Jog My Dog

/Jog My Dog

5* Rating with MK Council

Jog My Dog were awarded a 5 star rating by Milton Keynes Council, following our inspection on the 30th January 2019.

Extensive changes were made to the regulations surrounding the boarding of dogs or cats within a home environment and the changes came into effect from 1st October 2018. We are proud to have not only a fabulous electronic system in place, we also have extensive process and procedures documents which all the team follow and engage in ongoing training to ensure our knowledge is kept up to date and the dogs receive the best standard of care when with us.

This is the link to the new regulations in case you would like to read them.

If you are looking to board your dog or cat with a host family, or put them in doggy day care then do ensure that you have checked to see that not only is the family/individual approved by MK Council (a legal requirement), but also see what rating they have been given. This will give you a great indication of standard of care, experience, systems, etc. Only a local authority may authorise an officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner to inspect licensed premises. And the license should be on display at all times.

Our home boarding is based in Woburn Sands, near beautiful woodlands and with easy access to three enclosed fields. We accept only friendly small/medium dogs but do make exceptions for bigger breeds if older and if they possess good loose lead walking skills and have reliable recall. The doggies must be toilet trained and if male be castrated. Unspayed females are welcome to stay but not when in season. 

The dogs have free access to the house where they can choose where to play or snooze the afternoon away. With lots of comfy couches, a large wood burning stove, pet friendly and enclosed garden – this is a real home from home environment they will not want to leave. 

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How to choose a dog walker

If you’re looking for a dog walker in Milton Keynes or Bedford you will be inundated with names of either businesses who offer this service or individuals who do a bit of walking on the side. You may even get some parents offering their child up for a fiver. There are almost too many options now which makes picking the right dog walker for you and your pooch tricky, if not a little stressful.

Pricing

To start with, you need to understand what it is you want out of the relationship and how much you want to pay. If you are pinching pennies and want the cheapest walker going then you need to understand how this will impact you and your dog; often the lowest price means lowest service. Not always but often. Dog walking is hard work, and a business who prices themselves appropriately in the market place will have taken the time to understand the logistics behind dog walking and will not just be bunging your dog in a van with twenty others because it’s easy money.

pricing

Reliability

Reliability is a huge factor too! We get so many clients coming to us because their previous walker let them down. It is often assumed in our line of work that walking is something that’s required 365 days of the year, but of course everyone needs a break. If you’re going for the cheapest rate then there is a good chance that your walker will be working on their own and therefore will be seemingly “letting you down” when taking a holiday. Do understand that a walker is just like you and I .. with the same need to rest and recoup after all that exercise and braving the elements. This may suit you ok, or you may need to use someone that has a cover system in place. Just something to think about before you choose your walker.

At Jog My Dog we have a team in place so when your usual walker takes a holiday, or is sick unexpectedly, one of the team will step in. This cover walker will have been shown the ropes already (usually when you sign up) so that they are ready and able to take up the reigns so to speak when it’s that time of year when you’re walker needs a break. The way we work is really unique I believe as we are able to offer you an individual walker who you and your dog can build up a relationship but provide cover so that you can have that all important dog walk every day of the year.

reliable dog walker

Transport

I’m always surprised how rarely (if ever) we are asked how the dogs will be transported to and from their walk. But people this is HUGE!! So so many dog walkers are cramming ten, twelve or sometimes twenty (yes you read that right) in a small van and then releasing them in a field together. Sure the dogs are usually fine, but what if it’s hot and a flat faced breed is struggling with the heat and proximity of other dogs and one time it’s not ok? What if some of the dogs have issues being this close to others and it starts to bring out the worst in them?

Then there is the opposite end of the spectrum, where dogs are travelling in cars loose and sat in foot wells, clambering over seats, moving around in the boot and generally distracting the driver. Your dog should be in a harness and then strapped in just like you or your child would be when driving in a car, it is against the law to have them loose and out of control. And what if the walker were to have an accident? It would be your dog flying through that windscreen faster than you can say bam!

Again this comes down to doing your research. Ask how the dogs will be transported and what systems are in place to ensure they are secure if travelling in a car not crate. At Jog My Dog we put dogs in their own individual crate unless they are from the same household (with owner agreement) or they are very well known to each other and small enough to still fit comfortably. If dogs are unhappy travelling in a crate – and some are – then we ask owners to leave out a harness so that we can strap them in with our doggy seat belts. Any dogs that are in the boots have a long leash attached to them which is in turn attached to the vehicle in some way, so that they do not bomb out of the car when the boot is opened.

tranport

How many dogs will they walk with?

Every dog walking business is different and the first thing to highlight is that this is a very individual situation which comes down to the experience of a walker, the dog breed, temperament and age, along with the location of the walk.

An experienced walker can quite easily and safely manage 5 dogs if walking in a secluded wood, and if the dogs are known to each other, well behaved with good recall and a calm demeanor then this type of walk would be a delight and totally appropriate. You can, however, have 3 extremely wild and naughty dogs with poor recall and in this case 3 would be the max this walker should take out, with 2 probably being more appropriate.

A professional dog walking business will assess the dogs carefully before accepting them, through a detailed phone conversation and a trial walk during the meet and greet. We do this at Jog My Dog, however, sometimes this won’t show the full picture and we only start to see the real dog during their group play. Dogs that do not listen, have poor recall or ‘harass’ other dogs on their walks are not suitable for group walk sessions with us as we already have groups in place and no more room for solo dog walking.

Most of our group walks are with 3 or 4 well behaved dogs. We take them to safe areas such as the woods (Aspley and Woburn Sands being our favourite), enclosed fields (Woburn Sands or Wolverton Mill), rural areas along the North Bucks Way to name but a few. But of course there is a chance we will bump into other people or dogs so it is a must that yours is well behaved with reliable recall and presents with no aggression in order for them to join these types of walks.

Walkers often meet up as it gives us a chance to further assess the suitability of dog combinations so that last minute emergencies, holidays etc can be catered to. As the picture below shows, we look for good recall, a reliable ‘sit/stay’ and whether there is any reactivity around treats or toys. With two people present, and in fully enclosed fields, we are able to do these sort of checks which I believe is really key to stress free and safe walking.

dog walker woburn sands

So you want to be a dog walker

START YOUR NEW CAREER AS A DOG WALKER

If you have seen one of our adverts for a dog walker and think it might be something for you then this blog post is worth a read. It talks you through the services we offer, what sort of people we’re looking for to join the team, what you could earn and more!

DOG WALKING JOBS MILTON KEYNES with JOG MY DOG. 

Jog My Dog is a professional dog walking and pet sitting company. The pet care professionals contracted by Jog My Dog travel to our clients’ homes to perform the pet sitting duties requested by our customers.

Our clients are located in Milton Keynes and the surrounding villages of:

  • Bow Brickhill
  • Woburn Sands
  • Aspley Guise
  • Newport Pagnell
  • Wolverton

We currently need dog walkers in the West Milton Keynes area, Newport Pagnell or surrounding and Woburn Sands or surrounding. Anywhere within a 3 or so mile radius from these locations would be ideal. 

We provide five types of services:

  1. Dog Walking: one visit per day, typically Monday through Friday between the hours of 11am and 2:30pm, to walk dogs while their owners are at work;
  2. Doggy Day Care: dogs stay with us for the day and they are taken for at least two group walks
  3. Pet Visits: to help make our client’s lives and time away from home easier, we look after cats and other small animals in the comfort of their own home; we are also able to offer a variety of add-on, specialty services on request
  4. Home Boarding: the timeline for this service can range from a day anywhere up to three weeks; a client’s dog stays with a Jog My Dog pet sitter in their home where they will get at least two walks per day and not left alone longer than 3 hours
  5. House Sitting: a pet sitter stays in a clients home to look after their pets, who should not be left alone for longer than 3 hours at a time. No partners or friends/family allowed to stay.

What is essential to work with Jog My Dog?

You must:

  • Have a valid driver’s license and access to a reliable, insured vehicle (ideally hatchback or similar).
  • Have a Smart phone, daily access to the Internet and the ability to communicate effectively by returning emails and phone calls promptly.
  • Be familiar with the service area.
  • Commit to at least 12 months.
  • Be able to provide professional references.
  • Obtain and submit a DBS certificate (circa £25 and lasts 3 years)
  • You must be able to access our mobile phone application while performing duties. (Smartphone.)
  • Pet First Aid Training is advantageous
  • Knowledge of dog behavior is useful (the current walkers all receive ongoing training guidance from a behaviorist we use in Milton Keynes that JMD work with)

Positions with Jog My Dog

  • Mid Day Dog Walkers must be available to walk dogs Monday through Friday between the hours of 11 AM & 14:30 PM. The number of dogs you’ll walk on any given day will vary based upon the clients’ schedules and when they need pet care.  It is important for the business to be able to provide cover on all of these days and hours; therefore please specify if you are only available a few days per week or for only certain hours of the 11:00-14:30 time block.
  • Pet Sitters/ House Sitters visit our client’s home multiple times per day, and may need to be available for AM & PM visits. House Sitters will live in a clients home and the duration can span a weekend or two weeks.

Summary

Sitters contracted by Jog My Dog can either be classified as a Mid Day Dog Walker, a Pet Sitter, a House Sitter or any combination of the three positions. This is based on your availability and what services you’re interested in offering to our clients.

Walkers and sitters typically accept assignments as close to their “home base” as possible to increase their profits (i.e. reduce petrol costs). The usual travel distance is 2.5 to 5 miles with a max distance of 7 miles… unless they have agreed to travel further.

Note: For house sitting assignments, sitters can travel further because their “home base” is the client’s home.

Working as an Independent Contractor

Jog My Dog chooses to work with independent contractors (IC’s) to perform the pet care duties outlined by our customers. An independent contractor is someone who is classed as Self-Employed and is responsible for their own tax returns.

As an independent contractor you’re paid an amount per pet you look after rather than an hourly rate.

Group Dog Walks are kept to four at a time (unless the dogs are small/easy and the walker is extremely experienced in group walks). Independent Contractors working with Jog My Dog may walk one, two, three or four dogs at a time as determined by the needs of our customers, and their own confidence and experience with dogs.

Long-Term Relationship

Jog My Dog is interested in working with IC’s who want to build a long-term relationship with our company and its clients. It’s not a good position for those trying to find interim work while in-between jobs or trying to “figure-out” what their next step is. Our clients come to trust their assigned pet sitter and appreciate it when they’re able to grow a trusted relationship with that person.  

Dog walking with Jog My Dog is a lot of fun, but can sometimes be hard work too when it is raining, snowing or when the doggies are strong, pull, etc. The role offers a great work/life balance but is not suitable to those who need a set income each month as walks can fluctuate depending on when our clients need us (i.e. half term, Christmas can be quieter as clients are off with their dogs). However, if a walker is prepared to be patient and understands what pet care is – the importance of building strong relationships with customers and is willing to engage with local word of mouth advertising which helps business pick up and grow – it offers great potential for good earnings within the lunch time window.

Compensation

Jog My Dog offer fantastic rates for our services to the team of dog walkers, home boarders and sitters – paying the most of all businesses in Milton Keynes as we value our team. We also use a fantastic online system for managing the client info, diaries and invoicing is done by Jog My Dog so that our walking/sitting team do not have to worry about chasing money or getting paid.

  • Compensation information will be provided in email 
  • Walkers, Sitters and Boarders are paid every 2 weeks by direct deposit into their bank account.
    • We pay on the 1st and 16th of each month.

Earnings range from £400 – £1300 a month. What a person earns is very much dependent on their availability, experience with dogs, willingness to walk big dogs, engagement with clients and generating local word of mouth recommendations. The amount of time a walker has been with Jog My Dog also factors in to the amount earned, as areas can take some time to build up but once they do work continues to come in by word of mouth referrals.

Sound like something you’d like to do?

If after reading the above you feel this is something that you would love to do then please follow this link and complete the questionnaire form. We will only contact those who fit what we are looking for – thank you for your interest!

Why choose Jog My Dog?

There are lots of dog walkers in Milton Keynes and Bedford so why choose Jog My Dog? I have listed in this blog the top 6 reasons which are really the corner stones of our business and what sets us apart from the competition.

1. Professionalism: Our clients know that when they choose us their much loved pets are being looked after by a qualified, knowledgeable, insured and DBS checked business. We are members of The Pet Professionals Guild, The National Association of Registered Pet Sitters and The International Society of Animal Professionals. We are also registered volunteers with The Cinnamon Trust and Hula Animal Rescue.

2. Technology and Convenience: To help the business run smoothly we utilise a top-notch system. Clients can book, amend and cancel services, view their billing information and update their pet profiles online and keep in real-time contact with their pet sitter via GPS and picture messaging.

3. Education and Knowledge: We believe that the learning process never stops and as such we are constantly keeping up to date with the latest scientific research around animal behaviour, reward-based training methods, nutrition and pet first aid.

4. Feedback with Outstanding Communication: We encourage all our clients to speak to us about their experience with Jog My Dog so that we can continue to improve as a business. Happiness Surveys have just been launched which enables clients to provide live feedback after each walk, pop in or boarding service.

5. Huge Passion for Animals: Animal welfare and pet health – both physical and mental – is our number one priority; and as a business we promote continued education and learning so that we can give our clients, and their pets, the best possible service.

6. We were WINNERS of the Best Local Business Award 2017 and hugely proud to not only have been nominated by our clients but go on to win in this competitive category.

My Dog Walker is on Holiday, Now What?

At Jog My Dog we pride ourselves on providing a 365 day a year service to our clients. But just like you, we like to take some time off to spend time with our family and friends to relax, travel and unwind. The beauty of how we work is that you will always have cover for your dog walks throughout the year. How? Well have a read and find out!

When you sign up we will run through the process of how we work. You can read about this here. The beauty of having a team of walkers familiar with your home set up, doggy temperament and likes/dislikes means covering for sickness, holiday and last minute emergencies is possible.

Many clients on sign up ask if they will have one walker or a few. We give each client a set walker but they also have a set back up walker – so essentially two girls with keys to their home. However, we also do joint walks with some of the other local walkers so that we can assess your doggy alongside the others that join our group walks; to be sure that everyone gets on and all the walkers are familiar with your dog. This way, should they ever need to step in and cover in an emergency they are more than ready to do so!

This system works fabulously and means we can say yes to 99% of bookings requests, even when they come in last minute. If clients only had one walker then there would be lots of occasions where they would be ‘let down’. However, with the way we work there is always cover for walks even if your usual walker is on their annual leave.

All the girls walking for Jog My Dog have gone through the same recruitment and induction process. They are all DBS cleared and work to the high standards we set. Our booking process is straightforward and as long as you have given us 2x keys to your property or use a key box safe we can get someone to you.

 

 

Best Wet Weather Walking Gear

Make no mistakes about it. The weather has been wet! As professional dog walkers we know the importance of dressing smart and there is no more important time to do this than when the weather is chucking it down.

What’s the saying .. there’s no bad weather, only poor dressing for it .. how true is this. And if you own a dog then it makes sense to stock up on some of these essentials to make your life easier. I’ve listed my top three items below in order of importance (to me). What’s your “go to” item for walking in the rain? We’d love to know so get commenting below or over on Facebook.

Shoes

Everyone will have their own opinion about the right shoes for walking in wet weather; some will go for a solid water proof walking boot, while others will stick to their trusty Duberry boots and look smart all year round. For me it’s got to be a quality welly! Don’t get me wrong, I love my Duberry’s but I see these as more of a city wander piece, something I wear when I have a nosy around town, perhaps stopping off in a pub for lunch with friends .. you get the point. I don’t see them as something I fancy wearing when trudging through mud! I’ve also tried the water proof walking shoes but found these were way too heavy and cumbersome, I felt I was walking around with a kilo weight around my heels, not for me.

Welly’s are just the perfect option in my opinion for wet weather dog walking. Of course if you’re going to go for a hike then this isn’t what you’d choose. Nor is it what you’d choose for hours and hours of walking anywhere. But for most average dog owners who get out for an hour or so a day they are perfect. But not just any welly. It’s important to invest in a good quality item which will not only fit well, but be comfortable to walk in (most cheap welly’s are not) and last you for a good year or two.

I have two which I love. The Aigle boot and a pair of Muck boots. The Aigle I find to be a bit more lightweight to wear. They are extremely comfy and breathable but I feel may not last as long as the Muck boots which are really sturdy and subsequently a bit of a heavier wear.

They are really comfortable and while I still wouldn’t recommend them for serious walking (talking a day out and about) they are the perfect option for professional dog walkers who need dry feet for a good 3 hours of walking in mud, snow or rain. They can be easily washed down at the end of the day and guarantee you will not be mid walk and find yourself in a puddle of mud which has not only ruined your running shoes but also the rest of your day.

I recommend having a small crate within the foot well of your car / van which you place the welly’s into after your walk; this will contain the mud and water to one place – leaving your vehicle nice and clean regardless of where you previously walked.

Parcours-2-Signature-by-Aigle-3309-p

Water Proofs

The next most important item you can own for walking in wet weather are water proofs. There’s no point in wearing your nice coat out when walking the dog as they always manage to get themselves full of mud and with a good ol’ shake post walk decorate your clothing in their mess! And for us dog walkers, there is also nothing worse than wearing tons of layers or a thick winter coat, only to find mid walk that we are overheating and miserable.

In my opinion, jeans are just too uncomfortable for a day out and about, they rise in all the wrong places and if wet become the most frustrating thing to wear. They don’t dry out quickly and will make your seat completely soaked which is most unpleasant to drive in but pretty smelly too! My go to time and again is a simple cotton long sleeve (if winter) with a thermal sweater on top. For bottoms I own 10+ leggings. These are so comfortable to just pull on at the start of the day and allow me to move without restriction. Before a walk all you do is pull your water proof jacket and trousers out of your bag and throw them on, tucking the trousers into your welly boots will ensure that no water trickles down your ankles making your feet wet. At the end of the walk you can peel away the soaking wet items and tuck in your bag which sits next to your welly container on the floor. You can then drive off as dry as when you set off and will have the added bonus of being clean enough to pick up the kids from school, go shopping, etc .. ! You can get water proofs just about anywhere, but do think about investing in something which will last. I bought my latest gear from Go Outdoors but you can also get good quality walking clothes at Cotswold Outdoors, John Lewis and other high street retailers.

water proofs

Head Wear

Some people love hats to keep their head and ears warm in the cold, damp weather. But not me. I find a hat a bit too restrictive and a “hoody” is even worse as you can’t see the dogs to the right and left of you without actually turning your head. Annoying. I love these hand bands from Cotswold Outdoors as they keep my ears warm and also my hair back off my face. In winter we not only face wet weather but also gusty wind so these are just the perfect thing for combating both.

headbands

Is Home Boarding Suitable for my dog?

Will my dog enjoy boarding with other dogs? Who will my dog be staying with when with you? What do I need to tell you about my dog before I can book his holiday? How old does my dog need to be before he can board with you?

These are just some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from new clients wishing to place their dog in home boarding while they go on holiday so read on to learn what makes your dog the ‘perfect fit’ for our boarding homes.

What age does my dog need to be?

This is a really important one so comes first. There is no point building your hopes up of securing a spot in our boarding homes if your pooch is below 6 months. Milton Keynes Council stipulate this within our license terms so it isn’t one we can stretch to suit your holiday, even if it is by a day or two! New puppy owners should bear this in mind before they plan any holidays abroad. If you’ve gotten a pup unexpectedly and your holiday was already purchased then house sitting is the perfect option. You can read more about this service we also offer here.

Can you take entire male dogs?

Sadly, the answer is 99% of the cases is no. This is because entire males spray / mark in our homes. This is behaviour you may surprised with as they don’t do it in your home or friends and family. However, it is a reality and something we have witnessed time and again. It is most likely due to all the numerous canine smells wafting through the boarders home as we have guest dogs come to stay 365 days of the year! Entire males not only mark their “territory” within the home, but they also are more prone to reactivity when placed with other dogs which is not a risk we are not prepared to take.

Saying this, some dogs are absolutely fine and do not cock their leg, nor present with any aggressive tendencies so it is not a blanket ban but something we take on a case by case basis. But please do bear in mind that most dogs fail their 24 hr trial with us if they are entire. Again, our house sitting option is perfect for this and it is indeed what I do with Grizzle every time I go away as he is entire too!

Oh no, my female dog is in season! Can she still board?

Again, sadly the answer is no unless we have no other guest dogs coming to stay over the same period (this includes day care dogs). A female dog in heat will be ‘harassed’ by other male dogs, whether they are entire or not. She also must be kept on lead at all times which can be difficult to manage with 4+ other dogs all playing off lead. And finally, it is a great risk for the home boarder which is most cases they are not prepared to take. New dog owners need to do their research on this before booking and paying for a holiday to ensure the dates of the holiday and season do not clash.

Who will my dog be staying with?

We have some small, friendly dogs in day care Monday – Friday and alongside this we will accept another 1 or 2 guest dogs subject to temperament and size. Our day care dogs are regular and well known to the boarder so any home boarding dogs will have their 24 hr trial with the dogs they will most likely be staying with during their holiday. This allows the boarder to assess the dynamics and ensure everyone gets on; and gives owners a chance to see who their pooch will be with in their absence. If your dog is aggressive or fearful they may prefer to stay in their own home, and in this case our house sitting option may be a better fit for you. If, however, they are simply a bit nervous but do enjoy dog company then worry not. We have had lots of wary little dogs come to stay and by the end of day one they are lounging around the place as if they own it!

Do you walk my dog off lead?

Most of the dogs who come to stay with us have reliable recall and are therefore allowed off lead. We walk in the woods and also have access to three large enclosed fields so off lead play is safe and fun. If your dog is small and you keep him/her on lead then we are happy to do so for your peace of mind.

However, we cannot keep large and strong dogs on lead as they often become frustrated wanting to play with the other dogs and pull our backs and necks in the process. If you have a large dog who has not been taught to walk nicely on the lead and has poor recall then they may be better suited to staying within their own home with friends / family stopping over and one of our walkers coming along mid day to take them for a walk. Or you can use our house sitting service.

My dog sometimes has ‘accidents’ in the house, can he still stay with you?

In the main, the answer will be no. But during our 24 hr trials we do assess how frequent these accidents are and if simply down to nerves we may suggest doing a second trial day to see if them getting to know us reduces the number of accidents (it often does). Saying that, some doggies just haven’t been taught where the right place to toilet is and defecate in their beds, in the kitchen and anywhere / anywhere they fancy. These dogs are sadly not suitable for home boarding.

Header Picture Credit: Heartland Animal Hospital Ashland, MO veterinary clinic

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Jog My Dog is a friendly and professional company offering home boarding, puppy visits, doggy day care, cat visits and dog walking services in Milton Keynes, Bedford and the surrounding villages of Bow Brickhill, Brickhill Sands, Little Brickhill, Great Brickhill, Aspley Guise, Woburn, Woburn Sands & Brogborough

Registered, Insured, Knowledgeable and Experienced, we take the job of pet care seriously. So whether you’re looking for a cat sitter for your weekend away or regular runs for your dog while you’re at work, we can help! Get in touch to book your pet sitter and dog walker in Milton Keynes today & Bedford.

New Dog Walking Clients: Start HERE!

Are you a prospective client wishing to have your dog walked by us? Or are you new and need a refresher about how we work? This is a really important blog post which highlights some of our most commonly asked questions and explores in detail how we work, what the sign up process is, who will walk  your dog if your normal sitter is on holiday and so much more!

  • How does a client go about getting started?

All are welcome to email the office with their requests. Our email is mary@jogmydog.co.uk  and at this point please provide as much relevant info about your dog, where you live, what times you need walks, etc as this enable us to assess whether we can assist with the request. When we have ascertained whether we can help, and a client is ready to get started, we have a very simple registration process that will be explained. We can get started as soon as the registration meeting has taken place.

  • What is the registration meeting?

The registration meeting is a visit that allows the client to get to know our service prior to the start of their first walk or visit. Where possible the dedicated sitter will be in attendance but this may not always happen. During this visit we will introduce ourselves, spend some quality time with your pet, confirm and review the pertinent information about the home and pet care routine (e.g. vet information, emergency contact, special requests, etc.), and answer any additional questions the client may have. We do NOT provide service until this meeting has taken place.

  • So, after a client has completed their registration meeting can they schedule walks anytime?

Absolutely! All clients are provided with a unique login to their secured Jog My Dog account. From this gateway they are able to schedule walks, check their personal service calendar, update their billing information and also receive picture updates following our visits. All scheduling requests are confirmed during our regular business hours, which are 9AM-5PM Monday through Friday.

  •  Can a client schedule directly through their sitter?

No.  For the safety of our client’s pets all visits MUST be scheduled through the Jog My Dog portal. We use an online scheduling program which ensures that “no pet is left behind.” If a client schedules through their sitter and the sitter forgets to inform the office, that takes us out of the loop and therefore unable to follow-up with the sitter to make sure that the pet has been seen. Jog My Dog will not be held liable for visits scheduled without the offices knowledge.

  •  Can I text you or send a Facebook request to book your services?

No. All visits must be requested through the Jog My Dog portal, this ensures that the messages are not forgotten about.

  • What do I need to remember to do before you come for the first walk?

  1.         Pay your invoice
  2.         Ensure your dog has their ID tag on their collar
  3.         Leave out their lead, collar and towels for drying off
  4.         Ensure any alarm codes have been given to us, or alarms switched off
  5.         Provide us with 2x keys for your property, or the code to your key box
  • How do you accept payment?

We accept payment by BACs.

  •  So, you don’t accept checks? Can a client leave cash?

No, we don’t accept checks. The clients can leave a cash gratuity for their sitter if they so wish, but payment for services must be made by bank transfer. Payment is due prior to the start of service.

  •  What time do the sitters walk the dogs?

Our sitters visit our client homes a number of times each day. We have walks at the following times:

– The “Morning” time slot is between 9:30 AM & 10:30 AM.

– The “Mid Day” time slot is between 11:00 AM & 2:00 PM.

– The “Afternoon” time slot is between 4:00 & 6:00 PM.

  •  Are there extra costs for services which happen on a weekend or bank holiday?

Yes. You can read more about Services and Rates here.

  •  How about last-minute requests?

We’re more than happy to schedule pet care for last-minute needs, however we cannot guarantee that a sitter is going to be available on short notice, (so urge you to request your services as early as possible). We also only schedule service during our regular business hours (9AM-5PM Monday through Friday).

  • When do I need to pay you?

On confirmation of your service request you will get an email showing the list of services / walks and their associated cost. At this point you will be prompted to make payment.

You will also receive a PDF invoice a few days before the first service is due to commence. Within the invoice you will find our BACs details, a list of services and their cost.

Payment is due prior to the first service commencing and where a client is overdue by more than 7 days a late payment fee will be added. Clients who are consistently late in paying may be terminated.

  • What is the Jog My Dog cancellation policy?

Since we understand what it’s like to have a busy and ever-changing schedule we have implemented a cancellation policy which aims to be flexible for our clients yet workable for our team:

  • 100% of the Fees if cancellation occurs less than 48 hours of the scheduled service (Dog Walking, Cat & Small Animal Care, Pet/Dog Home Visits)
  • 100% of the Fees if cancellation occurs within the same week of the scheduled service (Day Care)

 

  • What happens if a client’s primary sitter is not available for a pet sitting request? Or they are on holiday / get sick?

 Our sitter roster is chock-full of excellent pet care providers that would love to care for a client’s pet if their primary sitter is unavailable. Since we have all of the client’s pet care information in our secure database it’s really not necessary for the client to meet with the alternate sitter, however; if the client feels more comfortable with having a meeting with the alternate sitter, we are more than happy to schedule another registration “Meet/Greet.” The cost of this meeting is £10, which covers the sitter’s time and expense for driving over to the client’s home.

  • Tell me about your hiring process of the pet sitters.

First, we employ ONLY dedicated pet care professionals. We work with sitters who have practical experience in pet care and view their time with Jog My Dog as part of their career path.

Second, we run an extensive screening process, which includes a face-to-face interview, followed by reference checks, followed by a complete background check (DBS). All sitters are then hired on a trial basis until we have followed up with enough clients to ensure that they are an excellent fit for Jog My Dog. All sitters who work with Jog My Dog promise to abide by and sign our code of ethics and processes and procedures.

  • Jog My Dog have quite a few pet sitters. How is it possible to ensure that they are all keeping up with the standards of Jog My Dog?

All Jog My Dog sitters attend an orientation where they learn about the standards of Jog My Dog and the procedures that we follow to put our Client Peace of Mind System into action. They then work very closely with the owner of the business (Mary) and long serving sitters during the first month to ensure that they understand the way we work and that they are following proper protocol. The sitters also have daily communication with the office and their clients, and are required to check off their visits on our secure database at the completion of each visit. This allows the office to confirm that each pet was visited by their pet care provider. We always follow-up with our clients to make sure that their pet sitter is up to snuff.

The sitters are monitored each month to ensure standards are maintained. This is done via client surveys, joint walks and randomized time keeping spot checks. We also meet up once a month for team meetings to go over important pet issues, planning strategies, behaviour training tips and much more.

 

  • How long do you walk for?

During our lunch time window of 10:30am and 2:30pm we only offer 60 minute group walks in Milton Keynes and Bedford.

In Woburn Sands, Aspley Guise and surrounding, we offer both 45 min and 60 min walks within the lunch time window.

If you require a shorter walk for your very young pup, senior dog or reactive pooch we may be able to offer you a 30 minute dog pop-in visit / walk but this will not be during the lunch time block which is reserved for our 60 min group walks.

 

  • Where do you walk the dogs?

The majority of our clients have opted for our most popular dog walk duration of 1 hour. This gives the sitters ample time to take the dogs to fields or the woods for safe off lead play.

Some clients with small or elderly dogs will have 30 min walks scheduled and these often take place local to the client home. If there are safe areas to allow them to walk off lead then this will happen; if not the dogs will get a stimulating on lead walk, plenty of love and attention along with the chance to have a comfort break.

  • Will my dog get dirty on walks?

Yes, possibly! We live in the UK and that means that rain, mud, snow and dirt are very real possibilities. The only way to ensure dogs are kept perfectly clean is to keep them on lead and walked around the neighbourhood.

Dogs joining our group sessions will need to have reliable recall and be allowed off lead; and clients must be prepared for some dirt. We have a number of solutions in place for wet winter walking which are:

  • Buy your dog a Equafleece Dog Suit. These keep dogs dry, clean and warm. You can buy them here
  • Show us where the outside tap is and provide towels for post walk/shower drying off
  • Specify where we should leave the dog if still wet or slightly dirty so your home is not affected

If your dog is joining our off lead group sessions, or you have requested they be walked off lead or in fields (as opposed to the paths outside your home) then please be prepared to accept some dirt, it comes with having a dog.

  • Are the dogs you walk up to date with their flea / worming meds?

Yes. However, please note that it is very rare for a flea to jump off a host dog in the open field and jump onto another dog.

  • My situation changed and I don’t need your services anymore. How much notice do I need to give you?

In accordance with our terms and conditions we need 28 days notice for regular pet sitting services. This should be in writing via the portal.

Merry Christmas from Jog My Dog

Curious what we got up to this month? This short blog is a summary of the most important highlights!

December is a funny month for pet care with lots of last minute bookings for day care and boarding (people do leave it late to sort out pet care for Christmas and New Year) yet fewer walks; as clients are home with their families and pets from around the 20th or 23rd. We are lucky to have so many organised doggies and their owners who gave us early notification of their plans, which enabled the walkers to take time off with their families too 🙂

One of the girls, Jo, organised a charity collection for Milton Keynes Stray Dog Support Project which ran from the end of 27th November until the 8th December. A lot of our clients engaged with us and we were able to fill up our doggy van with food, bedding, toys, blankets and other small bits and pieces which will go some way in helping the poor dogs who are alone in kennels over Christmas feel some love and hopefully comfort in this otherwise lonely time.

charity collection

 

Milton Keynes also had its first proper snow day in a few years and that saw many walks cancelled as some clients opted to work from home. This was handy for our walkers as some of them also struggled to get and about – this country is honestly not geared up at all for a cold snap!

Our client Christmas cards were sent off to the printers at the end of November but we only got them back, due to the weather, on the 12th December which meant we didn’t have long to get them out. Each walker/sitter stepped up and offered to not only write the cards, address the envelopes but get them out to their clients to ensure that everyone got their Jog My Dog card in time. We have cultivated such an amazing team spirit and I (Mary) could not be more proud; each girl has such a commitment to what we are trying to create and a vested interest in helping their fellow walker out.

Jog My Dog had two Christmas ‘parties’. The first was at Revolution de Cuba in CMK and 8 of the walkers were able to come for a fun night out of tapas and cocktails.

jog my dog milton keynes

For those who couldn’t make it due to boarding, we had a lovely chilled morning coffee and cake meet up in Frosts, Woburn Sands.

A lot of people ask if we work over the holidays and the answer is YES! Pet care is a service that is required 365 days of the year and as a professional business it is our job to ensure that if a client needs us we have someone in place to assist. Saying that, we also require notification as our team have lives outside of their work .. so if you are thinking of going away in 2018 and need someone to pop in on your cat, feed your rabbits, walk the dog or host them in our homes for day care or boarding then please do get in touch early.

We take bookings for boarding months and months in advance and it is really the only way to be sure you’ve got your doggy holiday sorted. Cat and small animal visits can generally be booked in much nearer the time; but we urge you to think about your plans, especially around dog walks and dog care in general, so that we can ensure to have a walker / sitter booked in to suit.

That just leaves me to wish all our clients and readers of the blog a very Merry Christmas, 2017 has been lots of fun and we look forward to doing it all again next year!

merry christmas 2017

Santa is Here! Gift Ideas for your Cat

Who doesn’t like to buy their kitty a present? I’m so guilty of this, I just love to spoil Pancake! If you’re the same then check out this list of useful presents you can wrap up and give to your feline friend on the big day.

♥ If you have an indoor kitty then the Mynwood Cat Jacket will be the ultimate Christmas present! These jackets are made to measure (bespoke) to suit your cats measurements and requirements. Each jacket is made from quality fabrics and fastens securely around the neck and chest with long strips of velcro. All jackets are reversible with black cotton or another choice. I have one of these for Pancake and can highly recommend them (a word of warning: be prepared for lots of meowing and whining to go out; make sure you are prepared to put the time in to ‘walk your cat’ just as you would a dog, as once they have been outside no indoor play can compare).

cat jacket

 

♥ Another one that’s a must for indoor cats: The Cazami Cat Exercise Wheel. This fabulous exercise wheel has been especially designed for cats and helps to keep those confined to the indoors happy, supple, and energetic. The wheels are lightweight making it easy to ship. It is also assemble and disassemble friendly. While I am aware most cat owners in the UK allow the to roam, it is becoming more and more common to keep them indoor only, or with supervised garden access. Cats can quite quickly become bored and lazy, with weight gain and poor health being a common result. High energy breeds like Bengals and Orientals seem to excel with these wheels, but any cat can be taught to use one with patience and adequate time put in (another word of warning: be sure you have the time to commit to training your cat to use his / her wheel; as they are far from cheap it is quite an investment into their long term health and happiness .. so simply buying the thing is not enough, you have to help them learn to love it!)

cat wheel

 

♥  Spoil your Cat with their very own personalised bowl. You can choose one of Hoobynoo’s unique cat illustrations to match the look of your cat; the marble bowl can then be personalised with your cats name. This is a little pricey at £25 but the quality should mean it lasts you a few years.

cat bowl

 

♥  Extra Strength Catnip Cat Mice Toys. These mice toys are the ‘Purr-fect’ gift for any cat. Each mouse is handmade from a delightful range of fabrics. Cats have hours of fun tossing their mice into the air with the string tail and using all those feline skills that make them great hunters.

cat nip

 

♥ Guisapet Cat Bed. This contemporary bed offers a pleasant sleep with privacy for your cats, suiting those weighing up to 8kgs. Retailing at £75 it’s certainly not a cheap steal,  but it’s quite cool and modern so will suit owners looking to blend, naturally, their pet gear within the home. It comes in several colours and designs .. although I prefer my guy sleeping in bed with me!

cat bed

Psss: if you like what you read then why not share this blog with family and friends .. and who knows, it may help them out if stuck with present ideas!