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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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?
- Pay your invoice
- Ensure your dog has their ID tag on their collar
- Leave out their lead, collar and towels for drying off
- Ensure any alarm codes have been given to us, or alarms switched off
- 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.