A Leash Above

Exceptional pet care under your "woof"...

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Why should I use a professional pet sitter?

    There are many reasons for choosing to hire a professional pet sitter. The number one reason though is your pets stay in the comfort of their own home, in their familiar surroundings. Other reasons are:
    • We are fully insured and bonded, and our main job is to take care of your animals (as opposed to asking a friend or neighbor to do it as a favor)
    • Your pet experiences less stress- no other animals, no parade of strangers, no noises from barking/meowing.
    • Travel time- no trip to or from a kennel.
    • They are kept on their regular routine.
    • They do not need to have any special shots, like bordetella.
    • Your pet is not caged (unless your pet is crate trained to begin with).
    • No exposure to other animals who may be sick.
    • You do not have to impose on friends, neighbors, or family to care for you pet.
    • Pets at home are a crime deterrent.
    • Your home is also cared for- mail, plants, trash, lights rotated, etc.
    • Your pet receives one on one observation, pampering, love and attention while you are away.

    Is it affordable for me to hire a professional pet sitter?

    Yes. Considering all you receive, we believe it is. If you have multiple pets, pet sitting can actually be more affordable than kenneling. Would you pay more for a service that comes to your home catering to the needs of your home and pets? There are advantages to having an in-home service that offers crime deterrent services such as: rotating light and blinds, picking up mail and newspapers, watering plants and rolling the trash down to the curb. If you have dogs their presence is also a crime deterrent measure. All of this gives your home a lived in appearance while you are gone. Pet sitters check on homes as well as pets and can report problems such as broken pipes, break-ins or anything suspicious.
    Service rates and extra fees should be discussed before services take place. Rates vary but in The Woodlands area you can expect to pay from $13-$20 a visit. Prices can be effected by how long the visit is for, where you live, the number of pets that need care, and other factors.
    Leaving the care of your home and pets to someone who understands what a profound responsibility it is for them to be there makes the fee seem quite small. It is important to remember that pet sitters are busy and hard working professionals; many who work 365 days a year to provide these services to their clients. Pet sitters have many business expenses: insurance, registrations and licenses, bonding, printing and office costs, advertising costs, field supplies, phones and other communication devices, taxes, and one of the biggest is automobile and fuel costs.
    Hiring a devoted professional is a caring investment and provides piece of mind that your pet is well cared for in the comfort of your loving home.

    Do I have to give my pet sitter a key to my house?

    Yes, you are required to give your pet sitter a key. Not providing a key can actually cause delays in your pets' care. Here are some of the problems that can happen when a pet sitter doesn't have actual keys:
    Keyless Entry "Keypads/Codes":
    • Do not function in a blackout
    • Have been known to malfunction
    • Are not as secure as a completely locked house
    Garage Door Openers:
    • Occasionally openers can open the wrong garage and can put contents within at risk (Including pets, if pets are kept in the garage.)
    • Have been known to malfunction
    • As with exterior doors, the interior door between house and garage should remain locked for security (Without a key, this door has to remain unlocked, which increases security risks.)
    • Batteries need to be kept fresh and checked each time you leave
    • Not as secure as a completely locked house
    Hidden Keys:
    • Not secure: someone could find your hidden key (A lock box is a better alternative, but still poses some security risks.)
    • Often keys are moved to a new hiding spot and the client forgets to inform their pet sitter
    • The key needs to be kept dry as it can malfunction if it rusts (Lock smith call is charged to the client in such a case.)
    Please consider the above when opting not to give your pet sitter a key to care for your pets. As with all services you hire to come into your home, you will want to check their credentials and references. It is not unreasonable for you to ask them if they are commercially insured, if they have references for you to contact and if they have bonded employees. You can also ask them if the keys are kept in a locked safe when not in use and if the keys are specially coded in case stolen. Professional pet sitters work hard to establish a good reputation for providing reliable, secure, and professional services. Some pet sitting businesses will not take on keyless assignments.

    My friend can do the morning visits. Can you do the evening ones?

    Many professional pet sitters will not take assignments that include shared job arrangements. There are many reasons for this, but the most substantial one is liability. Some of the concerns are as follows:


    Pet sitting businesses carry insurance, which does not cover your shared helper's participation in the pet sitting duties. The responsibility for the care, custody, and control of your pet is shared which can cause confusion as to who is liable if a problem should arise. (For example: a lost pet, a door left unlocked or open, a dog bite, a break-in, broken or damaged property, lack of quality pet care...etc.)


    Pet sitting businesses reputations are built upon the quality in which they provide the services. The only way professionals can be assured that all the tasks are tended to in the quality standards they offer is for the businesses to be allowed to completely provide these services.


    Communication between your potential shared helper and a pet sitting business could become confusing. There needs to be defined instructions as to what each is doing so that the care is provided as specified and of the quality agreed upon. Being deeply involved in the responsibility in caring for your pets is everything to the pet sitting business. These professionals are strongly invested in their reputation and often can't afford to risk sharing their duties with another.

    Can I schedule every other day visits for my pet?

    Some pet sitters provide every other day services, though this is not recommended or provided by most professionals. Often low maintenance pets can maintain fine with minimal assistance, but pet sitting professionals can tell you from experience, not always! It makes a pet sitter cringe when someone divulges that they leave their pet for days with plenty of food and water. We cringe because we know what can happen to a pet left unattended. We understand the need to save money, but this could be a costly decision. Members have expressed the following concerns with every other day services:
    • Pets can get their claws stuck in the carpet. If they can free themselves, broken claws can bleed and be painful
    • Pets can accidentally lock themselves in rooms
    • Several illnesses can be life threatening, needing veterinary intervention immediately
    • Pets can hang themselves if their collars get caught on something
    • Pets can ingest string, toys, pill bottles or other such items
    • Pets with diarrhea left for 48 hr. period - no need to get graphic
    Please take precautions to prepare a more safe environment for your pet:
    • Close all doors and confine pets to a safe room
    • Take off collars or use safe break-away type
    • Trim nails/claws
    • Pick up things that could be harmful if ingested
    • Outdoor yards should have perimeters checked for holes
    • Gates to the yard should have locks (Keeps people out and dogs in.)
    A professional pet sitter is always concerned for the safety and well being of the animals in their care. Professionals understand what can happen in that extended time between visits and it causes additional concern for them. 

    Will my animals be cared for in bad weather?

    A Leash Above has an emergency plan in the event of flooding, tornado, or hurricane. We will present this to you at the time of your initial consultation. We will not walk dogs while lightning is present or there are torrential rains. A Leash Above will play with the dog indoors during the walk time. The weather during the summer is hot in Houston. Since every dog is unique, we will make a determination with you during the initial consultation what circumstances the dog is accustomed to--the weather, the heat, the rain, etc. Some breeds do better than others in the heat. A good guideline is if your feet would burn walking barefoot on the concrete, it is a pretty sure bet that your dog's paws would be hurt walking on that same concrete.

    Miscellaneous Information

    A Leash Above requires pets be up-to-date on their vaccines. We also cannot provide service to dogs with a history of aggressive behavior.
  • Why Hire A Leash Above?

    There are a lot of things to consider when hiring a pet sitter, and a lot of options out there. Why hire a professional pet sitter? Why not ask your neighbor, friend, relative, or even the 13-year-old kid down the street?

    First you have to ask yourself if the friend/neighbor/relative/kid is reliable. Will they show up every day as needed? Also, are you maybe asking too much of them? Do they really want to take the time and trouble to take care of your pets? Could the demands of their own job/responsibilities interfere with the caretaking of your pets?

    Here are some things to consider and some questions to ask a potential pet sitter. The following chart will help you decide. The first part has general questions to ask a potential pet sitter. The next section is for daily dog walking, and finally, vacation pet sitting. Also, the footnotes at the bottom will help expand on some of the questions.

    QuestionsA Leash AboveFriend / neighbor /
    relative / kids
    Is pet sitting your only business (1)YESNO
    Do you have a backup plan (2)YESNO
    Are you bonded?YESNO
    Do you have liability insuranceYESNO
    Are you a member of National Association of Professional Pet Sitters? (3)YESNO
    Does your sitter know what to do in case of an emergency such as flooding?YESNO
    Can your sitter tell when your pet is in distress (4)YES?
    Can your sitter drive your pet to the vet in an emergency?YES? (definitely not a 13-year-old)
    Do you have experience administering medicationsYES?
    Do you use biodegradable dog poop bags?YES?
    Are you easy to communicate with? (5)YES?
    Can I pay cash, check or credit card? (6)YESNO
    Do you have references?YES?
    Do you offer a totally free initial consultation?YESYES
    Do you support the Human Society or other rescue groups?YES?
    Do you offer a variety of services to tailor to the individual needs of your pet? (7)YES?
    Do you leave notes after every visit? (8)YES?
    Do you offer monthly invoicing for daily customers?YESNO
    Is it easy to add or cancel a visit?YES?
    Do you offer email reservations? (9)YES?
    Do you offer email and/or text updates?YES?


    1. At A Leash Above, pet sitting and dog walking is all we do. It is not a part-time business. We don't clean houses on the side. We don't have other jobs. We are pet sitters! It is our chosen profession.
    2. What happens if your sitter can't make it to an assignment because they are sick or their car breaks down? Back-up is essential!
    3. NAPPS - The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters is the only non-profit, national pet sitting organization.
    4. Recognizing signs of distress (such as not eating, trouble urinating, blood in the stool, etc.) can help diagnose problems (such as a urinary tract infection) before they become severe. Happy, healthy pets are our number one priority!
    5. Email is the best form of communication, but you may also text or call if your needs are more urgent. Either way we will respond promptly.
    6. We accept cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and Paypal.
    7. We understand each pet's needs are unique. We have several options to tailor to your pet.
    8. We keep a journal and will leave at your house or email (whatever is your preference). We keep a detailed checklist plus short notes about the visit. It is a nice way to keep track of visits and to look back on later.
    9. Once you are a client, just phone, text or send us an email to reserve dates. We will send you a quick email form to complete your reservation.

    National Association of Professional Pet Sitters
  • Benefits of Pet Sitting

    There are many benefits for pet owners besides just the convenience and time-saving factors.  There are also numerous benefits for the pets themselves.  It's a win-win situation!

    Benefits for the pet include the following:

    • Not having to "hold it" all day long
    • Staying at home in his/her own safe and secure environment
    • Being surrounded by familiar sights, smells, and sounds
    • Following his/her regular diet and exercise routine
    • Pet receives one-on-one observation, pampering, love and attention while you are away
    • Maintaining medical treatment, when required
    • Having someone responsible in case of emergency
    • Eliminating the trauma of travel or an unfamiliar environment
    • Pet is not caged (unless your pet is crate trained to begin with)
    • Insuring good health (pet is not exposed to other animals' illnesses or parasites)
    • Your pet deserves the best!

    Benefits for the pet owner include the following:

    • Knowing that your pet is in caring, capable, and loving hands (as professional pet sitters, we are fully insured and bonded)
    • Having the confidence that the pet sitter can deal with unexpected situations (such as a trip to the vet)
    • Eliminating the hassle and worry of having to transport and leave your pet
    • Not having to impose on friends, family, or neighbors
    • Feeling that your home is more secure with someone checking in daily
    • Pets at home can be a crime deterrent
    • Your pet sitter can bring in mail, water plants, and provide other home care services
    • You deserve the best!
    • Fewer "accidents"
    • Knowing that your pet is in caring, capable, and loving hands (as professional pet sitters, we are fully insured and bonded)
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