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What is a Drop-In Visit?

If you’ve never hired a pet sitter before, the term drop-in visit may be foreign to you or have a completely different meaning depending on what part of the world you’re from. I had never heard the term before I needed to find a pet sitter a couple years ago so this blog will explain exactly what a drop-in visit is and who books them as opposed to a walk, boarding, or house sitting.


Walk vs. Drop-In Visit

A 30 minute walk is pretty self-explanatory, right? We show up, get your dog, we go for a walk, and 30 minutes later, we're on our way. It’s all some dogs require while their humans are at work for the day. A drop-in visit is more like a welfare check for your pet that may or may not include a walk as part of the visit. Spot may need medication at a certain time every day, Fido may need to eat a meal, and Fluffy may just need some TLC from her friendly neighborhood pet sitter. You can ask for your dog to be walked or if you’d prefer they go outside in your back yard, that’s fine too. Play and snuggle time can (and should if your pet is willing) also be part of your drop-in visit. For sure, any cat service would be considered a drop in as well since walking cats is pretty unusual.


Who Might Book a Drop-In Visit?

I covered the first reason a person may book a drop-in visit; that’s the owner who needs someone to care for their pet during their work day. The second reason would be for those very lucky pet parents who have well behaved dogs that can be left at home on their own while they go on vacation or away for business. A drop-in visit ensures that they are getting fed, going outside to potty, getting their medication, and having some loving human interaction (hopefully with me since you’re here;))


These pets may just not do well outside their homes or they don’t get along with other dogs so boarding isn’t an option. Possibly the owner doesn’t want a stranger sleeping in their home so house sitting doesn’t seem appealing to them. Scheduling drop-in visits for your pets when you can’t be home is a great solution when boarding or house sitting isn’t an option.


How Many Visits Should You Book a Day?

If you only have cats, most cats can get by with one visit a day. If your feline friend has medical issues or is just really social, it may be best to book two visits. Check with your pet sitter to see if they have a 20 minute option to help keep costs down. I recommend at least 3 visits a day for dogs, more if they’re younger or older or even smaller because they typically require more potty breaks during the course of the day.


Do All Pet Sitters Offer Drop-In Visits?

While I am not the knower-of-all-things, I’m pretty sure most pet sitters offer some version of drop-in visits. You’ll need to find out their hours of operation to see if those hours work for your particular needs. I typically will go a little earlier or later than my posted business hours if it’s requested but some sitters may not have that flexibility due to other responsibilities.

I hope I could help shed some light on what a drop-in visit is and why it’s different than a walk as well as other reasons you may want to book one. If you’re in the Bel Air area and in need of a pet sitter or dog walker, let’s chat!




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