Virtual Meet & Greets

Michael Grenier
Michael Grenier January 5, 2024

When it comes to hiring a dog walker or pet sitter, pet parents often have to take several factors into consideration before making a final decision about pet care, such as a company’s values or their pricing structure. While weighing their options, pet care clients may draw conclusions by comparing several companies, which leads pet care business owners to ask: “How does my company stand out in a potential client’s mind?”

The answer to this question lies in the Meet & Greet. As one of the most quintessential aspects of the pet care industry, a Meet & Greet lays the groundwork for expectations between the company, the sitter and the potential client and is the key to leaving a lasting first impression. That is why prioritizing how you want to conduct your Meet & Greets is of the utmost importance.


Traditionally, Meet & Greets have been conducted in-person at a pet parent’s home. This allows both pet parents and their sitters the opportunity to get to know one another before services begin, as well as giving sitters a chance to meet the pets they’ll be looking after, receive a tour of the residence, and collect any necessary keys they may need for their visits.

However, in the wake of the pandemic, this industry-standard approach was challenged due to a rise in safety concerns and people quarantining within their homes. Despite these concerns and the fact that many pet care companies were forced to cease operations, many pet parents still needed care for their pets. For the companies that could remain open, this meant that they needed to not only adjust their standard operating procedures for their current clientele, but many businesses also had to revamp their onboarding process for incoming clients.

It was here that the virtual Meet & Greet first began to gain popularity with pet care professionals.

Check out an example video of a Meet & Greet between a pet care business and a pet parent with a dog.

Let’s Get Digital

During the early stages of the pandemic, when everyone was stuck at home and unable to travel, people of all ages turned to virtual spaces to stay connected with their coworkers and loved ones. With people unable to gather locally, platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, and Discord became the new social hubs in place of schools, offices, bars, and restaurants. These apps were especially appealing because they were available on both desktop and mobile devices for free, making them widely accessible and easy to use.

As pet care professionals and their office teams adjusted to remote work alongside other businesses, it was only natural that they would turn to video conferencing to stay connected. In a short time, the potential of video conferencing caught on, and companies started using it to bridge the gap between themselves and their clients.


Today, some companies have returned to conducting Meet & Greets strictly in person. Others have gone entirely virtual. Many more still have chosen to combine elements from both styles of Meet & Greets to take on a hybrid approach. What approach best suits your company?

To decide if virtual Meet & Greets are right for you and your business, we invite you to read on as we dive deeper into what steps go into conducting a virtual Meet & Greet, their benefits, and how to help get less tech-savvy clients onboard!

Conducting A Virtual Meet & Greet

A virtual Meet & Greet can be handled in many ways. Some companies offer clients a choice between an in-person or a virtual Meet & Greet. Some may implement virtual Meet & Greets for the office team and in-person Meet & Greets for the sitters, while others still have gone entirely virtual with their meetings.

Regardless of your approach, before you schedule a virtual consult with your clients, they will need a place to inquire about your services and begin the onboarding process. You can do this through a contact us form on your website that new clients must fill out or by including a link to a scheduling app like Calendly. You might even choose to simply provide a phone number or email address for prospective clients to contact you at, or, if you use Time To Pet, you may implement a portal tag for your company's Client Portal on your site that allows them to create their own Time To Pet account.

However you decide to have clients reach out to your business, it’s a good idea to collect as much information as you can about the client, their pets, and the services they are interested in ahead of time. You should also consider putting together a list of things a client must fill out, what they should send you, or what they need to prepare before your appointment. Some companies include this information on their websites, some have it on their new client forms, and others communicate these requirements by text, phone, or email.

When you have decided how you want clients to inquire about services and what information you need to collect before their consults, you also want to decide what platform you will use to host your Meet & Greets. As previously established, Zoom is one of the most popular and accessible platforms for virtual meetings; still, some people use programs like Google Meet if they use Google Suite as part of their daily operations. Pick the app or program that works best for you and your clients, and ensure that you include clear instructions to walk your clients through utilizing the platform for your meeting.

Finally, once you have all the details ironed out for your virtual consults and are ready for clients to initiate the onboarding process, you need to consider the actual structure of the Meet & Greet itself. What additional information will you need to collect from clients? What questions will you want to review? And what company policies and protocols will you need to explain?

Below we have included an outline of how a virtual Meet & Greet might flow, and we have provided a couple of sample recordings for you to listen to, as well.

Check out an example video of a Meet & Greet between a pet care business and a pet parent with a cat.

Virtual Meet & Greet Itinerary


  • Establish a rapport with your client by introducing yourself and your role in the company. If appropriate, explain why you do what you do and what the opportunity to take care of their pets means to you.
  • An effortless way to connect with a new client is to pay some compliments to their pet and ask questions about their history! Pet parents love to talk about their furbabies, and it’s a great way to set the tone for the rest of the conversation!
  • Review the purpose and the general layout of how the virtual meeting will proceed. For example, it might be a good idea to remind clients of anything they might have needed to prepare for the call, what topics you’ll be covering during the meeting, and when they might have opportunities to ask more questions.


Urgent Business

  • Confirm their initial reservation with your company and discuss any other upcoming services they may require or be interested in. Be sure to review the dates, times, and durations for their services and ensure there have been no changes or additions to the client’s plans.
  • Depending on how you accept requests, ensure their service requests have been submitted to your software system. If their requests still need to be submitted, take the time to go through the process with your client and walk them through the steps. This way, you empower them to handle making future requests on their own.
  • If you use Time To Pet, consider if the clients will require a template for recurring services and take the time to set it up to their schedule’s specifications.

Access Instructions

  • Go over the access instructions for the client’s residence. Get as many details as possible and ask plenty of follow-up questions. Depending on the steps required to access their home, request footage of a client walking you through the process if their building’s layout is complicated or have them provide photos of lockbox locations. You want your staff members to be able to review the instructions and successfully gain entrance to a client’s home, even if it’s their very first time visiting and they are going in blind.
  • If a physical set of keys will be required for the visit, determine when to pick up and drop off the keys, depending on their preferences. If you need more than one set of keys, be sure to convey that beforehand and confirm with the client on the call that all necessary keys are in their possession and have been tested. If the keys haven’t been tested, have the clients test the keys during the meeting.
  • If a client’s residence requires access codes for gates, alarms, lockboxes, or otherwise, confirm them with the clients, and be sure you take detailed notes on how to disarm and rearm any alarm systems.
  • If a client’s residence requires app access or checking out keys from a doorperson, be sure you go over any information they may need on their end about you or the pet sitter caring for their pets and include instructions for your staff members on what they will need to do for the visits.

Record / Review Pet Details

  • No matter the type of pet your client has, you will want to make notes regarding their personality and general temperament, as well as anything regarding their behavior that will be important for you or your team to know. Whether it’s about resource guarding, not liking to be picked up, or specific triggers they may have, it is vital to make these notes as thorough as possible.
  • You’ll also want to review any feeding instructions for the pets and go over any potential dietary restrictions or allergies they might have.
  • Go over the pet’s veterinarian details, and be sure to note if there is anything from their medical history that you and your team should be aware of.
  • If a pet requires medication, it is crucial to review the client’s routine with their pet and understand the dosage and how to administer it properly. If possible, have the client send photos of the medication, or if it’s something complex that requires a lot of precision, have them record themselves preparing the medicine and administering it to their pet.
  • Go over the locations of where the client keeps their pet’s supplies. If the pet has a crate, ensure you know where it is, as well as other important items like the litterbox (if your client has a kitty), leashes or harnesses, weather gear, treats, and toys. Have the client show you around the home if you’d like a better understanding of where everything is.
  • For clients with dogs, go over their routines before and after walks and any training instructions or information you should know to keep in mind during the walk itself. This especially pertains to any leash reactivity a pup might have, if they tend to pull, or if they have a strong prey drive. It can also be a good idea to ask if there are any particular routes they particularly like to take, if there are any specific spots the dog likes to do their business, or if there are any areas or streets the client tends to avoid.

Company Policies

  • What does a typical walk, visit, or overnight look like for your company? Break down the essential steps for your clients from beginning to end so they understand what to expect from you and your team members.
  • Communication is another crucial aspect of pet care, and you’ll want to be sure to explain to your clients how they will receive updates on their visits from your team, as well as the best ways to get in touch with you in case of questions or emergencies. Be specific when letting clients know what a visit update will contain and ask if they have any particular details they might want their sitter to include.
  • As you discuss communication, you should also review who your client’s emergency contact is and the steps you would take if you could get in touch with them and there was an emergency with their pet. While you may want to collect more information, you should at least note their emergency contact’s full name, phone number, relationship to the client, and whether or not they have a spare set of keys for the client’s residence.
  • Go over your scheduling process with clients and provide instructions on how they should request services for their pets moving forward. If you use software like Time To Pet, consider sharing your screen if you’re able and giving them a quick demonstration.
  • You should also cover your company’s process for billing and invoicing and review your expectations in great detail. Be sure your clients fully understand your policies, when they will be charged for services, and what they will be charged for. Additional fees for extra pets, holidays, late requests, and after-hours or weekend charges should also be covered.

Wrap-Up / Goodbye

  • As you wrap up your call, you should summarize what the next steps in the onboarding process are for the client (if there are any) and let them know what to expect next from your team.
  • If you still need anything from your clients (such as video footage or payment information, etc.), restate that here and remind them how they should get that to you.
  • Once you have gone through what comes next with your client and everyone is on the same page, confirm that you will send a follow-up email containing all of the relevant information they need regarding their booking.
  • After that is complete, you can give your client a chance to answer any lingering questions and bid your goodbyes!

The Benefits Of Going Virtual

While there are definite advantages to meeting with clients and their pets in person, there are many benefits to meeting with them virtually, as well.

In today’s fast-paced world, aligning calendars with your clients can be difficult around work schedules, obligations to family and friends, and other commitments. It can be challenging for people to make time to meet their pet sitters at their residences before services begin, especially if you typically schedule Meet & Greets around a Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm work week. Virtual Meet & Greets eliminate a lot of this fuss. By allowing you and your clients greater flexibility on the time and location of the Meet & Greet, the meeting can be held on a lunch break at work, during a long commute in the car, or from each other’s respective homes. This allows everyone the chance to either be at their most comfortable or to be where they need to be without sacrificing any of their time.


In addition to the great adaptability virtual Meet & Greets can provide your company, they are also very cost-effective. How often have you shown up to a potential client’s home, perhaps with a pet sitter in-tow, and found your appointment forgotten, yourself ghosted, or been turned away when they revealed they went with another company but neglected to inform you before your arrival? In these instances, not only has your time been wasted, but you have had to pay for transportation in the form of gas, parking, or public transit with nothing to show for it. If you have staff members handling Meet & Greets aside from yourself, they will need to be paid for their time and you may have turned away other work to prioritize the incoming client. While still cutting into your time, a lot less cost is involved if a client neglects to turn up for your virtual meeting over Zoom.

Depending on what staff members attend the Meet & Greets for your company, virtual meetings can also allow your team a chance to review all of a client or pet’s information before meeting them. Especially If you record your Meet & Greets or have clients provide you with video footage of things like working their alarms, your staff members will be provided vital information that they can reference as needed. This can help prepare your team before they even step foot into a client’s home and be a resource they can lean on during their visits should they forget something. If there are gaps in a client or pet’s notes, team members can voice those concerns ahead of time and help to document any additional information that may be needed as they complete their visits. This can provide new responsibilities to your team members and empower them with added trust, expanding their roles in the onboarding process and further highlighting their impact within the company.

Virtual Meet & Greets also add another layer of security to the client onboarding process. When COVID-19 was at its peak, additional safety measures and distance were crucial to help protect clients and staff members alike from exposure to the disease. Virtual platforms were game-changing, as they allowed Meet & Greets to be completed without being physically present in a client’s home. This specific safety need isn’t as prevalent as it once was, but there are certain advantages virtual meetings grant that are invaluable. For example, in advance of any in-person interaction with them, you have the potential to spot red flags in a client or pet’s behavior. Whether or not it is intentional, some pet parents may downplay a pet’s aggression, their homes may be unsanitary, or how they want you to care for their pets is dangerous or against your company’s policies. Being able to discern these things during a virtual tour of their home or while taking/reviewing care notes for their pets will make it easier to screen whether or not clients are a good fit for your company. Telling a client you cannot provide them services is never an easy task, but it is a conversation infinitely harder to have in person. By cutting the cord before it reaches a physical meeting, you can help you and your team to avoid some fallout that may have arisen under other circumstances.

Being able to do what is both in your company’s best interest and what is right for your clients and their pets should be a top priority for every pet care business owner. Virtual Meet & Greets are a great option to ensure both of these things take precedence in an easy and manageable way.

Not Tech-Savvy? No Problem!

While many people became quite cozy with the concept of virtual meetings during the pandemic, some aren’t as tech-savvy as others, and they may require additional assistance when getting set up for a virtual Meet & Greet.

To standardize your onboarding process and ensure that it is accessible to everyone, there are several different things you can do.

Some companies send a welcome email to incoming clients, while others have a series of templated emails they use. Typically included in these welcome messages are an introduction to their company, important policies they may need to know beforehand, a list of things they’ll need for the virtual consult, and instructions for scheduling and accessing the virtual meeting. While these instructions can be written in a step-by-step list, you could also include links, photos, or videos to help streamline your client’s understanding.

If you don’t employ welcome messages through email and have clients sign up for virtual meetings through your website, consider including a guide that walks them through the process or write up some frequently asked questions that can help address any issues they may encounter before your meeting.

No matter how you present virtual Meet & Greets to your clients and what your onboarding process entails, keep things simple when it comes to providing explanations to your clients. Be concise, give clear examples, and include as many visuals as possible to convey your point effectively.

While some clients will still require a phone call or a more personalized approach, you are setting up the vast majority of pet parents to succeed by providing clients with as many resources as possible before your meeting.


When it comes to your company’s onboarding process, there are many moving pieces that must mesh together well, not just for you but for your clients and staff members. Nothing is more important than the first (and maybe only) connection you’ll make with a pet parent before they become a client, and every moment of that meeting matters, whether it is in person or done virtually.

In-person Meet & Greets have been the traditional go-to for the pet care industry for a long time, and it isn’t hard to see why. However, as technology and lifestyles evolve, it is becoming a proven fact that you can collect just as much information (if not more) through virtual meetings as you can in person. Virtual meetings also allow you to meet face-to-face with your clients and their pets as opposed to a phone call, and you can still get a feel for their homes through tours or through footage you have them submit beforehand.

Virtual Meet & Greets are changing the status quo for the pet care industry because they allow for more preparation for your team, grant greater accessibility for elderly or disabled clients, and, as we have touched upon previously, they are more cost-effective for everyone involved. Pet care is a tough industry, and every single business owner, office team member, and pet sitter works incredibly hard to provide top-notch service to the clients and pets under their care. Why not take advantage of the convenience and flexibility virtual Meet & Greets offer and see how it changes your business for the better?

For more information on how you can use Time To Pet to supplement your virtual consultations and onboarding process to provide an even smoother experience for incoming clients, please see our help article on Pet Parent Onboarding.

Time To Pet is modern pet sitting software trusted by over 3,000 of the world’s most successful pet sitting and dog walking companies. We help pet care professionals start, grow and manage their businesses.

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