We know you may have questions surrounding your upcoming bookings due to the current COVID-19 situation. We understand how stressful this must be and would like to address any possible queries and reassure you that our customer support team is also here to help you.
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions by pet sitters:
- How to cope as a pet sitter during the COVID-19 pandemic (updated April 7th, 2020)
- What if an owner wants to cancel or move their booking dates?
- What if I need to cancel a booking due to COVID-19 concerns?
- An owner wants to book me for later this year, but we can't have a meet & greet right now. What should we do?
- The pet owner is stuck abroad and won't be home in time for the end of the booking. What should I do?
- I have an ongoing booking and my area is on lockdown. Can I still carry out home visits and dog walks?
- What else can I do?
If the cancellation falls outside of your chosen cancellation policy period, an owner can choose to cancel the booking themselves via the booking message thread.
If the cancellation falls within your cancellation policy period, you have the choice to decide if you want to waive your policy and offer a full refund.
Should you wish to offer a full refund, please confirm that you agree to a full refund in the Pawshake booking message thread. This will help us process the cancellations faster.
Given the difficult situation we are facing globally, we want to thank those sitters who have already generously agreed to waive their existing cancellation policies.
If an owner would like to change their booking date, as long as you agree to the new dates, our customer support team can adjust the booking.
The safety and well being of our community is important to us. At any time if you feel that your health may be at risk, we encourage you to reach out and talk to the owner about your concerns.
You may be able to come to an agreement such as agreeing to sanitise common areas you may be touching before and after each use (like leashes, doorknobs or gates). Or maintaining social distance when picking up or dropping off pets (like placing the pet in the backyard and entering through a side gate or bringing your own leashes and treats). You should also remember to regularly wash your hands and avoid touching your face.
If you are unable to find a solution you are comfortable with, we understand that you may feel safer about cancelling the booking. If you decide to cancel the booking, please let the pet owner and Pawshake know as soon as possible so we can assist the pet owner in finding a replacement sitter.
An owner wants to book me for later this year, but we can't have a meet & greet right now. What should we do?
Together, we will get through this, and once we can resume our activities, you can keep on pet sitting just like before. Pet owners can still contact and book you for future bookings. If the pet owner is a new client, don't forget to have a meet & greet. That way you can make sure that the sitter is a good match - but do maintain social distancing and hygiene.
Video calls may be an option (we recommend Zoom, a great tool for video calls that you can use for free), so feel free to exchange phone numbers or other contact details. You will need to have an in-person meeting closer to the booking, once the situation relaxes, but you can accept the booking already if the pet owner wants to book.
If you've accepted a booking based on a "remote meet & greet" and during the personal one it turns out that the pet is not a match after all, you will be able to cancel at no penalty.
The pet owner is stuck abroad and won't be home in time for the end of the booking. What should I do?
If the pet owner can't return to their pet, but you're in contact with them, please communicate with them to try and find a solution. Potential outcomes could be: the pet owner makes a new booking so you can continue looking after their pet, or they find a friend or family member to take over from you. If neither of those are an option, or if you can't reach the pet owner, please get in touch with our Support team.
I have an ongoing booking and my area is on lockdown. Can I still carry out ongoing home visits and dog walks?
Yes, you can. Caring for a pet is considered a legitimate reason for being out and about. If you're worried about being stopped and asked for proof that you are out for a reason, you can either print the booking confirmation email, or the form that you can download here.
If you don't have a printer, you can show the booking details on your phone, or save the form at the bottom of this page on your phone so you can show it if needed. You might need a specific app to fill in the form on your phone. You can find it here for iOS and for Android.
We understand that this is a difficult and unusual time. We encourage you to practise safe hygiene, maintain social distancing, obtain information from accurate sources, such as the WHO, and continue to monitor government announcements for any updates.
At the same time, please don’t forget to look after your own mental health and the well being of your family and pets. Take the time to do some exercise, create enrichment activities for your pets or reconnect with your family. This might be an uncertain and stressful time, but we will get through this together!
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time. As always, the Pawshake support team is here for you. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us.