By Barry Scher
With millions of people stuck in their homes during the pandemic, the number of people adopting pets soared. According to the American So- ciety for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), close to one in five households acquired a dog or cat since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, which would be approximately 23 million American households.
Thankfully, most of those pets are now cherished family members. “This incredibly stressful period motivated many people to foster and adopt animals, as well as further cherish the pets already in their lives, and our recent research shows no significant risk of animals being rehomed by their owners now or in the near future as a result of the lifting of pandemic-related restrictions,” says ASPCA CEO Matt Bershadker.
But now that many working adults are heading back to their offices, the need for pet care and services is sky-rocketing. There is a new and growing market for dog walkers, pet sitters and even poop removal specialists. There is also an emerging trend for pet services that go above the norm.
Eastport resident Alexandra Trasatti recognized that trend and after many months of research, she developed a business plan to launch Sailor’s Dog Walking and Pet Care.
“I realized that there are other pet care specialists in the area, so I developed a plan to differentiate my business from what others offer, yet I do not hesitate to show support for other local pet businesses by highlighting their special services in my promotional package,” says Trasatti. “Therefore, we have worked with Sweet Piggy Baking Company, Sea Dog Pet Boutique, Bark ‘N’ Bean, Dirty Paws Dog Spa and others to coordinate pet needs and services.”
Trasatti has always dreamed of owning a pet care business, she says, and after graduating from the University of Maryland in 2021 with a degree in communications, she formulated her plan. She specializes in providing affordable, reliable, individualized, one-of-a-kind pet care. Her inspiration is a rescue dog with special needs, named Sailor.
Sailor has epilepsy, food allergies, and diabetes. “Through caring for him, I learned how to administer insulin, check blood sugar, properly provide eye and ear drops, administer pills and powders, and provide the healthiest foods,” Trasatti says. “His special needs drove me to create a business that revolves around providing care for each dog’s individual needs.”
Trasatti may be the firm’s CEO, but she proudly states that Sailor is the firm’s CBO: Chief Barking Officer.
Sailor’s is insured and bonded by Pet Sitters Associates, an insurance company specifically tailored to the needs of pet care providers. The business is also certified in cat and dog first aid by the American Red Cross in preventive care, including administering CPR, providing emergency care to handle seizures, address wounds, and breathing and cardiac emergencies.
Sailor’s utilizes a top-of-the-line pet care software program that allows timed GPS walks, in-app messaging, secured invoicing, mobile scheduling, report cards, and even pictures of client’s pets while away from their owners. The business provides services from basic timed walks to overnight stays in a client’s home for as many days or nights as required.
“Staying overnight with a pet in their usual surroundings is often much less stressful than placing a pet in unfamiliar surroundings in a cage away from their home,” says Trasatti. She even provides a pet-to-vet taxi service which includes staying with pets during their check ups, and a Bark to the Park program with jaunts to Quiet Waters Park.
All clients receive a mandatory initial consultation and there is also a membership program where clients get perks for utilizing their services which is quite unique in the pet industry.
Sailor’s services pets in the greater Annapolis area including Eastport, Edgewater, Parole, Crownsville, Riva, Mayo, and Arnold. For more information about Sailor’s: sailorspetcare.com.