Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get started with getting Pet Care?

Go to ourReservations  page and fill out a reservation. We will contact you to set up our initial meeting.

How do I contact you?
We can be reached at (847) 338-2478 or by email at

What does pet sitting cost?
See our Rates page.

Do I have to sign a contract?
Yes. When you fill out a reservation form, it acts as our contract. You are asked to accept and approve our rates and terms before you submit the form. This gives us permission to be in your home to care for your animals and it makes sure we are all clear on expectations. A hard copy of the terms will be given at the time of our first meeting.

Who will be taking care of my pet and have access to my home?
This is an owner-operated business. Diane Stuercke will handle visits to your home to care for
your pets. Additional help may be used during holidays, busy times or in emergencies. You will
meet us in person before hiring us. If someone other than Diane is to visit your home, you will be
notified. All employees are at least 21 years old and are bonded and insured.

In-Home Pet Care & Dog Walks

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I hire you if I have a neighbor or friend also caring for our pets?

Unfortunately, due to liability issues, our insurance and bonding do not cover shared jobs or other caregivers coming into your home. We need to be the only caregiver coming into your home.

Are there any breeds of dog you won't walk?

Yes. The only breed I cannot walk is a German Shepard. I cannot walk into your home with any fear. Due to a childhood trauma, this breed will definitely bring out a fear in me that will have nothing to do with your dog. I do apologize.

What kind of animals do you accept as clients?

We only care for dogs and cats.

What is your service area?

We currently service parts of Gurnee (West of Hunt Club Road), Grayslake, and Round Lake Beach. We ONLY come to your actual residence. We WILL NOT come to hotel rooms or have your pets come into our homes.

How much notice is required for an appointment?
It is best to contact us as soon as you know you are going to be away to make sure we have an opening. A week's notice is preferred, but in the event you need us because of an illness or an emergency situation, we will do our best to accommodate your needs. Several weeks notice is
needed for Thanksgiving and Christmas times.

How much notice is needed for a cancellation?
At least 24 hours. We will have to charge for cancellations made with less than 24-hours notice. During holidays, 2 weeks notice is required. At Thanksgiving and Christmas, we often are fully booked a month in advance. Please be considerate in the timing of your cancellation as we turn many people away during the holidays. Cancellations not only hurt our business, but also leave others without pet care.  Cancellations made with less than 2 weeks notice will result in a charge of 50% of total fee for the full time cancelled.

Do we need to have an interview/meeting every time I use you?
This depends on how frequently we care for your animals. It generally is not necessary to have a pre-service meeting every time if your pets have become familiar with us and we are comfortable with them. If it has been a while between visits, it is a good idea for us to all become reacquainted during a short visit.

How am I billed and when is it due?
Payment is due at time of service. We will meet with you before the first time you use us and you can provide us with cash, a check or credit card. After that you can leave payment for us to pick up on the first visit of each trip. If you are a regular client who uses us for daily dog walks, we will bill you at the end of each month.

How do I get my keys back?
Most clients keep a key on file with us, but your keys can be returned when you return home from each trip. After the first visit, there will be a $10 fee for each time we come to pick up or return keys. This is to cover the cost of gas and time.

Do you accept credit cards?
Yes. We accept all major credit and debit cards but do add a 3% processing fee to your total. Customers who use us regularly may keep a card on file for monthly billing.

Will my dog receive individual attention?
Yes. We do not "pack walk." The only time we would walk more than one dog at a time is if you have more than one or arrange a special play date with us to unite your dog with a canine pal. For safety and control, we would not walk more than two dogs at a time.

What if my pet gets sick or hurt?
If your pet needs veterinary attention while you are away, we will make every attempt to contact you first, but will make treating your pet our first priority. Part of our contract includes information about your vet and how you want emergencies handled. It is your responsibility to let your vet know we have permission to bring your pet in for emergency care and to make decisions on your behalf if you cannot be reached.

Are there any extra costs on holidays?
Yes. These will be reviewed at the time you request service. The fee is $25 for a 20 minute holiday visit and $40 for an hour. We are open all holidays and generally fill up very early for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Review our Rates page for a list of holidays.

My pet has been aggressive in the past, can he still be a client?
This depends on the pet. We have had difficulties if the pet has been aggressive toward its owners and family members. The chances are high they will be aggressive toward us as new people in the home. If they are known to bite, we will not take them as clients. If you have a pet that has been rehabilitated we can meet and see if we feel comfortable enough to walk into your home when you're not there.

What does it mean to be Insured and Bonded?
means that My Pet Pals LLC purchases an annual liability insurance policy. Coverage includes, but is not limited to damage to property in our case, custody and control (including pets and home), as well as coverage for lost keys. Accidents can and do happen no matter how careful we try to be. If your pet gets injured or any unexpected accident happens, you don't have to worry about who will pay for it. We're insured.

Bonded means that My Pet Pals LLC annually purchases a "dishonesty bond" from an insurance company. The bond protects customers from loss as a result of theft committed by an employee of My Pet Pals. By purchasing a bond, we are essentially buying protection that we hope will help our clients and potential clients feel more comfortable about allowing a pet sitter into their home.

We Play While You're Away