Home-based care services, including pet sitting and dog walking, are considered essential by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. As such, I remain available for all services during this time, unless/until the unlikely event that I need to quarantine myself due to symptom or exposure concerns.
I currently have some spots open for dog walking, if you are a busy essential worker or are working from home and don't have time to take your pups out for a long walk. I am also available for pet sitting for folks who need to travel or otherwise be away from home. Additionally, I will be offering cat enrichment visits to keep social cats happy as their people begin to head back to work after many weeks of extra lap snuggles and play time.
To best keep my clients and myself safe, I have been taking and will continue to take many precautions based on the updated recommendations of governmental health agencies and the advice of professional pet sitting organizations.
For dog walks:
I am donning a fresh pair of nitrile or vinyl gloves for each walk, using hand sanitizer between glove changings, using my elbow to open dumpsters to dispose of dog waste, avoiding people and other dogs on walks, and wearing a mask when I enter homes as well as most of the duration of each walk. Notes on how each walk went are sent by text or called out to you if you are nearby and free (no paper notes during this time).
If you are home, we will do a no-contact dog pick-up. Some ways clients and I have been doing this are: 1) client is working in a separate room all day and the dogs meet me in a contained area near the door; 2) leash and harness are draped on the condo/apartment outer doorknob, and the dog meets me at the door; 3) the client lets the dog into their fenced backyard for me to collect (or just play fetch in the yard); and; 4) the client carefully releases the (leashed and harnessed) dog to me in the stairwell of their building, with six feet between us. In all of these situations, the client takes care of water changes, and any treats are either left near the door or given by the client. Texting the client with an ETA while on the way and/or texting or knocking when I arrive has been working well. We can discuss what options might work best for your situation.
If you will not be home when I stop by to walk your dog, I would ask that the leash/harness, wipe-down towel, and any treats be kept near the door, and that extra water is left out for your pup when you leave.
Consultations for new clients will be primarily over email, phone, and/or face-time, and we will do a brief masked outdoor dog meeting and key collection.
For pet sits when you travel:
For the most part, in-home pet sitting when you travel will be as usual. A couple differences: I will immediately wash my hands thoroughly upon arrival, before touching your pets or anything else in your home, and (in a manner that is safe for pets) will disinfect all touched surfaces as needed during your trip and when I finish the last visit. As usual, I will remove my shoes upon or before entering. If I need to sneeze or cough, it will be into my elbow and over the floor. I am happy to additionally wear a mask during all visits or potentially take other measures, upon request.
I am having clients provide the following (in addition to everything on the vacation care info sheet):
Consultations for new clients, for the time being, will be primarily over email, phone, and/or face-time, with video or photos guiding me to locations in your home. For key collection, we can either do a brief masked in-person outdoor exchange, set up a no-contact pick-up or drop-off, or use a lock box. As soon as I feel it is safe to do masked in-home meetings, I will offer this option.
For cat enrichment visits:
Same as pet sits when you travel, except no need for the extra pet supplies or extra local emergency contact (just the usual minimum of one)
For no-pet house sitting tasks while you travel:
Same as pet sits when you travel except for pet supplies and emergency contacts
Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or would like to discuss anything as it pertains to your situation and needs.
If you or any members of your household are symptomatic for COVID-19 or have had known or suspected exposures to the virus, please communicate this to me as soon as you become aware.