What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
Our 1-hr dog hikes, one of our most popular services, are $25 as they have been for several years. If we hike a particular dog more than once a week the rate drops to $23 per hike. Pickup and dropoff at the client's home are in addition to the hour of hiking, but are free of charge. Our overnights start at $60 per night for one pet, and we can manage a household of as many pets as anyone may have. We have successfully stayed overnights with a household of 5 dogs and 6 cats for quite a while now, and love it!
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
We will arrange a free at-home consultation to go over the customer's needs and meet with them and their pet(s). We also email our forms for completion by the customer. If hired, we will learn the complete routine for the pets, get a key or other type of access to the customer's home (such as a garage door code), gather the completed forms for inputting into our client database that is accessible by all members of the Aarf Team, and look forward to taking great care of the customer's pets as scheduled! We have recently implemented a sophisticated scheduling, communications and invoicing system designed especially for pet care providers, and our clients love the convenience, efficiency and error-free simplicity of using it to communicate, schedule services and pay their invoices.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I consistently study professional journals and other science-based works about animal behavior, training, care, health, and well-being. I have worked many years as a foster care provider and as a volunteer in various shelters. I have a deep and complete understanding of dog behavior from working with them full-time in groups and individually since 2008. I also graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program for small business owners in 2014. I gained so much invaluable knowledge about running my business through this excellent program, and I am constantly striving to apply best practices to every facet of my business. I also subscribe to several top newsletters and periodicals about dogs and cats and am continually learning the most up-to-date information about their health, training, well-being, etc. I share a lot of this information with my staff, and we regularly have trainings to continue to improve our level of knowledge in order to better serve them and our clients.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I've always loved animals and it was a natural progression from caring for my own two dogs to allowing a friend's to stay when they were out of town, to allowing two friends' dogs to stay, etc. That was years ago, and now I have staff staying all over town on any given night with cats, dogs, bunnies, hamsters, chickens, fish, lizards, etc.!
What types of customers have you worked with?
Adventure hikes for dogs in the foothills and mountains around Salt Lake City (including pick up and drop off)
Dog walks, visits, and care
Cat visits and care
Custom pet care services
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
Our proudest accomplishments are being there for the customer and their furry family member from the time the pet is brought into the home through the end of its life. We give loving care every time we see the pet, and cherish our opportunities to be their lifelong friends. We are also honored to be some of our clients' pets godparents, having even been put in some of their wills in case they should predecease their pet. We would happily provide a home to any of them if that was to happen. We also assist those clients of ours who need assistance with the process of letting go when the time comes, through referrals to end-of-life professionals and support systems.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Check out our website, or visit us on Facebook!
Compare us to our competition - we are the best and our client reviews prove it!
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
We recommend that customers request referrals or references, that they inform themselves of the going rates for quality pet care services, and that they request a meeting with the professionals before engaging anyone to care for their pets.