What you need to know about...
Before the walk
We ask that you supply a well fitting, secure collar (or harness in certain breeds) and a common cloth or leather leash, no more than 5 feet long. We have found that retractable leashes can be cumbersome and unsafe. If your dog pulls or lunges in an unsafe manner, we may discuss with you different collar or harness options for the safety of the dog, as well as training options.
For inclement weather, please have any items necessary for the dog's comfort and safety in a designated area where they can be easily found. This includes coat and/or boots if he is accustomed to wearing them, towel, paw wax to protect against ice melt, baby wipes for wiping paws, etc.
During the walk
We never leave dogs unattended or tied up outside. We never walk or play with dogs off leash unless they are within your securely fenced yard. We do not do group walks, and will walk dogs in the same household together only if they are well-behaved on the leash. Even dogs who live together need their own one-on-one time!
When encountering other animals, children or any thing that might make the dog uncomfortable, we will always do our best to keep safe distance and remain in control of the situation. We stay alert to potential dangers on the ground or in the environment such as discarded food or bones, trash, etc.
During hot weather, we carry water for the dog to drink and to use to help them cool off. We use common sense and will always try to find shady areas to walk as well as rest when needed. If the dog seems uncomfortable we will head home and enjoy extra playtime inside.
During extreme weather conditions (freezing temperatures, snow, pouring rain, extreme heat/humidity), we keep the dogs outside only as long as it is comfortable for them. To some degree, this will depend on the breed, but more so on the individual dog. We will do whatever we can to make it easy for them to relieve themselves before returning home.
After the walk
The dog(s) will be dried off, paws cleaned and the entry area tidied according to the owner's instructions. We always make sure that the dogs have plenty of fresh water available to them. For crated dogs, we try to ensure they drink plenty of water during the walk and before putting them back in their crates.
Temperature at home and lights: we will check that the temperature at home is comfortable for your pets. We will adjust temperature and lights per owner's instructions, leaving a specified lamp or light on if desired.
If a pet shows signs of being ill (vomiting, excessive diarrhea, lethargy, any behavior change, etc.), we will immediately contact the owner. We request that we are advised in advance if an owner is aware of their pet being sick prior to a visit or walk in order for us to plan accordingly and be prepared.
Cats are amazing, independent creatures. With the use of a litter box, cats don't have quite the same needs as far as potty visits go, and many people feel comfortable leaving their cats for days at a time with big bowls of food and water and perhaps a periodic check, if at all. And, a lot of the time, with luck, all goes well. BUT- anything can happen when pets are left alone, and cats are no exception. For example, a urethral blockage is common but potentially lethal ailment that renders cats unable to urinate. Toxins can build up and poison the blood stream quickly, and a cat that is checked every other day, let alone once or twice a week could die between visits. The list of things that can go wrong (think Murphy's Law) is practically endless. From a knocked over water bowl resulting in a parched cat to a sickness resulting in a seriously ill or dead cat, things happen.
That is why we require a minimum of one visit per day for cats.
We also will not agree to "ignore the cat" requests- or any other animals in the house. When our services are secured for dogs while a client is on vacation, we accept responsibility for all pets, and cannot, in good conscience, ignore additional pets, be they cats, birds, reptiles or small caged critters. Their care will also be part the service agreement.
For liability reasons, we do not share pet care with any other person, be they friend or family.
Pet visit times
Barring medical conditions that necessitate a specific visit time, pet care visits are not scheduled at a specific time. Instead, a time range will be confirmed. Morning visits take place between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., midday visits between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., evening visits between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., and bedtime visits between 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.