How It All Works
How It All Works
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions that aren't answered below, or you just want to chat about YOUR specific needs!
Most pets adjust better to their owner's absence, and experience less anxiety and stress, when they can remain in their home environment. Professional pet sitters make this possible by visiting your home while you are away to maintain your pets' daily routine. In addition to meals, exercise, playtime and cleaning litter boxes or cages, professional pet sitters can also administer medications and perform other pet-care duties.
We also provide vital home-care services while you are away, including mail and newspaper pick up, watering plants, placing trash outside for pickup, and alternating lights and blinds to make your house look lived in. A professional pet sitter provides peace of mind for everyone.
All Friends Pet Care offers two types of vacation pet sitting: vacation visits and overnight stays.
With vacation visits, you decide how many times per day you would like your pets visited. Most cat owners request visits once per day, in which case we would visit at the same time each day, with no more than 24 hours between visits. You can select the time of day you would prefer. Some cat owners would like their pets visited twice a day, so we would visit once in the morning (7-9AM), and once in the evening (5-8PM), and again, you can select the time that works best for you and your pets. For really self-sustaining or independent cats, we can visit every other day, but for liability reasons, we can't visit any less frequently than once every 48 hours.
Our dog owners usually request three visits per day: morning (7-9AM), midday (2-4PM), and night (8-10PM). With three visits per day, we space the visits out so your dogs go approximately the same time between visits. Some dog owners request visits only twice a day, in which case we would space visits every 12 hours (8AM and 8PM, for example). We are able to visit four and sometimes five visits per day, depending on your pet's needs, and our pet sitters' availability.
We offer different time packages (20, 30, 45, and 60 minutes) that you can choose from, and you can mix and match to create the perfect pet sitting solution for you and your pets. Many clients with multiple visits per day will select a longer visit (45 minutes) for first thing in the morning, a shorter (20 minute) midday visit, and a mid-length (30 minutes) evening visit. It's up to you!
Overnight stays are an extension of vacation pet sitting, where your pet sitter provides visits throughout the day, and stays overnight. The $125 (per night) rate includes: arrival at dinnertime on the first night, staying overnight, and departure in the morning on the last morning. All midday walks on the "in-between days" are included, but are charged at the regular per-visit rate on the first and last days. We like to say that our sitters use your home as their home base: they come and go according to their schedule needs, but spend all available time at your house with your pets. The overnight stay fee of $125 per night is a flat rate for all of the pets in the household; there is no per-pet additional fee.
Of course! We feel it is very important to develop client/pet sitter relationships. The first time you request vacation visits or overnight stays, we make sure we have all of the information we need to match you up with the best pet sitter for your needs. When we confirm your reservation, we'll also provide contact information for your pet sitter. You can expect a call from your pet sitter within 24 hours of your reservation confirmation, giving you an opportunity to get acquainted and schedule a time for a previsit consultation. At the previsit consultation you will meet your pet sitter, make sure that she/he gets along well with your pets, complete our paperwork, and provide two copies** of your house key. You should allow at least 45 minutes to complete the previsit, as the pet sitter needs enough time to get all information necessary to complete the paperwork and go over all of the details of your pets' care. You will be provided a business card with your pet sitter's contact information, and you can feel free to contact your pet sitter while away to check on things. Many clients ask their sitters to provide regular updates, and your client portal is the perfect solution for that.
** Please note that we do need two copies of your house key: one key is used by the sitter to complete the visits, and the other is locked up securely in our office. You can request that we return your keys after the initial service is completed, although most clients find it more convenient to keep their keys on file for future use.
Many dog owners in our area work long hours, have long commutes, or frequently stay late at work (or all of the above!) Midday dog walks provide an opportunity for your dogs to get out in the middle of the day to relieve themselves and get some fresh air and exercise. You will have a regular dog walker who will visit at the same time each day for the visit length you prefer. The walk takes up most of the visit time, with the last few minutes spent freshening water, giving a treat that you provide, and leaving a note.
To get set up for midday dog walking service, just contact us with the following information: Your name, address, contact numbers, name/age/breed of your dog(s), preferred visit length, and days of the week you'd like walks (most clients choose Monday-Friday, but you can select anywhere from one to five days per week). You will be assigned a pet sitter, who will contact you to set up a previsit consultation: a time when you and your dog can meet your pet sitter to make sure there is a good match. You will also provide two copies of your house key - one that the sitter keeps to provide service, and one that we keep locked up in the office. The pet sitter that you meet will be your regular dog walker, and we won't send anyone into your home that you haven't met. If your regular dog walker needs time off, you'll be notified in advance, and given an opportunity to request a fill-in dog walker, whom you'll have time to meet before coverage begins.
We use a wonderful online reservations system called Time To Pet (TTP), which is secure and accessible from any computer. All AFPC clients have profiles in TTP, and they can log in to update their profiles with pet information, a new vet, additional contact numbers, or changes in pet care. Clients can also request service through this system, and all requests are received and processed by our office.
Your primary and backup pet sitters are linked to your TTP profile, so we can always see who has cared for your pets, and check with them first when you request service. Additionally, your pet sitters are emailed whenever any changes are made to their client's profile, so they are always kept up-to-date on any new information.
Once we have confirmed your pet sitter's availability, you and your pet sitter are emailed an approved confirmation, detailing the dates and times of service. You should always look this over carefully, and notify the office ASAP if there are any mistakes. We send a second confirmation three days before service begins, just to reconfirm service, and to give you an opportunity to notify us of any changes.
If you prefer a live voice , we would love to talk with you about your pet sitting needs, so feel free to call! We have two phone numbers: 703-716-PETS, and 703-960-PETS. Voicemail messages are checked frequently, so feel free to leave a message if we miss you, and we'll get back to you as quickly as possible.
We have several fees that are charged outside of the regular visit fees. Some examples are:
Previsit consultation fee ($25) is charged for the meeting between you and your assigned pet sitter. This is a one-time fee - if you need to meet a backup sitter at some point, you aren't charged for that meeting.
Late booking fee ($25) is charged for reservations that are booked less than 48 hours before the first visit. This fee does NOT apply to midday dog walk reservations.
Key pickup fee ($15) is charged for the sitter's time in obtaining a key from you each time you request service. Most of our clients choose to have us keep their keys on file, which ensures that we are always able to support your request for pet care, even at the last minute. If you choose to keep your keys on file, you will NOT be charged this fee.
Holiday surcharge ($25) is charged for visits that occur during the very busy pet sitting time periods (Memorial weekend, Labor Day weekend, Thanksgiving week, Christmas week). This surcharge is charged one time per reservation, it is NOT a per-visit fee, and we only charge it for those four holiday periods.
Medications fees ($3 oral, $5 injection; $10 subQ fluids) are charged for any pets who require medication dispensing during your trip. Please note that we normally waive the $3 oral meds fee for dogs who take meds are part of their feeding process, or cats who will take theirs easily in a pill.
ALL of our surcharges are paid 100% to your pet sitter. The company doesn't keep any of these fees, they are ALL paid to your pet sitter to compensate her for extra time and effort spent aside from the regular pet sitting visits.
As with any service, tipping is never expected, but it is always appreciated! When you make your reservation online, you can select the "tip to pet sitter" option, and check the notes box to indicate the amount you'd like to add to your reservation total. Or you can leave cash or a check made out directly to the pet sitter. The tip amount is entirely up to you - many clients will round up the reservation amount, or give a set percentage (15 or 20%). Our sitters always strive to provide excellent service, and we appreciate your acknowledgment when they do!
You will receive an email confirmation and invoice when you first make your reservation, as well as three days prior to the dates of service. We do require payment in full at the start of each job (if paying by check or PayPal), or upon its completion (if paying by credit card).
***Please note our NEW reservation policy: ALL reservations totaling $200 or more will be charged a non-refundable deposit equaling 50% of the job total in order to confirm the reservation.***
Vacation visit and overnight stay clients: Your reservation total will be on your invoice, and you have several payment options:
Credit card - we accept all major credit cards. You can securely input your credit card information via the Invoices section of your client portal, and we'll charge it automatically upon completion of your services. You always have the option to change the default card on file, to review your invoice before charging, and to add a tip for your sitter if you like (thank you!)
Check (made out to All Friends Pet Care) - should be mailed to the AFPC office address prior to the start of service. For liability reasons, we cannot accept checks left for your sitter to retrieve.
PayPal - you can send payment to email@example.com prior to the start of service.
Midday dog walk clients: You are required to keep a credit card on file, and are charged at the end of every biweekly cycle. If you request walks "as needed", and not on a regular recurring schedule, we will charge you at the end of every week or every other week, depending on your request.
Midday Dog Walks
If you cancel your scheduled walk by 10AM on the day of the walk, you won't be charged. Cancellations may be made via email to firstname.lastname@example.org; the change tool on the portal; a portal message; or through your pet sitter directly. Walks cancelled after 10AM are charged at your regular visit rate.
Vacation Visit Reservations
***Please note our reservation policy: ALL reservations totaling $200 or more will be charged a non-refundable deposit equaling 50% of the job total in order to confirm the reservation.***
- If your confirmed reservation total is UNDER $200, the cancellation fee is $25 (charged at the time of cancellation)
- If your confirmed reservation total is OVER $200, the cancellation fee is 50% of your job total (your non-refundable deposit that was charged at the time the reservation was booked)
Due to the exclusive nature of overnight bookings, our pet sitters must decline all requests for overnight stays that coincide with the dates you have booked. Therefore, we charge a 50% cancellation fee, regardless of when the overnight reservation is cancelled or the invoice amount. If your confirmed reservation total was more than $200, we will have already charged a 50% non-refundable deposit, so nothing more will be owed upon cancellation.
All Friends Pet Care was born in 1998, and we are proudly celebrating 25 years in business this year!Click HERE to read our story
Koda loves his dog walker Alora! He gets so excited to see her he does a little Koda dance. We always trust he is in great hands.
Our pets ... love our awesome walkers! We appreciate how reliable they always are with providing updates, photos of the fur babies, and we trust them implicitly with access to our home and pets. Highly recommend!
Lacey and Drew
I just love All Friends! Their staff is reliable, timely, and caring, and they know my dogs by name... I definitely plan to use their services in the future!