Is every Take Paws dog walker and pet sitter bonded and insured?
Yes. We have liability insurance and bonding through Pet Sitters Associates. This covers your home and your pet when they’re in our care.
How do I schedule?
We use a scheduling software called PetSitClick. It is a secure, efficient platform to keep track of the services you use. It also stores information about your pet that your sitter/walker can find on the go. Existing clients can go here to log into the client portal. New clients will need to set up an account with us first. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!
Will my pet have one consistent caregiver?
Whenever possible, your pet will have one consistent caregiver. This is almost always true for regular dog walking. We like to set up dogs with one person with whom they can bond and form a relationship over time. In addition to this regular walker, we can in most cases provide one or two secondary, back-up walkers in case your dog’s usual person is unavailable.
In some cases, however, it makes more sense to have several Take Paws pet sitters get to know your pets so we can provide coverage whenever you need it. We will talk through all the options with you and determine what works best for your situation.
Why do you charge what you charge?
Relatively speaking, our prices are very competitive in the Madison area. That being said, we’re probably more expensive than the neighbor boy or your sister-in-law. So why choose a dog walking service at all? In a nutshell, it is our job to ensure that your pet is a priority. It’s not a favor we’re doing, or one thing on a list of errands we might forget. You’re not imposing on us. This is our profession. Our prices reflect a reliable, insured and bonded service with honest, professional pet care providers and a wide range of availability. We have emergency procedures in place that can provide peace of mind when you’re away, and we prioritize excellent communication with you about your pet’s care. We do not include gas mileage or additional fees in our price list–we like to make our prices easy to understand and as affordable as possible.
Do we give you a key to our home? How do we trust you?
If we’re coming around when you’re not home, then yes–clients provide us with a key or code into their homes. Why should you trust us with access to your most valuable pets and possessions? I take this question very seriously. I understand that this is a big hurdle many people face when trying to decide if a pet sitter or dog walker is right for them. Along with pet safety, client trust and comfort is our number one priority at Take Paws. References are always available upon request to give you the opportunity to talk to folks who already work with us.
At the end of the day, our reputation is the only true evidence we have of our trustworthiness, and we work hard every day to maintain and strengthen our reputation. With over four hundred clients in the Madison area who trust us with their keys, we maintain the highest possible personal and professional code of morals to maintain and strengthen that trust. Additionally, we take home security and key safety very seriously. We never label keys with your name or address, and we treat keys as your valuable borrowed property, to be returned immediately upon request.
Speaking of trust, how do we know you’re actually walking our dog?
Fair question! First of all, each client has a notebook that we write in (with time in, time out) every time we visit your pet. We detail our visit or walk, and you’ll have an ongoing log of your pet’s activities. This way, you can see exactly what your pet did while you were away or at work!
Second, we can text you updates and photos to let you know how your pet is doing during or right after the visit. This can provide peace of mind when you aren't home!
Third? Ask your neighbors! They’re sure to see how we interact with your pets. I’ve gotten some of the best feedback not from clients, but from the folks who live around them.
How does billing work?
For regularly scheduled clients, I bill monthly at the end of the month for all services received during the month. Payment is due by the 15th of the month AFTER services are rendered. For as-needed service, payment is due in advance. We accept cash, check, and electronic check. We do not currently accept credit cards.
What’s your booking/cancellation policy?
We do not require extended or regular booking, and you can discontinue services whenever you want. We want to be here when you need us, not more or less!
Once service has been booked, we simply ask for cancellations to occur more than 48 hours ahead of weekday visits and one week ahead weekend visits. If cancellations are given with less notice, services will be charged in full.
This is our policy because we often turn business away when we have other folks scheduled, so last minute cancellations can be an unexpected loss of business for the day. That being said, in practice we’re pretty understanding. For our regular clients, we allow let one last-minute weekday cancellation per month. We know things come up and people get sick, and we don’t want to punish people for being human!
As for weekends, holidays, and overnight care: services booked for weekends and any overnight services incur a fee when cancelled. If cancelled with less than a week’s notice, we will charge 1/2 of the original price. If cancelled with less than 48 hours, we will charge the full amount.
Holiday/holiday weekend services that are booked and cancelled within two weeks of the scheduled service will be charged in full. This is a courtesy to our walkers and pet sitters, who plan their lives around the animals in their care and turn away other work when they commit to your pet.
Other questions? Feel free to call and ask. We look forward to talking to you about your dog walking and pet sitting needs!