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Guardian Answers Your Questions

   

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Check our Links page to search for a local veterinarian.

You can search for a Vet by city, alphabetically by name or animal emergency hospitals that are open 24 hours a day.

We also have links to local wildlife rehabilitation groups and rescue groups.

   

 

   

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We are booking pet sits for summer vacations now.

Call us today to book your dates or to set up a consultation if you are a new client.

   

 

   

Specials

 

New Client Discount:

 

$10 off your first service with 4 or more paid visits.

 

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Referral Credit:

 

Receive credit for a free pet sit or dog walk for every referral that purchases service.

   

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Type in your Search Term

Massage Questions

  1. There are so many "new" therapies, why is massage so good?
  2. How will I know when my dog or horse needs a massage?
  3. My horse seems fine. What will massage do for him?
  4. Is massage the same as trigger point therapy or T-Touch?
  5. How long does it take to massage a horse?
  6. How long does it take to massage a dog?
  7. How soon will it be before I see results?
  8. If my horse has a problem in, say, the shoulder, why do a full body massage?
  9. My horse is navicular. Can massage help?
  10. What does massage do for arthritis and hip dysplasia?
  11. What does massage do for race horses?

Pet Sitting / Dog Walking Questions

  1. Do I need to meet with you before service?
  2. Can I trust having a stranger in my home?
  3. Are your employees background checked?
  4. What will you do with my keys?
  5. What is bonded and insured?
  6. What does the insurance cover?
  7. How many times do you visit and at what times?
  8. Do you provide overnight stays in the home?
  9. What will you do with our pets?
  10. Are your rates per pet?
  11. Do I have to pay now?
  12. Why is pet sitting so expensive?
  13. Will you care for Snakes? Rodents? Horses? Goats?
  14. Do you care for any animals that tried to bite you?
  15. What are the benefits of dog walking over daycare?
  16. What can I expect from a professional pet sitter?


There are so many "new" therapies, why is massage so good?

Massage is not new. It pre-dates many modern medical procedures. There are actually statues of Buddha receiving a massage. Prior to the advent of "wonder" drugs in the 20th century, veterinary manuals encouraged the use of massage. It is once again among a growing number of alternative therapies that are being "re-discovered."

Regular massage can aid in the prevention of problem issues. Once a problem exists, massage helps to break up the tight knots of adhering muscle fibers which restrict full muscle extension. Massage will find any damaged or potentially compromised area of muscle and restore it to improved function.

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How will I know when my dog or horse needs a massage?

The best function of massage is as a preventative. A regular massage can find issues before they become major problems. Signs of problems, though, could include, stepping short, vague backend lameness, refusal of aids or the opposite problem of "running through" aids. Increased lethargy is also a possibility.

Massage is also beneficial for horses that are prone to "tying up." Horses with back trouble and those that are "cinchy" could need work. The relaxation benefits can also be helpful for horses that tend to colic. Massage throughout pregnancy is most beneficial.

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My horse seems fine. What will massage do for him?

Massage may surprise you with increased performance from your horse. You may notice a lengthened stride and a higher energy level.

Even if your horse is fine, massage can maximize their functioning.

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Is massage the same as trigger point therapy or T-Touch?

No. The type of massage that I do is deep tissue sports massage. I actually palpate the muscle to find areas where muscle fibers have begun to adhere, and separate those fibers with massage strokes. Each animal is different, so therefore, each massage is different.

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How long does it take to massage a horse?

Approximately one hour or more. I work 26 muscle groups on each side of the horse. A full body massage. I do spend time, post massage, with the owner to answer any questions you may have.

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How long does it take to massage a dog?

Approximately 45 minutes to one hour. I do a full body massage in which I work 26 muscle groups on each side of the dog. I do spend time, post massage, with the owner to answer any questions you may have.

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How soon will it be before I see results?

Immediately. A noticeable improvement should be seen and felt after the first massage. With each subsequent massage, a deeper pressure can be used as the animal grows accustomed to the therapy.

If you are massaging because of a specific issue, and you do not see improvement after 3 massages, you are probably dealing with something that is not a soft tissue concern.

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If my horse has a problem in, say, the shoulder, why do a full body massage?

Muscle problems are cumulative. If your horse has an issue on his right front, he may be shifting more weight to his left front to compensate. Also, he may be rocking back on his haunches to take the weight off of his front. Then, even when the issue in the right front is resolved, he may still be body sore elsewhere.

Massage will help. By caring for the whole horse, these secondary problems can be averted.

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My horse is navicular. Can massage help?

Not with the navicular disease itself, unfortunately. However, with the secondary issues that may occur with navicular disease, yes, massage can help. Clients that are navicular often have shoulder tension as a recurring problem. Regular massage can help them.

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What does massage do for arthritis and hip dysplasia?

Since massage is applied to soft tissue, it does not directly work on the joints. However, the increase in circulation that comes with massage has a positive effect in the joints. There is growing evidence that massage helps with the production of synovial fluid, a valuable element in both joints and muscle.

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What does massage do for race horses?

A race horse is one of the ultimate candidates for massage. Each stride counts, and that stride may be worth thousands. They are asked for maximum exertion in the minimal amount of time. Massage is an essential element in the most successful training programs. A pre-event massage will help the muscle system to be in prime performance shape.

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Ready to get the ball rolling?

 

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Do I need to meet with you before service?

Yes, an initial consultation is required before your first service can be provided. This consultation is normally scheduled at least 48 hours prior to service and usually runs between 30-60 minutes. At this meeting we go through all the required paperwork as well as tour your home, note your instructions and schedule your service. This first consultation is free. Consultations for services later on are available but are not required. Subsequent consultations and key pickups or drop offs will be charged at our regular rates.

Please be sure to call early enough to schedule your consultation before your service starts. We do book full periodically, and will not always have time to schedule in last minute consultations or service. Also, although we have an excellent record of obtaining and retaining clients, you'll want to meet with us to be sure we are a "good fit" for your pets and home in plenty of time before service starts.

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Can I trust having a stranger in my home?

No, that is why we would like to build a trusting relationship with you. At Guardian Pet Care & Massage, we strive to be honest, reliable, trustworthy and careful. But we know that having a stranger come into your home for the first time is nerve-racking, as it should be! To put your mind at ease, we welcome you to ask us lots of questions at the initial consultation. You may contact our previous clients as references, and we will provide a list upon request. Most clients feel completely at ease after the first or second service, and recommend us to others with enthusiasm.

All services will be provided by the sitter/walker you meet at the initial consultation. If an emergency should occur with that sitter, all fill-in sitters or independent contractors that we contract with are thoroughly introduced to your information, are insured, have a great reputation, and are personally known by the owner of Guardian Pet Care & Massage. We trust them to come into our home for our own pet care needs.

We recommend that you do not allow other services or people into your home during vacations. If other visitors are allowed, they should leave a note of their visit, and what interaction occurred with the pets, such as feeding, walking, potty breaks, etc. All other visitors should schedule visits in advance, or leave a note on the front door or mailbox when they arrive. We will call the police if we see unexpected visitors.

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Are your employees background checked?

Yes, all persons employed by Guardian Pet Care & Massage have had criminal background checks conducted on them and they have clear records. Once hired, employees are continuously monitored for any new criminal activity.

The owner of Guardian Pet Care & Massage, Jim Fitch, has a background of 38 years in law enforcement and makes honesty and trustworthiness a top priority.

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What will you do with my keys?

Keys are normally picked up during the initial consultation. We prefer to receive 2 fully tested keys that we will code with an identity code instead of your name or address. If only one key is provided, we will make a backup copy and charge you for it. The second key is kept in a safe location in case a key is broken or fails to work.

After your sit, your keys will be stored in our secured safe until your next service request and in case you need emergency service. This is referred to as our Ready Key Program. The program allows for quick and easy performance of your routine service requests and those which are emergencies or unexpected by you. It also provides you with a source for your keys if you should ever lock yourself out of your home or if there is an emergency at your home and you are unavailable. You may also add us as an additional contact and key holder for your home alarm service. In these cases, Guardian Pet Care & Massage will respond with your keys for the cost of a Home Care visit, avoiding high locksmith charges or damage to your home. The Ready Key storage service is free of charge to our clients.

Due to concern for the ongoing health and safety of your pets and for security reasons, keys will NEVER be left in your home after the last scheduled visit. This would preclude us from providing further care for your pets if you were unable to return home on time. If you would like your key returned at the end of your service, you will need to call us upon your return and schedule a time to do this transfer, and it will be charged at the Home Care visit rate plus any travel fees. If you would like to pick up your key, this can also be scheduled. Keys will only be returned personally to provide the maximum protection for your pets and your keys. Any future key pickups will be charged at the Home Care visit rate plus any travel fees.

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What is bonded and insured?

Guardian Pet Care & Massage is insured and bonded through Pet Sitters Associates, LLC to assure the health and safety of your pets and the care and security of your home.

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What does the insurance cover?

The insurance covers any pets in our care, custody, and control up to $10,000. Other claims are insured up to $1,000,000 with a $2,000,000 aggregate. The insurance also includes coverage for theft, accidental breakage and mysterious disappearance.

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How many times do you visit and at what times?

Our regular hours are from 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM. You will normally be scheduling within 2 hour time slots for your visits. Most people choose 30 or 45 minute visits, about every 4 - 8 hours. If you would like to schedule time before 7:00 AM or after 10:00 PM, you will be charged $3 extra per visit.

Please schedule us to come frequently enough that we will not be cleaning up unnecessary accidents. If you do not, the time to clean up accidents may be charged extra.

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Do you provide overnight stays in the home?

We do offer overnight stays, and many new clients initially ask for this service. However, overnights add significantly to the cost. As a result, most clients that ask for an overnight decide instead to try 2 - 4 visits during the day and find that it works out great for them. Many dogs and cats actually prefer not having a non-family member staying overnight in their home while they sleep. And during the day, after 30 - 45 minutes with a pet sitter, they are done playing and getting attention, and are ready to go back to a nap until the next visit.

We also find that many pets that are "accident prone" actually have fewer accidents once they realize that their pet sitter is coming on a schedule. It takes about 2 days for some dogs to get into a routine. In the meantime, we are happy to cleanup accidents, put out newspaper or plastic, or do more frequent visits.

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What will you do with our pets?

Feed, walk, play with, pet, brush, take out for potty breaks, clean up - whatever you specify. One thing we will not do, we will not take a pet out unleashed on a walk or run outside of a fenced area. This is for the safety of your pet and is a requirement of our insurance. A leash and collar must be provided for every dog.

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Are your rates per pet?

No, there is no extra charge for multiple pets, all rates are by time only and most all tasks are included. However, you will be required to reserve enough time for us to complete all tasks requested as well as unexpected tasks like accident clean-up, general clean-up, necessary contact with you, etc. We will strive to get everything done in the time you request for your service, but any extra time needed will be charged to you and must be paid within 14 days of bill receipt.

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Do I have to pay now?

Deposit in full is due prior to each service period.

For your first service, you will pay at the initial consultation. The cancellation credit schedule is listed on the Rates page.

After you are an established client, agreements can be made for you to leave payment in your home to be picked up at the first visit by the sitter.

Cash and personal checks are welcome. We also accept payment with a credit card or debit card through PayPal.

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Why is pet sitting so expensive?

Many people are new to the pet sitting experience, and when they think of a pet sitter they may automatically compare us to baby-sitters or teenage house sitters. There is an enormous difference between professional pet sitters and having friends, family or teenagers watch your home. In fact, many of our clients have minor to major horror stories of previous non-professional pet sitting experiences. As professional pet sitters, we are experienced, trained, insured and bonded for your peace of mind. We pride ourselves on being trustworthy, reliable and providing exceptional care for your pets and home like they were our own.

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Will you care for Snakes? Rodents? Horses? Goats?

Yes! We have experience with many animals, personal and professional. And we take fastidious notes on all your pets, so even unusual pets that we have not previously cared for will get the best care possible.

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Do you care for any animals that have tried to bite you?

Guardian Pet Care & Massage will often take on pets that that other sitters have rejected. We will not put ourselves in a dangerous situation, where we might get mauled, attacked or harmed, but we have lots of experience with more aggressive pets. We know how to work with nippy dogs, terrified cats, protective dogs and defensive pups. We are also very patient, and find it often just takes some time and space to get desired behaviors.

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What are the benefits of dog walking over daycare?

For many dogs, daycare environments can reinforce undesirable behavior and may cause anxiety from the ever changing group of other dogs. Many common dog illnesses can also be contracted in the daycare settings, making it unsafe for puppies and some older dogs. A dog walker provides personal and specialized attention for you and your pet. As your personal pet professional we can help tackle any issue you may have and help your dog be the best they can be!

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What can I expect from a professional pet sitter?

Scheduled care with NO SHORTCUTS. We are there when we are scheduled to be there. In the rare emergency case that we have problems making it to your home in the time span you select, we will use a backup plan to care for your pets. Part of the backup plan may be to split a visit into 2 evenly spaced visits, to have an emergency backup sitter cover the sit, or to call you or your emergency contact to reschedule. If your pet is inconvenienced in any way we will refund your money or give you a partial credit. And of course we will clean up all accidents for free, and spend extra time with any pet that has been distressed.

You are welcome to call at any time to add tasks, check up on your pet, and to verify upcoming service dates and times. We carry a cell phone, and return most calls the same day.

We use detailed notes to properly and consistently care for your pets and home. It is important that you fill out all paperwork in a detailed manner, because we attempt to follow your written notes carefully at every visit.

We leave a detailed written log ( and online blog entries or email messages, if you request ) of how things went and any problems we came across. We may also leave answers to your questions, and ideas or tips for better caring for your pet ( things you may not have thought of - NOT judgments - we know that you know your pet best! ).

Little extras performed to make your home comfortable to come home to, such as: sweeping up after an excessively shedding cat or dog, cleaning up litter tracks, grooming and brushings, toenail clippings, ear cleanings, hairball checks, taking garbage out, and temperature monitoring. All these and more are included in our service.

We are insured, including optional coverage for "mysterious disappearance or breakage." We are extra careful to secure your home, to not overexcite your pets inside ( in a way that they cause damage to your home or injure themselves ). We don't bring along company or visitors, except other professional, insured sitters.

We are American Red Cross Pet First Aid and CPR certified. Our vehicles contain a first aid kit, local veterinarian numbers, and pet first aid and health manuals. We are experienced with many different types of animals, both large and small.

Our pet sitters will never hit, kick or abuse your pet. If we feel your pet is a "danger" and may attack us ( so far this hasn't ever happened ), we'll notify you - but we will not use jumping up or aggressiveness or anything else as an excuse to abuse any animal. We use generally accepted positive training techniques to dissuade pulling on leashes, jumping up, biting and other unwanted behavior. We are happy to follow any alternate techniques and use training items you provide, as long as they don't harm the pet.

Our service is performed discreetly and confidentially.

No worries. You deserve a worry-free time away!

Our enthusiasm is contagious. We love this job. Even on our "worst" days, we work hard to be enthusiastic and comforting to your pet and usually they return the favor.

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Schedule your free consultation now!

 

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