ReadySetPet offers pet-sitting services in Morgantown, Cheat Lake
A familiar argument between Ashley Bartenschlag and her husband led Bartenschlag down a whole new career path.
“Can we get a dog?” she would often ask her husband.
“He kept telling me that I needed to have a trial run,” she said.
So after a little bit of online research, Bartenschlag told him she was going to register to be a dog sitter. They agreed it was a great idea, and so, after looking into everything, Bartenschlag was officially licensed and started her business, ReadySetPet, which serves the Morgantown and Cheat Lake areas.
“What I do is I go into someone’s home and I watch their dogs there so they don’t have to worry about getting used to a new environment or being around dogs they’re not used to ...” she said.
Since she started in June, the business has been growing steadily. Bartenschlag has four clients whose dogs she visits every week, plus others periodically.
“Every time I feel like I’ve hit this wall and I’m kind of plateaued with the number of clients I have, I end up getting all these phone calls and two or three weeks of huge growth,” she said.
Bartenschlag’s services include dog walking, daily check-ins, waste pick-up and even overnight visits if required. For visits during the day, she charges $25 per day for homes with dogs, $15 a day for homes without dogs, such as cats or other pets. Overnight stays are $75 per day. The size of the pet doesn’t matter, she added, so there are no extra fees for larger dogs.
“Most of these people are people who work long shifts and just need someone to watch their dog during the day. I make sure that they get out so that they don’t have to make a drive home during lunch,” she said.
James Seargeant, who has had Bartenschlag care for his two dogs, a border collie named Dexter and a lab/boxer mix named Buttercup, said Bartenschlag is trustworthy and cares deeply about the animals.
“She watches out for them. She’s concerned about them. She makes sure they get the proper exercise,” he said.
Seargeant and his wife have called on Bartenschlag a few times in the past few months.
“The first time we used her, we were gone for days. She came in a couple times a day and make sure they got walked and had food and water,” he said.
While she is visiting the dogs, Bartenschlag takes photos of them to send to the owners, letting them know all is well, which Seargeant said he appreciates.
“We always know when she’s been there,” he said. “I know she’s reliable. She cares about the animals.”
Before she takes on a new client with a pet, Bartenschlag requires an in-home consultation, during which she can meet the pet and make sure there is a friendly exchange.
She graduated in May with a bachelor’s in mathematics, and she said if the pet-sitting business doesn’t allow her to make a full-time living, she’ll go back to get her master’s and hopefully teach at the college level.
“But if I could play with animals all day long, that would be even better,” she said, laughing.
“I have the only job in the world where if I’m having a bad day, then work makes it better.”