Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do we get started?
Please fill out the “Get Started” form and we will contact you within 12 hours or less. We will schedule a free in-home consultation, which will this gives us a chance to meet with you, your pet and go over questions regarding normal daily exercise, feeding instructions, your pet’s behaviour and anything else that needs to be discussed.
2. Are you and your staff insured and bonded?
Yes, all of our Pet Care Professionals are insured and bonded by Profur Insurance. We’ve got the certificates to prove it.
3. In case of emergency, how will Barks N Purrs take care of my pet? Are you Pet First Aid trained?
Yes, Barks N Purrs is trained with DogSafe Pet First Aid. It is very important to us that we are prepared and equipped to handle any emergency. One of the benefits to being an urban dog walking business is that the best emergency veterinary care is literally minutes away.
4. How do you hire your Dog Walkers and Pet Sitters?
We have taken greater steps at hiring the best. First, all Dog Walker and Pet Sitters must have grown up with pets and have either worked with or volunteered with animals. We start off with a phone interview, and if successful, proceed on to a skype interview. We then take a few candidates and put them through several trials with a few of our experienced dog walkers. After an in depth evaluation we then make our decision and begin a 2 week training period.
5. Is it the same walker every time?
Yes the same walker will be there for every walk you need. In case the walker is away or sick we have substitute dog walkers who will cover when needed. In case of an evening or weekend walk, you may have a different walker, if you current walker is not available. We make sure all substitutes have met the dogs before walking them.
6. What do I need to know before hiring a pet care provider?
You should know that it’s important to do your homework. Ask as many questions as you feel are necessary. Anyone who is running a reputable business will be happy to provide you with all the answers you need in order to feel comfortable leaving your pet(s) in their care.
7. How do we set up the key exchange?
When we arrive for our initial consultation, we ask that you have a set of keys and fob available for your building. If your building allows you to leave keys at security, this is also acceptable. Please just make sure the security or management has our information
8. How do we pay you? When do you require payment?
a. We provide bi-weekly or monthly billing after the services are complete. You have 15 days to provide payment if you choose bi-weekly billing and 30 days to provide payment if you choose monthly billing. There is a 5% fee for all late payments. b. Payment can be made by paying cash or cheque directly to your dog walker or by email transfer to [email protected]. Cheques can be made payable to Barks N Purrs.
9. Do you have a bad cheque policy?
A $20 fee is charged on all returned cheques.
10. What are your business hours?
Office hours are from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 2pm on Saturday and closed Sundays. We are closed on Holidays. Walking hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m 365 days of the year.
11. Do you have cancellation policies?
For dog walking and puppy visits, cancellations must be made within five hours of the service’s start time or there will be a 50% cancellation fee. If we are not notified of the cancellation, the full cost of the walk will be charged. Regardless of what the circumstances may be our dog walkers come prepared and travel through any weather, so we feel their time should be respected and in doing so, charges such services in full. For dog boarding and cat visits for our regular clients, cancelling or postponing appointments must be done at least 7 days prior to the start date or there will be a 50% cancellation fee. If we are not notified of the cancellation, the full cost of the visits will be charged. For dog boarding and cat visits for new clients, there is a 50% deposit due before the beginning of services. Cancelling or postponing appointments must be done at least 7 days prior to the start date or the 50% deposit will not be returned.
12. Are there times when you feel you must deny or terminate service?
Barks ‘n’ Purrs reserves the right to deny or terminate any service due to safety concerns, financial concerns, or inappropriate or uncomfortable situations
1. How will I now if my dog has been walked?
We use an online app called Pet Sitter Plus for our scheduling needs. When a walker comes to pick up your pet they will check in on pick up and check out when finished the walk. They will send an email to you that includes feedback and a photo in real time.
2. How do you determine if a dog is suitable for group outings?
It is important to get an impartial assessment. During our initial visit, we ask a lot of questions about your dog’s behaviour and history. We are looking for behaviours that will tell us how easily your dog may learn and adjust to new situations. No dog is perfect, and most dogs benefit greatly from socialization and outings.
3. Do you take dogs that are in heat, unspayed, Or unneutered?
In the interest of safety, male dogs over 1 yr of age must be neutered. We accept unspayed female dogs provided they are not in heat. If you have no intention of neutering your dog after 1 yr of age we will have to discuss other alternatives. For female dogs in heat we will schedule you in for private walks if available.
4. What are the pickup and return arrangements?
Pickups and returns depend on the schedule we arrange in our initial visit. Because we are fully bonded and insured, we can pick up and return each dog whether or not the owner is home. Please allow an hour’s leeway in timing to account for unforeseen weather, broken elevators or just having too much fun with his friends.
5. Is there a minimum number of outings required?
Yes, we ask for at least 2 walks a week. The day or time can vary; however, a more consistent schedule is better for the dog.
6. Do you walk dogs in extreme heat or cold?
We walk your dogs no matter what. Your dog still needs to relieve himself, even if it’s a quick outing.
7. Does my dog need to be licensed and vaccinated?
Yes, all dogs must be licensed with the City of Toronto and vaccinated.
8. Do you accept dogs with aggression or behaviour issues?
If a dog has issues, he or she will have trouble fitting into a group walk. While we don’t accept a dog with aggression or behaviour problems for group walks, we can recommend other services who walk dogs privately. And if you like, our services include training, or we can refer you to other trainers.
1. Why do I need puppy visits?
A young puppy can suffer from two things: separation anxiety and a small bladder. The puppy visits ease both issues. A regular schedule helps to curb those nasty symptoms of separation anxiety: destructive or unhealthy chewing, and excessive barking or yelping. Plus, reliable scheduling makes your puppy’s house and crate training more effective.
2. Will my puppy be out with other dogs?
No. Puppy visits are private outings, for a lot of reasons. First, puppies have sensitive natures. Second, they’re not very strong physically. Third, there’s a 3- to 4-month period before their immunizations are complete. So we don’t even take other dogs to visit puppies.
3. What age is suitable for puppy visits?
Generally, we recommend the service for pups under 4 months of age. After that, we advise graduation to a group walk where your puppy can benefit from socialization and increased exercise, not to mention leash training.
4. When will my puppy be visited?
This depends on your schedule. Generally, for a “9 to 5” worker we assume you have to be away from your puppy from about 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. If we are visiting twice a day, we provide visits roughly around 10am and 2pm. We aim to provide visits no more then 3-4 hours apart. The idea is to reduce both the length of time a young dog has to go without a bathroom break, and the time he or she has to spend alone.
5. How long does a puppy visit last?
A visit lasts a minimum of 30 minutes.
6. Can you administer medication?
We are happy to administer medication in pill or liquid form; however; we are not able to provide insulin shots.
1. What services are involved in cat sitting?
We provide cat visits as often as you’d like while you’re away. During the visits we ensure that the litter is refreshed and there’s ample food and water. We clean the bowls as well as any “accidents” that may have occurred. And of course offer cuddles and quality time. We also pick up mail and water plants.
2. How long will you be visiting my cat?
We find our half-hour visit is more than enough time to give your feline friend the comfort she’s looking for. We can even come twice a day if you feel your cat needs more attention. Our policy though is a maximum of 1 day in between visits, so we cannot offer every two days. See our rate chart for pricing.
3. How will I know if my cat has been visited?
We use an online app called Pet Sitter Plus for our scheduling needs. When a sitter comes to your home they will check in and check out when finished the visit. They will send an email to you that includes feedback and a photo in real time after each visit.
4. Can my cat stay at your place?
Cats are creatures of routine and domain, so we feel they are happier in their own home rather than ours. The last thing you want is a stressed-out cat. Plus, you know someone is keeping an eye on the place while you’re away.
1. Where does dog boarding take place?
The dog boarding takes place in our sitters homes
2. How long in advance do I need to book my dog into boarding?
Two week’s notice is ideal. For first-time boarding we ask that you and your dog visit one of our sitters home well before the drop off date to make sure everyone gets along.
3. Do you provide doggie daycare?
At this time we do not offer regular doggie day care; however, on the odd occasion that you need to be away all day, we’ll take the dog for the day. The cost for this is between $25 and $35. There is a pick up and drop off fee if that’s needed.
4. When can I drop my dog off and pick him up?
Our only stipulation is that dropping off and picking up happens between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m and that it coordinates with your sitters schedule. We do suggest that drops off before 6pm are best, to allow time for your dog to adjust and become available, if it’s the first time staying at this sitters home.
5. Do you board puppies?
We take puppies at least 8 months of age whose house training has progressed beyond exclusive use of pee pads.
6. How many walks will my dog have when boarding with you?
This all depends on your dog’s physical capabilities and where your dog stays. Usually we walk 3-4 times a day whether they are short or long outings. This can be discussed with your sitter.
7. What should I bring?
Please provide food and food bowls, and a blanket or bed. If they need to be crated at night, please “BYOC” (Bring Your Own dog Crate). His or her toys are fine if you’re okay with other dogs playing and chewing them. We will remove toys that we feel are causing possessiveness. Please feel free to bring your own treats if your dog has a sensitive stomach.
8. Does my dog need to be house trained?
Yes. We can’t entertain dogs that urinate or mark in our home.
9. Do you board dogs that are not spayed or neutered?
Unfortunately, we cannot take unneutered male dogs. We accept unspayed females provided they are not in heat. It’s very important for everyone to get along, and sometimes other dogs have behaviour issues with females in heat or unneutered males.
10. Do you take dogs with behavioural issues?
Unfortunately, we cannot take dogs who have aggression, anxiety issues, resource guarding, barking, or are fearful of people or other dogs.