IF YOU have a pet, then it is likely you have been in the situation where you ponder what to do with Fido or Felix while you are on vacation.
Animals are part of the family, so their care is important ... and Debbie Taylor has developed a fantastic option ... caring for your pet in their home and taking out the stress for you and your pet.
Ms Taylor came up with the concept of the Ipswich Pet Minding and Dog Walking Service almost a year ago.
"I was going on holiday and putting our two dogs into the kennel meant we spent as much on their holiday as we did for us. That got me checking out some options."
Ipswich Pet Minding and Dog Walking Service is frankly, a dream come true. "I go to the house so the animal is not put into a kennel or cattery. Owners love it because, in the case of dogs, they are around the house and keep it safe while they are away," she said.
Kennels and catteries are great for taking care of pets but, as Ms Taylor said, they are often booked out and hard to get into at short notice. Many people have been asked to take care of neighbour's pet or pets and these days family, friends or even neighbours are busy or cannot commit to that care.
"I am finding that neighbours do not like to impose on neighbours for this kind of assistance."
So how does it work? It is a straight forward and well structured system. Ms Taylor conducts an interview at the house and meets the pets and gets a profile on each of them. That includes health issues, medication, food likes and dislikes and any other relevant information.
But it's much more than an affordable pet feeding service, because not only are your animals looked after but Ms Taylor will also collect your mail, put bins in and out, water plants and she will do a security check.
"I work on a basic 15-minute call out; my charges are worked on the time things take. For example I can feed a dog, clear mail and check the house and that is all normally done in the 15 minutes.
"Any other tasks could take more time, but people are not charged for the different things, just the time it takes to do the various tasks," she said.
Ms Taylor looks after any kind of animal.
"Normally, they are dogs and cats but I also look after birds, fish, guinea pigs and even horses."
Bookings vary from days and weekends, to several weeks.
If clients have grooming booked in, vet visits or anything else scheduled, then Ms Taylor will look after it.
"If I have any concerns over any animal or see anything suspicious happening around the house, I contact the owner or another representative, just as you would in any emergency," the former childcare worker said.