Palm fronds waft in a verdant tropical breeze. Waves lap against a white sand beach. Just the thought of a tropical vacation has you searching on-line travel sites for good deals. After 15 minutes of searching for the best value, your wife peeks over your shoulder at the computer screen and pours cold water all over your fantasy when she says, “We can’t go on vacation—who’ll take care of the dogs? And the fish? And the parakeets?”
Many pet owners are afraid to leave their pets and refuse to kennel them. So they don’t go anywhere—ever. Others have pets that can’t be kenneled, like goats, chickens, birds, Bearded Dragons. Fox Valley-area pet owners don’t know there is another option.
Jan’s Pampered Pet Sitting, owned and operated by Bill and Jan Davie since 1996, specializes in providing superior in-home care for pets in St. Charles and areas in Geneva, South Elgin and Elburn. The St. Charles, Illinois, husband and wife team have been helping families with pets get away without the guilt or inconvenience of taking their pets to a kennel.
Jan and Bill offer many services, such as midday visits for working owners, feeding pets, taking dogs out for walks, playing with cats, caring for small pets like mice, gerbils, geckos and dispensing medication. Other helpful services include checking on vacant homes, bringing in mail, turning lights on and off, watering plants and more. Jan’s farm upbringing makes her eminently qualified to handle any type of pet. Though they’re the minority, several of the Davies’ clients rely on her to care for their chickens, goats and other small farm animals.
Caring for pets in their own homes particularly benefits dogs, observes Jan, who once had a client’s collie chew down its own paw from stress while in a kennel. When the collie was back in his own home under Jan and Bill’s care, the collie was fine and showed no signs of stress.
Jan says, “I think it’s a lot more stressful for dogs [to be kenneled]—they’re used to their own surroundings. They get stressed . . . they get sick in a kennel.”
In-home pet care eliminates the risk of potential contagion from a kennel .
The Davies’ work isn’t done when they get home. They have their own menagerie to care for which includes four dogs, three cats, three parrots, three fish tanks and koi in their outdoor pond. Even though their days are long, neither Jan nor Bill miss their former jobs. Jan was a U.S. postal worker for 10 years and Bill used to be a landscape superintendent. “I don’t miss the job at all,” says Jan.
"We do work seven days a week—this is our life. Having days off just doesn’t happen. [But] we do get to see more of each other then,” says Jan. “And [Bill’s] job was very stressful . . . we’re very busy . . . but it’s not stressful when you love the animals—it’s such a pleasure,” says Jan.
Though Jan and Bill have been fortunate to have regular clients, their business has been affected by the recession. Jan says, “Some regulars have lost their jobs so they don’t need lunch time visits.” Many clients aren’t vacationing like they used to. According to Jan, clients are taking shorter weekend trips rather than longer vacations.
Clients tell the Davies that more than anything else, they value the service provided by a husband and wife team—that’s more important than the cost of the service. Other pet sitting services assign different staff to handle clients so clients don’t always know who is coming into their homes. When pet owners go away for one day, a week or more, “people want to know who’s coming into their home and when,” says Jan. With Jan’s Pampered Pet Sitting—this is always the case.
Contact Jan's Pampered Pet Sitting at: 630-513-0443.
Jan's Pampered Pet Sitting is bonded and insured. The owners are members of Pet Sitters International, http://www.petsit.com/ www.petsit.com/, and are trained in animal first aid.