COVID Update/Mask Mandate

I want to remind everyone that we are still under a mask mandate, as COVID cases and positivity rates continue to rise.

For the protection of all of us, we ask that you please wear a mask when interacting with your dog walker or pet sitter.

If you are working in another part of the home, the dog walker can enter and leash the dog and exit. If space limitations or other concerns necessitate greeting them at the door, please mask up.

We’ve all been doing a great job of dealing with this for 10 months, and we appreciate your efforts to keep each other safe.

Governor’s Executive Order Dec. 10, 2020

VA Dept. of Health Recommendations

Please, stay safe, mask up and keep washing your hands. We appreciate it so much.


Blonde lady walking outside with medical mask on face with her golden retriever near a lake

Saturday, January 16th, 2021 @ 3:37 pm | Comments (0) | Categories: Dog Walks, Dogs, Emergency

COVID-19 Precautions

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.

Thursday, June 11th, 2020 @ 10:32 am | Comments (0) | Categories: Dog Walks, Emergency, Pet Care, Pet Sitting, Uncategorized
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Thank You to our Clients During Coronavirus

Monday, March 30th, 2020 @ 3:50 pm | Comments (0) | Categories: Dog Walks, Emergency
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

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 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

Friday, March 20th, 2020 @ 9:49 am | Comments (0) | Categories: Dog Walks, Emergency, Pet Care, Pet Sitting, Uncategorized
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Beautiful Midday Walk

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!


Monday, May 4th, 2015 @ 8:20 pm | Comments (0) | Categories: Dog Walks, Dogs, Uncategorized

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

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.



Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 @ 4:59 pm | Comments (0) | Categories: Dog Walks, Dogs, Pet Care, Pet Sitting, Uncategorized

A Dog Walk in the Woods

A walk in the woods with Mia and Beowulf.

Monday, February 6th, 2012 @ 12:08 pm | Comments (0) | Categories: Dog Walks, Dogs, Uncategorized

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