Frequently Asked Questions

The following provides answers to frequently asked questions about cat sitting, dog walking, dog sitting and pet care for Indianapolis, Carmel and Zionsville area pet owners.

Call or email additional questions. Just ask Linda at 317- 224-5243

FOR MORE ANSWERS SEE MY BLOG

Tell me about professional certification and organizational memberships!
Certification acknowledges that a pet sitter is a serious professional who has obtained a high level of expertise through personal study.

Although all sitters within a company may not be certified, it is imperative that the Owner/Operator of a pet sitting firm be committed to continuing education, and be able to impart knowledge received from certifications, from training and from hands-on skills.

Be sure the pet sitting company you choose to care for your most valued possessions – your pets and your home – maintains current certifications for active management!

Maintaining membership in professional trade organizations such as NAPPS and PSI insures that the owner is aware of industry trends and advancements in pet care, handling and nutrition, pet first aid, business management skills, as well as labor rules, insurance and bonding capabilities

Opportunities to attend annual conferences, and to participate in NAPPS and PSI networking and volunteering are other important aspects of membership.

Contact the trade organizations to verify active memberships:

NAPPS   PSI

When do I pay and what forms of payment do you accept?
Payment is due on the first day of service. Prepayment is required to hold reservations for holidays and summer and for first time clients. I accept online payments through Intuit Payment Network and Pay Pal as well as cash,checks, Discover, MC and Visa.  Prices listed on this website are cash prices; credit card prices are slightly higher.

Why did you choose to start a pet sitting business?
Several years ago, I needed to leave my dog and cat while I traveled. I boarded Ally (my cat) at my vet’s. When I picked him up, I found out that he was kept in a cage in the same room with dogs. I took my dog Cammi to a cage free doggy day care. I found out later she was left at night without any staff person there.  It took a while for me (and my cat) to get over that experience. So the next time I needed to travel, I hired someone to come to my house. It was a much better experience for all of us. Plus I liked the idea that someone was watching my house for me. I have done this for friends and family for years, but never knew a service industry had been created for it.

So in 2008, when I, like so many people, found myself out of a job, I decided to do something about it. Sitting at home on unemployment is not who I am. I have always wanted my own business and a service business that helps people AND animals seemed just right to me. I have been an elementary school teacher, an administrative assistant and done accounts receivables and accounts payables for businesses. Combining that experience with my love of animals created Ask Linda Pet Sitting.

Why hire a professional pet sitter?
There are many benefits to hiring a professional pet sitter and dog walker:
(1)Your pet remains at home in a familiar and safe environment (no exposure to illnesses or parasites) and receives personal attention from a person who is following your instructions and keeping close to your pet’s regular routine.
(2) You don’t have to impose on friends, family or neighbors to work your pet into their schedule. We work for you, so your pet’s schedule becomes our schedule. It is our job to take care of your home and pet(s). And we take great pride in our work.
(3) A long day for you means a long day for your dog. Daily walks are a great way to give your pet exercise, a potty break, fresh air and sunshine, and relieve boredom. Great for new puppies and training.
(4) All staff are insured, bonded, have pet first aid training and must pass a background check. We are pet owners too, so we will value your “babies” like we value our own.
(5) When we walk your dog, we won’t be talking on a cell phone, or listening to music. All our attention is on your dog, and the surroundings. Safety and a good workout is our goal each time we take your dog out.

What are options for fighting fleas and ticks without chemicals and pesticides?
Fleas are not just annoying for you and your pets, they are dangerous. They bite and suck blood and can transmit tape worms to your animals. Enough fleas can actually kill a puppy or kitten if left untreated. Using a once a month flea and tick application can protect your pets during the summer, when fleas are the worst.
Putting pesticides/chemicals on your animals and in your home to fight fleas is a personal choice. If you would like to explore other options, PetCo carries an all natural line of products from Vets Best. They have a website if you want to read more about their products. You can also make your own sprays, with essential oils from the health food store. Nature’s Market on 86th and Township Line Rd carries a full line of essential oils and mixing bottles.

Remember when using natural products that they have to be applied more often than once a month.

As a pet sitter, I have to be very careful about fleas. I don’t want to carry them back to my house. I spray my clothes with natural, essential oils before and after every pet visit.

What is your cancellation policy?
Full Refund: Cancel 4 or more days before start of service
50% Refund: Cancel 3 days or less before start of service
Holiday/Summer Cancellation Fee:
**Full Refund: cancel 15 or more days before first scheduled service
**50% Refund: cancel 8-14 days before first scheduled service (50% of total invoice)
**No Refund: cancel 7 days or less before first scheduled service
This applies to the following time periods:
November 21st – 28th
December 19th – Jan 3rd
March 15th – April 15th
July – August

Do you have a referral incentive program?
As part of our Ask Linda Pet Services Referral Rewards Program, referring clients will receive a $20 credit on their account when the referred party books and completes their first service with us. Ask Linda Pet Sitting Services Referral Reward credits expire six months from the date of the credit. There is no limit to how many credits you can get so spread the word!

What is your service area?

West Carmel   46032

Zionsville  46077  

NW Indianapolis: 46228,46240,46260,46268,46278

SERVICE IS PROVIDED INSIDE THE FOLLOWING BOUNDRIES:

North:  146th Street

South:  Kessler Blvd

West:   Lafayette Road for Indianapolis, Ford Road for Zionsville

East:  Meridian Street (US31) in Carmel , College Avenue in Indianapolis
Service outside these boundries but within the listed zip codes will have a $1/mile one way fuel surcharge added.

How can I get rid of the litter box odor?
I have seen many attempts for solving this problem: scented litter, adding baking soda or charcoal to the litter, covering the box itself, putting plug-in air freshers all around it….the list goes on.
The BEST way to control the odor of the litter box area is to KEEP IT CLEAN. A litter box is a toilet; it should be flushed( scooped) at least once a day. The area around the litter box should be checked for urine that went outside the box. This is the biggest cause of odor that I have seen. You can have something washable (rubber backed rug) or disposable (human bed pad) under and around your litterbox to catch urine that sometimes sprays out of the box.

Also important is the SIZE OF THE LITTER BOX. Get the biggest one you can find with the highest sides. I have seen rubbermaid totes used by just cutting an entry hole in one side. These work great for containing litter for those cats that are serious about covering their waste and kick litter everywhere. And it is generally recommended that you have a box for every cat.
Personally, I don’t like covered litterboxes. It is too easy for the human to ignore cleaning it and the poor cat has to endure that terrible ammonia odor. If you have ever used a porta-potty  you get the picture – and it isn’t pretty.

Finally, and this is a step that a lot of cat owners don’t do: WASH THE LITTER BOX. Once a month, throw out the litter, spray the box with a vinegar/water solution and wipe it out with paper towels until it is clean. Then put in fresh litter.

If the box has areas where the urine has degraded the plastic or there are lots of scratch marks, it is better to just get a new litter box. Then with daily and monthly maintenance, you won’t have to buy another one.

Will I always have the same sitter or walker?
DOG WALKERS: There will always be two people assigned to every dog walk: the primary walker and the backup walker. I schedule the backup walker a few times a month so your dog will remember them and they will remember your dog. If neither the primary nor the backup walker is available, I myself will come. WE WILL BE THERE!
PET SITTERS: Pet sitting is a very personal obligation and I am the primary care giver. I do have a back up person from my staff for each job. I also share some jobs with my staff, especially homes with multiple pets or for sits lasting 10 days or more. For example I will do two visits and my staff person will do one visit on a daily basis. Again, this is to make sure the dogs (or cats) are comfortable with the backup person and that we both know your pet’s routine. This also insures that during busy times, or last minute requests, I don’t have to tell you no because I  myself am not available.