PetsZebra Misc

During Crisis, Professional Pet Sitters Look Ahead


Pixabay photo by Fran

Alexandria, VA – The coronavirus pandemic has upended life as we once knew it. We humans, like our pets, are used to routine. And right now is anything but routine. Amidst all the confusion, we have been reminded of the importance of health and hygiene. And like doctors, nurses, and first responders, pet sitters are essential workers too. They need to stay healthy because they care for the pets of the people on the front lines.

With the above in mind, the National Capital Area Professional Pet Sitters Network (NCAPPSN), advocated to keep pet care services essential. They strive to be available so that when people must go to work, there is no need to worry about who will look after the cat or dog. The organization is also aware of those with mobility limitations.

However, for sitters, finding clients has been difficult. Christy Castro, Owner of The Unleashed Pet and a NCAPPSN member, told the Zebra that the pandemic halted business quickly.

“The stay-at-home order prompted people to work from home and travel bans have made the need for our services nonexistent,” she said. “We are taking this time to prepare and rejuvenate for the future!”

Passionately Pets, owned by Jenna Gotch, has seen its workload reduced by 90 percent.

“My biggest concerns as a business owner right now are how to continue to support my staff financially during this crisis and how to come out of this crisis even stronger,” she said. “We are stronger together, and the support I’ve found by being a member of organizations like NCAPPSN and NAPPS (National Association of Professional Pet Sitters), coupled with the outpouring of love from our clients, has motivated me to keep moving forward and focus on the future.”

Services that NCAPPSN members offer vary at this time but overall are as follows: midday dog walks for clients who cannot work from home; concierge and errand services, which includes pet food errands; pet taxi services for vet and groomer appointments; field trips taking dogs out on extended outdoor activities; poop scoop service; house and security checks for clients who are quarantining out of town; and medication administration, including SubQ fluids

Once the pandemic comes to an end, a wider range of services will again be available: vacation pet sitting; midday dog walking; overnight visits; small animal and exotic animal care; bed and biscuit home boarding; and basic home care and security checks.

Traditional services may not be in high demand right now. But it is important to maintain a connection with that favorite pet sitter. Some ways to do this are: pre-booking a service, tipping, and writing a social media review. That way when services are needed, it will be easy to get back in touch.

NCAPPSN members follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s guidelines regarding hygiene when entering homes and caring for pets. The next time you see your favorite dog walker, ask if he or she belongs to the NCAPPSN. To find a pet sitter, click HERE.

“Even though things are tough right now, we’re all doing our very best to take care of ourselves and those around us,” said Lauren Heath, President of NCAPPSN. “We’re optimistic that we’ll bounce back from this and come out on the other side stronger than ever!”




Kevin Dauray

Kevin is Publisher's Assistant with The Zebra Press. He has been working for Alexandria's "Good News" newspaper since 2019. A graduate of George Mason University, he earned a bachelor's in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. He also studied at the Columbia School of Broadcasting and holds a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University. He is an alumnus of T.C. Williams High School. Go Titans!

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