BROWNSTONE DOG WALKERS
Brooklyn's brand of dog walking & pet sitting.
Office Hours: M-F 9am - 5pm
Service Hours: M-F 11am - 5pm
Have a question not covered here? Email us and ask!
FAQ 1) It's the weekend before I need services starting Monday, but your offices are closed! Am I too late to book service?!
BDW is great at making last minute requests happen. While our offices are closed on weekends, we like to check in on our requests to make sure we're prepared for what's coming. If we don't address your request over the weekend, we'll get to it first thing Monday morning. However, make sure you make your service requests while our office is open and save yourself the stress!
I've sent in a request for service. I can assume it's taken care of now, right?
A request to schedule, change, or cancel service is just that, a request. Once we handle your request, you will receive a confirmation email or other form of communication if more info needs to be collected or if there is a scheduling conflict. If you haven't received any response to your request, it has not been handled yet. Feel free to reach out to us to check the status of your request. And, you can always log into your client account to take a look at your pet's upcoming service schedule.
FAQ 2) I was hoping I could get a couple bucks knocked off the bill. Can I pay you in cash to make that happen?
Sorry folks, we're a credit card only business. And, our rates are non-negotiable. But we're extremely competitively priced. You won't find a better deal out there, and if you do, it might be a little too good to be true.
My credit card on file was stolen, lost, expired, or cancelled. Are you stopping my service until I have a new card on file?!
Of course not! We won't just cancel our services because of an issue like this. We'll remind you to put a card on file when at your earliest convenience.
FAQ 3) I'm not a fan of learning to use a client account. Can't I just call you, text you, or email you what I need for my pet?
This one gets a little deep. So, yes and no. We don't currently have the office personnel we did pre pandemic, so us manager folks are out in the field quite a bit and if we are, we may not be able to answer the phone. Texting is for us to communicate with our staff. If you text, it might get lost in the mix. So if you absolutely won't learn to use a client account, please email. If you take anything away from this FAQ, let it be that using your client account to make requests is preferred and email is second. Don't text! And, once we can have a full time office manager, calling in comes in a distant third when it comes to making pet care requests.
FAQ 4) I'm a very long time client so I'm going to wait to the last minute to tell you I need holiday service because I know you'll prioritize me, right?
Unfortunately, that's not right. We book first come first served and often times fill up fast with new clients. Do not wait to book and give us as much notice as possible!
FAQ 5) I just need someone to care for my pet as cheaply as possible. But, I still expect my pet to be treated well, is that too much too ask?
Unfortunately, it depends. Pet care companies pay their staff hourly or per service. Pre-pandemic, we paid our staff hourly and guaranteed a daily minimum wage in case they were present for work but their schedules were extremely light. Post pandemic, we have decided to pay our staff per service so that they can maximize their earning time and minimize their down time in order to earn efficiently. However, we cap our group walks to 4 dogs at a time maximum for safety reasons. Some companies pay their staff per service and encourage their staff to cram as many dogs on a walk as possible and to do their pickups in a 'chain". This is a highly irresponsible way of dog walking which focuses on maximizing profits while sacrificing the safety of your dog. Many companies who operate like this have walkers who walk way too many dogs at once, leave dogs tied up outside, won't do their best to make sure the dogs relieve themselves during walk time, and won't take extra steps to make sure the dogs in their care are geared properly and safe. Please make sure you know how the company responsible for your pet's care pay their staff and what their goals are!
FAQ 6) Can I meet each staff member coming to my house?
Incoming clients will meet their dog walker or pet care provider at our pre service meet and greet. After that, while we completely understand that you would want to meet and vet each staff member who would potentially be entering your home, we've already taken care of that part of the process. If someone new is taking over care for your pet, they have likely already met your pet with on site instruction from the previous caretaker. We would never send someone to care for your pet we believed to be incapable of doing so. If you're absolutely determined to meet a new caretaker, you can book an after hours service specifically for the staff member who will be filling in or taking over as your pet's care taker and be present at the service to meet them.
There's been a few people caring for my pet recently. Why is there so much turnover?!
We vet our staff as much as possible and hire those who we think would make great long term pet care providers. Unfortunately, despite all of these efforts, the life span of a dog walking job is usually relatively short on average. This is true across all the pet care companies we know of and work with. Dog walkers aren't usually looking to make the job a career unless they're looking to start a pet care business of their own, which would still ultimately require them to leave their current position. Like any service job, a worker may be awesome the first few months, and then all of a sudden, not be. While this isn't usually the case, it does happen, and instead of allowing an underperforming staff member to stick around, we make the necessary staffing adjustments we need to in order to give you and your pet the best service possible. Staffing is the trickiest part of this business, so please bear with us, and understand that if you find this to be an issue, every pet care company is in the same boat!
FAQ 7) I want to see when my dog is picked up and dropped off and where they're going. Can we make that happen?
Our gps and check ins and outs are for our internal review. We monitor this information constantly. Our staff know their movement and whereabouts are being checked. If something is off about their location, we know and we handle it accordingly. We did give clients access to this info for a short time, but quickly learned that it was a bit much to have clients contacting us constantly suggesting which way their dog should be walked on a specific day....
FAQ 8) I don't really have time for a back and forth with the BDW office. Can't I just leave a note with instructions for my walker/sitter?
No! Don't do this! You must contact the office with updates and routine changes so that we can prepare and make the necessary adjustment in our records so that everyone is aware. Leaving info directly for the staff member assigned to your pet can result in a communication breakdown. The staff member may forget to relay the info appropriately, and if we have no official record of it in the office, we can't be held responsible.
FAQ 9) I don't feel comfortable giving out more than one set of keys/my landlord won't allow it. Why will my service be limited?
We will be able to provide regular weekday services to you. However, if you need an extra visit on short notice, a weekend visit, or any other service that your regular walker isn't available for and they have your key, you're out of luck. We won't ask the staff member to come back to work or to come to drop off the key quickly. If we have a backup set of keys at our office, we'd be able to use that. We also don't like taking the main set of keys from the person assigned to your pet's care. It becomes a rather large hassle for us to run around trying to make sure your keys are where they need to be when having a second set would almost entirely eliminate the issue.
FAQ 10) I can't give you a key but you can just grab it from the front desk at my building every day, okay?
Nope! We've tried this before, and it can really mess up our schedules. Imagine us getting to a building with 7 people in a line waiting to talk to the front desk folks about something or other and we have 10 minutes to pick up your dog before the window closes... We don't have to imagine it because it's happened a ton. Relying on others to give us access to your place doesn't work well. So, we're going to need those keys!
FAQ 11) Wag and Rover do it, can't you?
Nope! We've tried this too. We've arrived to frozen lockboxes, broken lockboxes, missing lockboxes, missing keys inside the boxes, you name it. And the best part? Somehow these issues were our fault! So again, we're going to need your keys.
What if you lose my keys?
As much as we wish we could guarantee that we won't lose your keys, it does happen from time to time. Key tags break, keys snap, and the pet gods eat keys when they're particularly upset. In all seriousness, don't worry! We label our keys so that if they get lost, there is no information on them that could identify you or your home (we only put your pet's name on the tag). Don't freak out, don't call a locksmith, no one will ever know that the metal key in the street is for your place nor will they know who Lucy is. This is just a hazard that comes with the job and rarely occurs. We will ask that you kindly replace the key for us.
FAQ 12) My Raybans are missing! My change cup was tampered with! My dog wasn't in his/her pen when I got home. IT WAS DEFINITELY THE DOG WALKER!
Whoa there! Are you sure? Over the years, we've been blamed for everything you can think of and without proof. Before you make an accusation, think about it. Is there really no other way? We've asked our clients to do their own investigating/review nanny cam footage, and 99/100 times, we had nothing to do with it! And if we did that 1 time, 99/100 times it was accidental or unbeknown to us. Please don't go off the rails and accuse us of anything and everything the second something is off. Your puppy is growing fast, are you sure it didn't finally scale the doggy gate? Let us know your concerns and we'll figure it out together. We encourage you to get a nanny cam too!