FAQ Pet Owners

FAQ Pet Owners

I've never left my pet with a host family before. Is Pawshake for me?

Absolutely! Pawshake is a community of friends of animals who welcome others' animals with great pleasure. Your dog will be much happier than in a kennel. Take a look at the profiles of the pet sitters on our site - verified by our team - and let us know what you think.

Can I trust pet sitters and host families?

Pawshake is a platform that puts animal owners, host families, and pet sitters in contact. In the interest of animals' well being, we verify the contact details of pet sitters in various ways before they appear on the site. Then, after the stay, owners can leave an evaluation of their experience.

I'm hoping to meet the host family before placing my pet with that family. Is that possible?

Absolutely! As a matter of fact, here at Pawshake, we encourage a meeting beforehand between the host family and the pet. You can request this by clicking on "Contact Me." One small pointer: meet in a neutral place, because sometimes, the host family's pet attempts to defend its territory.

Does Pawshake offer insurance? What does the insurance cover?

Pawshake Inc is the company that manages Pawshake's website. As a platform, we put animal owners and host families in contact, that is to say, families that agree to temporarily house your pet. Therefore, we offer you a practical solution for your animal's lodging - which is sometimes difficult with family and friends.

Whether it’s your brother who comes to look after your cat, your cousin who takes care of your dog, or a member of the Pawshake community (a "Pawshaker") who comes by every day, confidence and security always remain essential. There are many pet owners who worry, asking themselves what might happen in case of an accident, and if they are covered by their insurance:

  • Domestic animals in third parties' homes: As the owner of your domestic animal, you are responsible for damages brought upon third parties. It's because of this that it is wise to have family insurance and to include your pet in the policy. This way, you will be covered in case, for example, your dog causes an accident. A majority of families have family insurance. Warning: verify with your insurance company whether you are covered when you leave your animal with a host family.
  • Your pet: If you wish to insure your pet in order to cover unforeseen veterinary expenses, it's recommended that you subscribe to a health insurance policy for your pet. Is this useful? Yes, because it will permit the host family to go to the vet without any hesitation for an urgent procedure. In many countries howver, animal health insurance remains a relatively new product.
  • Accident due to the animal's guardian: We will refer to them herein below as the "Pet Sitter" - by analogy with "Babysitter." Although in a large majority of cases, everything goes perfectly, it's always possible that something might happen whenever a "Pet Sitter," whether it be your sister, brother, aunt, etc., comes to your home. For a service provided to friends, it is not legally required that you have insurance. On the other hand, if you hire someone, you are legally obliged to have "Work Accident" insurance. We advise our pet sitters to always take out a familial civil responsibility policy that covers damages to third parties. Don't forget to check with your insurance company whether your familial civil responsibility policy covers such damages (similar to the case of a babysitter). You will also find numerous professional "pet sitters" on Pawshake, who have made it their principal or secondary activity. The latter are legally bound to have a professional civil responsibility policy as well as complementary insurance in case of damages to third parties (to be verified with them).

Pawshake is currently in negotiations with different insurance companies in order to offer a structural solution. Our goal is that pet owners, "pet sitters," and host families do what they enjoy doing the most: that is to say, taking care of animals, either in their home or in a host family. Insurance products are a complex matter.

The explanations provided above do not have any legal value. They are given to you for information purposes only. Our advice is that, "It is better to prevent than to heal." It is for this that we suggest that you contact your insurance company in order to better understand the solution that works best for you.

Is it possible to find a pet sitter for a single night?

Yes. The site has the advantage of having a large offering of host families.

Does my pet need anything during its stay with the host family?

It is often accepted that the dog will bring its own food during the stay in the host family. Generally speaking, it is advised that you change your dog's diet as little as possible.

By bringing its favorite toys, your dog will have the impression of almost being at home.

It is also possible - through the site - to agree with the host family on items to bring. Here are some suggestions:

  • Food and snacks
  • A leash
  • Toys
  • Bowl for eating or drinking
  • Basket and blankets
  • If needed, old clothes with the owner's smell for reassurance.

To make your life easier, we have prepared a list of instructions that you can give to the pet sitter or host family. This list includes instructions concerning food, your dog's favorite items, your vet's name and address, and numbers of contacts in case of emergency.

Are there pet sitters or host families on Pawshake that offer specialized care?

Yes. Know that we ask our pet sitters and host families to always describe the care that they offer as thoroughly as possible. Some even have a specialization. We advise you to scan the list of pet sitters in your region to see who is the best person to take care of your pet.

What happens when my pet gets sick or hurts itself with the host family?

Happily, cases of emergencies are very rare, but it's better to prepare for them. If there’s an emergency, it is the pet sitter who will decide what needs to be done: either to go to the nearest vet or, if possible, go to the pet's own vet

Is it possible to modify or cancel your reservation?

Pawshake pet sitters offer three types of reservations:

  • Flexible Reservation: full refund up to 5 days before the beginning of the reservation, then 50% refund afterward
  • Normal Reservation: full refund up to 10 days before the beginning of the reservation, then 50% refund afterward
  • Strict Reservation: no refunds

At what point do I have to pay the pet sitter or host family?

Pawshake will ask your payment instructions while you are making your reservation. However, it is not until the moment when the reservation has been accepted by the pet sitter that the sum owed will be debited from your account or credit card. The pet sitter will be paid at the end of the stay.

Do I pay the pet sitter or host family myself?

No. All payments are carried out via Pawshake's website. It's easier and more secure. This also allows you to concentrate on the relationship with the pet sitter or host family.

What happens if I don't appear for the appointment as agreed?

Host families and pet sitters define their own cancellation policies. For more information, please check the pet sitter’s profile.