Island Pet Sitters was established in 2003 when founder Karina Paape couldn’t find a pet sitter for her three cats during a family emergency back home in Maryland. Karina had been a pet sitter in Annapolis before moving to Marco Island and decided there was an unmet need in Naples and Marco Island for her unique blend of dedicated and heart felt pet care services.
When she was a little girl Karina had wanted to become a veterinarian until her favorite dog was hit by a car and couldn’t be saved. But her love of animals never waned. After careers in journalism and history, Karina decided to return to her first love: dogs and cats. Over time she will become part of your family and you’ll catch yourself telling people she’s your pet’s ‘Auntie Karina!’
Karina understands that your cats and dogs are members of your family and among your most cherished possessions. She cares for them as if they were her own. She can administer all forms of medication and handle medical emergencies while you’re away. Her clients agree that you won’t find a more dedicated and compassionate individual to tend to and protect your pet family.
Why Pet Sitting
The philosophy behind pet sitting is to minimize separation anxiety by allowing your pets to stay in their home environment while you’re away. They know you’ll be back. After all, you left the furniture behind and most of your clothes! Pet sitting is not a cheaper alternative to boarding, but rather is a more personalized and compassionate style of pet care designed to give both you and your pet peace of mind and sound nights of sleep. We promise to spoil them like you spoil them!
Just as no two people are alike, no two dogs or cats are alike either. We customize each pet family’s package of care to meet their individual needs and unique situations. Your cat or dog still gets to sleep on a favorite bed or sofa and eat and drink out of their own bowls in your kitchen surrounded by their toys. By the time you return home your pet will greet you as if you’d only been gone for a few hours. We’ve even heard tell of cats and dogs who’ve waited at the front door for days after their owners have returned, expecting us to keep coming in to spoil them. High praise indeed!
While you’re away your dog still deserves the same one-on-one attention you lavish on him when you’re home. We achieve this by adhering as closely as possible to his or her daily feeding and walking schedule. If your K-9 pal likes to go out at 6:30 a.m. to potty then come back in and scarf down breakfast before going on a longer trek, we’ll be there to follow the exact same routine. If a post-walk treat is normal, we are happy to comply. Maybe your dog wants a belly rub or a bedtime brushing. We can do that too.
Or maybe your dog is used to going to the dog park or being dropped off at doggy day care once a week. We can do that too. Every now and then we take care of dogs who love riding around their neighborhood in a golf cart during happy hour. We can do that too. If your dog likes going out to eat with you at dog friendly restaurants offering doggy menus, no need to stop while you’re away. We can do that too. The only thing we can’t do is be you. Know that you will always be missed, but your dog need not be stressed by your absence. And if you just need us to come in and walk your pup while you’re away for the day, we can definitely do that too.
Cats are territorial creatures of habit. I usually give mine a handful of treats at 6 p.m. At five minutes before the four of them line up in the kitchen and patiently wait for the clock to strike six. I’m sure yours have similar habits that would not be fulfilled at a boarding facility.
I recommend at least one, and ideally two, visits per day. Your kitty may be independent but they still love human companionship and having a fun and stimulating day. We play wand toy grab and laser chase with your prince or princess and give them some catnip if allowed during Happy Hour. We will leave them with fresh food and water and a clean litter box to tide them over until our next visit.
How It Works
Should you decide to further investigate our services, the next step is to make an appointment for what we call a “meet and greet.” We come to your home and introduce ourselves to you and your pet. This is especially important when the prospective client is a dog, especially a high strung or very protective K-9. We need to know that the dog will allow us to put a leash or harness on him, and that he or her will willingly permit us to take them out of the house and for a walk. Every so often we run into a dog who manifests “fear aggression;” these dogs are better off being boarded.
There is no charge for our “meet and greet” visits which usually take 30-45 minutes. If you decide to hire us we’ll have you complete some paperwork that covers the detailed care and feeding of your pet(s), local vet, emergency contact information, and email and cell phone numbers for you. We’ll also need a key or entry code. It’s that easy!
Pet sitting is among the most expensive pet care options, but is also the most flexible. Many people return home from their trips on a Saturday or Sunday and can’t pick their pets up until Monday morning. This will of course cost you extra in boarding fees. With Island Pet Sitters caring for your pet it doesn’t matter when you leave or when you return home. Moreover, we don’t charge for additional pets, within reason. If you’re St. Bernard just had nine puppies we will need to charge a bit extra!
Since no two families are the same, no two pet sitting assignments are the same. This means that each pet sitting assignment is based on a customized plan of care designed for the specific and special needs of your pet(s). We are completely comfortable giving oral medications, injections, and asthma treatments.
Our fees range from $25 per visit to $95 for overnights. Overnight stays mean we stay at your home from 6 p.m.-8 a.m. with one visit mid-day for a walk and people time. We do not do every-other-day or every-third day visits for cats. Cats need to be checked on daily and be given a clean litter box and fresh water. We understand that there are many “hobbyists” out there who only charge $10-$15 for a visit. That’s fine if you don’t care about things like insurance, bonding, and the delivery of professional standards of care. If there is any type of emergency with your pet we know exactly what to do; we have a good working relationship with area vets and emergency animal hospitals. And we don’t bring friends to your house with us!
Owner Karina Paape lives in The Isles of Collier Preserve in east Naples, making Island Pet Sitters ideally situated to service the following zip codes: 34102, 34112, 34113, and 34114.