Frequently Asked Questions
When will you arrive at our location?
We have a dog - can he/she visit with the animals and ponies?
Our yard is scheduled to be fertilized the day before the party. Is this a problem?
Is there an age or weight limit for your ponies?
Our ponies (miniature horses) and saddles are intended for children up to 8 years old and a maximum weight of 70 pounds. We intentionally use miniature horses to cater to our younger children. Using smaller horses creates a safe and less intimidating experience for our younger customers!
What animals do you have?
We have a large variety animals as part of our petting zoo. At the moment, we have: Alpacas, a Miniature LLama, Miniature Horses, Miniature Goats, Baby Goats, Tortoises, Geckos, Lizards, Hedgehog, Chinchillas, Guinea Pigs, Pigeons, Miniature Chickens and Baby Chickens, Miniature Ducks, Miniature Rabbits and Baby Rabbits, Giant Rabbits,and more!
We will arrive approximately 20 minutes before the start time of petting zoos and 15 minutes before the start time of pony rides.
Yes, we are fully insured for $2 million dollars (liability) for your protection.
It is difficult to tell how dogs will react to our large variety of animals, so please have dogs put away during the party. If there is a loose dog, we must stop the pony ride/petting zoo until the dog is put away. This is an important safety issue.
Yes, this is a problem. Petting Zoo animals and horses cannot work on an area that has been treated with chemicals such as fertilizer or insecticide within the past 6-7 days.
The best way to book a party is to click on the "CONTACT US" tab and complete the Reservation/Inquiry form. Our calendar fills up very quickly so please complete the form as soon as you have dates/times in mind.
What happens if we have bad weather on the day of my event?
We make every effort to be present at your event regardless of the weather! Many of our customers have had us set up in their garage, substituted small animals and had the party inside their home (we bring waterproof tarps), substituted a petting zoo for pony rides, and/or asked us to set up one of our easy-up canopies.
What does it mean to be USDA licensed?
We are licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture under the Animal Welfare Act. Our pastures and enclosures, veterinarian records, and trailers are randomly (surprise visits) inspected by a government Veterinarian. The inspection includes a review of how each animal's food is contained and protected and animal sleeping environments.
We are proud to say we are licensed by the USDA.
Do you clean up after the animals?
We clean up the petting zoo and ride areas as we go, and then perform a final inspection before we are packed and ready to leave.
Are your animals healthy and clean?
Absolutely! They are all vaccinated and dewormed per our Veterinarian's recommendations and guidelines. They are groomed, trimmed and bathed.
Are the petting zoo animals friendly?
Yes! We raised the majority of our animals and they enjoy and appreciate being held, loved and petted.
How is the petting zoo set up if a grass surface in not available?
Our standard rates are based on having close parking and level access to the site,
as well as a grassy location for the petting zoo. For events on hard surfaces
such as parking lots or concrete, we can bring bales of straw to spread on the
ground. Additional set-up fees may apply if we need to carry fencing and animals
more than 50 feet.
Is there a size/weight limit for pony rides?
Yes. We use miniature horses because we have found that a lot more children will ride these shorter horses - they look much less intimidating than ponies or full-size horses. Our miniature horses and saddle are intended for children who weigh up to 70 pounds.
Do you provide hand sanitizer for the petting zoo?
Yes! We strongly recommend children and adults wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer after petting animals.
How do you keep the pony rides safe?
Each miniature horse is hand-led by an experienced handler. We also ask that parents/guardians walk with younger children and maintain contact with the child during the ride. We provide each child with a certified safety riding helmet that is adjusted to fit snuggly and disinfected before each event.
How much space do we need to provide for a pony ride?
Our ponies are hand-led, so we can be creative with the pony route, provided the ground is relatively level.
What do parents and children love about pony decorating?
The parents enjoy watching the birthday child help to lead this event! The birthday child is first to choose and place the decorations on the pony and also leads the pony decorating finale! The before and after photos of the pony and the children are great memories!
Copyright 2010 Squeals on Wheels: Petting Zoo Virginia. All Rights Reserved.
Can I do a petting zoo indoors?
YES! Any of our petting zoos can be done indoors! We bring a waterproof tarp to put the ground to ensure that there is no mess and then continue with our regular set-up. We need at least a 10 x 10 foot area.