INFO & PAWLICY

General info.

For the canines.

For the felines.

(And other household pets.)

COVID-19 Statement

The Covid-19 pandemic took a gigantic toll on us here at BDW. We shut our doors on 3/16/2020 in accordance to the essential business mandate at a time when our staff was 25 strong, performing nearly 900 pet care services per week. Now, as of 3/8/2021 with vaccines rolling out across the country and people returning to work, school, and the beginning of normalcy, BDW is finally hitting the streets once again as a small team hoping to return to our pre-pandemic glory and beyond. We perform all of our services wearing our masks and will continue to observe health and safety guidelines recommended by the CDC until further notice. And, we perform all of our services with one thing in common; our love of animals. We can't wait to spend time with our old pet pals and form fresh bonds with new pets joining the BDW pack. To all of our clients who helped us in our time of need, we wouldn't still be here without you. From the bottom of our hearts, we extend out deepest gratitude. 

General info.

CONTACT INFO AND OFFICE/REGULAR SERVICE HOURS:  

  • Phone: 347-685-9255

  • Email:  Brownstonedogwalkers@gmail.com

  • Office Hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday - Friday

  • Regular Service Hours 11:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday - Friday.

 

COMMUNICATING WITH THE OFFICE: Our office is reachable during our regular office hours. Email is preferred as it will create an immediate written record, but, don’t hesitate to call if you wish! If you are unable to reach someone at our office during our office hours, we may be busy speaking/corresponding with other clients or staff. We will respond as soon as we can. During non-office hours, we monitor for emergency communications, and respond to normal communications the next day the office is open. There is the off chance that a manager will be working during non-office hours, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to schedule services or answer phones or emails. FAQ 1.

 

PAYMENT:  We accept all major credit cards. We will instruct you as to how to put your card on file with us when you have been officially added to our customer base. We charge your card weekly on Sunday evening/Monday morning for services occurring the week prior. 

*Sunday evening overnights will be billed for during the next billing period as the service won’t be fully completed before the end of the current billing period. FAQ 2.

 

CUSTOMER PORTAL: All clients of BDW are given credentials to access the customer portal hosted by our business solution software called PetSitClick (PSC). The portal will allow you to:

  • Make scheduling requests

  • Make cancellation requests 

  • View services currently scheduled for your pet

  • View your invoices and payments

  • Add/update your credit card on file

*Please note that all scheduling and cancellation requests should be made using the customer portal. Requests made this way are much easier for us to manage! FAQ 3.

 

HOLIDAYS:  All services are removed from the schedule on the following holidays;

  • New Year’s Day (If on a weekend, follows observed holiday rules)

  • Memorial Day

  • 4th of July (If on a weekend, follows observed holiday rules)

  • Labor Day

  • Thanksgiving Week

  • Christmas Week (If on a weekend, the following week is observed). 

If you need walks or visits on any of these holidays, please schedule with as much notice as possible! FAQ 4.

 

INSURANCE: BDW is fully insured and bonded through Pet Sitters Associates LLC. Proof of insurance can be provided upon request.

 

OUR STAFF: Our main staffing goal is to extend to our clients trustworthy, ethically sound, professional, long term, and caring individuals who will provide a high standard of service and represent our company appropriately. We enjoy providing a fair and safe work environment to all on our staff. We employ folks from all walks of life, all of whom share a common trait; their love of animals! All of our staff have been background checked, reference checked, have gone through 2 interviews sessions and a 2 week training process (training can be reduced for new staff members who have appropriate pet care experience). Our staff members are employees, not independent contractors, which means they are entitled to worker’s compensation insurance, disability insurance, unemployment insurance, and paid time off. Our staff are paid per service, however, they are capped at 4 dogs per group so they will not be rushing to squeeze as many pets into their regular schedules as quickly as possible. FAQ 5.

 

Each staff member who holds a regular pet care position (dog walker/pet sitter) with us is assigned to a zone within our service area. They are to provide the appropriate services to the pets in their zone during regular service hours. If the regular staff member isn’t present for work on a given weekday, either a fill in staff member who has already met your pet will take over, or, a manager will take over. We do our best to make sure your pet is familiar with our staff, however, on rare occasions, this may not be possible given the nature of the regular staff member’s absence. The only scenario in which a staff member who hasn’t met your pet will conduct the service is when you schedule a Specialty Service and the staff member regularly assigned to your pet is unavailable. (Specialty services covered in scheduling). FAQ 6.

 

GPS/CHECKING IN & OUT: Our staff are required to check in when they arrive for service at your home and then to check out when they leave your home upon completion of the service. Check ins & outs are GPS tracked and time stamped in our system. This information is used internally and will not be accessible by clients *We highly recommend that you utilize a device allowing you to see your pet while you’re out! Doing so will eliminate any speculation about the care of your pet. FAQ 7.

  

LEAVING IT THE WAY WE FIND IT: Aside from leaving a physical note behind after dog walks and puppy visits, our staff are instructed to leave everything the way they find it when entering and leaving your home. The exception to this is that our staff will do their best with the time that they have to clean up any pet related messes they find before the service is completed. If we can’t leave it the way we find it, we will only leave it better than the way we find it. 

 

CUSTOMER/WALKER/SITTER RELATIONSHIP:  Our staff are in your home to provide care for your pet. They will extend every professional courtesy to you, your home, and your pet. We ask that you allow them to use the facilities, have access to water, and use a pen that is in plain sight (or perhaps a kitchen drawer) in emergency situations. If this is not possible, please make that clear during the sign up process. 

   

While we understand that you may want to have the direct contact information of the staff member who is caring for your pet, we keep all of your information and our staff information private for several reasons. If you have anything to make clear to the staff member who is caring for your pet, please contact us and we will relay the information. We also ask that you contact us with any information regarding your pet’s routine and schedule changes instead of leaving notes for staff members or telling them directly if you see them. If our staff forget to relay the info properly, something will be missed and there will be no official record of it! That being said, we encourage all other kinds of on sight communication with our staff, and we certainly welcome notes being left behind for our staff that doesn’t contain instructions regarding the care of your pet. FAQ 8.

 

KEYS: In order to provide our services, we ask for two (2) sets of keys. If only one set of keys is provided at the conclusion of the meet & greet during the sign up process, a second set must be provided as soon as possible. One set stays with the staff member and the other is stored at our office. With a backup set of keys at our office, we will be able to get to your pet if our staff member assigned to your pet is unable to for whatever reason. Also, if that staff member has gone home for the day, and you contact us for an emergency after hours walk, we will be able to use the backup set from the office as we try to avoid having to ask our staff to come in just to give us a key, especially after regular service hours.

 

   Keys will never have any identifying information on them that would allow someone unfamiliar with them to trace them back to the locks they are for. The only info on the key tags are the corresponding pets’ names. 

*Please note that if a second set of keys cannot be provided, the scope of our services may become limited. FAQ 9.

*Please note that we do not retrieve/return keys from building personnel, front desks, concierge’s, etc., for regular services. FAQ 10.

*Please note that we do not permit the use of lockboxes to retrieve/return keys for regular services. FAQ 11.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA: We really like to feature the pets we look after on our social media and our website, so check it out! You can find links on our website. We ask your permission to use photos of your pet for this during the sign up process. We will not use images of your pet(s) for our own personal profit nor we will use photos of your pet(s) for BDW advertising purposes without consent. 

 

ADDRESSING ISSUES: Our goal is to achieve perfection when it comes to providing our services and caring for your pets. Should you find something to your dissatisfaction about our service, please bring it to our attention immediately. The quicker we can address the issue, the quicker we can resolve it. We ask that before you rush to judgement about something you suspect has gone awry, please gather all of the information available to you and share it with us. We’re all in this together and we only want the best for you and your pets!

FAQ 12.

 

For the canines.

 

 

PRIORITY SYSTEM: Dogs who are scheduled for ongoing regular service every weekday are considered top priority and retain their time slot. Dog’s who schedule with less regularity will need to be flexible in their time slots to allow incoming dogs with more scheduling consistency to join the pack. If your dog’s schedule becomes extremely irregular, we may have to transition your dog to another service.

 

SERVICE REQUEST TIME:  Time of service is determined during the sign up process and can be requested on the half hour as early as 11am and as late as 5pm. While we aim to arrive as close to your requested time of service as possible, please allow us an hour on either side (we call this the “window”) of your requested time to arrive. Many customers have the same service request time and we can’t be everywhere at once!

 

WALK/VISIT LENGTH: All of our walks/visits for dogs/puppies are generally 30 minutes long. Hour long walks/visits can be requested and are accommodated based on availability. 15 minute relief walks are only available to our regular dogs who have developed special needs, are post-op, or who have entered their senior years and can’t quite keep up with the group. We do not offer this service for new incoming dogs. 

*Please note that once we enter your home, the time for your pup’s service has begun. Leash up and leash down time are considered part of the walk time. 

*Please note that making changes to your dog’s initial schedule, time slot, and walk length must be kept to a minimum. But, we will do our best to accommodate your requests!

 

POST WALK UPDATE: At the end of each service, our staff mark the service as complete in our system remotely using our internal app, and you will receive a notice via email that your service has been completed. The details of the service will be recorded on a paper note (called “The Doggy Dirt”) left behind at your place when the staff member leaves. 

 

SAFETY FIRST! Our biggest concern while completing our daily service is the safety of your pup while in our care. We will;

  • Use the safest available harness/walking items made available to us.

  • Use a backup collar in addition to your dog’s regular walking equipment.

  • Make sure we keep an eye on all dogs being walked and our surroundings.

  • Never hinder our senses by wearing headphones, using our phones recreationally, or anything else!

  • Never walk more than 4 dogs at a time.

  • Bring our dogs inside buildings for pick ups and drop offs and never leave them tied up outside.

  • Do our best to make sure dogs don’t pick up anything from the street. If they do, we do our best to get it from them!

  • Follow instructions provided with the utmost attention to detail.

  • Alert you if something requires your immediate attention.

*Please note that in some cases, we may need to switch your dog’s walking gear based on their walking behavior. If this is so, we will inform you, and you will be required to provide said walking gear. Remember, this is for the safety of your pet!

*Please note that we do not use booties for your pup in the winter unless they are extremely quick and easy to put on. Paw wax is preferred.

 

SCHEDULING DOG WALKS/PUPPY VISITS: The majority of our dog walking/puppy visit clients sign their dogs up for an ongoing set schedule. If you are this type of client, you won’t need to request walks each week. If you schedule week by week, please make your walk/visit requests before 9am the day(s) that you need service during weekdays. 

 

SPECIALTY SERVICE REQUESTS: Walks/visit services occurring outside of our regular service hours, and in home overnights are called Specialty Services and are scheduled based on our staff’s availability. When requesting specialty services, the more advanced notice we receive, the more likely it will be that we’ll be able to accommodate your request. The staff member who is regularly assigned to your pup has priority for specialty services. If they are unavailable, we ask the rest of the staff.  

 

  Same day weekend service requests are unlikely to be accommodated. However, our managers are monitoring communications from clients and staff members who may be experiencing an emergency.

 

CANCELLATIONS:  If you wish to cancel service that occurs during our regular weekly service hours, please do so before 9:00 a.m. the day of said service. Cancellation for same day service after 9:00 a.m. results in a $5 late cancellation charge. Cancellations being made within the service window will result in a full charge. For Specialty Services, we require 24 hour notice for cancellation or you will be charged in full. If you are not in need of service and forget to cancel, but our staff member arrives for service, you will be charged in full as well. Please remember to cancel!

 

*Please note that all scheduling and cancellations requests are not automatically booked. You will receive a confirmation once your request has been booked. 

 

 

For the felines and other household pets.

 

 

SERVICE REQUEST TIME: Visiting time for cats/pets is determined during the sign up process. We ask that you allow us to visit your cat/pet anytime between 10am and 6pm while service is needed. For those of you with cats/pets on stricter schedules due to feeding or med routines requiring more specific visit times, we will work with you to accommodate your request. While we aim to arrive as close to your requested time of service as possible, please allow us an hour on either side (we call this the “window”) of your requested time to arrive. Due to our heavy dog walking schedule on weekdays, scheduling cat/pet visits between the hours of 12pm and 3pm may be limited. 

 

VISIT LENGTH & DETAILS: All cat/pet visits are 30 minutes in length. Feeding, watering, mess cleanup, litter scooping, and TLC are included. Plant watering and mail collection are available upon request at no extra cost. 

 

POST VISIT UPDATE: After completing a cat/pet visit, our staff will upload a photo and a detailed message to the corresponding service entry in their app. When the visit is finalized, you will receive an email containing the photo and the message from the sitter. We will not leave a paper note behind...the cats like to “play” with them sometimes…

 

SCHEDULING CAT/PET VISITS: Please make scheduling requests with as much notice as possible. Cat visits must be scheduled at least once per day during the span of time that visits are needed. Visits occurring during our regular service hours will be assigned to the staff member assigned to your area. Visits occurring outside regular service hours are Specialty Services and follow the same rules as described above in the “For the Canines” section. When making your request, all information about your cat’s/pet’s routine must be provided. We will not schedule visits for your cat/pet without all relevant information. 

*Please note that if we only received one set of keys from you for cat visits that the ability to provide service may be limited. 

CANCELLATIONS:  If you wish to cancel service that occurs during our regular weekly service hours, please do so before 9:00 a.m. the day of said service. Cancellation for same day service after 9:00 a.m. results in a $5 late cancellation charge. Cancellations being made within the service window will result in a full charge. For Specialty Services, we require 24 hour notice for cancellation or you will be charged in full. If you are not in need of service and forget to cancel, but our staff member arrives for service, you will be charged in full as well. Please remember to cancel!

 

*Please note that all scheduling and cancellations requests are not automatically booked. You will receive a confirmation once your request has been booked.