Blog

COVID-19 Precautions

Posted by on June 11, 2020 in Dog Walks, Emergency, Pet Care, Pet Sitting, Uncategorized | 0 comments

As we move into Phase 2 reopening, we want to remind clients of our ongoing COVID-19 precautions.

  1. Our sitters continue to monitor their own health, and if sick, do not continue to make visits.
  2. Continue practicing washing our hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after each dog walk.
  3. Use hand sanitizer in car between each visit.
  4. Wear a mask, covering our mouth and nose, when we go into a client’s home to leash the dog and drop them back off.
  5. If we are entering an apartment building, use single-use gloves and/or hand sanitizer when opening the common doors/elevators etc.
  6. Maintain at least 6 feet distance between ourselves and another person.
  7. Limit in-person work-related gatherings.

Clients can help by also adhering to the recommended safety practices. We will also be limiting our contact in your home such as food/water clean up (if you are home while we are dog walking). For pet sitting clients, we will follow our normal pet care routines, and clean kitchen/pet areas after each contact.

Our collective efforts have made a positive difference in fighting this virus, and we must remain vigilant as restrictions are slowly lifted.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

Posted by on March 20, 2020 in Dog Walks, Emergency, Pet Care, Pet Sitting, Uncategorized | 0 comments

As you all know, this situation is changing rapidly and as such our response may change in the next coming days and weeks. This is our response as of March 16, 2020. -Kim 

Dear Clients,

The health and well-being of our clients and staff is of the utmost importance at The Pet Elf, and I wanted to update you all as we navigate the evolving impact of coronavirus on our community.

At this time, no one knows how severe this outbreak will be. Given this uncertainty, and the fact that the seasonal flu virus is also widespread, we want to make sure everyone is taking proactive steps to stay healthy. First and foremost, we want to maintain a safe workplace and encourage and/or adopt practices protecting the health of both sitters and clients. We also want to ensure the continuity of business operations in the face of a pandemic, if possible.

Our pet sitters and dog walkers are following CDC and WHO guidelines to take necessary steps to reduce the transmission of communicable disease. This includes washing hands frequently, and using hand sanitizer, which as pet sitters, is a commonly accepted practice in the course of a normal workday. Sick sitters are requested to stay home, and we would ask that if you have anyone sick in your home, please cancel your visits.

If you are working from home, but healthy, please consider keeping your scheduled walks in place. The routine is important for your dog, and reduces the financial impact on your dog walker. We have not assessed any cancellation fees for cancelling dog walking or pet sitting visits, but our sitters do not get paid when they are not working. If you don’t want to have any contact with a dog walker, you may also cancel the walks while still being invoiced as usual. While not everyone is in a position to do this, we want those clients who have offered to keep paying to know how appreciated they are.

The good news is working outside is one of the safest places to be, and the virus is not spread in the air. It is spread person to person through respiratory drops when one person coughs or sneezes and another inhales the droplets. According to the CDC, It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. And according to the World Health Organization, there is no evidence to suggest that dogs or cats have become ill with this virus or will become a source of infection of COVID-19 in other animals or humans.

Our management team (Kim and Nikki) will be working from home, and email to petelf@petelf.com is the best way to reach us. Please feel free to email or call to discuss your particular needs.

We want everyone to feel safe, while continuing to serve our clients to the best of our ability.
If you have any concerns, please let me know.

Kim Waite-Williams
President & Owner

Holiday Happenings (Pet Friendly!)

Posted by on December 6, 2019 in Cats, Dogs, Holidays, NoVa, Rescue | 0 comments

The winter holidays are underway, and here’s a roundup of pet-friendly events in our area (and close).

 

Pet Photos with Santa to benefit HART

Friday, Dec 6th
6:30-8:30 PM
Pet Supplies Plus
5629 Stone Rd
Centreville, VA 20120

Saturday, Dec 7th
11:00 AM-2:00 PM
Banfield in the Greenbriar Shopping Center.
13063 Lee Jackson Mem Hwy
Suite H
Fairfax, VA 22033

 

 

Bull Run Harley Davidson
Sun, Dec 8, 10:30 AM
Photos with Santa (and your pets, dogs and cats!)
Manassas, VA
Free
Benefits Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation

 

 

Pet Photos With Santa Fundraiser
Sun, Dec 8, 11:00 AM
The Brig DC, Washington, DC
Starts at $15.00
Benefits Rural Dog Rescue

 

 

Merriweather “Tail Lights”
Merriweather Post Pavilion
Columbia, MD
Monday, December 9, 2019
6:00pm – 7:30pm
$10 – 15

 

 

Enchant Christmas
Paws & Claus
Christmas Light Maze & Market
Nationals Park, Washington DC
Monday, December 16, 2019
4:30 – 11:30 pm
$16 – 31

 

 

We’ve Moved!

Posted by on March 28, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Our office has moved! 

To continue our commitment to excellent customer service, we’ve moved to the Regus professional building at 12020 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 137, Reston, VA 20191.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Effective April 1, 2019 we will be located in the Regus building, conveniently located on Sunrise Valley in Reston. There is plenty of parking, and we’re right inside the double doors to your right as you enter the building.

Our office hours remain 9:00 – 5:00, Monday – Friday, and you may drop off and pick up keys during those hours. The Regus Community Manager, Roland and his front desk team are happy to assist you!

*Note: please call for an appointment to see us personally, as we are often out with clients and pets. The front desk is fully staffed for drop offs 9:00 – 5:00.

Please call us at 703-476-9286 with any questions, or for help with directions.

We’re conveniently located on Sunrise Valley and Reston Parkway.

 

A Safe & Happy July 4th!

Posted by on July 3, 2018 in Dogs, Emergency, Holidays, Pet Care, Travel | 0 comments

Did you know more pets go missing this time of year than any other? While there’s plenty to do on the 4th of July holiday in Reston and Herndon, it’s not a dog-friendly time of year. The commotion, stress, heat and parties can be too much for our pets. According to the ASPCA, one in five dogs go missing due running from a loud noise; including fireworks. They’ve developed an important mobile phone app that can help you be prepared in the event of an emergency.

Don’t let your dog become a statistic. Keep him indoors, and walk on a close leash for his relief breaks. Please don’t leave your dog unattended in a yard. If you’re having guests, let them know not to feed him “people” food. And if you’re gathering outside, don’t let your dog become overheated, and keep him on a leash.

Always make sure your pet has current ID, or a microchip, to improve the odds of reuniting.

Keep the radio and TV on to help cover outdoor noise. And once dusk falls, it might be a good idea to move your pets to a quiet, back bedroom where they will feel safe. Play some indoor games, with treats as rewards. Nothing is distracting as a good treat!

If you need to be away from home, our overnight staff will be happy to stay with your pets, and keep them safe, happy and entertained. Our holidays book months in advance, so it’s never to early to get on the schedule for major holidays!

Have a safe, happy 4th of July!

 

Why Is My Pet Sitter So Nosy??

Posted by on September 11, 2017 in Emergency, Holidays, Pet Care, Pet Sitting, Travel, Uncategorized | 0 comments

We do ask a LOT of questions! Find out more about the experiences that shape and test our policies.

 

4th of July for the Dogs

Posted by on July 3, 2015 in Dogs, Holidays, Pet Care, Pet Sitting, Uncategorized | 0 comments

The bang of fireworks, the heat, the barbecue: while there’s plenty to do on the 4th of July holiday in Reston and Herndon, it’s not a dog-friendly time of year. The commotion, stress, heat and parties can be too much for our pets. According to the ASPCA, one in five dogs go missing due running from a loud noise; including fireworks. They’ve developed an important mobile phone app that can help you be prepared in the event of an emergency.

 

american dog with red gloves behind banner

 

Don’t let your dog become a statistic. Keep him indoors, and walk on a close leash for his relief breaks. Please don’t leave your dog unattended in a yard. If you’re having guests, let them know not to feed him “people” food. And if you’re gathering outside, don’t let your dog become overheated, and keep him on a leash.

Always make sure your pet has current ID, or a microchip, to improve the odds of reuniting.

Keep the radio and TV on to help cover outdoor noise. And once dusk falls, it might be a good idea to move your pets to a quiet, back bedroom where they will feel safe. Play some indoor games, with treats as rewards. Nothing is distracting as a good treat!

If you need to be away from home, our overnight staff will be happy to stay with your pets, and keep them safe, happy and entertained. Our holidays book months in advance, so it’s never to early to get on the schedule for major holidays!

Have a safe, happy 4th of July!

 

Beautiful Midday Walk

Posted by on May 4, 2015 in Dog Walks, Dogs, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Today was a great day to be a dog walker! Did you know you can choose a longer 30 minute walk? A longer walk gives us more time to take a hike in the woods, or the many paths of Reston and Herndon. Check out Merlin enjoying his 30 minute midday!

 

Me, a Pet Sitter? (or what do we do with this dog…?)

Posted by on March 10, 2015 in Dog Walks, Dogs, Pet Care, Pet Sitting, Uncategorized | 0 comments

It started small, in September 1997. Really small. And cuddly. That’s when we brought our black lab Nikki home. She was tiny and poopy so we called her Stinky. Her name was Nikki, but like most furbabies she ended up with a multitude of nicknames. Thank goodness she outgrew her Stinky stage rather quickly.

 

Nikki soon became the center of our existence, as babies do. Her poop was a big topic of conversation (what did we talk about before?). And she grew, as puppies do. And nearly a year later, it was time for a vacation. And no dogs were allowed. I had no idea what to do or who to call. All I knew was that I needed someone who would love her as much as I had come to in the last year. I had heard about professional pet sitting from a friend, and our dog trainer confirmed it was a great alternative to boarding. So we signed up and had a sitter stay with our Nikki. The following year Nikki was joined by Solstice (forever known as Little Man), and of course Sam the Amazon was here to keep it all entertaining.

The more enmeshed I became in the pet world, the more I realized there was a real need for reliable pet care. I began pet sitting for friends on a regular basis. One called me the Pet Elf, and the name stuck. I began doing research and turned to Pet Sitters International for guidance. This educational association had everything I needed to know about turning pro.

As a card carrying member with my bond and insurance in place, I began my journey as a professional pet sitter.

So much has changed since those first few years. Records moved from binders and notebooks to our secure server, and staff was hired to help meet your needs.

And Nikki and Sol are gone.

What remains is the dedication and compassion I have for pet care.

I started because of them. And I continue because of them.

 

 

The Pet Elf 12020 Sunrise Valley Dr. Suite 137 Reston, VA 20191