Betsy Newman Petsitting

Betsy Newman Petsitting

1 employee
12 years in business

About this pro

My service stands out for several reasons: Having grown up in a home where four dogs shared my mom and dad’s bed every night, and where, in our backyard, our Muscovy ducks, Annabelle and Charlie, became duck parents to two “sets” of adorable ducklings (We provided them all with a kiddie pool for swim practice), and where my animal-loving mother was always ready to “make room for one more” homeless animal, I feel uniquely qualified for this career. And, after four years (combined between two shelters, the first in Los Angeles, the second, here in San Diego) as a full-time volunteer dog walker, and dog, cat and kitten socializer, as well as being a constant kennel cleaner along with my fellow volunteers;  becoming a “PCP” - pet care professional- feels like it was fated from an early age. As mentioned, my mom was  - and remains - a lifetime animal lover herself, and as a result, many of our canine family members were strays who seemed to sense that “going with the nice and unthreatening lady” could only be a good thing for them - and they were right. Occasionally, a dog’s owner was located through the classified ads Mom ran, describing this or that FOUND DOG, but usually, the pups who were smart enough to “follow their guts” - as well as their hearts - these were “pre-chip” days - knew they had hit the jackpot by joining “Team Newman.” When I moved back to San Diego following twenty fun but ultimately, less than “fulfilling” years as a television development and production executive (the last 13 as Vice President Of Original Programmibg at Turner Network Television, or TNT), I immediately signed up as a shelter volunteer, this time at the now-closed (it was “folded into” the San Diego Humane Society) San Diego County Department Of Animal Services. (2007 through 2010) In 2011, I started my dog walking and per sitting business, and I’ve been happily doing that full time ever since. I am also closely connected to other highly-rated and well-reviewed pet sitters and walkers, in the extremely unlikely event - it hasn’t happened yet! - that a sudden family crisis or other emergency keeps me from my scheduled walks and stays. This is just an added “layer” of security for both the owner and for me - the pets always come first! I now have years of continuous, full-time experience as both a dog walker and overnight pet sitter (cat care, daytime “drop-in” visits, field trips for the dog or dogs from individual families, and a “pet taxi” for companion animals who need to be dropped off and/or picked up at the vet, groomer, or other residence.

Simply being with animals, whether I’m giving a dog an extended belly rub, taking a pair of aging Boxers for their hour-long daily walk, dropping by a cat whose owner’s out of town to feed him, change his litter box, playing with him, and (If he likes being brushed) giving him a “mini feline spa day”...waking up at the crack of dawn at one of my favorite animal households to prepare and serve the dogs and their cat buddy an extremely early breakfast..and all the while, I make sure to document my interactions and adventures with clients’ pets with plenty of photos, which I send - along with updates about walks, playtime, whether or not the dog is adjusting to his new food - whatever is important to the pet owner - as often as he or she wants (this is appreciated not just by my out-of-town pet owners/lovers, but also by daytime dog walk clients, who understandably miss their dog while at work). And I always enjoy a good dog walk or run in our usually-good to excellent San Diego weather.

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San Diego, CA 92109
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What is your typical process for working with a new customer?

We get together at the pet owner’s convenience for a first-time, no-obligation “meet and greet.” The pets, the pet owners and I sit down to get to know each other while I find out exactly what the pet owner’s current-or-upcoming pet care needs are: walks, overnight stays, maybe a once-weekly “field trip” for fun, cat care and play (and litter scooping) visits, etc. I bring with me my proof of being bonded and insured, as well as my membership in the National Association Of Professional Pet Sitters. References are supplied when requested.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

Beside having grown up with a lot of animals, including two of my own dogs as a child, my volunteer work at Los Angeles’ Lange Foundation as well as in San Diego at the Department Of Animal Services have all prepared me for the work I’ve now been doing since 2011. I also regularly take online college and university classes like “The Truth About Cats and Dogs” and “Dog Emotion and Cognition” via Coursera. I am certified “for life” in animal first aid, CPR, and the dog and cat “Heimlich” maneuver, but I make it a point to re-take the training at least every two years (most recent certification: March of 2019) in order to keep this information as “fresh” as I can.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your services? If so, please share the details here.

Walks of 30 minutes in length are 25.00, 45 minutes walks are 35.00 and one hour walks are 45.00.

Drop-in daytime visits (short walk, feeding, play, etc lasting 30 to 40 minutes) for pets whose pet parents are away all day or on vacation are 30.00 apiece; if your pets are also overnight clients of mine - staying in your home- the rate for drop-in visits is less than listed here, and is negotiated between the pet owner and myself. Overnights (4:00 through late AM the next day) are $85.00.

How did you get started in this business?

As mentioned above, walking between 7 and 10 dogs, six days a week at the County Animal shelter showed me how much I loved doing the work, and that’s what lead me to start my dog walking and pet sitting business.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I've just added a lovely trio of golden retrievers to my client list. They live in a hilly area without sidewalks, so I drive them a short distance to La Jolla Shores - they love their walks! All three are mellow; they're all certified as therapy dogs, and take turns doing hospital cuddle visits. 

What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a pro in your area of expertise?

Trust your gut - meet with more than one pet care professional to see how they are with your pets, how your pets respond to them, etc. Pet care pros should be licensed, bonded, fully insured, and should be trained in dog and cat first aid, including CPR. Don't hesitate to ask for references and/or reviews! 

What questions should customers think through before talking to pros about their needs?

Specific hours and specific individual needs (Pet sitting? Dog walks only? What is important for the pet care professional to know about your pet(s) before they spend time with them? How and why did the dog care provider get into this business? (And always ask about insurance and bonding; licensing sounds like the most important part of this, but in San Diego, it simply means the pet care provider has paid her annual business tax.