FAQ for Pet Owners

FAQ for Pet Owners

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

Absolutely. Pawshake is a community of friendly, local animal lovers who welcome others' animals with great pleasure. Your pet will be much happier than in a kennel or cattery. Take a look at the pet sitter profiles on our site – all verified and regularly checked by our team - and let us know what you think.

Can I really trust a pet sitter?

We’d like to think so! Pawshake is a platform built on mutual trust that puts pet owners and pet sitters in contact. In the interest of everyone’s wellbeing, we do verify the contact details of pet sitters in various ways before they appear on the site, and remove any profiles that we think don’t quite meet the high bar we’ve set for Pawshake pet sitters. 

We always recommend meeting a pet sitter in real life before making a booking, so you can ensure they’re right for your situation. Then, after the stay, pet owners can leave an evaluation of their experience that is shared on the pet sitter’s profile page.

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

Absolutely. As a matter of fact, we encourage a meeting beforehand between the pet sitter and the pet. You can request this by clicking on "Contact Me" on a pet sitter’s profile and sending an introductory message. 

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

Absolutely. The site has the advantage of having a large offering of pet sitters and the details of every booking are organised only between you and your chosen sitter, so you can have a perfectly tailored Pawshake experience.

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

As it is not advisable to modify a pet’s diet, we suggest owners provide the pet sitter with the animal’s food for the duration of stay. We also suggest that the owner provide the pet sitter with the animal’s favourite toys and accessories so there’s minimal disruption to the animal’s routine.

When messaging your host through Pawshake, agree on which items to bring. Here are some suggestions:

  • Food and snacks
  • A leash
  • Toys (including spares)
  • Bowls for eating and drinking
  • Bed, crate, basket or blankets
  • If needed, old clothes with the owner's smell for reassurance.

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

Are there pet sitters on Pawshake that offer specialized care?

Yes. We request that Pawshake pet sitters describe the care they offer as thoroughly as possible. Some sitters do have a specialisation, and several are pet care professionals or have done vet training or volunteer work with animals. Look through the list of pet sitters in your region to see who is the best person to take care of your pet.

What happens if my pet gets sick or hurt in the care of the pet sitter?

Fortunately, cases of emergencies are very rare, but it's best to prepare for them. If there’s an emergency, the pet sitter must decide the best course of action: either to go to the nearest veterinarian or, if possible, go to the pet's own veterinarian. It’s always a good idea to write detailed emergency instructions on your details form, or even write up a separate emergency guide.

Is it possible to modify or cancel your reservation?

Pawshake pet sitters offer two types of reservations:

·         Flexible: Full refund if pet owner cancels by 12h00 noon one day before the service begins. 50% refund for the cancelled days if cancelled after 12h00 noon the day before the service begins.

·         Moderate: Full refund if pet owner cancels by 12h00 noon 7 days before the service begins. 50% refund for the cancelled days if cancelled after 12h00 noon 7 days before the service begins.

Home visits, home boarding and housesitting can have a Flexible or Moderate cancellation policy, as chosen by the pet sitter. Please always check the profile of each pet sitter, prior to making a booking.

Dog walking and Doggy Day care always have a Flexible cancellation policy.

If you wish to cancel a booking once it has been paid for, contact our customer support team, so we can process the cancellation and relevant refund.

Please note that refunds can take up to 10 business days to appear in your payment account.

What if I am unable to make the appointment as agreed?

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

How does the payment process work?

Our payment system is secure, reliable, and convenient. We support several types of payment methods. The payment process on Pawshake is fully automated, so neither the Guest nor the Host need to worry about the payments.

When making a booking request, the Guest enters their payment information, after which the amount due for the booking is reserved. After the Host has confirmed the booking, the Guest will be charged for that amount by Pawshake. The Host will receive their payment (minus the 19% Pawshake contribution) within a week after the booking has ended.

If the Host does not confirm your booking request or if they reject it, the reservation will be cancelled and the Guest will not be charged.

If the Guest needs to cancel the booking, they will receive a refund depending of the cancellation policy selected by the Host.

Pawshake does not endorse cash payments. All transactions must be completed through the Pawshake platform. By completing your transactions on Pawshake, the security of your funds is ensured, you will be protected by our policies, and you’re helping to fund the Pawshake platform’s continuing development.

Do I pay the Host directly?

All payments must be completed through the Pawshake platform. The payment process on Pawshake is secure and fully automated for both Hosts and Guests, so neither the Host nor the Guest needs to worry about the payments. The Host will receive his payment within a week after the booking has ended.

When do I make the payment?

The Guest enters his/her payment details at the time of making a reservation. Once the Host has confirmed the booking, the Guest's credit card will be charged. Note there are no booking fees on Pawshake.

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept Visa, MasterCard, and Paypal. Please note that there may be a conversion fee charged by your credit card company when using a Mastercard or Visa payment on Pawshake.

Are my payment details safe on the website?

Pawshake uses “SSL”, a secure and encrypted protocol, that protects confidential user information. You will know that you are on a secure webpage when the URL begins with “https” rather than “http”. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a standard security technology which is used for the transmission of sensitive information such as credit card numbers.

A Host has declined my reservation, why has money been deducted from my payment account?

When the Guest makes a booking with a Host, money is not drawn from the Guest's payment account until the Host confirms the reservation. Instead the amount due for the booking is ‘’reserved’’. Essentially the money never leaves the Guest payment account, it only appears as a pending charge on the Guest's payment account. 

When a Host declines a reservation request, the reserved amount due for the booking will be cancelled and the Guest will not be charged.

Note, if your booking request is not accepted within 7 working days, then the funds are automatically released in your ‘available to spend’ balance. 

Does Pawshake offer a Satisfaction Money Back Guarantee ?

If you’re not absowoofly happy with your experience, Pawshake offers pet owners a Satisfaction Money Back Guarantee to our two legged members.  In order to be eligible, you obviously need to have organized a meet and greet with the sitter prior to the booking, have booked via the Pawshake and have left a poor review for the sitter. Your claim needs to be submitted within 3 days of the end of the booking period via the “contact us” section. The refund is not to exceed 5 days of the gross booking amount.

Need help finding the perfect sitter? We are here to help.

Simply email link or call us at 02 8294 9370 (9am - 6pm)  and we’ll be happy to help you by setting up a search or messaging suitable pet sitters.

Does Pawshake offer insurance?

Yes, your pet is insured during the period of booking!

Pawshake has your backing with a free Insurance covering for all services booked through our site or mobile app! This means that you will benefit from ultimate peace of mind.

  • Care, Custody, Control – veterinary coverage for animals in pet sitters’ care, custody and control: This section provides veterinary coverage for the guest pets in the pet sitter’s care, custody or control. There is a $350 deductible for medical claims covered by the pet owners.
  • Public Liability Insurance – covers pet sitters against third party claims: This section will pay those sums that pet sitters become legally obliged to pay as damages because of bodily injury to a third party person or damage to property of a third party. Claims are subjected to a $350 excess payable by the pet sitter at the time of the claim.

For more information, please check https://www.pawshake.com.au/insurance


What costs are involved with Pawshake Premium Pet Insurance?

There are no upfront or ongoing costs for insurance. This is covered in the portion of the fee paid to Pawshake.

Please note - there is a $350 excess on medical expenses. What does this mean? In the unlikely case of an emergency, the pet sitter pays up to $350, and if the claim is successful, Pawshake pays the remainder. This cost is to be negotiated privately between the sitter and owner following the booking. If the cost of the visit is less than $350, this cost is to be negotiated privately between the sitter and owner.

Please check our insurance details page for more information www.pawshake.com.au/insurancedetails

What does a Home Visit include?

Here are some services you should expect from the pet sitter for a home visit. As always, make sure you have a clear agreement. 

  • Fresh Water/Food for pets
  • Playtime and Cuddles - TLC Time
  • Administering Medication (optional)
  • Daily Written Report/Dairy - Notes and Checklist
  • Text Message and Daily Photo Update to Client (via the Pawshake app)
  • Bring in the Mail/Newspapers/Advertising Material
  • Alternate the Lights and Curtains
  • Water Indoor/Outdoor Pot Plants
  • Pooper disposal/Litter Box
  • Recycling/Garbage Disposal 
  • Security Check on premises

Is Pawshake charging is a booking fee?

No, Pawshake isn't charging any booking fees.

Although Pawshake collect the funds from the pet owners in the local currency, some financial institutions may charge additional FX fees (up to 3%) as Pawshake, is technically a US company. Please note this is outside of our control, and to take this into account when choosing this form of payment.

How do I make a reservation on Pawshake?

  • Step 1: Enter your town or suburb in the search bar on the Pawshake homepage to browse local sitters. 
  • Step 2: Make an enquiry: Contact at least two sitters by making an enquiry. Sitters must first pre-approve your enquiry before you are able to make a reservation.   Pre-approval is a way for sitters to let you know that they are available and interested when you ask about a potential reservation. Simply click on the button "Send Enquiry" on their profile listing to make contact with the sitter. Once your reservation has been pre-approved, you can automatically confirm the reservation for the specific dates you have provided. Important: your reservation isn’t confirmed until you’ve clicked "Book Now".
  • Step 3: Book it! Click on "Book Now" to finalise the booking. At this time, the amount for the booking is reserved in your chosen payment account. There’s no payment, just an authorisation for the amount. Once the booking is confirmed by the sitter, the amount is withdrawn from your payment account. At this time, there has been a payment.

What happens if you are unable to pick up your pets at the designated pick-up date and time?

If you are unable to pick up your pets at the designated pick-up date and time, please contact your sitter urgently to book additional days or make alternate arrangements. Unclaimed pets that are under the care of a sitter one day (24 hours) after a booking has ended will be relocated to a shelter, all costs associated with collecting the pet fall on the pet owner.