Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why is there a “meet and greet”?
A. The meet and greet is a visit in your home that allows you to get to know your walker, our management and our service, while observing the dynamic between the walker and your dog. During this visit, the owner and/or general manager will perform the following tasks: introduce themselves and your walker to you and your pet, pick up keys, confirm pertinent information about you and your pet (e.g. vet information, emergency contact, billing information, special requests, etc.), and answer any additional questions you may have. There is no charge for this visit.
Q. Will my dog receive individualized attention?
A. Absolutely. We pride ourselves in guaranteeing that your dog(s) will receive the best quality individualized attention for a FULL 25 minute session. Typically, this translates into a good 20 minutes outside and we use the remaining 5 minutes for cleaning the dogs off after the walk, writing a detailed note to our client after each walk, refilling water bowls, giving treats, etc. However, we do understand that the needs of every dog are different, so we adjust accordingly. All walks are one-on-one with the same daily dog walker and we pride ourselves in keeping your pet in safe harbor.
Q. How long have you been in business?
A. Since 1997
Q. How are your rates determined
A. Our goal is to be the best in Chicago, not the biggest. The reason why our rates may seem a bit higher than some of our competitors is that we want to give you the best service. This entails a higher than average wage for our walkers, staffing a professional office from 9 to 5, carefully screening our employees, and hiring extremely motivated managers. Our walkers are employee’s, not contractors as some services are structured. This involves deducting taxes, providing workers compensation benefits, and keeping the highest level of insurance for your pet and property.
Q. Do you have boarding facilities?
A. No. We strongly believe in in-home care, which is why we have chosen not to have a boarding facility. However, we do have pet care providers that can remain at your home should you need to leave town for an extended period of time. We are happy to provide you with a list of names and numbers of providers that offer this service.
Q. What if I need an emergency pet care service?
A. We always try to accommodate last minute and/or emergency visits.
Q. Are your walkers employees or independent contractors?
A. All of our dog walkers are employees. This allows additional controls that cannot be used with an independent contract and allows us to cover each of our walkers under workman’s compensation insurance.
Q. My pet has been aggressive in the past- can it still be a client?
A. For aggressive pets, our owner and/or general manager will interview you and your pet, in person, to determine if there is a good fit between your pet and our services. There is no charge for this visit. If additional visits are needed to socialize your pet with our walker, then you will need to be present at all visits and pay the normal dog walking service fee until socialized. If at any time our walker or our management feel that it is unsafe to perform a service, we will reserve the right to discontinue service without notice.
Q. What if my dog doesn’t like a leash?
A. As it is a city ordinance to have all dogs on leashes when in a public area and for the safety of your pet, Chicago Dog Walkers, Inc. will always have your pet leashed. This strict rule includes parks that do not have fences and are not pet friendly. Only in yards or parks with secure fences, will our dog walkers allow your dog(s) to be without a leash.
Q. How will your pet providers discipline my pet, if necessary?
A. Chicago Dog Walkers, Inc. believes in positive reinforcement for pets. We will never hit, spank, slap, yell or grab your pet. If there is a disciplinary problem, i.e. toilet training issues, running away, etc., you will be informed of the incident(s) and we will implement your suggested disciplinary actions.