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FAQs

FAQ Categories:

New Client Setup & Visit Logistics

Are you licensed, bonded and insured? If so, with whom?

Yes. We are licensed by the city of Alexandria, Arlington County, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. We have many caregivers who live and work in both Arlington and Alexandria. Our insurance policy and bond are secured through the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters and the Business Insurers of the Carolinas. We carry a commercial general liability policy that includes Animal Bailee coverage to cover all the pets in our care, custody or control.

What types of animals do you care for?

Despite our name, we love all kinds of animals! DoggyWalker.com will care for dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, chinchillas, and turtles. If you have another type of pet, feel free to ask! Sorry, no snakes or exotic pets.

What areas do you serve?

DoggyWalker.com serves clients in the City of Alexandria, most of the Alexandria portion of Fairfax County, Arlington County and select areas of the City of Falls Church, and McLean. Please check out our map to see the boundaries and feel free to contact us if you’re unsure if we serve your area.

How do I start services with DoggyWalker.com?

If you’re interested in DoggyWalker.com services, please complete our New Client Form and a manager will contact you within 24 hours to set up a new client consultation and/or answer any additional questions you may have. You can find additional information about our services, rates, and company history on our website.

Why do you need two keys?

DoggyWalker.com requires two sets of keys for a few reasons, but normally because it is necessary for both sets of keys to be with two caregivers, in cases of multiple visits in a day, substitutions, and emergencies. Occasionally, the second copy comes in handy when you have locked yourself out and need a copy of your key! The backup copies of your key are always safely stored in a secure location and labeled in a way which does not give away the name or address of your home. For those of you who live in apartment buildings that require a FOB, we only require one copy of the FOB (although we’re happy to have two copies). Having the FOB allows us to spend more time with your pet(s) as opposed to waiting for the front desk or concierge to check the key out to us.

What information do you need about us and our pets?

We keep a profile on every home and pet that we visit that allows us to follow your routine as close as you would. The profile includes important information including your visit schedule, feeding schedule, your contact information, vet information, general routines, and any quirks about your home or pet (we all have quirks!). That profile is available to any caregiver that visits your home to ensure they know what to expect. We ask that you inform the office as changes occur in the routine of your pet or your home so we can be sure the profile reflects them. Our clients also have the ability to update their profiles on their own.

What other services do you provide while you are in my home?

Within reason, a DoggyWalker.com caregiver will complete additional tasks such as watering plants, bringing in mail and newspapers, turning lights and TVs on and off, etc. Caregivers are not expected to and will not pick up excessive pre-existing animal waste, perform house cleaning, maintenance, or be on call for delivery or repair people.

What’s the difference between a midday visit and pet sitting?

We refer to regular, weekday dog walks (9am-5pm) as midday visits, and after hour visits as pet sitting (weekday visits before 9am and after 5pm, as well as all weekend visits). Normally our midday visits are while you’re away at work, and pet sitting is for when you’re working late or out of town.

What’s included in your puppy package?

When puppies are young, they have smaller bladders and need to go outside frequently to help with their house training. Our puppy packages provide two, 20-minute visits per day that fall within two, one-hour time windows (that you can choose based on your schedule). Although most of our caregivers aren’t officially trained as dog trainers we have enough experience that we can help get your puppy off on the right paw, plus we love to help our clients with their new family members!

What does an Almost Overnight consist of?

An Almost Overnight is similar to having someone stay in your home, but it does not include our employee sleeping there. We come for a 2-hour visit in the evening, and a 1-hour visit the next morning. Both visits can include walks, feeding, administering medications, basic home care, and of course giving lots of love to your pet(s).

Can you take my dog to my neighborhood dog park?

As a professional pet-sitting company offering individual leash walks, we cannot take your dog to a public dog park. Although your dog may be well-behaved, we cannot predict how other dogs may react to your dog and therefore cannot guarantee your dog’s safety. Your dog’s well-being and health is our primary concern and for this reason we do not put them at risk by taking them to a public dog park. If your dog enjoys off leash exercise, we will happily play ball in a fully-fenced yard.

Will I have the same caregiver every day?

Our goal is to keep the same caregiver with each client, but if often depends on how often you schedule visits. For clients with regular weekly visits, it’s our goal to keep the same caregiver with your pet(s). For clients with less regular schedules, the assignment of your caregiver depends on the flexibility of the schedule on that day. When situations with our caregivers arise such as vacation, appointments, and illness, we utilize the second key that we keep secured at the office and assign a substitute caregiver to ensure your dog receives the daily care that they need. We maintain your profile in our system (LeashTime) so the substitute caregiver can access this information and do the best job possible. For pet sitting series, we try to have one to two caregivers conduct the entire series, though we cannot guarantee this. Many factors are involved with scheduling visits such as how many visits per day you require and where you live in relation to the caregiver. We try to maintain as much consistency as possible, while respecting the caregiver’s time, transportation costs, other employment, and personal concerns.

What technology do you have to track and manage my dog walks and pet sitting?

DoggyWalker.com utilizes a pet sitting software called LeashTime which houses our daily schedule (among other things). Our caregivers use LeashTime to mark when they arrive to your home and complete a visit. Our caregivers have traditionally left hand-written notes at the end of each visit, but they also have the capability to submit a visit report through LeashTime that can be emailed to you. We can also set up the system to email a completion notification when the visit has been marked complete. We’re currently working with LeashTime to enable the capability to text our clients these same options and hope to have it up and running in the near future.

DoggyWalker.com Caregivers

Will the person who comes for the initial consultation be the same person who will be caring for my pet(s)?

Not normally. We have one of our managers come over for the initial consultation to make sure we can answer any questions you have about the overall process. We are happy to schedule a meet and greet between you and your caregiver before or soon after visits begin, which are $15 per visit – as the caregivers are compensated for their time.

Can I hire my caregiver directly from DoggyWalker.com?

Please do not place your pet caregiver in an uncomfortable position by offering them employment apart from DoggyWalker.com. Our caregivers are contractually prohibited from soliciting or accepting employment directly from DoggyWalker.com’s clients.

May I give my pet caregiver a gratuity?

You are welcome to give your caregiver a gratuity, although it is not expected. You may either give it directly to your caregiver, address it to your caregiver(s) and send it to the office, or include it in your payment in our system (LeashTime). No matter how you do it, 100% of the gratuity will go directly to your designated caregiver(s).

Can I get the personal cell phone number of my caregiver?

It is company policy not to give out our employees’ personal cell phone number or other personal contact information. All scheduling and caregiver communication must be done through the office to ensure that nothing gets “lost in translation” and that communication between you and DoggyWalker.com remains direct and accurate. If you would like for the caregiver to call you at the time of the visit, he/she can do so using the telephone at your home or use the office as a go between.

How do you choose your pet caregivers?

DoggyWalker.com’s goal is to ensure the safety and security of our clients, their pets and their property. Our caregivers undergo an interview and screening process before they are hired, including reference and criminal background checks. DoggyWalker.com’s caregivers then complete a training and testing process, as well as ongoing training programs (e.g. first aid, equipment, etc.). We understand that it can be a little scary to have someone you don’t know coming into your home which is why DoggyWalker.com takes the time and effort to seek out only the best caregivers. Many of our caregivers are military or foreign service spouses, moms returning to the workforce, graduate students, and recent retirees. Most importantly, our roster of caregivers have all demonstrated compassion and love for animals.

Scheduling

What is your Late Request Fee, Cancellation & Rescheduling Policy?

  • Late Request Fee: For weekday, midday visits, a $10 late request fee is added to any visits added the same day, after 9am. For pet sitting visits, a $10 late request fee is added to any visit requested after 2pm for the same evening through the next morning before 9am (Monday through Friday), and/or after 2pm on a Friday for any visit over the same weekend, through Monday before 9am.
  • Cancellation Policy: Midday visits must be cancelled by 9am on the day of the visit or they will be charged in full. Pet sitting visits must be cancelled by 2pm for any visit that evening through 9am the next day or they will be charged in full. Weekend pet sitting visits must be cancelled by 2pm on Friday or they will be charged in full.
  • Rescheduling Policy: Flex Pack (30 min) and Visit Pack (20 min) visits can be rescheduled as long as they are cancelled before the cancellation deadline. Monthly contract walks for 3 or 4 day per week contracts can be rescheduled on any following weekday of the same month (one contract visit per day, no doubling up) as long as they are cancelled before the cancellation deadline.

How do I schedule a visit?

We have a couple different options to schedule a visit:
  • Login to your LeashTime account and request the visit yourself (don’t worry if you’re not sure what kind of visit you normally have, we’ll make sure it’s correct!).
  • Call your DoggyWalker.com Office.
  • Email info@doggywalker.com if you’re an Alexandria customer, or arlington@doggywalker.com if you’re an Arlington customer.

What holidays do you recognize?

DoggyWalker.com provides services 365 days per year. We observe the following days as holidays. Our offices will be closed, but our client system and emails will be monitored. They are not included in your monthly contract walks and each visit scheduled on these days as an additional $10 holiday fee that’s paid to the caregiver: – New Year’s Day – Memorial Day – 4th of July – Labor Day – Thanksgiving Day – Christmas Eve (after 5pm) – Christmas Day – New Year’s Eve (after 5pm)

What’s your inclement weather policy?

We follow the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in regard to inclement weather guidance for the Northern Virginia area. If OPM has closed the Federal Government due to weather, we will cancel all midday walks. If OPM has issued a delay due to inclement weather, we will conduct walks but may have to widen your visit window to make sure our caregivers can get to your pet(s) safely. Although if you are out of town, we will make sure your pet(s) are taken care of!

I work from home a few days each month, should I still get a monthly contract?

It’s usually depends on how many days you will cancel, some months may be less expensive for you to keep the monthly contract, where others would make more sense to pay for visits individually. However, many of our clients stay with the monthly contract even if they are going to occasionally be home, which gives them the freedom to work from home, run errands, or focus on other tasks during the day while knowing their pet(s) are still being taken care of!

I’m going away for a week next month, will you pro-rate the monthly contract?

Since the monthly contract has been set up at a discounted rate (a 30 minute, 5-day monthly contract walk average is ~$17 for one dog, and ~$19 for two dogs) and you pay for the monthly contract at the beginning of the month with a “use it or lose it” policy, we do not credit back any payment for walks that are not used. In a situation where you know ahead of time that you will be not be needing all your walks, we can check to see if it would be less expensive for you to pay for visits individually as opposed to the monthly contract, but you must notify the office before the 1st of the month. You are not committed or tied to your monthly contract, so if it’s cheaper for you to switch to a Flexpack of visits for the month you don’t need as many visits, we are happy to make that switch – as long as it’s been done before the 1st of the month.

Billing

How and when do I get billed?

  • Monthly Contract for 3, 4, or 5 days per week: Payment is due on the first business day of the month. This guarantees your visits for the coming month at the discounted rate. If you begin a monthly contract mid-month, you have the choice of pro-rating it, or paying the normal visit rate for the remainder of that month (whichever is cheaper), then beginning a monthly contract on the first day of the following month. Payment can be made through LeashTime, by providing credit card details to our office, or mailing us a check (due by the 5th of the month).
  • Pet Sitting & Other Visit Series: For your first pet sitting visit series as a new client we require a minimum of 50% payment before the first day of the visits, with the remainder to be paid at the end of the visit series. Before the initial pet sitting visit, we do need to have credit card information on file, or a check must have been received. Future series payments are due at the end of the visit series. Payment can be made through LeashTime by providing credit card information or mailing us a check. Please do not leave payment for your caregiver.

Why are there fees for the initial consultation and meet & greets?

Our caregivers are all employees of DoggyWalker.com and their compensation is commission based for any time they are representing the company, including pet sit visits, consultations, and meet & greets. For the initial consultation, the $20 charge is waived for any new client who signs up for a monthly contract or purchases a Flexpack (30 minute visit pack) or Visitpack (20 minute visit pack).

Can I get a discount if I…

DoggyWalker.com already offers very competitive pricing, especially with our monthly contract. Our goal is to make our services as affordable as possible while maintaining a professional standard and compensating our caregivers accordingly. We also offer flexible package options to provide discounted walks without a monthly contract. Please visit the Rates Page or ask us for more information.

Alexandria Office

703.838.5898

Email

202 E. Custis Ave. Alexandria, VA 22301

West Falls Church/Annandale/Merrifield

703.865.1657

Email

4303 S. Valiant Ct. Annandale, VA 22003

Arlington Office

703.336.7315

Email

5547 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA 22207

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