Frequently Asked Questions

What does a In-Home Pet Care Professional (Pet Sitter) like While Your Away do?
  • While You're Away's professional In-Home Pet Care provides pet owners peace of mind and ensures the health and happiness of your pets while you're away.

  • Pets adjust better, experience less anxiety and less stress when they remain in their home environments during their owners absence.  In-home professional pet sitters like While You're Away make this possible with daily visits to your home.  Everything from love and companionship to food, water, exercise, playtime, bathroom time, cleaning and administering medications are performed by the in-home pet care professional (pet sitter).

  • Professional in-home pet sitting is a responsible choice made by discerning pet owners instead of placing their loved ones health at risk by placing them in a kennel environment.

  • While You're Away also provides vital home-care services, including mail & newspaper pick up, plant care, trash & recycling removal and increased home security by turning on lights & opening/closing the blinds making your home look lived in.

Are You Insured, Bonded & Licensed?
  • While You're Away is fully INSURED, BONDED & LICENSED for your protection as well as our own.  We are Insured & Bonded with Business Insurers of the Carolinas & Travelers Insurance.  We are Licensed with the state of Florida, City of Jacksonville & Duval County.

  • Upon first contact we willingly provide our prospective clients with our Certificates of Insurance & Bond.

  • We recommend & encourage you to ask & receive Certificates of Insurance, Bonding & Local Licensing documents from any contractor doing any work for you.

What are the advantages of hiring While You're Away as a care giver?
  • Hiring us will give you complete peace of mind that your loved ones are in great hands.  We have extensive experience & training in care giving and are able to recognize the early warning signs if your loved one is experiencing a health issue.

  • By having us care for your loved ones in their home environment you eliminate health risks associated with external environments such doggy day cares or kennels.

  • We eliminate the stress and anxiety your loved ones feel when in unfamiliar surroundings.

  • We are 110% committed to ensuring the health and happiness of your loved ones as well as your peace of mind.

  • Your furry loved ones will not be subjected to the small strict spaces associated with kennel type care facilities.  Your furry babies will have the same freedom to roam and come and go as they normally would.

  • Your fur-babies will have a dedicated care giver and are guaranteed to receive lots of affection, attention, care and love.

  • While You're Away provides extra security by having a regular presence at your home.  We give your home a lived-in, active look that deters potential criminals.

  • We are a leader in the care giving industry and committed to the education and growth of the in-home pet care (pet sitting) industry.

Are you a member of any professional pet sitting organizations?
  • Yes, While You're Away is a full member of the leading In-Home Pet Care organization called NAPPS, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.

  • NAPPS is the only professional NOT-FOR-PROFIT organization for the In-Home Pet Care (Pet Sitting) industry.

What type of payment do you accept?
  • While You're Away accepts American Express, Visa, Master Card, Discover, JCB, Debit Card (must have Visa or Master Card logo), Cash & Checks.

Do you have Emergency procedures?
  • Yes, we have established plans and processes in case of all emergencies.

  • These range from our professional relationships with trusted veterinary medical care providers, locksmiths, JEA & window repair companies to our hurricane emergency plans.

What is your cancellation policy for Holiday & non-Holiday periods?
  • During non-holiday periods any amount prepaid will be credited to your account for future use.  Your credit(s) will NEVER expire.

  • During Holiday periods NO REFUND will be granted.  During Holiday periods any amount prepaid will be forfeited by the pet owner.  In addition, NO CREDIT will be granted as we have lost the revenue opportunity for the time we had reserved for you.

What occurs at the free initial consultation / meet & greet?
  • We get to meet each other as well as your pet(s).  We treat it as a relaxed interview, where we both get to ask questions of each other to ensure we both feel comfortable moving forward.

  • If we both feel comfortable moving forward with each other we will then review the contract together to ensure expectations are agreed to on both sides.

  • Next we'll review all of your pet(s) care needs & build a care profile for each of your furry or feathered babies.  This includes your pets daily schedule, feedings, medications, bathroom breaks and any additional care needs.

  • During this time we also have a few forms to fill out that provide us emergency contact details, your pet(s) veterinary information, etc.

  • Following that we will review specific requirements regarding your home.  For example, review any security systems that will be in use, rotating the lights, bringing in mail/newspaper, water plants as well as discuss if anyone else will have access to your home while your pet(s) will be in our care.

  • If your requested service dates are during a non-holiday period we require a 50% down payment at the meet & greet and the remaining balance will be due on the service start date.If your requested service dates are during a holiday period we require payment in full to reserve / hold the requested dates.

How many visits per day does While You're Away recommend or require for my pet(s)?
  • For dogs we require & recommend a minimum of one visit, walk & bathroom break every 12 hours (2 visits every 24 hours).

  • For example, if you are going out of town for the weekend and you leave Friday at 7:00 PM and walked your dog at 6:30 PM, we would discuss with you planning our first visit before 6:30 AM on Saturday.  Every dogs need for exercise and bathroom breaks is different and the schedule will be discussed and agreed to during the initial consultation with the pet owner(s).

  • Cats or "meow-meows", as we call them, require a minimum of 1 visit every 24 hours.  This ensures they are not without basic necessaties (food, water, clean litter box) for longer than 24 hours if they accidentally tip their water bowl over etc.  

  • The number of visits will be openly discussed and agreed to at the initial consultation. This will include a review of your pets type, personality, habits & any known relevant medical issues.

How does While You're Away respect my privacy?
  • While You're Away will only access those areas that you designate during the initial consultation.

  • Simply put, we act as we would want some to act in our own home, professionally, ethically & honest.

  • Our business depends on performing our services professionally, honestly and ethically.  If we did not act professionally, honestly & ethically we would not be in business.

  • Treat others as we expect to be treated...bottomline, it would be completely unacceptable if a contractor snooped around our home.  We would feel violated so rest assured we will NOT be snooping around yours.

What happens if my property is damaged or my furry loved one is injured while I am gone?
  • While You're Away agrees to provide the services stated in the contract in a professional, honest, ethical, reliable and caring manner.  However, While You're Away is only liable for claims arising from our negligence or willful misconduct.

  • We will walk you through our detailed emergency response processes and review with you any possible scenarios to ensure the proper response is executed.  Whether it's an emergency or not, we willingly provide our experience and knowledge.

  • We will formulate with you the proper responses to differing situations when care giving for your loved ones.

  • We are proud to share our record of zero incidents of negligence or willful misconduct.

  • Due to the extreme unpredictability of animals we do not accept responsibility for unusual mishaps caused by the pet (i.e., furniture, personal property damage, spills, pet stains, bites, plant damage, etc.).

  • We are not responsible for injuries, fines or disappearance in the event your pet has unsupervised access to the outside (i.e., doggy door).

When I am gone can I contact While You're Away to get status updates on my pet(s)?
  • Yes, Absolutely & Yes.  During the initial consultation we ensure you have our personal cell phone number, business telephone number and email address.  You can contact us as many times as you would like to check-in on your pet(s).

  • We welcome any and all communication and we provide a daily contact via text, email, etc to let you know just how well your pet(s) are doing.

How are your In-Home Pet Care professionals selected?
  • Our In-Home Pet Care professionals are interviewed twice and their histories are thourghly reviewed and verified before ever being afforded the opportunity to perform our services.

  • We conduct a detailed criminal nationwide background check.  If needed we also perform a detailed international criminal background check.

  • We personally conduct a professional review and contact with all previous employers, supervisors and references.  In addition, we have a professional Human Resources contractor perform he same detailed review and contacts.

  • We perform a detailed search for complaints and/or pending litigation to all potential In-Home Pet Care professionals.

  • Personal and professional references are personally contacted and merits are discussed at length.  If a candidate has any type of previous care giving experience, we contact past clients directly.

  • Once a candidate has successfully passed our reviews, interviews & criminal background checks they enter into our 2 week on-the job training program.  They will accompany/shadow a current in-home pet care professional during their daily rounds to learn & experience the unparalleled service we provide.

  • During the on-the-job training our new hires will also attend scheduled pet care, pet health, pet nutrition & pet first aid classes. 

  • Once the 2 week on-the-job training program is completed successfully we then start the meet & greet process with our new hire.  They accompany us to every meey & greet where they will be the primary in-home pet care professional.

  • Once they have their own scheduled in-home pet care visits we perform a daily review for the first 2 weeks that incorporates daily on-site visits to ensure our clients expectations are being exceeded.

  • Following the daily on-site visits we will schedule a sit down with you to discuss any issues that may have popped up.  After that bi-weekly reviews are conducted with our clients and any issues are addressed.

  • We perform peer reviews and provide feedback to our care givers on a monthly basis to help improve their performance.