"I met Donna several years back, while caring for her dogs at Pulaski Animal Hospital. She is a very loving owner and extremely in-tune with her animals. As a veterinarian, I would not hesitate to have Donna care for my pet."


Dr. Angelica Bialek, D,V,M.
Pulaski Animal Hospital

"I have a 9 to 5 job with a commute on both ends, so I was worried about even being able to have a dog with my schedule. A good dog walker was the solution, and Donna came to me from a recommendation by a family friend. She has been walking my dog, Korben, daily for the last 2 years, and it's wonderful knowing that he gets a good exercise and potty break while I'm gone. Donna is very professional, reliable, and is great with Korben. I am very pleased with the service she provides - Korben and I would be lost without her. Donna and her dog walking service is highly recommended!."


Megan M. and Korben
LaGrange Park, IL

Dear Donna,

I am so glad to support your efforts for your pet sitting service. Although I have not yet used your services, I know that the love and devotion that you show to your gorgeous Rachel and Kellie will be an indication of the care that you will give my dogs.
As you know, I am very particular about who will treat my Golden boys, Chase and Kemper, with the same love and caring that I give them. You will be the first, and only person, that I call to help me with looking after my boys when I need to be out of town or away for a long time during the day.
Thank you for venturing into this business, where devoted pet care, safety, and professionalism will mean Chase and Kemper will be treated like kings!
Warm golden regards,

Judy Bush, President (retired)
Golden Retriever Club of Illinois

"Donna has been taking of my two Chihuahuas, Bambi and Faleen, for a few months now. I'm extremely satisfied with her service. My dogs LOVE her, and I look forward to her daily notes about how they behaved or silly things they may have done. She has given me some great training tips along the way. I appreciate Almost Home Pet Care SO MUCH! Thank you, Donna!"

Alicia M., Bambi, and Faleen
Summit, IL

Barkin' Beauties, Inc. provides customized grooming for your dog in a clean & quiet atmosphere.  To view the Barkin' Beauties, Inc. Facebook page, click on their logo.

"Donna has been taking care of our dogs for the past 15 years. She started with our dog Molly, and is now taking care of Maggie Mae.  Donna's services go beyond dog walking. She provides training and will offer feedback on basic animal care. For example, Donna would always let us know when she had concerns regarding our dogs having a potential health issue. Donna's love of dogs evident! She cried with us when we lost Molly and was there too when we welcomed Maggie Mae into our lives. Donna has become a part of our family. If you want someone who will love and care for your dog, then we would highly recommend Donna and Almost Home Personal Pet Care, Inc."


Bernie & Ray S., and Maggie Mae
LaGrange, IL

"We've been using Almost Home for about five years and couldn't be happier with the service that is provided. We love our dogs so much and couldn't stand the thought of them being home alone after a job situation changed which required us to spend more time in the office. Donna from Almost Home has been terrific. There are a lot of things people have to consider when using a service like this, as you have to trust the person you are going to hire and above all, being comfortable with them looking after your precious 'babies' is of utmost importance.
Donna is very professional and always has our dogs' best interest in mind. If it's too hot outside, she will let our dogs out in the yard to relieve themselves and get some fresh air, and then spend some time with them in the house. Donna leaves a handwritten summary of her visits, and we always look forward to reading them. She is 100% reliable and trustworthy, and we never have to give a second thought to her services, as we know Donna will always show up and walk our boys and lock the house up tight when she leaves. She's never NOT shown up in the five years that we've known her!  We have nothing but the highest praise for Donna at Almost Home, and we're glad that she is a part of our life! "


Michele and Joe B., Giacomo and Luca
Chicago, IL

"We've been relying on Donna to take care of our kitties for the past couple of years, and we honestly couldn't be happier.  She goes above and beyond looking after our little ones when we're on travel, has been very accommodating of special requests, and is absolutely reliable and professional. We never worry about the cats while we're gone, because we know they're in good hands. We unreservedly recommend her. We find her rates to be completely reasonable, and feel so much better not having to inconvenience friends with the burden. She's top notch!"


Tisha and Craig S.
Summit, IL

"Donna is responsible, trustworthy, and reliable. She is one of the few people I trust to take care of Muffin. Muffin likes Donna and looks forward to his walks."

Roseanne B. and Muffin
Chicago, IL

"I have used Almost Home Personal Pet Care several times. I found Donna to be an excellent care giver. When I was gone, she would come several times a day to let Be-Z out or to walk her. I would recommend Almost Home to anyone who needed the personal touch for their pets. I have and will again use Almost Home when I am unable to care for my dog myself."

Carol G. and Be-Z
Chicago, IL

"Donna from Almost Home Personal Pet Care, Inc. has been taking care of our dog Finley since 2007 when he was just a puppy. She is so professional, reliable and certainly flexible with our changing schedules. She has been a wonderful caregiver to a very important member of our family, and we cannot thank her enough for all that she does for us and for Finley!"


​​Lesli, Ray, RJ and Olivia P. and Finley
LaGrange Park, IL

"As the owner of a dog grooming salon in Garfield Ridge, I am frequently asked if I can recommend a trustworthy and reliable dog walker/pet sitter.  I always recommend Almost Home; they're insured and bonded. Donna, the owner, is a Certified Dog Trainer and a member of Pet Sitters International. I have had nothing but positive feedback from all of my clients! They feel comfortable knowing that their pets are safe and in good hands while they're away. I highly recommend Donna and Almost Home!"

Karen Bartuca, Owner
Barkin' Beauties, Inc., Chicago, IL

"Donna Smuskiewicz is a long time client of Pulaski Animal Hospital, and I have had the great pleasure of treating her multiple Golden Retrievers. Donna is an extremely conscientious pet owner and highly capable of caring for other peoples' pets. She has diligently worked to establish her pet sitting/walking business and was a pioneer in the field. I have no reservations displaying her brochures in my clinic or recommending her to my clients. I am confident that she will care for all animals under her care as if they were one of her own.  The type of care she provides is invaluable to many pet owners and their beloved 4-footed family members."


Dr. Adam Szpindor, D,V,M.
Pulaski Animal Hospital

We are happy to write a note about Donna and her Almost Home Personal Pet Care service, which we have been using for over ten years. It really is like having a close friend or trusted relative take care of your pets while you are away, but better! Your pets stay in their own home.
We have had only positive experiences with Donna lovingly and professionally caring for our cats and birds in good times and bad. We've had our share of sick kitties that needed special attention, and have always felt confident leaving them in Donna's care. Her observation of a situation is spot-on, and we value her suggestions.
A daily log of what our critters have been up to while we were away is always a treat to read when we come home. It's the first thing we do after greeting our pets, who are happily waiting for us at the front door.
Thank you, Donna!

Deive and Jonas B.
LaGrange Park, IL

"I have used Donna for vacation care for my cats for about 10 years. She takes wonderful care of them, and I can relax and enjoy myself, knowing that she is keeping a close eye on them. I especially like the daily record she leaves, so I know how everyone is eating and that they are behaving normally. My "kids" are not always the neatest, but she keeps things clean and neat. In addition, she brings in my mail and has even been known to shovel the front walk! I highly recommend Donna and will continue to use her for cat sitting."

Peg H., Tiger, Piglet, Gizmo & AJ
Riverside, IL

I am happy to share the kind words of my valued clients and trusted pet

care professionals with you! 

Testimonials and Links

"We feel so fortunate to have Donna at Almost Home taking care of our girl, Riley, every day because with Donna we know that she is getting the best care possible. Why?  Sure, Donna's reliable, professional, and trustworthy, and her rates are extremely reasonable, but what makes her the absolute best to us is that Donna isn't just a dog walker - she's a care taker. When she agrees to care for your pet, you can rest assured that she's looking out for it like she's caring for her own, and that is a comfort that cannot be expressed by words. On top of incredible care, we always get great advice from Donna, which is really important for new dog owners. Donna is amazing!  If you're looking for someone to care for your pet, your search is over, go with Donna!"  

Amy P. and Sal N..and Riley
Berwyn, IL

"Donna is always reliable. We didn't need her service for a year because my wife was staying home while searching for another job. As soon as she was employed again, we resumed Donna's service, and Zoomer recognized and welcomed her the moment she came through the front door! Donna is a great source of dog care information too, just ask and U will have the answer."

Jean & Stephen S. and Zoomer
Riverside, IL

"We are very honored to get to say a little something about Donna. We have the pleasure of knowing her through our client/vet relationship, and fell in love with her and her beautiful Golden, Coco. We knew from our first visit with her and Coco that she was a very dedicated, and compliant owner, and knew that Coco's allergies would be successfully treated.  We were saddened to hear that Coco was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years later. We knew that Donna's heart was broken when she had to say goodbye to her wonderful companion; they had a very special bond.

We know that all of her "fur babies", both her own and all of her client's pets, get treated with the utmost care and same dedication she showed with Coco; no task of animal care is too daunting for Donna! We must say that it is our pleasure having the opportunity to have met Donna and to continue our relationship with her and her Golden Girls!"


Dr. Lynn Schmeitzel, D.V.M, Dermatology
and Alicia Lugo, C.V.T

"Donna at Almost Home has been taking care of our dogs for 8 years. She has always been reliable, professional, and great at working with our changing schedules. We call Donna the Cookie Lady, because our dogs look forward to her company and getting their mid-day biscuit from her. Whenever we mention "the Cookie Lady will be stopping by", the tails start wagging! All of our dogs are rescue dogs, and Donna has been wonderful about providing tips for us to help with their health and behavioral issues.  Her prices are very reasonable."


Liz and Robert S., Buddy, Maddie, Princess & Koda
Chicago, IL

"We're Ashkenaze (left) and Harold (right).  We're so glad to have the opportunity to tell you that we LOVE Donna. Our Masters don't go away very often, but when they do, they're fortunate to get Donna to look after us. She makes sure we have plenty of fresh food and water everyday, as well as a clean "bathroom". She also takes the time to call our Masters everyday after she's visited us to let them know that everything is all right. They really, really appreciate that!! They love knowing that everything at home is under control - that the house looks lived in and the mail is taken in, etc.; so they can enjoy their vacation worry-free. Of course, we are happy to see our Masters when they get home, but we know we don't have to worry about anything when Donna takes care of us, so we can enjoy the time stree-free! Thank you so much, Donna, for all you do for us - and all the other pets you take care of!!""


Fondly, ~ Ashkenaze, Harold, and our Masters (Jim & Michael)
Westchester, IL

"Donna's services are nothing short of OUTSTANDING. Six months ago, I was deployed overseas, and was in need of a reliable pet sitter. We needed someone that would care for our four loving dogs while Chris worked long hours. Donna has been there for us in our time of need.  She is very compassionate about what she does. The dogs just LOVE when she comes to visit. She is very knowledgeable of doggy behavior, and I know I can depend on her. She cares for Dozer, Buddy, Otis and Mugsy. Their ages range between 2 and 13. Although I am oceans apart, I can sit here peacefully and have absolutely no worries about the care and treatment of our dogs. I thank Donna for her services, and I am grateful to have her while my furry family awaits my return.  Almost Home Pet Care is reliable, devoted, and has good rates. I highly recommend Donna. She's TERRUFFIC!"


Best Regards, ~ Vanessa R. & Christopher R., Dozer, Buddy, Mugsy & Otis
Chicago, IL

Pulaski Animal Hospital is a AAHA certified veterinary hospital, where your pets receive the very best in patient care. To view the Pulaski Animal Hospital website, click on their logo.

Caring, trustworthy, affordable
Dog Walking & Pet Sitting!

"Donna from Almost Home has been caring for my dogs for almost four years. She was recommended by my dogs' groomer. My doggies need to be walked and let out for potty breaks while I'm at work. I called her, and we set up a time for her to meet my dogs Tuffy, Onyx and Taffeta. Her loving and compassionate personality came shining through while interacting with my pets.  Donna is reliable, dependable and has never cancelled a visit, not even during bad weather, meaning snow, snow, snow. I've needed some additional visits at times, and she has always been able to accommodate my needs. There have been times when my dogs have been ill, and Donna has taken extra time to tend to their needs. She has even called me with special updates. My dogs always look forward to her visits and their treats. I look forward to reading the note she leaves me regarding the visit. I highly recommend her services and feel secure knowing she is the person looking in on my pets each day."

Donica K., Tuffy, Onyx and Taffeta
Chicago, IL

"Donna is the best! My Cali and Chelsea just LOVE her, and she treats them as if they were her own. She comes every day to "visit" with them while I am at work, and it gives me peace of mind, as I know they are in good hands!"


Kathy G., Cali, and Chelsea
Berwyn, IL

"After an extensive search for a dog walker in the Berwyn area, I was blessed to find Donna at Almost Home Pet Care. I have three dogs of various ages and needs, and I needed to find someone who could handle my large dogs during the day while I worked in Chicago. Donna is the perfect person for it.
I have no more worries or concerns that I have to rush home for my dogs after being in the house all day. Now I can come home, have an informative note on my table letting me know how my pets' midday break was and feel confident that if there was an emergency, I would be notified.
I highly recommend Donna - she is a professional, very trustworthy, with a lot of knowledge that she can give on various dog topics. My dogs LOVE her and run to greet her every time she comes during the day!"


Cheri T., Sabre, Calloway Jo, and Comiskey
Berwyn, IL

"My husband and I have been extremely pleased with the services we have received from Almost Home Pet Care. Donna's professionalism and passion impressed us from our initial introduction. We are new puppy owners and find comfort in knowing our boys, Ghost Ryder and Cowboy Blu, have an opportunity to get a little exercise while we are at work, and most importantly, are in good hands. We are so pleased with Donna's patience, expertise and determination to help our one year old adjust to his new experience with a "stranger". He is the sweetest boy with us, but does not trust others very much. She catered to his comfort level, and we saw progress every day.  We know that he and his new baby brother look forward to her visit every day. To us, Donna offers much more than a dog walking service, and we would highly recommend Almost Home Pet Care is anyone who wants to be assured that their pets receive exceptional treatment in their absence!"


Cristen and Roberto G., Ghost Ryder and Cowboy Blu
Chicago, IL

"I have been using Almost Home for about 10 years. At first, Donna took care of Darby, my Jack Russell. She offered advice on taking care of my aging dog and walked her daily. She now takes care of my puppy, Betsy. It has been many years since I had a new dog, so Donna has taught me how to take care of a puppy. She has trained Betsy to sit, stay, down, and walk calmly on her leash. She also offered valuable advice on making Betsy's housetraining go smoothly. I don't know what I would do without her!"

Judy G. and Betsy
Berwyn, IL

"I was recommended to Almost Home through a pet groomer service. Donna was very nice, professional and flexible when setting up a meet & greet. My dogs (I have 3) seemed to have obeyed her better than they obey me. I felt comfortable leaving her with the keys to the house and teaching her the alarm system. I always looked forward to her "report card" on what my dogs did, how long they were outside, and how they behaved. I now work night shift and do not need her services, but if that ever changes, she will be the first person I contact to care for my four-legged family!"


Anna G., Misha, Nala & Tiger and Puppies
Chicago, IL

"I've used Almost Home Personal Pet Care services for several years now. It is obvious that Donna loves animals, and cares for her charges as she would her own! She demonstrates compassion, expertise, and experience in her visits with my pets. Donna has provided information and tips to help manage care issues for my dog, Bonnie. Her insight helped to shape Bonnie into a wonderful companion!
I especially enjoy Donna's visit notes. I like reading about Bonnie's greetings to Donna and her playful behaviors during visits.  Donna also describes the interactions between Bonnie and her housemate, Barney the cat. I am able to enjoy their antics even when I am not here and unable to see things firsthand.
Most recently, I called Almost Home to provide vacation care for Barney and Fiona, the turtle. Donna's "extras", such as bringing in mail and packages, then placing them in a safe location inside, are greatly appreciated.
Donna's Almost Home Personal Pet Care service is a reliable, flexible, and affordable way to "be there" for my pets when I am not able to actually be there."


Dolores S.-Z., Bonnie, Barney and Fiona
Chicago, IL