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Frequently Asked Questions

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Who are the people that work for Alpha?

Because the in-home pet care industry is still relatively young, most of us didn't have experience working as a professional pet sitter or dog walker when we started. Instead, we have backgrounds in related fields like health care, customer service, child or senior care, client management, etc.

click here to meet the staff

The one thing we do have in common is that we've all spent most of our lives raising and caring for animals, some of us have cared for the pets of our friends and families. Our passion for pets and commitment to providing excellent care are what make Alpha's All-Stars the best in the business.

And of course we've all been through rigorous screening and a background. It's important we hire the kind of people we'd want coming into our homes and taking care of our own pets!

Can I meet my pets' caregiver?

Absolutely! It's actually required as part of the enrollment process with Alpha. Before we provide any pet sitting, dog walking or doggie daycare we want you and your pets to be comfortable with us and know you'll get the best possible care provided by dog and cat experts!

How much notice do you need?

Short answer: as much as you're able to give. Ideally a week is preferable for new clients but we understand that sometimes things come up at the last minute which is why we don't charge a fee for short notice. Very little notice is needed for returning clients since we are already familiar with you, your pets and their routine.

In what areas do you provide service?

We provide care in the following communities:

  • Long Beach, Signal Hill, & Lakewood
  • Los Angeles: Miracle Mile, Hollywood, Hancock Park, Larchmont, & Fairfax District
  • South Bay: Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, & Torrance
  • Orange County: Seal Beach, Cypress & Huntington Beach

What credentials does Alpha have?

Alpha is a member of Pet Sitters International & Pet Sitters Associates. Alpha is licensed, bonded, insured and pet first aid/CPR certified. We are happy to share copies of all of our credentials with clients upon request.

Additionally, if asked, we can provide client references.

How do you manage keys?

We have several options for managing keys including: pick-up and return, the use of a lock box or a secure hiding place.

What if my pet becomes ill or injured?

However unlikely, in the event that a pet in our care sustains a life-threatening illness or injury, we will seek care from a veterinarian in order to stabilize the condition until such time that the client can decide the appropriate ongoing course of action. The client is financially responsible for all associated fees.

Why use a pet sitter?

Simply put: pets hate change. Kenneling your pet is traumatic! They're confined to a small space in an unfamiliar place without you. Hiring a pet sitter allows their meals, walks and overall routine to continue, without disruption, in your absence. Stress-free for them, guilt-free for you!

Where do you care for the pets?

Most of the dogs and all of the cats we pet sit are cared for in their own homes. However we do also offer doggie homeboarding where your well-behaved, small to medium size pup can stay as a guest in our home.

I have more than one pet, is there an extra fee?

We don't charge an extra fee for 'multiples'. Depending on the number of pets and the complexity of their routine you may want to consider a longer visit to make sure everyone gets the care they need.

How often do you visit our animals?

For the safety of the animals, if we are solely responsible for their care, the minimum is once a day. Most of our dog parents prefer two or three visits a day whereas cats, who are fairly independent, typically receive one or two visits a day.

How long are pet sitting visits?

We can provide 30-minute and 60-minute visits or a combination of both. Most of our clients prefer a 30-minute visit but those with young animals or more than 3 or 4 pets should consider a longer visit.

Does the same person take care of my pets?

In most cases, yes. The sitter you meet with initially will be your pets' primary caregiver. However, if your primary sitter is unavailable or has a scheduling conflict you'll have an opportunity to meet with another sitter.

We never provide service without meeting your pets first!

How much exercise will my pets get?

We’re happy to go for walks at every visit. In fact, the majority of our time is spent on walks since most of the other care items don’t usually require much time. Regular exercise is one of the reasons pet sitting is preferable to kenneling.

Do you administer medication?

Yes. We can give all types of medications: pills, drops, injections & fluids. There is no additional fee.

What is the Overnight Care schedule?

Typically we arrive in the evening to provide their dinner and walk. We may need to leave briefly to care for our own pets and get dinner. Then we're back to spend the night. The following day we provide breakfast and the morning walk. The following evening: Rinse and repeat until you return. Remember this is just a general schedule, every client has different needs which we're happy to discuss.

What do I need to provide for Overnight Care?

While we’re staying overnight we think of it as becoming a temporary member of your family. We ask that you provide a comfortable and clean place for us to sleep. If we have your permission we may bring our pets with us for a slumber party!

Why use a dog walker?

There are so many reasons: Exercise, housetraining, potty break, leash training. Over the years the most common reason is that our clients recognize that dogs can't and shouldn't be confined everyday for an 8-10 hour workday.

Do you do group or "pack" walks?

Absolutely not! These types of walks are dangerous. All it takes is for one dog to see a squirrel, skateboarder, jogger, cat, another dog or hear a startling noise and the dog walker can very easily lose control of the dogs. Just consider the physics of one 200lb human walking 10+ dogs, each weighing 30-70lbs. Yikes!

How long are the walks?

We offer 30 and 60-minute options. Most clients prefer a 30-minute walk but puppies and other high-energy dogs may require more exercise.

I have more than one dog, is there an extra fee?

Unlike most other companies we don't charge an extra fee for 'multiples'. We can either walk them together or separate, depending on your preference.

Can you help with my puppy's housetraining?

Absolutely, this is our specialty! Having us help during the day will dramatically speed up the process of housetraining. We'll help you set a ideal schedule, monitor progress, provide regular feedback and eliminate the stress and frustration of housetraining your puppy!

Are the walks private?

Yes. However, with your permission, we may bring another client's dog or our own along. For the safety of our dogs as well as our own we do not do large group or "pack" walks.

Does the same person walk my dogs?

Almost always, yes. The walker you meet with initially will be your dogs' primary caregiver. However, if your primary walker is unavailable or has a scheduling conflict you'll have an opportunity to meet with another walker.

We never provide service without meeting the dogs first!

Pet Sitting vs. Dog Walking: What's the difference?

Dog walking is all about the exercise. Pet sitting assumes we are providing ALL your dogs' care which may also include feeding and the care of other animals in the household as well as a walk.

Where do you walk the dogs?

We go for walks in your dog's neighborhood. We'll start on their route and then get more adventurous as they get comfortable with us.

What happens when it rains?

Fortunately we live in Southern California and not Seattle so this isn't a frequent concern. When we first meet with you we'll establish a 'rainy day' protocol. This could include postponing or rescheduling our walk, going on a shorter 'potty' walk that day and enjoying a longer day when the sunshine returns.

Why should I enroll my dog in Doggie DayCamp?

Because its FUN! Dogs are like people - both need exercise and socialization to thrive and Doggy Daycamp provides an outlet for both.

And since we pickup and dropoff, Doggie Daycamp is the ideal choice for working parents. No need to make time for an extra stop in the morning and don't worry about rushing home to pick up your dog, they'll already be home and exhausted!

What is the schedule?

We pickup and dropoff the dogs Mon - Fri. Pickup begins at 9am and the last camper is dropped off by 4pm. Your pickup/dropoff time will vary depending upon where you live on the route.

Who can enroll?

Assuming space is available, Doggie Daycamp is open to dogs at least ten months old (under 10 months considered case-by-case) with good health and temperament, fully vaccinated and spayed/neutered.

What do the dogs do at Doggie Daycamp?

Most of the dogs like to play with each other. Over the past 19 years we've always been amazed at how they seem to pair up on their own and find their favorite playmate.

What areas do you service?

Our pickup and dropoff service is available to Long Beach and Seal Beach residents only.

Where is Doggie Daycamp located?

Doggie Daycamp is part of the Seal Beach LaunderPet store located at 318 Main Street in Seal Beach, CA.

Is Doggie Daycamp safe for my dog?

Yes. Doggie Daycamp is enclosed and private. Just like your dog, all of the others have successfully completed a health and behavioral assessment and meet our eligibility standards. Fresh water is always available and there is a strict 'no-food' policy.

Our Daycamp Coordinators know even the best dogs need guidance, supervision and lots of individual attention. Which is why we limit the enrollment at Doggie Daycamp and maintain a low human-to-canine ratio.

What other services are available?

Full-service grooming is available through our good friends, the experts at Seal Beach LaunderPet. With four locations throughout the Long Beach area, LaunderPet is THE gold standard in pet grooming quality and value.

FREE home delivery of pet food and supplies is also available: let us know what you need that morning and it'll be waiting for your that evening*. Sign up for regular food delivery and never run out again!

*available only to clients enrolled in Doggie Daycamp. Client pays for the actual cost of items. Actual delivery date may vary depending on item availability.

What happens when it rains?

Fortunately we live in Southern California and not Seattle so this isn't a frequent concern. When we first meet with you we'll establish a 'rainy day' protocol. This could include postponing or rescheduling our daycamp session, going on a shorter 'potty' walk that day and enjoying a longer day when the sunshine returns.

What if my dog doesn't like other dogs?

That's OK! We are always available to provide one-on-one dog walking or behavioral training.

Why should I train my dog?

Training opens the line of communication between you and your dog and teaches what's expected of them. Think of it as learning a new language that you both understand. It establishes trust and creates and bond between the two of you.

And in practical terms it protects your shoes, floors, furniture, garden and your sanity!

What methods do you use?

We use positive motivation and reinforcement, and gentle correction where appropriate. We do not believe in the use of verbal/physical abuse or shock collars.

Why can't I housetrain my puppy?

Assuming your puppy is in good health, one of the most common mistakes is the lack of a strict regiment. Puppies need a schedule and supervision. Housetraining requires patience, consistency and boundaries. We've helped many frustrated pet parents over the years with their puppies and rescues.

At what age should I begin training my puppy?

We recommend starting between 8-10 weeks and will adjust our training sessions to be mindful of their short attention spans. The important thing to bear in mind is that your dog starts learning from the moment they enter your home. Make sure they are learning the right things!

Is there an extra charge for a second dog?

There is no extra charge to teach them together but we will require you to be present. There needs to be one human for each dog. In fact, we encourage everyone in the household to be a part of our efforts!

How long will it take to train my dog?

Again, this is not a question that is the same for everyone. Different dogs learn differently, just like children. This is why we start off with a health and behavioral assessment and the customize our methods accordingly. On average, basic obedience requires at least 1-3 sessions.

Can you help with an aggressive dog?

We certainly hope so, we understand the enormous challenge and risk associated with a dog's aggressive behavior. However these cases are highly nuanced, can involve health issues as well as behavior and are outside the scope of this FAQ so we ask that you contact us and let us advise and consult on a one-on-one basis.

Do you guarantee results?

We offer lifetime support but we do not guarantee results. Any trainer who does is not only doing you a disservice but has violated the American Pet Dog Trainer Association's (APDT) code of ethics which states: "Members refrain from giving guarantees regarding the outcome of training, because there is no sure way to guarantee the cooperation and performance of all parties involved and because the knowledge of animal behavior is incomplete."

How do I pay?

We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.

Alpha Pet Care does not accept checks.

When is payment due?

Depending on your services:

Payment for non-recurring services such as occasional pet sitting will be charged one day prior to the start date.

Payment for recurring services such as weekly dog walking or doggie daycamp will be charged each Friday.

When is payment due for Overnight Care?

Because of limited availability, a 50% non-refundable deposit will be charged for all Overnight Care reservations at the time your reservation is confirmed by your pet sitter. The remaining balance will be charged one day prior to the start date.

Is there a fee for the initial meeting?

If you have a confirmed reservation there is no charge for the initial new client meeting. However, if you're still in the planning stages and would just like to meet there is a $20 fee which will be credited toward your first reservation within 30 days.

Can I get a receipt?

Yes, we will email you a detailed receipt.

How do I cancel a reservation?

To cancel a reservation please call, email or text us as soon as possible. Click here for our contact information.

What is your cancellation policy?

Once we receive your cancellation only services scheduled that same day* are billable and non-refundable. Everything else is cancelled without penalty and can be credited or refunded if you've already paid.

The only exception are deposits for Overnight Care which are non-refundable and forfeited if service is cancelled.

*Our daily cutoff is 7pm, any cancellations received after that time will be treated as received the following day.

How do I cancel my weekly services such as Doggie DayCamp or Dog Walking?

Please let us know as soon as possible, your enrollment & billing will conclude at the the end of your current billing cycle.