Hug-a-Dog Pet Care


"I wanted to let you know that we made the decision to have Sam put to sleep a few hours ago after a rough night. He was a trooper to the end - he found food in the vet's office! Tom and I appreciate how you took such good care of him at Camp Hug-a-Dog and gave us such peace of mind. The oatmeal story will be treasured. We are simply heartbroken over our loss but we thank you for being a part of Sam's life."

- Jackie & Tom (Lil’ Sam)

How long has Hug-a-Dog Pet Care been in business?

Hug-a-Dog Pet Care was established in 2002. By the middle of 2003, our Top Dog, Linda Gonzalez, was pet-sitting on a full-time basis. Hug-a-Dog is a dedicated full-time commitment - it is not a part-time business, or a second job, or moonlighting. We work nights, weekends and all holidays. We pride ourselves on being there for you when you need us.

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The kid next door has always watched my pets.  Why should I hire you?

Hug-a-Dog Pet Care has been in business for over twelve years. Our team is experienced, bonded and insured. When a service request has been confirmed with Hug-a-Dog, you can depend upon us being there as promised. No worries about whether or not the dog was walked on time, or if the cat was let in, or if the porch light was left on. We can provide you with references from our pack of satisfied clients at any time.

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How do I know you have the experience and ability to care for my pet?

Hug-a-Dog Pet Care has been a long-time member of Pet Sitters International and in 2008 was selected as the top finalist for Pet Sitter of the Year among its entire membership (US and Canada). This professional association represents the highest standards in knowledge, experience, professionalism and continuing education and certifications for member pet sitters. As one of the top finalists in North America, you can be sure that the pack at Hug-a-Dog Pet Care are seasoned, experienced veterans of the world of pet-sitting and animal care.

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Who will enter my home?

Only one of the owners, or a sitter who is part of the Hug-a-Dog Pet Care team, will enter your home. No sitter will be sent to your home unless we have notified you first and, if time permits, given you the opportunity to meet the sitter and get acquainted. We are bonded and insured, having passed both a background check and a credit check.

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What will you do if my pet becomes ill while I am away?

As we care for your pet, we become familiar with his eating habits and other behaviors. If we suspect that something is not right, we will call you at the cell or emergency numbers we have on file for you. We may also call your emergency contacts if we are unable to reach you. We will describe the situation and if you or your contact believe the veterinarian should see your pet, we will transport him to the vet's office for examination and treatment. In the event we cannot reach you, we will decide if your pet requires a medical evaluation and if necessary, we will take your pet for treatment. You are responsible for any charges incurred at the vet as well as charges for extra time and mileage.

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Are you trained in First Aid and CPR?

The owners of Hug-a-Dog Pet Care are fully trained in Pet First Aid and canine CPR as well as the first aid and CPR course offered by the Red Cross (for humans). We carry well-stocked first aid kits, blankets, cleaning supplies, pet crates and extra leashes, collars and harnesses to be able to meet most unexpected situations that may arise with a client's pet or his home.

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What will you do if bad weather is approaching, like an ice storm?

Ice storms, power outages, downed trees - just some of the hazards of mountain living. The team at Hug-a-Dog Pet Care has firsthand experience with the disruptions and damage caused by major storms (see the interview in Pet Sitters World magazine). In the event of an emergency, the safety of your pet and the security of your home is our number one priority. It is your responsibility to prepare your home for inclement weather or other emergencies prior to your departure. Leave your pet's crate/travel bag easily accessible for our sitter. Be sure your pet has a secure collar and/or harness with both his ID tag and his rabies tag. Make sure there is an adequate supply of pet food, medications, cat litter and other supplies. Leave your pet's file with his medical records accessible to the sitter. If a severe storm is approaching and you cannot or do not plan to return to your home, we will discuss what special preparations might be needed for your pet and we'll attempt to carry out those instructions to the best of our ability. The Pet and Disaster Safety Checklist published by the Red Cross also provides valuable tips and instructions to help you prepare your pet and your home for the unexpected.

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Can you let me know how my pet is doing while I am away?

Providing peace of mind about your pet and your home is our goal. You may feel free to call, email or text our Top Dog to inquire about your pet and your home. If we don't answer, leave us a message and we'll give you a bark back just as soon as we can. Sometimes, we'll be able to send you a photo of your pet, maybe even a video. Sometimes our Facebook page will have pictures and stories about the pets we are caring for. But please note that we do not answer our cell phones if we are driving, or if we are walking a dog or otherwise busy in a Client's home.

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Can you take my pet to his veterinarian and/or grooming appointment?

Hug-a-Dog Pet Care provides Pet Taxi service to our established clients. We'll drop your pet at his groomer, or fetch him from an appointment at the vet and bring him home, or deliver him to grandma's house. Rates start at $32.00 per hour, plus mileage charges, parking and tolls.

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How much does a pet-sitting or dog-walking visit cost?

Rates start at $20.00 for a thirty-minute visit to your home. For dog-walking clients, most of that time is spent walking your dog, weather permitting. For pet-sitting clients, in addition to walking your dog, we'll also provide fresh water and food, administer medications, rake/clean litter box, bring in mail and papers, turn lights on/off. If you have more than one dog or multiple pets in your household, additional charges may apply. If you want your dog to have an extra dose of exercise and play, extended length visits are also available.

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Why do you require making a visit to my home every day, even for a cat?

"My cat basically takes care of himself - I only need you to check on him every two or three days."
The safety and well-being of your pet is our number one priority at Hug-a-Dog Pet Care. Our experience has taught us that animals can become ill quite suddenly, or that something can go awry in your home unexpectedly. For your peace of mind and ours, our every-day-visit will ensure that your pet is happy, healthy, fed and watered at least once every 24 hours. For dogs, two to three or more visits will be required, depending on your pet.

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Do you charge extra for holidays?

Hug-a-Dog Pet Care is open on all major holidays so that our clients can travel during those busy seasons and know that their pets are being well cared for in their own homes. There is a $15.00 flat fee per day for major holidays: New Years Eve, New Years Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Please refer to our POLICIES in the Services tab for more information regarding holiday bookings, payments and cancelations.

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