephone us to let us know you have arrived back, or further visits will be made and be chargeable.

Q What forms of payment do you accept and do you charge VAT?

All debit/credit cards and bank transfers via internet/telephone banking to our account. There is no VAT to pay on our prices.

Q Do you accept Credit & Debit Cards?

Yes. You may pay via your online client account, via our website, using a debit or credit card. All major credit cards are accepted. Payments are made through PayPal secure systems and a transaction charge of 3% applies.

Q When do I pay for your service?

We ask that 50% of your invoice is paid 3 days in advance of your first day of service. We reserve the right to cancel your service if payment is not received in advance. The remaining 50% is payable within 3 days of the last day of service.

Q Do you charge for collecting and dropping off keys?

If you don't want to keep your keys on file with us and aren't able to drop them off to our office, then we can make a special journey to pick them up and drop them back to you. There is a £15 charge, each way, for collecting and dropping back keys.

Q Do you charge extra for Christmas and New Year?

Yes. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Hogmanay, New Years Day and the 2nd January are all charged at double rates for every visit.

Q Do you offer free, no obligation, home consultations?

Yes we do. Pet sitting is still a fairly new service in the UK and we understand that you will want to meet us and ask lots of questions before using our service. The main purpose of our visit will be to help alleviate any concerns or anxieties you may have in using our service and to find out more about your pet's requirements. Along with giving you a free Client Information Pack, we will also show you our insurance details, Disclosure Scotland certificates and client testimonials. This is an entirely free visit to your home and completely free of any obligation to use our service.

If you wish to sign up at the end of our visit, we will ask you to complete registration (if not already) and to read and sign our service forms. This includes our Pet Services Agreement, Vet Release Form, Key Release Agreement and Permission to Administer Medicine Form. You can also issue us with keys at this point for any upcoming bookings, or ask us to keep them on file for all future visits. We will also practice locking up and securing your home with you so that we know exactly how all your locks work.

Please note that if you do not wish to keep your keys on file with us, you can drop them off to our office or, alternatively, we can collect them and drop them back to you for a fee, each way, of £15.00.

Q Are you a member of any professional associations?

Yes, we are members of the National Associates of Registered Pet Sitters (NarpsUK), which is a well known national association for Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers in the UK. We follow their code of practice for professional, ethical business practices and animal welfare. We include a copy of the code in all our new client packs. We are also members of the FSB - Federation of Small Businesses.

Q How much advance notice do I need to give you to make a booking?

For all pet sitting visits we require at least 3 days advance notice, otherwise we may not be able to guarantee availability. If you wish to make a booking at very short notice we will do our best to fit you in, but cannot guarantee availability. As soon as you know your holiday dates, why not let us know in advance and then you can relax knowing your dates are in our diary.

Q What if I need to cancel my booking?

All services cancelled with less than 72 hours notice are fully chargeable and will appear on your invoice. This is to compensate us for turning away other business to honour your booking.

Q Can I speak to some of your clients before registering with you?

Yes. We have lots of pet care clients in and around Edinburgh whom we serve on a regular basis. We completely understand the anxiety that many people have about using a pet sitting service for the first time and are therefore always delighted for new clients to speak to longstanding clients for reassurance. We also bring along lots of written testimonials for new clients to peruse at first consultations.

Q How do I know you will look after my pets properly?

Although we are running a business, the health, safety and welfare of your pets is always our primary concern. We are all experienced pet owners ourselves and will always treat your pets with the same amount of care and love we give to our own.

We have very strict and exacting care standards which must be followed at all times. We have invested large amounts of time in creating robust pet care procedures and standards which we follow at all times. Our operations manual and pet care handbook are each over 30 pages long and our health & safety policy 14 pages long.

Q Do you charge for parking in Edinburgh city centre?

Wherever possible we will endeavour at all times to find a free parking space. However, it can sometimes be challenging to find free parking during the evening and during busy holiday periods. If we do have to park in a Pay & Display space we will only charge you what it has cost us to park there which will be added to your invoice.

Q Are you registered with the City of Edinburgh Council?

Yes. Since 1 March, 2013 all professional dog walkers using Edinburgh Council's public parks and green spaces must be registered and agree to abide by a professional Code of Conduct for walking dogs. We have been members since the scheme started and our registration cards are available for inspection at all times. A copy of the council's code of conduct is included in all our new client registration packs.

Q Do you empty cat litter trays?

Yes, we are happy to refresh and empty litter trays as part of our normal service. Please ensure that all trays are cleaned before our first visit and filled with fresh litter. If your cat uses a litter tray, please ensure plenty of cat litter is left to last the duration of our visits. If we run out we will purchase more, but we will charge £15 to visit the local store on your behalf, plus the cost of the litter.

Q Will you take in parcels and mail?

Yes, we will pick up any mail posted through your door and place it somewhere safe inside your house. If you have any small deliveries please let us know in advance so that we can locate them from your 'safe place' and bring them inside your home. While we will endeavour to take in deliveries, we are not able to visit at specific times and will only bring in parcels during the time of our visits. We cannot accept any responsibility for the safety of parcels which have been left outside your home by delivery companies. If you are having important, or expensive items, delivered while you're away, we ask that you have them delivered to another address or arrange with a neighbour to take safe delivery.

Q Will you water indoor plants and close curtains/blinds?

Yes, we are happy to do this as part of our normal service for no extra cost. We ask that all indoor plants are clustered together in one area so that none are missed out. We will endeavour to do our best to keep your plants healthy, but we are not experts and cannot guarantee they will stay healthy. If your plants are very important to you, we suggest that it may be wise to make alternative arrangements for their upkeep.

Q I’m worried about my outdoor garden plants, can you water them while I’m away?

Yes. We can offer a garden watering service which costs £8 for every 15 minutes of outside watering. Watering can be done after every pet visit or at scheduled intervals. Please note that we will always put our pet sitting duties and the welfare of your pets first above any additional service. If you require this service please let us know at the time of booking. Please ensure that your outside hose/tap and watering-can are easily accessible.

Q Is there anything I need to do before leaving my pets in your care?

Please ensure that all indoor bins are emptied, all sinks are clear of dishes so we are able to wash and clean bowls and all perishable foods are either binned or stored in the fridge. Please also leave plenty of cloths and kitchen roll for cleaning up after your pet.

Get in touch:

e. fionawheater@edinburghpetservices.co.uk

t. 07428 005 621