FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How long are dog walks?
A Walk in the Park typically visits customers' homes for 15 or 30 minutes, but visits can also be 45 or 60 minutes. The clock starts when we walk through the door. If a dog walk is included in the visit, we will maximize the length of the walk and will also leave time to refresh water, leash/unleash the dog, quickly write a walk or pet sitting report, and perform whatever other services are required. Typically a 15-minute visit results in a 12-13 minute walk.
What is the difference between dog walks and dog sitting?
Dog sitting takes place when the owners are out of town and A Walk in the Park is asked to feed the dog and/or provide additional services such as bringing in the mail and rotating lights. The pricing is the same whether we provide dog walking or pet sitting.
Can you take care of my birds, guinea pigs, fish, turtles/tortoises, bunnies, geckos or other small pets?
Yes! A Walk in the Park has experience with small animals, including some exotic pets. We currently pet sit for all types of pets listed above.
KEYS/ACCESS TO MY HOME
Why do you ask for 2 keys?
Our priority is to get to your pet(s) at the times you have requested. If the assigned walker/pet sitter is running behind schedule for any reason, another employee might grab the extra key to be sure we perform the required service within the requested time window. There may also be occasions when two different walkers/pet sitters visit your home in the same day, and they will each be given a key.
Are my keys safe?
Our procedures for labeling, storing, and using keys are designed to ensure the utmost security and privacy. We use our own generic key tags which are labeled with your pet's name and your family's last initial (e.g., Rover & Kitty S). Each day most of our customers' keys are picked up from the office and then returned to the office at the end of the employee's shift. While not in use, the keys are kept in our locked office or a combination safe. The office building requires a swipe card for after-hours access.
How are my keys labeled?
Our procedures for labeling, storing, and using keys are designed to ensure the utmost security and privacy. We use our own generic key tags which are labeled with your pet's name and your family's last initial (e.g., Rover & Kitty S).
USE OF PICTURES
Does A Walk in the Park take pictures of my pet and my house?
On occasion, our employees take pictures of our customers' pets. We do refrain from including any identifying information in those pictures, so your street address, names, etc. will never appear in pictures we use for marketing purposes.
Will my address or other identifying information be visible in pictures?
Your street address, name, and other identifying information will never be visible in pictures.
What is your cancellation policy?
Cancellations for dog walks will be charged at full price if not communicated to us
* by 4pm Eastern Time the day before the service is scheduled (for walks on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday)
* by 4pm Eastern Time the prior Friday (for walks on Sunday and Monday).
If you cancel the service by the deadline (by phone, voice mail, email, or the client portal), you will not be charged for the cancelled walk.
The same policy does not apply to pet sitting. Contact the office for additional information.
How much advance notice do you require to add or change a service?
One of the advantages of being an A Walk in the Park customer is that we are very flexible and can often accommodate last-minute requests. This is possible because of the number of walkers/pet sitters we employ and the number of customers we typically service in a given day. If you would like to schedule or change a service, we prefer to know (by phone, voice mail, email, or our online portal) by 2pm the day prior to the service. If you have a last-minute schedule change and need our help that same day, please contact us before 11AM. Note, however, that cancellations will be charged at full price if not communicated to us by the deadline (see our Cancellation Policy).
I work for an agency, school, or company that follows the federal holiday schedule. Do I need to inform you if I do not need a regular walk on a federal holiday?
A Walk in the Park provides services 365 days a year, and will adhere to your requested Daily Walk schedule unless you tell us a walk is not needed. We try to send out emails in advance of federal - as well as Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) - holidays as a reminder to let us know if you wish to cancel service for those days. If you do not receive an email reminder, or if you fail to notify A Walk in the Park that you do not need a scheduled service by the deadline, you will be charged for the service.
If my dog receives regular walks from A Walk in the Park, may I occasionally cancel a walk if I am sick or working from home?
We know schedules change and everyone gets sick from time to time. If you wish to cancel a regular walk, please do so by the deadline and you will not be charged.
Can you come at the exact time I specify? My pet's routine is very consistent from day to day.
Unfortunately we cannot guarantee a specific arrival time for our services. We ask for a 2-hour window (1 hour for puppies under 12 months of age) and will plan to arrive within the window you provide.
Why do you ask for a time window?
Our daily schedules are often complex and require careful planning to ensure each customer receives the required services for the pets and homes. The schedule, services, area covered, and employees working are different every day, and a time window allows us to meet every customer's needs while providing very organized shift schedules to our employees.
When is my puppy considered an adult?
At 12 months we will consider your dog to be an adult, and will ask for a 2-hour window instead of a 1-hour one.
What happens when my puppy turns 13 months?
At 12 months we will ask you to re-evaluate the time window you provided us, and we will switch to a 2-hour window.
Will the same walker or pet sitter come to my home each time?
We strive for consistency as much as possible, but we cannot guarantee that the same walker/pet sitter will visit your pet/home each time. For multiple visits in a single day, you should expect to have different staff visit your home to take care of your pets.
Will A Walk in the Park work with me if my pet prefers a different walker/pet sitter?
We understand that not all walkers connect with every pet, so we will do our best to accommodate your requests to schedule (or not schedule) particular employees for your pet.
Is it possible to request a particular staff member for my pet?
If you feel a particular walker/pet sitter is best suited to care for your pet, we will do our best to schedule that person when your pet is on the schedule. However, no guarantees can be made, and we reserve the right to send a different walker to care for your pet when necessary.
Can you inform me whenever a different walker/pet sitter is scheduled to care for my pet?
A Walk in the Park is unable to inform you ahead of time when a different walker than normal is scheduled to visit your pet.
May I meet each person who is scheduled to come to my home?
We are unable to send each scheduled walker/pet sitter to meet you prior to a service. Be assured that each walker/pet sitter is well trained and has passed a background check.
What is the policy for tipping?
If you are pleased with our services or with a particular employee, feel free to leave a tip. Many customers tip over the holidays, but tipping is certainly not expected. If you intend for a tip to go to a particular employee, you may either tip them directly or send money to A Walk in the Park with the employee's name clearly specified. In cases where a specific employee is not named, the tip will be distributed among the employees who cared for your pets.