While driving home and listening to NPR last week, my head tilted during another story about the misbehaving economy. The expert being interviewed was discussing large companies that are cutting workforces when he mentioned that small, locally-focused businesses like dog walking and pet sitting are seeing growth.
Lynn Kindsvatter, owner of Time 4 Paws Pet Sitting agrees.
"This year has picked up and exceeded the years before," she said.
Lynn has been running her pet sitting business for about five years, since she retired from a career in the corporate world. She lives in Cuyahoga Falls with her dog Molly, and her feline office staff of three cats.
Lynn offers in-home pet sitting for mostly dogs and cats for $14 per visit in the Cuyahoga Falls zip code. Each visit lasts up to a half-hour depending on the individual needs and comfort level of each pet.
For example, some of Lynn's canine clients love her company and soak up all 30 minutes of love, attention and care with wagging tails. But some kitties might hide during the whole visit, and are content with a quick check-in, litter box cleaning, and bowl filling.
Lynn is a member of Pet Sitters International, certified in pet first aid, and carries liability insurance. She also offers overnight visits in the home, which are performed by an employee and lasts from suppertime through breakfast.
The wonderful thing about having a pet sitter, like my own sitter , is having a trusted profession in the home rather than a neighborhood teenager. Of course, trusted teenagers often come to the rescue, too, but today pet lovers have a world of professional options to choose from, including day care facilities like and their in-home care program, Home Buddies.
Missy Fisher is the Home Buddies program manager at Camp Bow Wow. She says business is definitely picking up for her three to five pet sitters, who are currently servicing about 47 clients strictly in Cuyahoga Falls. Each pet owner in the Home Buddies program is assigned a primary and a back-up sitter, both of whom come to the home for a free, initial consultation to meet pets and their owners.
"Every sitter is background checked, bonded and insured," said Missy.
A couple of the Home Buddies also work in Camp Bow Wow's daycare. So for the Home Buddies clients who use the daycare services as well, their dogs might even get to spend time with their pet sitter while there, further enhancing their bond.
Having choices for both in-home care and doggie day care or boarding is an wonderful perk for Cuyahoga Falls residents, because different pets do better in different situations, and some pet owners find both useful.
Lynn of Time 4 Paws has one client who uses in-home pet sitting for overnight care when he's busy working long hours as a physician, and doggie daycare as well to give his very friendly dog extra socialization.