Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What do I need to have ready for the consultation?
A: Have your virtual account info entered. This allows us to reference your information while at the consultation and ask questions if needed.
2 keys made and tested (Why a 2 key policy? Unforeseen incidents are what we are paid to be prepared for! ;) One is kept at our office and one is used for the visits. Door keypads only require one key copy.)
Q: How do I choose my Emergency Contact?
A: This person must live close by. Close enough, in fact, to be able to get to your house by foot. (If that is not possible, please let us know). This emergency contact is mostly used in case the roads are unsafe to drive due to weather conditions, etc. This doesn't happen very often in Asheville, but we are paid to think ahead, and having that day be as stress free as possible is preferred!
Make sure this person does not usually travel with you. If they are with you...that doesn't help much, eh? In our experience, having your neighbor be your emergency contact is best. And honestly, most neighbors like someone asking for something like that, they feel helpful without really having to DO anything. ;)
Q: What does the consultation cost?
A: Half hour consults are free of charge. Most families find that is plenty of time to show us around. We are happy to accommodate longer consultations, we just need to make appropriate arrangements if so, as it takes two team members present. ($20 per additional half hour needed).
If pet/s need additional "meet and greets" to become comfortable with us, charge is $25 per half hour.
Q: What do I need to expect at the consult?
A: The consultation is a time for you to show us around your home. You will tell us what is important to know about your home and pet/s. Where are the supplies located? Having supplies in an easy access location is very helpful.
When we enter the home we generally apply Animal Behavior and interaction knowledge to meet and greet your buds. It can look so different than what we are used to as humans! Here is a great article about meeting new dogs. Here is a great article about meeting new cats.
Q: How are your Vacation Visits set up?
A: These are visits when you are "out of town". Everyone's vacation visits look a little different. Think about what schedule would be best for your pet/s. (Click here for more details)
We generally have:
Morning visits 7am-9am
Midday visits 11am-2pm
Mid-evening visits 3-6pm
Evening visits 6-8pm
Options for length of visits: (Click here for price info. )
***A minimum of 2 visits per day for dogs and 1 visit per day for cats.***
Q: Why can't you just commit to a specific time? (Do you have commitment phobia?)
A: As you see above..we have time blocks listed, rather than specific times. This is because we are almost ALWAYS running a little behind. A muddy paw here...a mess there...a wee bit of traffic on the Bowen Bridge...and an extra lap around the block because that face is just too cute to leave, later and we are running 30min behind! This work is unpredictable and when it comes to the visits, most often we end up spending more time, rather than the "exact time". We learned that...and accept it for what it is. We do, however have a window that we can, 99% of the time, guarantee!
Q: How do I prepare for Vacation visits?
Set the thermostat to desired temperature while you are away. (In the winter, make sure the temp is comfortable for pets as well as making sure your pipes don't freeze!)
Make sure all doors to rooms that won't need to be accessed are closed. (This helps ensure your pet's safety, especially if someone has a propensity to chew or be destructive)
Close the lids to the toilets if needed.
Close the cap to the sink disposal for kitties please! ( Interesting smells beckon to your kitty while you are away...yes...it has happened. )
Take out trash just before you leave or make sure cans are out of reach for those pets who may not be able to resist checking out the contents.
Forgot something? You can quickly and simply add notes into your virtual account whenever needed! There is actually a spot JUST for that exact thing!!!
Make sure your pet/s have enough food and medication for your absence. If supplies do not last, and MPV needs to purchase more, we will provide you an Invoice with total cost of goods + service fee (depending on your location, is usually $10), which is due immediately upon return.
Q: My kitty is shy with new people, but will usually warm up to you once you gain their trust. How do I set them up for success?
A: If your kitty is shy, please leave them in a small area (bathroom or bedroom) with what they need until/for the FIRST VISIT. This space, if possible, should be free of tiny/cramped/perfect hiding spots for kitty. (Examples: under beds, high shelves, dark corners) Why, you may ask? Having to reach into a tight spot to grab kitty out is NEVER a good idea if we can avoid it. Instead, having kitty get more comfortable with us being in their space by just sitting on the floor close to kitty or performing duties like feeding, etc. without disturbing kitty, lets them know we are safe. It gives kitty the freedom to come up to us first and usually catalyzes the process of comfortability around us. And usually once the first contact is initiated by kitty, things go really smoothly from there on out!
****If kitty needs medications administered, this set up is not optional! We want administration to be as stress free for kitty as possible! ****
Q: My kitty does not like to be interacted with by myself or strangers, how do I set them up for success?
A: If interacting with kitty would cause more stress, we have no intention of "forcing" interaction. Our goal while there will be to provide the care kitty needs without contact. We completely understand this is the case sometimes and respect kitty's space. Make sure kitty has a safe space to go while we are there.
Q: Where will you sleep?
A: We will usually sleep wherever you feel most comfortable with us sleeping. If it is a shorter stay, we generally bring our own bedding and sleep on top of yours! If it is a longer stay, we generally try our hardest to wash linens and re-make the bed as we found it.
Q: Will you use my things?
A: We bring our own food and toiletries so no need to provide anything for us.
Q: I am a private person, how will I know my things are kept private?
A: We have our reputation as a professional service to uphold. We do not go through your things while you are away. If it is put away and out of sight, chances are, we will not see it. We take this very seriously. (In our Client Info sheet, please make sure to notate where asked if you would like us to not post pictures of your pet/s on our social media, if desired.)
Q: I am working on good manners with my bud/s. Do you continue to uphold good boundaries while I am away? We have worked SO hard!
A: We firmly believe that every household has their own set of boundaries for each member of the family to keep in order for the family to co-exist harmoniously, humans too, right?! We have every intention of keeping the boundaries in place while you are away so that when you return, that harmony isn't interrupted. We truly want to set your bud/s up for success. If your pup is working on not jumping on humans, we will respect your bud's training. That is the beauty of in-home pet care...consistency! And while we are on the subject...see below!
Our ethics around training:
We have worked with animals in a variety of professional settings and continue to learn and expand our knowledge on Animal Behavior and Psychology. We are NOT professional trainers. We believe that a mutual respect between ourselves and humans and all living things around us is important for us as humans. We strive to treat others how we would like to be treated. No exceptions.
Jenny says: " If I were an animal living in a human world and didn't know how to speak their language, I would very much appreciate a human companion who worked with me, teaching me how to navigate my everyday life in the most symbiotic way possible with those around me. I believe the best way to do that with dogs is by teaching and training them how to succeed.
Example: My small dog jumps into my lap, spilling my hot coffee onto my lap...I, of course, scold them. How about instead, I set that same dog up for success by helping them learn to not jump into my lap unless invited. Thus eliminating the situation for the dog to guess whether or not it is a convenient moment for them to jump onto my lap.
I believe the most effective training techniques need not induce pain or fear. Let me repeat that, I believe the MOST EFFECTIVE training techniques need not induce pain or fear. We have come a long way in learning more about Animal Behavior as a society. Here is an article I feel explains my sentiments around training. "
This page is a work in progress! There will always be more to add...we just wanted to get it up here for folks to see in the meantime!