Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Why are your rates cheaper than many other dog walkers?
My rates are based on the sound economic research I compiled when I set my business up in 2010. I believe that the rates I charge are a fair and representative rate for this type of work. I have been operating for many years now and due to this longevity I am trading from a sound financial platform. I manage my business well and have few overheads, which enables me to keep the charges to my customers low in comparison to new set up businesses.
2. Do you provide a discount for more than one dog from the same house?
Yes I do additional dogs from the same house walked at the same time get a discount on the rate for the second dog.
3. Why do you only walk small groups at any one time?
Walking smaller groups has many benefits it enables me to retain full control of all the dogs entrusted in my care and enables me to quickly recall the group and place them back on leads if required. It also enables me to better match each dogs individual needs to the most suitable walk group. This increases play interaction between the matched group which enhances socialisation and play.
4. Do I need to provide poop bags?
No I always carry a large supply of bags, as both a dog owner and a professional dog walker I take this issue very seriously and pride myself on always picking up after all dogs in my charge, Not only is it a moral duty to pick up any fouling, but it is also enforceable by law:
Environmental Protection Act 1990: Imposes duty on local councils to keep specific public places clear of dog faeces.
Dogs Fouling of Land Act 1996: Maximum penalty- £1000.
Clean Neighbourhoods & Environment Act 2005: This Act repeals the Dogs Fouling of Land Act 1996. Instant fine of £80 for owners who do not clean up any fouling.
5. Would you walk my dog off the lead?
The majority of my customers want off lead walks so this is not a problem at all as I only use dog friendly walk sites. However, for Insurance purposes the client has to sign to agree to this happening. It should also be noted that it is not a problem if you want your dog kept on the lead. On the first few occasions as a precaution I will walk them on a flexi lead until they are comfortable with me, my voice and their new fun friends and routine.
6. Do you do half hour walks at half the rate?
I can provide half hour walks but these would have to be outside of my normal walking core times. The reason for this is that it would need to be done on a one on one basis, as all my current client base have all opted for the one hour sessions. Unfortunately half an hour does not mean half the rate as collection and drop off are the same and therefore the cost can only be slightly reduced.
7. My dog is chipped, does it still need a tag on its collar?
A microchip offers a back up if they managed to slip their collar whilst for instance, out on a walk. But the Control of Dogs Order 1992 mandates that any dog in a public place must wear a collar with the name and address (including postcode) of its owner either engraved or written on it, or engraved on a tag. A telephone number is optional (but strongly advisable). An owner can be fined up to £5,000 if the dog is not wearing identification. Therefore I always ask my customers to ensure they have collars and tags prior to the service commencing.
8. Would you charge to feed or give medication?
Sometime ago I read of a competitor who charged for this service, I found this staggering and would never dream of doing this. I offer an inclusive service, not only would I feed them, and issue any required medication but I always check to make sure that fresh water is available for them when I drop them home and top up bowls as required.
9. Who will walk my dog?
As a sole trader I have total responsibility for all aspects of the business so the person you meet to sign up for the service is always the person who carries it out.
10. Would you call or send a text to let me know how the walk went?
Yes, I already do this for many customers, in addition, if a note book is left out I can leave you a brief update to let you know where we have been and how things went.
11. Do I have to sign up to a regular service, or could it be more Adhoc?
No you do not have to sign up to regular service, I do a lot of adhoc work and I have many customers on differing shift patterns. I pride myself on the flexibility of my business to meet my customers requirements.
12. Would you still walk my dog if the weather was bad?
As Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE famously said “There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” So providing that I can safely get to your property then the service will always be carried out. Since the inception of my business in 2010 I have gone through many wet summers and cold wet winters. So bad weather is really not an issue, on completion of the walk I will give them a good rub down including muddy paws so they are comfortable when I leave them at home. (I do this with one of my clean towels that are washed in antibacterial washing products, unless you wish to provide your own towel).
13. Why do you only operate in certain areas of York?
I made the decision to restrict the geographic area where I trade to ensure that transportation times from collection at the property to the start of the day’s walks are kept to a minimum. My customers pay me to walk their dogs not take them for a drive around the ring road.
14. Why do you only provide dog walking and puppy socialising services?
It is important to me that I keep to two core services, making this business decision has enabled me to focus on what I do best and ensure that all dogs in my care are well exercised and have fun.
15. Would you walk my dog whilst my normal dog walker is on holiday?
As this would be an adhoc service it would be dependant upon my availability at the time of the enquiry.
This is not an exhaustive list of questions and answers, if you have a specific one then please do not hesitate to contact me, for an informal no obligation chat.