FAQ for Pet Owners

FAQ for Pet Owners

I've never left my pet with a pet sitter before. Is Pawshake for me?

Absolutely. Pawshake is a community animal lovers who welcome others' animals with great pleasure. Your dog will be much happier than in a kennel. Take a look at the pet sitter profiles on our site - verified by our team - and let us know what you think.

Can I really trust a pet sitter?

Pawshake is a platform that puts animal owners and pet sitters in contact. In the interest of animals' wellbeing, we verify the contact details of pet sitters in various ways before they appear on the site. Then, after the stay, owners can leave an evaluation of their experience.

I'm hoping to meet the host family before placing my pet with that family. Is that possible?

Absolutely. As a matter of fact, we encourage a meeting beforehand between the pet sitter and the pet. You can request this by clicking on "Contact Me." Try to meet in a neutral place, because sometimes the host family's pet attempts to defend its territory.

Does Pawshake offer insurance? What does the insurance cover?

Pawshake Inc is the company that manages Pawshake's website. As a platform, we connect animal owners with pet sitters that agree to temporarily house your pet. Therefore, we offer you a practical solution for your animal's lodging - which is sometimes difficult with family and friends. Whether it’s your brother who comes to look after your cat, your cousin who takes care of your dog, or a member of the Pawshake community (a "Pawshaker") who comes by every day, confidence and security always remain essential. There are many pet owners who worry, asking themselves what might happen in case of an accident, and whether they are covered by their insurance:

  • Domestic animals in third parties' homes: As the owner of your domestic animal, you are responsible for damages brought upon third parties. Therefore, it is wise to have personal liability insurance that includes your pet in the policy. This way, you will be covered in case, for example, your dog causes an accident. A majority of families have personal liability insurance. Warning: verify with your insurance company whether you are covered when you leave your animal with a host family.
  • Your pet: If you wish to insure your pet in order to cover unforeseen veterinary expenses, it's recommended that you subscribe to a health insurance policy for your pet. Is this useful? Yes, because it will permit the host family to go to the vet without any hesitation for an urgent procedure. In many countries however, animal health insurance remains a relatively new product.
  • Accident due to the animal's guardian: Although in a large majority of cases, everything goes perfectly, it's always possible that something might happen whenever a pet sitter – whether it be your sister, brother, aunt, etc. – comes to your home. For a service provided to friends, it is not legally required that you have insurance. On the other hand, if you hire someone, in some countries, you are legally obliged to have "Workplace Accident" insurance. We also advise our pet sitters to always take out “Domestic Staff” coverage that covers damages to third parties. Don't forget to check with your insurance company whether your Workplace Accident Insurance covers such damages (similar to the case of a babysitter). You will also find numerous professional pet sitters on Pawshake, who have made it their principal or secondary activity. The latter are legally bound to have a General Liability as well as complementary insurance in case of damages to third parties. Please verify these details directly with your pet sitter.

Pawshake is currently in negotiations with various insurance companies in order to offer a structural solution. Our overarching goal is that pet owners and pet sitters do what they enjoy doing the most: take care of animals, either in their or the owner’s home. The explanations provided above do not have any legal value. They are given to you for information purposes only. Our advice is that, "It is best to plan for all contingencies." As such, we suggest that you contact your insurance company in order to better understand the solution that works best for you.

Is it possible to find a pet sitter for a single night?

Absolutely. The site has the advantage of having a large offering of pet sitters.

Does my pet need anything during its stay with the host family?

As it is not advisable to modify a pet’s diet, we suggest owners provide the pet sitter with the animal’s food for the duration of stay.

We also suggest that the owner provide the pet sitter the animal’s favorite toys and accessories to minimally disrupt the animal’s routine.

It is possible - through the site - to agree with the host family on items to bring. Here are some suggestions:

  • Food and snacks
  • A leash
  • Toys
  • Bowl for eating or drinking
  • Basket and blankets
  • If needed, old clothes with the owner's smell for reassurance.

To make your life easier, we have prepared a list of instructions that you can give to the pet sitter or host family. This list includes instructions concerning food, your dog's favorite items, your vet's name and address, and numbers of contacts in case of emergency.

Are there pet sitters on Pawshake that offer specialized care?

Yes. We request that Pawshake pet sitters describe the care they offer as thoroughly as possible. Some indeed have a specialization. Look through the list of pet sitters in your region to see who is the best person to take care of your pet.

What happens when my pet gets sick or hurts itself in the care of the pet sitter?

Happily, cases of emergencies are very rare, but it's best to prepare for them. If there’s an emergency, the pet sitter must decide the best course of action: either to go to the nearest veterinarian or, if possible, go to the pet's own veterinarian.

Is it possible to modify or cancel your reservation?

Pawshake pet sitters offer three types of reservations:

  • Flexible Reservation (flexible cancellation policy): full refund up to 5 days before the beginning of the reservation, then 50% refund afterward
  • Moderate Reservation (moderate cancellation policy): full refund up to 10 days before the beginning of the reservation, then 50% refund afterward
  • Strict Reservation (strict cancellation policy): no refunds

If you need to cancel a booking, please contact Pawshake (please provide the booking reference number) and we will happy to help you.

At what point do I have to pay the pet sitter or host family?

Pawshake will ask for your payment information to complete your online reservation. However, not until the moment the reservation is accepted by the pet sitter does the sum owed get debited from your account or credit card. The pet sitter is paid at the end of the stay.

Do I pay the pet sitter or host family myself?

No. All payments are carried out via Pawshake's website. It's easier and more secure. This also allows you to concentrate on the relationship with the pet sitter.

What if I am unable to make the appointment as agreed?

Host families and pet sitters define their own cancellation policies. For more information, please check the pet sitter’s profile.

What is included in Home Visits?

Here are some services you should expect from the pet sitter for a home visit. As always, make sure you have a clear agreement. 

  • Fresh Water/Food for pets
  • Playtime and Cuddles - TLC Time
  • Administering Medication (optional)
  • Daily Written Report/Dairy - Notes and Checklist
  • Text Message and Daily Photo Update to Client (via the Pawshake app)
  • Bring in the Mail/Newspapers/Advertising Material
  • Alternate the Lights and Curtains
  • Water Indoor/Outdoor Pot Plants
  • Pooper disposal/Litter Box
  • Recycling/Garbage Disposal 
  • Security Check on premises

Does Pawshake offer insurance?

Yes, your pet is insured during the period of booking !

Pawshake has your backing with a free Insurance covering for all services booked through our site or mobile app! This means that you will benefit from ultimate peace of mind.

  • Care, Custody, Control – veterinary coverage for animals in pet sitters’ care, custody and control: This section provides veterinary coverage for the guest pets in the pet sitter’s care, custody or control. There is a €250 deductible for medical claims covered by the pet owners.
  • Errors and Omissions  – covers accidental injury to guest pet: This section refers to accidental injury to a guest pet in the sitters care. This type of insurance brings comfort to pet owners and sitters as, more often than not, any non-negligent harm arises where an animal in the sitter’s care has been accidentally harmed in the course of service delivery, through no specific fault of the sitter. Claims are subjected to a €250 excess payable by the pet sitter at the time of the claim.
  • Public Liability Insurance – covers pet sitters against third party claims: This section will pay those sums that pet sitters become legally obliged to pay as damages because of bodily injury to a third party person or damage to property of a third party. Claims are subjected to a €250 excess payable by the pet sitter at the time of the claim.

For more information, please check https://en.pawshake.nl/insurance

How do I make a reservation on Pawshake?

  • Step 1: Enter your address in the search bar on the Pawshake homepage to browse local sitters. 
  • Step 2: Make an enquiry: Contact at least two sitters by making an enquiry. Sitters must first pre-approve your enquiry before you are able to make a reservation.   Pre-approval is a way for sitters to let you know that they are available and interested when you ask about a potential reservation. Simply click on the button "Send Enquiry" on their profile listing to make contact with the sitter. Once your reservation has been pre-approved, you can automatically confirm the reservation for the specific dates you have provided. Important: your reservation isn’t confirmed until you’ve clicked "Book Now".
  • Step 3: Book it! Click on "Book Now" to finalise the booking. At this time, the amount for the booking is reserved in your chosen payment account. There’s no payment, just an authorisation for the amount. Once the booking is confirmed by the sitter, the amount is withdrawn from your payment account. At this time, there has been a payment.