By RACHEL BRANT
When Renee and Chris Pearce moved to Seabeck three years ago, their neighbors entrusted them to watch their pets from time to time.
Finding joy in caring for their neighbors’ beloved family pets, the couple decided to create their own pet sitting business.
Renee and Chris officially opened Four Paws and Cold Noses Pet Sitting in January. Both Renee and Chris are licensed pet sitters and American Red Cross pet first aid/CPR certified.
“People have always asked us to watch their cats and dogs,” Renee said. “When you do this often for everyone, why not start your own business?”
Since January, Renee and Chris have worked with about a dozen families. The couple makes home visits as many times a day as necessary to feed, walk, medicate or clean up after people’s pets. Renee said they have cared for “everything from cats and dogs to goldfish and gerbils.” Renee is currently looking after a Seabeck man’s rabbits, chickens, dogs and cats.
“It’s so much fun because we love who we work with,” Renee said. “Even when we have to pick up the poop, and there’s lots of it, it’s rewarding.”
Renee and Chris said keeping a pet at home rather than taking it to a kennel is a better option because the animal will be less stressed and feels more comfortable in its own home. The couple will check on the animals as many times as the owner requests and even do overnight stays to care for creatures.
“We want to encourage people, if they have the option, to keep their pets at home,” Renee said. “It’s such stress to go to a kennel.”
Renee and Chris will meet with a family and their pets free-of-charge before the actual pet sitting is established. The couple also will do behavioral consultations with families and their animals.
“We meet with the family beforehand free-of-charge,” Renee said. “There’s always that chance the dog won’t like you.”
Renee and Chris keep a pet sitting journal at a client’s home to let the family know when they visited and what occurred during that visit. Renee and Chris are the only people who enter a client’s home to care for their animals, but with the family’s approval, the couple will bring their 7-year-old Alaskan Malamute, Dakota, to the home to socialize with the client’s pets.
“It’s him or I or us together,” Renee said. “We’re always hoofing it.”
Four Paws and Cold Noses Pet Sitting serves all of Kitsap County. Renee also offers homemade dog treats including “Dakota’s Peanut Butter Bones.”
“We offer those as an option to store-bought treats,” Renee said.
Four Paws and Cold Noses Pet Sitting is reasonably priced because “everyone should be able to have a pet sitter or dog walker,” according to Renee.
“We don’t like to nickel and dime people,” Chris said. “We try to be fair. We try to be very fair.”
Renee and Chris are planning to obtain building permits and remodel their garage area and yard to be able to house dogs at their Seabeck home. The couple only plans to keep one dog at a time and is not sure when the boarding area will be ready for its first four-legged customer.
“We have good ideas as long as the zoning thing goes well,” Chris said.
Both Chris and Renee have current full-time jobs, but the couple hopes to someday go full-time with their pet sitting business.
“We wouldn’t be doing it if we didn’t enjoy it,” Chris said. “I don’t believe in giving service otherwise.”
Four Paws and Cold Noses Pet Sitting