Frequently Asked Questions:
Why should I have my dog walked during the day?
Daily dog walking provides your dog an opportunity to get exercise, personal attention, increase social skills, receive affection and play, all while you are at work or busy with errands. Most behavioral problems arise out of isolation, boredom, lack of exercise and socialization. Research shows that dogs who have enough exercise feel less stress, exhibit fewer signs of separation anxiety and have a healthier social temperament. A walked dog is a happy dog, hence you are a happy dog parent!!!
How do I get started?
Please contact Four Paws Walking at 415-317-0036 or www.fourpawssf.com to set up an initial consultation. We will then send you paperwork that is necessary to be filled out completely prior to our meeting. (ie. Client Service Contract)
What happens at the initial consultation?
This free initial meeting is very important to both of us. We will come to your home and meet with you and your pet(s). The meeting should last between 1/2 hour and 45 minutes. It gives you an opportunity to learn more about our services and qualifications and we will have the opportunity to learn more about your pet(s) and their routine and needs. Our priority is the health, safety and happiness of those in our care and we want to make sure that we will get along well and your pet will enjoy the best experience with a new group of friends. We will go on a short walk in your neighborhood to see how your dog behaves on leash in a comfortable environment. If we agree that this service would be beneficial for your pet(s), we can review our policies, client service contract and ensure any questions you have are answered. We will also need written verification that your dog is current with its Rabies, DHLPP and Bortadella vaccines at this time. It is essential that we are both fully informed and comfortable with our new partnership.
What is a Client Service Contract?
In order to provide a safe and fun environment for all of our dogs and clients, Four Paws Walking keeps a detailed service agreement for every dog in our care. This agreement includes important information including walk schedule, contact information, vet information, general routines, and any household or pet quirks (we all have them!). All of this information is kept in a confidential file. The more we know about your animal, the better the overall experience will be for you and for them. This agreement must be completed and signed prior to your dog going out on any walks for liability and insurance purposes. You will receive a copy for your records.
What is your key policy?
We require you to supply us with two keys made from your master key by a locksmith. (please verify they work correctly prior to giving it to us) One key will be unmarked with the dog walker and one will be kept in a safe at our office. Your homes safety is important to us so your keys will be guarded and safely stored. Any alarm codes and or home safety procedures will also be kept strictly confidential. If you live in a secured building with either a doorman or security check, please have written permission for us to pick up and drop off your dog.
How do I prepare my dog for the dog walks?
Make sure that your dog has its collar and tags. (Microchip preferred also) Four Paws Walking has its own supply of leashes. We also have a tag with our company name and phone number that we will add to your dogs collar. If they have a harness, please leave that available for us to also use.
Does my dog automatically get put into a group walk?
We will assess your dogs temperament with a trial period of 3 private walks to get comfortable with each other and work on basic commands. Once we place them in a group, there will be a 3 day trial period within the group. Most dogs are able to adjust to small packs rather quickly and begin to enjoy the walks with their new found friends immediately. There is an occasional dog that does not like or benefit from group walks. If this is assessed with your dog, we will help you find a private dog walker. After the trial walks, we can work with you on a regular schedule and make a routine of it.
Do you take aggressive dogs?
No. Aggressive dogs are not allowed! If your dog is deemed aggressive during his or her screening, or if your dog becomes aggressive during a group walk, we will discontinue service, offer you a refund and suggest training to further your dogs socialization.
Does my dog get treats on the Group Walks?
We believe in a positive reinforcement philosophy with every dog, utilizing praise, rewards and consistency. You decide if you want your dog to have treats. We do not over use treats, but when a dog starts out in group walks, it can be extremely helpful to use treats to encourage good behavior. We use healthy treats and take dogs diet and allergies into consideration.
Can you keep my dog overnight?
We will board our clients overnight. The price for the overnight includes the daily walks with the groups.
Why should I use Four Paws Walking when I can get a friend, neighbor or family member to walk my dog?
Dogs are very social and enjoy being with fury friends of their own size and personality. Pet parents can feel at ease knowing that we are bonded, insured, certified in Pet First Aid/CPR, trained for emergencies, consistently looking out for safety hazards and trained to observe dog on dog behaviors and interactions. Walking dogs in small groups allows for mental stimulation, happiness, socialization, discipline and exercise!! We know you have many options when it comes to finding a dog walker for your loved one and we can assure, you will not be disappointed with our service.
What happens on rainy days?
We love the outdoors and the dogs seem to love the park also when there is a light sprinkle or thick fog!!!! We are well equipped for outings in any weather. We will also ensure their paws are wiped clean prior to going home. There may be the occasional days when the weather is extreme. If we feel the safety of the dogs is at risk, we may cancel the group walk for the day. We will notify you as soon as that decision is made and credit the day in the future.
What are your office hours?
We are available Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5:30pm.
Are you available on Holidays?
We do not provide dog walking services on the following holidays: Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and the day after, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, New Years Day. Boarding may be available with an extra $10 fee.
What is your cancellation policy?
We adhere to a strict NO overbooking policy for the animal's safety. Once you have contracted services, we will turn away business in order to accommodate your schedule. However, we do understand that things happen beyond our control so we do try to accommodate last minute changes whenever possible. We ask that you give us 24 hours notice for changes or cancellations in order to ensure all of our clients receive first rate service. If you cancel your scheduled walk within 24 hours, there will be a $25 cancellation fee. If we show up and you forgot to cancel, it is charged in full as a day in the group and no credit will be given.
Will I know where my dog is walking?
We will communicate with you daily anyway you would like us to in order let you know about where our day is taking us. We can text, facebook, twitter or instagram pictures of your babies having fun!