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Frequently ASKED QUESTIONS

Is a Meet & Greet required before the 1st booking?

  • For all the services conducted in our HQ residence, yes! 

Not only does this allow us to go over the care details of your pet extensively, it also allows your pet to familiarize themselves with us and the environment where they will be staying. This creates less stress for both your pet, and the caretakers. This also streamlines any future bookings too. 

  • For outcall services, no. It is not necessary, yet still highly encouraged! Video chat meet and greet is another great alternative. Written/typed instructions are the least recommended, but still an option, especially if you are booking last minute. 

What is a Meet & Greet?

  • A Meet & Greet is just a fun name for a free consultation. The Meet & Greet is best conducted at the service location, on a mutually agreed upon time, and generally takes no more than 15/20 minutes. Are you boarding? Then the meet and greet would be done here at our HQ residence. Are you choosing dog walking as a service? Then the meet and greet should be conducted in your residence. We can also meet at a public location as well, for those that wish to ease into a residential meeting. A Meet & Greet allows all parties and pets to meet. Making sure it’s a good fit for everyone. We get to know the temperament of your pet, and thoroughly go over details such as:
  • Personality traits
  • Routine/schedule
  • Meet with the caretakers
  • Get a feel for the environment
  • Go over any other questions. 

To save time, it is best to bring your pet to the Meet & Greet. 

  • For our out-call services we will need to know:
  • How to best access residence for your pets care.
  • The general location of where your pet will be located/staying.
  • The location of all their care tools/necessities (Collar, leashes, food, water, medications, litter box, etc..)

What are the requirements for Boarding/Daycare services?

  • All Animals that will be Boarding MUST fill out our ICE (In Case of Emergency) form as required by our Insurance Provider.
  • All dogs must be up to date on:
  • Rabies
  • DA2PPv
  • Bordetella
  • All dogs must be microchipped as well. We also highly recommend routine flea/tick/heartworm preventative. All female dogs must be spayed.
  • You can have your vet forward proof of their up-to-date status to our email. 

IsaAnimalDiaries@gmail.com 

  • All Cats must be at least 4 months of age or older, and litter box trained. Cats must be friendly enough to be reasonably handled, and must arrive in a carrier. If cats are 6 months or older they must be spayed and or neutered. Cats must be up to date on:
  • Rabies
  • FVRCP
  • All cats must be microchipped and we also highly recommend routine flea/tick/ heartworm preventative.
  • You can have your vet forward proof of their up-to-date status to our email.

IsaAnimalDiaries@gmail.com 

  • Your Pet must be friendly in nature, and reasonably house/potty trained. We prefer crate trained dogs though not necessary as long as your dog is not destructive. 
  • Your pet must do well enough with other dogs, cats, and children.
  • We do also welcome un-neutered males that do not mark indoors, for an up charge on service pricing.

What are Your restrictions for Boarding/Daycare services?

  • We do not accept Animals/Pets over 50lbs unless pre-authorized or pre-approved by Animal Diaries owner.
  • Unfortunately at this time we do not accept Rottweilers, German Shepards, Or Pit bulls. However we are happy to cater to these breeds for outcall services.
  • We do not accept feral cats.
  • We do not accept puppies under 8 months.
  • We do not accept aggression, resource guarding, or severe reactivity.
  • We do not accept unspayed female dogs or female dogs in heat.
  • We do not accept cats that are still intact or display spraying.
  • We do not accept animals that display extreme cases of property damage/destruction.

Why does my dog need to be crate trained for Boarding/Daycare services?

  • Your Pet and their safety is always our top priority! Crating is an essential practice to keeping your pet safe in certain situations. Though we only take in a small amount of clients; crating and separating with gates, is a practice we utilize daily. We crate and or separate when dogs need decompression from over stimulation, during feeding times/meals, for sleeping at night, and when we need to clean and sanitize the space. 

What activities do Boarding/Daycare Services entail for my pet?

  • For dogs: Every day is different and unique. Our daily routine and schedule is always shifting and evolving with variables. Our daily routine will be dependent on the pets in our care, the personality traits they display, their rank within the pack, their level of training, their individual needs, and the outside weather conditions. The one thing we guarantee is your pet is allowed supervised, outdoor time, and potty breaks every 1.5/2hrs. We rotate dogs to go out either individually, in pairs, or a small group of 3. We have plenty of dog beds, cots, and dogs are respectfully allowed on furniture. Whenever the weather allows; our outings can last up to an hour! We prefer that the animals in our care partake as a pack, and get full free roam access of the 1st floor. We believe a busy dog with a task, lots of fresh air, and exercise, is a happy dog! Play sessions, group exercises, sunbathing on the porch, enrichment puzzles and toys, practice of basic pack manners and obedience, pack naps, and decompression in between activities, plenty of pets, and fun, are all things your dog will experience while here in our care. All animals in our care are thoroughly monitored at all times by either Isabel, or Marc. If caretakers should briefly need to step away the animals are properly separated and secured. We also have cameras strategically placed in the areas of care where your pets are staying for additional security and supervision. Our HQ residence is located on a double lot with a wooded and forest like feel. The yard at this time is not fenced (though we are working towards that goal). Dogs are never left unattended outdoors, or without proper leashing and harnessing. We also have secured dog lines for extended play time. Marc oversees the majority of Daycare sessions while Isabel is tending to outcall customers. Extended walks off the property are not included with the Daycare/Boarding price, though we can offer this as an add on service.

 

  • For Cats: Since we only take up to 2 Cat Boarders at any given time; the structure of the Cats day will greatly vary depending on their individual needs and preferences. We allow Cat Boarding clients the option to have their cats free roam the home, or free roam in their own “private suite”. They are never kenneled or caged, unless it is specifically requested. Our 2nd Floor/upstairs area is dedicated to our Feline friends for those requiring a suite, or seclusion from the dogs in our care. If a Cat is welcoming and friendly, we partake in 2-3, 15 minute, active play sessions with cats per day. We also offer unlimited pets and cuddles! Our play sessions can include feathered toys, cat approved stringed toys, balls, coils, and the like! We clean litter boxes 1-2/x’s per day. We can offer your cat its own private sanitized litter box, or they can use the “community” litter boxes too. If you would like your cat to use a private litter box, we require you bring your own litter.
  • All the Owners of our Daycare clients within our care, will be sent a Daycare Video update and report via text message, 30 minutes to an hour prior to their departure. Owners of Boarding clients will receive daily picture/video updates via text message, 2-3x’s/day. You will only ever receive a phone call for urgent matters or questions. 

What are Your Daycare/Boarding pickup and drop off time slots and arrival/departure policies?

  • Daycare is only available Monday-Friday. Our drop off window for Daycare Clients is between 7am-9am. Pick up can be done anytime between 3pm-6pm. We require that all our clients communicate ETA for drop off/arrival, the day before their Dog’s Daycare session, and communicate their ETA for their pets pick up/departure at the time of drop off. Our entire operation revolves around strict scheduling. We plan Pet outings, activities, care, and outcall scheduling, around Client pick up and drop off times. So even though we have a flexible window for your pets arrival/departure; communication is KEY to our success in providing quality care. We also ask that you help us keep our pack calm by texting/calling upon arrival, to avoid knocking. Please be courteous and prompt on your timing. If you’re running behind schedule, please text/call to inform us as soon as possible. If you can’t make the last call pick up time of 6pm, an additional $15 fee will be added to the total.
  • Boarding is available year round on a 1st come 1st serve basis. We allow clients to board 1 night minimum and up to 4 weeks maximum. Boarders staying over 2 weeks are required to pay full total in advanced. We require that your pets arrival/departure times are communicated in detail at the time of booking. Arrivals/departures can be conducted as early as 7am, and as late as 7pm. We understand that traveling can shift, so we allow a 2 hr grace period for their departure on their last boarding day, before any additional charges are incurred. For example your dog arrives at 10am on January 1st, and leaves on January 8th. You have between 10am-12pm on January 8th to pick up your dog at the flat rate nightly fee. If your pets departure extends beyond the 2hr grace period; up to a half day charge of $28 is prorated and added to the final total. Your pets drop off/arrival time can be accommodated to your preferences as long as it is communicated to and agreed upon with the Facilitators at Animal Diaries. The same goes for Pet pick up/departure, with a cut off departure time of 7pm. If you can not make the departure cut off then plan to budget for an additional night of boarding, and to pick up your pet the following day.
  • Does my Pet need to be up to date on vaccinations and or spayed/neutered for out call services?
  • No, it is not necessary though we highly encourage it! 
  • We also still require Customers to fill out our ICE form for any outcall services where you will be out of town or traveling. 
  • Where are you located, and what areas do you serve for outcalls?
  • Our HQ residence is located in Hinsdale, Illinois. For outcalls we travel up to 8 miles, or up to 20 minutes away from our Hinsdale location. Our general service area includes: 
  • Hinsdale 
  • Clarendon Hills
  • Westmont 
  • Downers Grove
  • Western Springs
  • Countryside 
  • Indian Head Park
  • Hodgkins
  • Elmhurst
  • Oakbrook
  • Lombard
  • LaGrange
  • Westchester
  • Lagrange Park
  • Brookfield 
  • Riverside 
  • North riverside 
  • Berwyn (limited availability)
  • Oak Park (limited availability)

Help! My Pet requires specialized care, do you accommodate this?

  • You are in luck! Here at Animal Diaries the founder, Isabel, prides herself on her attention to detail with clients and their pet’s specialized requirements. Isabel first started caring for Animals with special needs as a volunteer at an Animal Hospital when she was just a teenager. She would then later go on to work for 2 years with animals as a Kennel Technician at a Veterinary Practice. Her primary duties were caring for animals in ISO, Post Surgery, & Quarantine. She can properly administer medications, treatments, basic injections, and IV fluids. She also cares for senior Animals and Animals with handicaps.

What do you teach in Basic obedience, and how are your sessions conducted?

  • Dog training info: 

Dog training falls into the category of Rome wasn’t built in a day. It requires patience, persistence, practice, and implementation. There is no quick fix solution. In this regard, it is much like diet or exercise. In order to get the desired results; dedicated efforts, focus, and hard work are integral to success! With my training style I approach each dog as a unique individual. I do not believe that one size fits all. For this reason, I prefer to start off with 1 on 1 private sessions ; just me and your dog. This approach allows me to figure out your dog’s best training style, and response. Once I narrow down the best methodology for your dog’s unique needs and goal, we begin repetition and implementing varying commands to reach obedience. 

In my Training we will teach and practice:

  • Place
  • Sit
  • Lay down
  • Wait/Stay
  • Heel
  • Bark control
  • No jumping 
  • Corrections
  • Recall
  • Proper leash manners
  • Reactivity Control
  • Leave it/drop it
  • Enough
  • Free 
    • Advanced Extras:
      • Paw
      • Roll over
      • Spin

One off sessions, package/bundle sessions, and board and train options are all available.

Once results are achieved, that’s when I schedule a session with the Owner and or The Family. That way I can show you the commands, the handling, and how to utilize them. From that juncture, it would be up to you and your family to keep up with it at home and practice. Once a dog has completed any training with me, I also continue to utilize techniques here while they are in my care; should you decide to do any future boarding, or daycare. Once a dog learns these skills, they advance their obedience and control by practicing in real world situations and scenarios. Dog training is one of those things that if you don’t use it, you lose it. So I highly encourage those seeking obedience training to pursue it only if you are serious about training upkeep. Even just a 10-15 minute/day practice session at home or while out on a walk, makes the world of difference for keeping a dog obedient. We can not accept dogs for Basic Obedience Training that are violent, or aggressive towards human handlers. 

 

What tools do you utilize in your training sessions?

  • I utilize slip leads, prong collars, reward, praise, and positive reinforcement. Most dogs are incredibly responsive to this. However I also have the option to utilize E-Collar, clicker, and frequency devices in the event it’s needed. For training, prong collars are key components! I do a complementary prong collar sizing; and can either purchase one for you with an additional $30, or you can purchase any time prior to the third session. I always highly recommend the Herm Sprenger prongs. I also highly recommend starting off with 2 sessions in the first week, and 1 session per week thereafter till results are achieved. If you can maintain a consistent training schedule, you can see results in as little as 2-3 weeks. However we can definitely go at your own pace as your schedule and budgeting allows. I generally prefer to start the sessions here at the Animal Diaries HQ residence, but can accommodate sessions at your residence as well. 

Do we need a reservation or are last minute bookings okay?

  • We love new customers and our growing family! So we highly encourage folks to reserve as far in advance as possible. We operate on a first come first serve basis, with priority to our weekly recurring customers. We often fill up weeks/months in advance. Especially for holidays and spring break. Outcall services are limited on time slots too, and are subject to varying availability. However, we do our best to fulfill last-minute requests whenever possible so don’t hesitate to reach out!

What forms of payment are accepted?

  • Most major forms of Electronic payment are accepted such as:
  • Venmo
  • PayPal
  • CashApp
  • Quickpay/Zelle
  • Apple Pay
  • As well as:
    • Cash
    • Personal Check
  • All payments are due upon pet pick up for Boarding/Daycare. Or immediately after service completion for outcalls, and training.
  • All new customers booking for the first time are required to pay a $50 deposit for any service totaling more than $100. Deposits are non-refundable for any cancellations made day of or last-minute. However, deposits are fully refundable for any cancellations with a 24+ hour notice, or can be used towards other services.

How many animals do you accept for Boarding/Daycare?

  • During our regular scheduling we only take up to 5 dogs/per day. During our Holiday & Spring Break scheduling we take up to 8 dogs.
  • We only take on 2 Cat Boarders at a time regardless of scheduling and season.

Is a trial necessary prior to Boarding?

  • No, a trial is not necessary. However we want you to be confident that your pet is in good hands! So if you’d like to do a test run prior to boarding, we highly recommend scheduling a Daycare session that serves as a great precursor to boarding. This is a great way to ensure a comfortable stay for your Pet.

Services & Pricing:

  • Pricing for all of our most common and popular services are listed here on our website’s homepage. If a price is not listed; more details and information are needed for a quote. Do you see multiple services you are interested in? We can create custom packages and bundles to cater to your needs. Services are easily customized and combinable to tailor your specific needs.

Questions/Comments?

  • If you have any questions, comments, need custom quotes, more information, or simply want to get to know more about Animal Diaries Pet Care & Training; Don’t hesitate to reach out! We are here as stewards to serve your animal companions!
  • Text/Call: 708-682-9880
  • Email: IsaAnimalDiaries@gmail.com

 

Meet Isabel & the Animal Diaries Team

Isabel and her partner Marc have a combined 20 years of experience caring for animals. They will provide your pet with the highest level of care and attention to detail.

Looking For A Professional?

Isabel is a kind, compassionate and thorough pet care pro with over 100 five-star reviews on Rover™. You can trust her to take care of your pets as if they were her own.

Get in Touch By Phone Or email

Please feel free to reach out to Isabel via phone or email to set up a consultation!

Phone

(708) 682-9880

Email

isaanimaldiaries@gmail.com