How it worked before
Pet owners used to have two options when requesting the services of a sitter:
1) Contact: You would send an open request, and the pet sitter had to indicate whether they were interested or not. If they were interested, a meet & greet would take place, and you would finalise the booking by paying online.
2) Book now: You made a payment right away. This option was meant for returning clients who already knew the sitter in question, but was often mistakenly used by first-time clients, despite the recommendation to have a meet & greet first.
How it works now
Since the old system was causing some confusion among both pet sitters and pet owners, we've simplified it.
You will now only find one "Contact" button on the sitter's profile. This button is meant to be used by both new and returning clients. Once you've clicked on it, please fill in your service and dates, select your pet profiles and send your message to the sitter.
Scenario 1: I'm contacting this sitter for the first time ...
In this case, the sitter will respond to your message as soon as possible, and you can arrange a meet & greet. If the meeting is a success, you can finalise the booking by clicking on "Book now" in the conversation thread, and then make the online payment. After the end of the booking, we pay out the pet sitter.
Scenario 2: I've booked this sitter before ...
If your sitter has already verbally confirmed that they'll be available for the period you need, you don't need to wait for a response to your initial message. Simply click on "Book now" to make the payment and finalise the booking, and your sitter will confirm as soon as possible. This procedure is almost the same as the old "Book now" button on the sitter profile.
If you don't know yet whether the sitter is available for your dates, it might be best to wait for their response before making the payment.
Bonus feature: non-consecutive days in one booking
If you're requesting a dog walk, doggy daycare or home visits, you can now also select non-consecutive days. For example, if your dog needs to be walked on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you previously needed to make 3 different bookings for that. Now you can simply select the days in the calendar and request and book them all in one go. You can book up to 15 days within a timeframe of 30 days. The sitter will get paid out after the last day of the booking.