Frequently Asked Questions

Trained, Trusted, and Reliable Staff

Why use a professional service?

While seemingly you may feel any person will be qualified to handle your pets and home, we highly recommend utilizing a professional services business whose only function is to care for your pets. Taking care of your pets properly is the only focus for us. This isn’t a part-time business for us and our staff aren’t doing this for a little extra spending cash. It is their job. Over the years, we have heard literally hundreds of times that a neighbor, friend, colleague, or someone found on a listing website or other independent job listing site, was hired to care for their pets. Frequently, we hear they didn’t show up, did fewer visits than were contracted for, were at my house for only 10 minutes, or worse, sent someone in their place to perform the work. Anyone contracted in this way has absolutely no oversight. 

Why is it so important to have an employee, and not an independent contractor, have access to my home and pets?

Regardless of the company you choose, in order to protect your home, pets, and yourselves, having an employee in your home is highly recommended. It is extremely important that providers are well-chosen, trained, and monitored. Our selection process is stringent. . Our employees are trained and monitored. Legally speaking, an independent contractor is not permitted to be trained or monitored. See more.

Additionally, while all companies will tell you that they are bonded and insured, only a company with employees can protect you from staff injuries in or around your home or with your pet. That is because employees are covered with Workers’ Compensation insurance. If they slip on your front steps, fall in your home, or are hurt, at any time, while on your property or while working with your pet, we cover their medical expenses and lost pay. They will not be looking to you to pay these costs.

Will I get the same sitter every time?

At Tails on Trails, we work in teams. There are a minimum of two dog walkers, and one Field Manager, that manage each client. We have found that working in teams provides a multitude of benefits that include checks and balances on care performed, back-up coverage in case one sitter becomes unavailable, quality assurance with care instructions, and shared knowledge base on your pets and animal health and behavior, in general. Through our professional scheduling app, only the sitters working with your home and pets will have access to your personal information. They work together to communicate on any changes.

What if I want to meet the dog walkers, individually?

Our clients understand that because we work in teams and that sitter availability for specific work is constantly changing, that meeting the dog walkers, individually, is not always the ideal option. Our clients meet the Field Manager, who is responsible for answering questions and providing support on field issues. If, however, you would like to meet the team currently working in your area, we can set those meetings up, as individual visits.

Caring for Your Pets

How long are mid-day dog walking visits?

Short mid-day visits include a minimum of a 10-minute walk. Regular walks include a minimum of a 20-minute walk. The remainder of the visit time is needed to leash/unleash your pet(s), provide fresh water and a treat, and a note regarding care.

How am I ensured my visits are completed?

We utilize a state-of-the art scheduling and GPS system that shows when our walkers check-in and out of visits. Additionally, the GPS system marks the location of both the check-in and out. Further, the on-call local Field Manager monitors the schedule to make sure we are meeting your expectations, as well as to be able to provide back-up support in the case of questions or field issues. Our dog walking clients receive an automated message through our app when all visits are completed as well.

How do I know my care instructions are being followed?

The care teams communicate directly with each other, and the office, on the day-to-day care instructions. Our real-time scheduling system provides all instructions to only the dog walkers caring for your pets. Additionally, our local Field Managers provide on-site quality checks to ensure your care instructions are being followed, all pets are properly cared for, and any issues are being addressed.

Billing, Scheduling, and Payments

How does payment and billing work?
  • All billing is performed weekly, on Friday, prior to services being performed
  • Monthly clients are billed at the beginning of the month
  • We accept Visa, Mastercard, and Discover
What is included in the registration fee of $29?
  • Processing client paperwork and set up in our scheduling system
  • Bar coding house keys
  • Phone consultation to discuss care instructions, schedule, and visit specifics
  • Face-to-face consultation with the Field Manager for your area
  • Any needed follow-up meetings between Field Manager and sitters

Adding or Canceling Visits

What is your cancellation period for mid-day dog walking?

We respectfully request one business days’ notice for cancellation of mid-day dog walking appointments.

Our walkers plan and commit their time like they would for any other job. Typically, this is our walkers’ only job and they count on this income. Because we make this commitment to our employees, we find we are able to hire and retain a more qualified, dedicated, and capable employee.

When do I need to let you know about adding a mid-day walk to the schedule?

A significant number of our clients are on a recurring schedule for mid-day walks. We can accommodate schedules that change weekly, but we ask for your flexibility on time windows. Typically, these clients are on a weekly reminder list and book the week prior to services. We can add visits, after that time, but because our regular clients will already have visits scheduled, we cannot guarantee availability on time windows.

Key Management System

How many keys do you need?
We require two properly working keys for all new clients. One key is provided to the sitter that is performing the visit. One key remains in the office in cases of unexpected absence or sitter emergency. This is a routine policy that the majority of professional pet sitting companies adhere to.
How does your key system work?
We bar code keys and they are managed by the office. Keys are distributed for use and inventoried on a regular schedule. When a sitter is no longer performing visits for you, we retain them back at the office. The keys remain with the office, until you are no longer a client with Tails on Trails, LLC.

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