Coddled Creatures Pet Sitting LLC ®

The Complete "In Home" Pet Care Company

Educate yourself thoroughly before choosing a pet care service provider!  One must ensure that their dog's best interest is aligned with that of the pet care service provider. In this section we will address, in detail, what one should know before making a decision. Choose well and you will have years of excellent service and peace of mind while away or at work!

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Q. Is Coddled Creatures a referral service?

  A.  You will be happy to learn that  Coddled Creatures is not a network of sitters (aka referral service for independent contractors!)   Referral services use independent contractors. At Coddled Creatures we handle the scheduling and interviewing of our employees! We do not shift this responsibility to our customers. If you have been looking for in home pet care we are sure you have run into these referral services and that they are not what you are looking for. One phone call, or reservation placed with Coddled Creatures, and you will be scheduled for your pet care needs. Effortless! Coddled Creatures is a real company not  a list of pet sitters. We are not a referral service that requires you to navigate,interview, and negotiate through  a list of independent contractors, on your own, as well as arrange for your own insurance coverage.  At Coddled Creatures our employees are supervised. They are not independent contractors. The very word independent contractor tells you that these individuals who work for referral services are not supervised at all by the referral service. They work independently and are not even allowed to be supervised, according to law, by the referral agency. Just google independent contractor to ensure you understand that definition if you are considering a referral service.  Using a referral service is a daunting proposition, with many undisclosed important considerations, for any pet parent who loves their pet as a family member.

  • Q. What is the best, safest and most secure way to find a professional pet care provider for your special pet (s)? 

  • A. Whomever you hire will be coming into your home and entrusted with your keys and your special pets. Most of our clients come to us through the positive experiences of their friends, neighbors and colleagues. If you have not come to us this way we welcome the opportunity to earn your trust and we offer a free initial get to know you consultation. We won't let you down!

  • Q. Does Coddled Creatures do private boarding or doggie day care for pets in the homes of their staff? 

  • A. If we were to receive monetary gains for watching someone else's animal in one of our homes, whether we call it private boarding or doggie day care, we would be breaking the law. Boarding of pets in a home, for commercial purposes, is illegal. Proper zoning permits must be obtained and they cannot be obtained in residential areas for obvious reasons. Therefore, we are unable to be involved in this type of activity and we are sure that you don't want to be either. A local Bergen County Newspaper recently ran an article on the illegality of private boarding.  At Coddled Creatures we take care of pets where they are the happiest, safest, and most their home! 

  • Q. Is Pet Sitting regulated? 

  • A. Pet Sitting is not regulated.  There is no licensing required for Pet Sitters. Don't be mislead by anyone who claims to be licensed.  So that means that anyone can call themselves a pet sitter, anyone can call themselves a trainer, both of which are daunting thoughts .  All the more important that one does their do diligence. Don't be misled by those who claim to have years of animal experience because they have had a pet. How long have they really been in the professional pet care business professionally caring for and professionally training animals?  Rest assured that at Coddled Creatures Pet Care is not a sideline or part time vocation. We have been in the professional pet care business for nearly a quarter of a century. We are a full time, full service pet care company at your service 365 days per year...especially on holidays!   President, Heidi Wise, is an expert in the field of pet care and dog training. Once you read her impressive biography you will feel confident that she has the skill set that is necessary to provide you with exceptional service. Read our President's impressive biography. 

  • Q. Why don't you offer group walks?

  • A. Coddled Creatures puts the well being of your pet first.  One needs to ensure that their dogs interest are aligned with those of any pet care service provider. While we certainly would make more money walking a group of dogs together we don't believe it's safe to put your special pet into a group of dogs that don't know each other and even if they do know each other things can turn very quickly with dogs. One person, no matter how well trained that person is, walking a group cannot supervise or watch carefully for signs of discontent much less interrupt a fight when they are trying to control multiple dogs at once. Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists (the uber educated PH'd's) agree that this type of situation is not aligned with your dogs best interest. Look at the dogs being walked in the city in large groups. Read their body language. They look unbelievabley unhappy. Often dogs eliminate on each other during group walks, and in group settings. We don't believe that is humane and we are sure that you don't either. We only offer what we feel is in the best interest of your pet. Group dog walking might be in our best interest, but it is not in the best interest of your special pet.

  • Q. Will I know who will be assigned to care for my pet?

  • A. Of course! You will always know who will be assigned to care for your pet, you can meet them, and you can request that pet care specialist going forward. 

  • Q. Does Coddled Creatures outsource assignments to independent contractors? 

  • A. No. Coddled Creatures staff is composed of Pet Care Specialists(®) who are employees not independent contractors. This way we are able to ensure that our high quality standards are maintained.  It is very important to research the legal ramifications, to you as the pet owner, when hiring a company that outsources to independent contractors because it increases your exposure. Insurance companies do not cover independent contractors, of a pet sitting service, for many eventualities. Employees, however are covered. A red flag would be if a company states that they "contract out" or use a "network of pet sitters" or that they "refer" jobs.  Don't be afraid to ask.  A reputable company will be happy to address your questions.

  • Q. Are dogs ok at home alone? Where are dogs truly the safest and happiest? 

  • A. Did you know that dog's, even in the wild, sleep most of the day, they don't exercise or play constantly even when given that option?  Ensure your dog's best interest is aligned with that of the pet care service provider. Did you know that Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists (the uber educated Phd's) agree that group settings are  a threat to the well being of your dog?  Due to the nature of the setting, it simply cannot be aligned with your dog's best interest. Ever wonder why the doggie day care concept  popped up all of the sudden and why? Was it because your dog's best interest was at heart. No! This came about so they can group all the dogs together which allows them to book as many as possible into one small space! There are no regulations limiting the number of dogs. They can pack as many dogs as possible into the facility and make more money. They don't have to be licensed as kennels because they call it day care!  Licensing of kennels exists for a reason! Then they tell you it is socialization or play time (they are anthropomorphizing, attributing human characteristics to dogs), to sell it to you. It's very clever marketing, but do your do diligence. Dogs care about being in their familiar environment not being in groups with other dogs.  We will talk further about the history of dogs, and debunking the dog pack myth.

In Home Care vs. Group Settings
  In Home Pet Care
  Group Settings
Your dog receives personalized attention and love while you are away?
Not often as there can be over 100 dogs in play areas. There are no regulations to limit the number of dogs at any given time. If is difficutl for any one person, no matter how well trained, to supervise multiple dogs at once.
Your dog received exercise?
Only for a few minutes then they typically lie around just as the do at home!
Quiet, peaceful environment?
No, loud barking is often ongoing. 
High grade disinfectants needed for removal of smells and diseases?
Yes- to remove smell of urine, feces and diseases from multiple dogs congregating and eliminating indoors.
Extra charge for taking your dog outside to eliminate?
  No, of course not
Can I pick my dog up on Sunday?
Your dog is already home!
Is my dog's health at risk?
Yes, giardia, worts (papilloma virus), and kennel cough are some of the diseases commonly passed among animals in group settings. They are also at risk from diarrhea and dehydration (from stress of being removed from their home). Vaccines are only 70% effective.
 Is my dog safe?
No, with multiple dogs in small areas, there is always a risk of fighting breaking out. Illnesses and diseases are often prevalent.
Is my dog stressed?
While your dog would rather have you there, if they are stressed at all, they are much less stressed in their familiar home environment.
Yes. Often owners have reported  that their dog (s) are dehydrated because they will not drink water when in these stressful multiple dog situations.
Will my dogs paw pads be sore when I arrive home
Often times yes as they stand on hard concrete floors all day...or worse k9 grass which is like the potty patch and is very difficult to clean and remove odor from.
Will my dog smell when I arrive home?
No, of course not.
Often you will be charged an additional fee to bath your dog and remove the unpleasant smells accumulated in the group setting.

  • A, cont'd. First,  a very important benefit of in home care is that your pet will not become ill from diseases such as giardia, kennel cough, and/or worts (papilloma virus) often passed or contracted in group settings. Also they will not have diarrhea and dehydration from the stress of being removed from their home.  Surprisingly group settings often boast about their use of high grade chemical disinfectants as being a benefit to you. We don't consider their use a benefit to you and we are sure that you don't either. One would have to ask why are such strong chemicals needed in the first place? Do you really want your pet exposed to such high powered chemical disinfectants? Also in group settings dogs are not taken outside to eliminate. They eliminate indoors. There goes all that hard work housebreaking your dog! Group settings often boast about how many dogs they can fit in their facilities.  I'm sure that leaves you wondering how that would possibly be in your dog's best interest and you are not alone.

  • Next want to know what the biggest myth about dogs is? That they are pack animals! Dogs were never pack animals even before they were domesticated! They only formed packs to hunt big game which was not very often as they are scavengers! Funny how such myths get started and for what reasons they get is the bottom line!   Did you know that Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists ( CAAP's are the uber educated Phd's) agree that dogs really don't like to be forced into a situation with a large group of dogs. CAAP's agree that one playmate is enough and that  being forced into situations with multiple dogs can be a threat to the well being of your dog.  In the wild dogs may have a short intense burst of exercise, but they are not active all day long nor are they at home even if given the choice. Your dog is exhausted when coming home from a group setting? That is exhaustion caused by the overwhelming stress of being forced into groups of multiple dogs. Also a tired dog is not a trained dog.  

  • First here is a little history on dogs. Dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years meaning they are used to living and interacting with humans!  They are bred to be companion dogs. This means that they recognize humans as their leaders not other dogs. There is a lot of conflicting information out there today, that tries to make us forget that dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years!  Don't let the conflicting information, and anthropomorphizing (attributing human characteristic to dogs), befuddle your common sense.  In fact Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists agree that  dogs are happiest when they are with you... their leader, of course, but since being with you is not always possible they are happiest being at home, in familiar surroundings, because they are domesticated! If you understand dogs, and their history, then you understand that they are safest and most content when being provided stimulation and exercise in their own familiar surroundings. That means being in your home, and your neighborhood, which is their den!  Dogs really don't like to leave their den without their leader and that would be you! In the wild the alpha, or leader, is allowed to leave and come back, but the subordinates are not. If you really feel your dog needs company consider acquiring a second dog!  Sound like the most basic of common sense! That's because it is! In two decades we have not experienced any behavioral problems resulting from pets remaining at home and receiving in home pet care visits. In fact, our testimonials speak for themselves as our clients have relayed to us just how happy their pets are when they arrive home. We have also not experienced any pets becoming ill from diseases that are commonly passed among animals in group settings.

  • Q. Wouldn't my dog be happier socializing with other dogs while I'm away?

  • A. As discussed above, and contrary to popular mythology, dogs are loners not  packsters and no they are not happier in groups. Don't buy into that spin! Groups are unnatural for them if you study the actual history of dogs.  If they can't be with you they prefer the comfort of familiar surroundings. The truth about group settings is that dogs may run round around for a brief period, but afterwards they just lay around like they do at home.  They don't get the exercise they need, often because group settings are packed with so many dogs. A stressful situation for your dog. If you have a young dog putting them into a group situation may also change their temperament. Anyone who tells you that your dog is happier outside of his den/your home is misguided and should raise a red flag. Dogs do need to be walked for exercise (30 minutes a day is sufficient, more or less depending on the breed and age). Exercise is important for heart health and increased longevity.  However, there is a difference between a tired dog, who has been exercised at home, and an overstimulated dog that results when a dog spends the day away from home surrounded by large numbers of unfamiliar dogs which is actually very stressful for the dog.  Your dog slept for two days after coming home from a group setting? This is exhaustion from stress not a tired dog. So remember that today's dogs are domesticated and bred to be companion animals! They recognize human's, not other dogs, as their leaders.  So now one can understand why the daycare option is not really beneficial for your dog. It is clever marketing that respins and repackages the kennel concept and claims to be a non traditional approach to kennels. No matter how nice the facility may look at its core any group situation, away from home, is still just a kennel.  These group situations are even more unsafe today since large numbers of unfamiliar dogs are now grouped together in open areas and they call it daycare! It is an odd paradox that this setting is touted as being in your dog's best interest. So don't buy into the spin. Do what is best for your dog. Dogs are socialized to other dogs when they are very young pups, by their mothers and litter mates. Beneficial ongoing socialization, with other dogs, does not mean other unfamiliar dogs ...if you feel your dog needs company the common sense solution would be to get another dog as a playmate for your first dog.  If your dog is not experiencing any behavioral problems then you can commend yourself for raising a happy well adjusted dog!  Remember that we, and our pets, have gotten along just fine, for thousands of years, without removing them from their familiar surroundings. There are also other important considerations based on the nature of the group setting. In any group setting it is of the utmost importance that you be there with your dog to supervise these interactions with other dogs. You can also socialize your dog with other dogs just by meeting fellow dogs, and dog owners, in your own neighborhood. You need not remove them from their familiar domestic surroundings. You could also consider going to a dog park to let your dog play, but only if you can be with them and can closely supervise their interactions and ideally it should be with other dogs that you are very familiar with. Don't be mislead by companies that profess to offer "safe" group settings. The nature of the setting simply does not allow for safety.  Disagreements between dogs can happen very suddenly. That is why it is of the utmost importance that you be there, to read your dog's signals, as you know your dog better than anyone, and are the best one to supervise and prevent injury to your beloved four legged friend. Safe for your dog means being in their own familiar environment. We have had many clients come to us because of illnesses contracted in group settings and we have never had a client go back to any group setting after experiencing all the benefits of our in home pet care services. I will say that again...never!

  • Q. What sets Coddled Creatures apart from the single operators, franchises, and other newbies to the Pet Care Industry?

  • A. Coddled Creatures is the area's largest, most experienced and established pet sitting and dog walking service. We are very selective in whom we hire because it's our reputation on the line. Only the cream of the crop work for Coddled Creatures. We are fully staffed. We have been serving the area for nearly a quarter of a century and have a proven track record. We know the "in home" pet care business better then many of those who have come and gone from the industry in just a few years and we are considered an expert in our field.  We have considered, and experienced, every  eventuality to ensure that you have the most positive pet care experience possible.  Our President and Founder meets with each new client personally to establish a personal rapport with pets and their pet parents (®) (as she calls them) and remains very accessible throughout the pet caring relationship.  Indeed many single operators, sideline businesses and franchises come into the in home pet care industry thinking it is an easy thing to do. There is a lot to it. Our skill set of exceptional customer service, professional experience, education, business acumen, and animal experience speak to the success and longevity of our business.
  •  We utilize sophisticated systems and processes to ensure your special pet receives the most reliable and attentive care. We maintain a large staff of professionally trained, bonded and insured pet care specialists readily available to service your needs whenever you need us most. We also maintain a large database of client and pet specific needs which is always at our fingertips to ensure you have the most positive pet care experience possible. Yes many Pet Care companies and franchises have come and gone over the 20+ years that we have been in business, but we are still here and will continue to be for a very long time to come. You can count on us.

  • Q. Are Coddled Creatures Staff Members trained?

  • A. Yes. Coddled Creatures staff members must complete the Coddled Creatures Training Program® and certification. While a love for animals may be innate for some,  caring for them professionally, and meeting Coddled Creatures high standards, requires the right training. Many national organizations have tried to imitate our business model and training programs because of our high standards. We have often been imitated, but never duplicated! Our Pet Care Specialists have a comprehensive job description and just the right skill set. Our staff members receive training on basic obedience and handling techniques, dog communication, safety and pet emergency first  aid training, including how to administer medications, as well as training on basic security protocols. Our Pet Care Specialists continue to receive ongoing training as long as they are with Coddled Creatures. Read about our team

  • Q. How often will Coddled Creatures come to my home?

  • A. Typically an adult dog requires 3 visits per day and a cat 1-2 visits per day. Coddled Creatures also offers overnight service, and 24 hours service for your special pet.

  • Q. How long will Coddled Creatures stay at my home?

  • A. Coddled Creatures offers many types of visits, of varying duration, to accommodate the needs of your special pet.

  • Q. What time will Coddled Creatures come to my home to visit my pet?

  • A. Coddled Creatures offers a wide variety of time ranges. We know this flexibility is critical for dogs especially, and pets on medications.  Review our our time ranges

  • Q. I have a puppy or an elderly dog. Can I have the time ranges adjusted?

  • A. Yes. Coddled Creatures will modify the time ranges of our visits for puppies and elderly dogs. We understand that it would not be prudent, much less humane, to put an elderly, or very young animal, into a predetermined cookie cutter time range. You may also wish to consider our overnight service for pets with special needs.

  • Q. My dog really has to get to know someone first... would they be a candidate for in home care?

  • A. Coddled Creatures accepts well socialized dogs as clients. A well socialized dog pretty much accepts anyone and anything. If your dog is not a candidate for in home care, at this time, we would be happy to send our certified trainer to work with you on socializing your dog. We may then be able to consider them as a client at a later date. Learn more about our training programs

  • Q. Will Coddled Creatures bring in my mail and water my plants?

  • A. Yes, as a courtesy, Coddled Creatures will water any indoor plants that you would like watered and will bring in your mail and newspaper.

  • Q. Is Coddled Creatures available on holidays?

  • A. Yes. Coddled Creatures is available 365 days per year, especially on holidays! Our client service representatives are at your service, to take your reservations, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8am to 4 pm.

  • Q. How long has Coddled Creatures been in business?

  • A. Coddled Creatures has been in business for nearly a quarter of a century.

  • Q. Is Coddled Creatures insured?

  • A. Yes. Coddled Creatures is insured and bonded.

  • Q. Do you have references?

  • A. Yes we have a large cadre of testimonials, posted to our web site, from satisfied clients. Read our testimonials. Upon request phone numbers can be furnished if you would prefer to speak with some of our satisfied clients directly.

  • Q. What happens if my pet becomes ill while I am away?

  • A. Coddled Creatures will contact you and, with your permission, take your pet to your Veterinarian for you. If it is an acute emergency Coddled Creatures will take your pet to your Veterinarian immediately and will contact you as soon as practical.

  • Q. What is your cancellation policy?

  • A. Cancellations must be made 14 days prior to the start of your reservation in order to receive a full refund. Because so many of our clients depend on us to provide, verified reservations in advance, before they can finalize their family vacation, business travel plans or work schedules, we must ensure that every reservation we accept is “genuine”, and highly likely to occur. It would be unfortunate to have to turn a family away and upset their vacation plans because of a lack of available Pet Care Specialists, and then find out subsequently that we could have accommodated them all along, due to late cancellations. This responsibility to the best interests of our clients drives our cancellation policy. Please see our pet sitting terms and conditions for our graduated cancellation policy.

  • Q. How can I reach you if I arrive home early.

  • A. Our office is open M-F 8am to 4:00pm. If you arrive home after office hours then our Pet Care Specialist will arrive at your home for the next scheduled visit and you may then cancel all succeeding visits.

  • Q. Can I book online? Its so much more convenient.

  • A. Yes. Coddled Creatures has a very thorough and very user friendly online reservation system.

  • Q. How can I get a copy of my itemized bill?

  • A. You may login to our web site at anytime and obtain a copy of your itemized bill for any reservation you have placed in the past.

  • Q. Can I view and change my pet information online?

  • A. Yes Coddled Creatures maintains a client and pet specific comprehensive database, with all of your pets needs, which you may access at any time.

  • Q. How does Coddled Creatures screen their staff?

  • A. Coddled Creatures checks references and conducts background checks on all of its prospective employees.

  • Q. Does Coddled Creatures belong to any large professional pet sitting organizations?

  • A. Pet Sitting organizations basically charge in home pet care companies a fee to become a member. There are no special qualifications required to join. Anyone can become a member if they pay the fee. These organizations are helpful to the newbies in the industry because they do offer some guidance for the very inexperienced pet sitter and also send them referrals. Coddled Creatures has been one of the leader's in the industry since the inception of the Pet Sitting concept. We do not believe in paying for recommendations.  Our excellent reputation, in the pet care industry, generates word of mouth which is how we obtain most of our customers. Also our standards are much higher then those set by the professional pet sitting organizations so we see no benefit in membership for Coddled Creatures as our President is already recognized as an expert in the Pet Care Industry and has set the highest standards as one of the first pioneers in the field.