Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
We’ve collected together a few of the questions people often ask us and put them here with answers. If you don’t find the answer you need here then please get in touch.
Who runs Home From Home – Essex?
Home from Home – Essex has been established since 2001. It is currently owned by Sue & Kevin Moss, since January 2014. Sue is a former legal secretary who took voluntary redundancy in 2012. Kevin is a retired cabinet maker who now has various different jobs, depending what day of the week it is!
Along with our cats, horses and hens, we currently have 4 dogs: 2 long haired Chihuahuas (Teddy & Mouse), a Miniature Pinscher (Morticia) and a German Shepherd (Foxy)! Teddy and Morticia are 10 years old, Mouse is 7 and Foxy is 5. Teddy is the main quality control officer, testing any prospective new carers, though occasionally the others are called upon to help out as well. Foxy is very good at recruiting carers in the first place as they fall in love with her and then we discover that they no longer have their own dogs and are interested in becoming carers.
We used Home from Home – Essex for our own dogs back in 2007 and when, in 2013, the previous owner asked if we knew of anyone who might be interested in taking over the business we jumped at the chance of “being more dog”.
How do I register or make a booking?
Wherever possible, please call or email us first to check on availability of our carers for your requested dates. We will then email or post you the forms you need to register.
Please sign the last page of the forms (this is important) and post, or email, all three pages to us, together with the one-off registration fee of £10, payable by new clients only. If you have any questions, please contact us.
What happens when I return my booking form?
When we receive a booking form, we look at the information about your dog and select a carer from our register who we think would be best suited to your dog. We will do our very best to provide you with a carer close to your home, but we feel it is more important to supply a carer who is suited to your dog. We will then check the availability of the carer, send you your carer’s details and send a copy of your registration form to the carer. You can then arrange to meet your prospective carer with your dog(s).
What kinds of people become dog carers and how are they vetted?
All kinds of people, though we mainly have retired people as they are at home most of the day. They have all owned their own dogs previously, and miss the fun and companionship that having a dog around gives them. They all have one thing in common: they are dedicated to caring for dogs. When a new dog carer is registered they first have to fit our basic criteria which is that they should be at home most of the day (we specify dogs must not be left for more than 4 hours), they should have a garden with secure fencing, they should not have any dogs or cats of their own, and there should be no children under ten years old living in the home. If they fit our criteria then we arrange to interview them. We only accept people onto the register who we would be happy to place our own dogs with.
Are all dogs suitable for ‘Home from Home – Essex’?
No, we are only suitable for the average friendly, family dog. We prefer not to take very young puppies (unless they are crate trained), dogs that are out of control, incontinent dogs, dogs that chew furniture and other household items, or overly boisterous dogs although we will discuss your dog’s individual traits with you and will tell you if we have a suitable carer. We regret this service does not cater for any dog which is aggressive towards people.
What if I think that the carer you supplied me with is not suitable for my dog?
Providing you notify us within five days of meeting with the carer you will be given a refund of your deposit minus a £10 administration fee; alternatively we will provide you with another carer if you would prefer.
What will I need to provide for my dog?
Everything that you normally provide for your dog, for instance, food, chews, bed, bowls, collar, lead, toys and anything else that is relevant. If your dog has special dietary or medical needs these should be discussed with your carer on your introductory visit.
My dog usually sleeps on my bed – will the carer allow my dog to do this?
Generally this is not allowed, although some carers are happy for the dog to sleep in the bedroom but in their own basket or on the floor. This should be discussed with the carer before the booking has been confirmed.
Does my dog need to be vaccinated?
Yes. Although your dog will not be in contact with other dogs, your dog should always have its annual vaccinations to protect it against infections and disease. Your dog should also be wormed and free from fleas before being placed with us.
What happens if my dog is ill while I am on holiday?
If you have given us details of your regular vet, your dog will be taken there by your carer providing it is local to them. If not your dog will be taken to a local vet near to the carer. The cost of any treatment will be reclaimed from you on your return. Any transfers to and from vets by mini cabs (used by the carer) will also be reclaimed from you on your return. (This sometimes happens if the carer does not drive or your dog is too ill to walk.)
My dog needs to be let off the lead; will the carer do this if I ask?
As stated, we do not allow dogs to be let off leads. If you provide a good quality, long extendable lead the carer will be able to provide more exercise for your dog.
What happens if the carer experiences problems with my dog and cannot cope with it?
If a carer experiences problems and wants your dog moved out, in the first instance your dog will be placed with another carer. We have found that a problem which one carer experiences with a dog is not necessarily the same problem which another carer might experience. We have certain carers who are much more tolerant than others. If after exhausting all channels we are still having problems, the dog is placed in kennels. Some of the problems we have experienced with dogs which have been moved are: – incontinence, chewing furniture, scratching carpets or doors whenever left, howling or whining throughout the night. Where a dog bites anyone or is out of control it will automatically be placed in a kennel. A transfer charge will be applied where a dog has to be moved to another carer or to kennels.
If I cancel my booking will I lose my deposit?
Home from Home – Essex’s cancellation policy is set out in the Terms & Conditions.
What happens if I extend my booking without notice?
Should you extend your holiday beyond the agreed dates, you will be charged at the stated daily rate. This may be because bad weather has delayed your return flights. In such circumstances it may be necessary to transfer your dog to another carer (your carer may already have a follow-on booking arranged). Where this takes place a £10 transfer fee and additional carers’ fees will be applied.
If I want to book with you again can I contact the carer myself?
No, you will always need to book your dog through the agency. Your records will be kept on file, so you need only phone or email through your dates and we will post you your confirmation.
Are there any extra charges?
Yes, the carer’s part of the charges are doubled for Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Eve, New Years Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday and Bank Holiday Mondays.