During times of extreme weather (hot/humid or cold/bitter) I will contact you prior to any scheduled walking to determine if you want me to make any alterations in the schedule such as a shorter walk and playtime inside, an alternate shady location for the walk, etc. My ultimate concern is for the safety and health of your furry best friend.
Balls, squeeky toys, frisbees, rolling in the grass, sitting on the porch steps watching the world go by, walks in the park or the neighborhood - and more - are what I would do with your dog. I'd also "review" any obedience training and tricks that your dog might now, or teach them something new. Spending that time together, forming that bond and a great friendship is the ultimate happiness for me and what I live for. At the initial Meet and Greet I would ask what you do for fun with your pet, and would try to do that same thing as well.
I do not like to walk dogs on the hot pavement of a road as it can burn the pads on their feet (If you cannot stand on hot pavement in your bare feet for more than 10 seconds, it's not safe for your dog as well). So I will seek out alternatives, such as walking in a shady park, to keep them as comfortable as possible. It may mean some travel by car, but I'm more concerned about the comfort of the dog than having to go out of my way to take care of your pet. During the Summer, I always have cool bottled water available in a cooler packed with ice. I always check with the owner first as to what they want me to do on those hot and humid days.
Inclement Winter Weather Policy, a must read:
For those of you who are current Rover.com clients or may become clients in the future, I want to pass this along so there is plenty of time to prepare should you need my services from December 9, 2018 to March 31, 2019. I am using December 9th as a start date for this season as I will be boarding a neighborhood dog from November 30 - December 8th and will be unavailable for any other services until December 9th.
As I have been with Rover.com a short time, I thought it best to create these policies now so you can stay informed along the way and have plenty of time to make arrangements either with myself or someone else before the first snow fall.
As we all know, winter is fast approaching but bad weather does not change our schedules when it comes to taking care of our pets. Dogs need to be walked and fed, indoor cats need food, water and litter box changes, and some pets need medications, no matter what the weather is outside. I am also very much aware that many of you work outside the home, some full time, some part time, and may not have the ability to ensure that access to your home and your pet will not be obstructed from time to time during a snow storm.
Therefore, I wanted to outline what my winter policies are for those of you who are new to Rover.com and myself, and might ask me to check on your pets from time to time during the winter season. Your pets are my priority but during the winter months, it requires more cooperation on the part of the pet owners.
Please be aware of the following:
1. I will need access to your home whenever you enlist me to check on your furry friend(s). This means there should be no more than 3 inches of snow in the driveway and a clear pathway to a location of a key and the entry door when I am to visit (this includes an accumulation or snowbanksat the end of your driveway). I have a low profile vehicle which is a front wheel drive, but that does not help if I have to back out of your driveway when I leave. If you do not have anyone lined up to take care of your snow removal needs while you are absent, now is the time to start thinking about it. I am not there to shovel your drive way or get stuck while entering or leaving, I will be there to take care of your pet and that’s what you are paying me for, so it is your responsibility to make sure I will be able to do that. Any time that I have to spend clearing a path for my car and your pet means that I will be delayed in getting to the pet after yours, and in the case of medications and older pets, that will delay those as well.
2. In order to access your home, my car must be able to get off the road completely and it must be evident as to where the pathway is to access your home.
3. If you live on a narrow street or road or in a large municipality, I do not want to park on the street for these reasons:
a. If a snow plow comes through, my car could be “locked In” and I would have to shovel out, meaning that I could be delayed getting to the pet that is scheduled after yours.
i. In the case of a senior pet, that could mean the difference between getting outside for a bathroom break or accidents in the home, which could upset the pet owners.
ii. For pets that need medications, this pushes back their schedules and can throw a tizzy into the normal household routine as well as put the pet’s health at risk.
b. I have a white car. That means that if it is snowing heavily, my car might blend in with the snow and not be visible to others, especially snow plow drivers, until the last minute. If my car gets hit, I would not be able to take care of your pet in the future if my car is damaged or totaled. As it’s my only means of transportation, and I drive my elderly Father around the area to help him run his errands, not having a car is not in the picture…..AT ALL.
4. If I am parked on the street during a snowstorm and there are parking restrictions in effect, it could be towed and I could be ticketed. I would have no way home, would not be able to get to the pet after yours, and would not be able to take care of your pet in the future until I paid the fine in order to release the car if it was towed. I do not want the added expense nor do I want the points for the ticket on my license. Tickets mean points on my license and a court date. My driving record is impeccable and I do not want it tarnished by any tickets or points because I was unable to access your driveway and had to park on the road. As I work par time in the evenings, it means a court date would interfere with my work hours and I do not get paid from my part time job if I do not work.
a. If any part of Item # 4 occurs because I am unable to get my car off the road and into your driveway, I will bill the pet owner(s) in order to be reimbursed for any fines incurred and will no longer care for your pet in the future.
b. If I am forced to park on the side of the road or street because there are more than 3 inches of accumulation in your driveway or there is a snowbank at the end of your driveway, it could mean that I will not be able to gain access to your house and take care of your pet as scheduled. The end result could be that your pet, in the case of a dog, could have an accident or two in the home, and/or might not get the medication(s) it needs at the scheduled time. I would be forced to make the difficult decision as to whether to try to gain access or not, and there is the possibility that I would have to leave without taking care of your pet, and go to the next booking instead.
5. I am contemplating offering dog day care and dog boarding in my home during the winter months ONLY. Your pet would have human interaction all day, have regular potty breaks and be well taken care of. However, I would only entertain one dog at a time on any given day, unless there are two small dogs who reside in the same household. Two small dogs with the same owner would be my absolute daily limit.
a. If I do offer these services for the Winter months only, drop off would be any time after 7 a.m., and pickup would have to be no later than 5:45 p.m. as I do have to work from 6 – 9 PM Monday – Thursday, and Saturday from 10 – 1. Rates will be posted on my Rover.con profile under Services if I decide to offer these options.
b. Payment would be expected in Rover.com once the booking is agreed upon and accepted by both parties.
c. The schedule would be dependent on whether I am boarding or providing day care in my home for dogs outside of Rover.com, which are mostly the neighborhood dogs.
I have not made a decision yet on the doggie day care and boarding (in lieu of house sitting in your home) but when I do, I will open the services up in my profile. Space will be limited to just one dog on a daily basis, or two small dogs who reside with the same owner. You can contact me through Rover.com to stay up to date on the dog day care and/or boarding options.
I will still be doing dog walking and drop-ins during the Winter but only if items # 1 - #4 above can be guaranteed by the pet owner. So if you haven’t already secured someone to clear your driveway during the Winter, and you’re on good terms with a neighbor who is home all day, perhaps you can work out an arrangement where he or she will make sure your driveway is accessible when there is, or will be more than, 3 inches of snow on the ground or a snowbank at the end of your driveway at the time I am due to arrive. I realize that for some of you, you may not be able to guarantee access to your home because you work full time, and I understand that. I ask that you understand my position and that fact that you are not my only Rover.com pet clients and I must adhere to a block of time as closely as possible for the comfort of the other pet(s) that may follow yours.
You’re more than welcome to come and look over my home and fenced in back yard after an initial Meet and Greet. During the Winter I use the snow thrower to create pathways in the back yard as well as a couple of bathroom areas, and that makes it easier for smaller dogs to navigate through the snow. I always put a coat on the dog if there is one (I still have the ones that I used for my dog Jack in the event there isn’t one supplied by the owner) and never leave them unattended while out in the colder weather. I bundle up and go out as well so that I can be ready to help if they get stuck in the snow or their feet get cold and they need to be carried inside. If they are walked while staying at my home, their feet are always rinsed and towel dried after each and every walk.
I provide a copy of this policy during the initial Meet and Greet and I ask that, if agree and understand what is expected, you sign and date the policy, indicating that you understand all the terms put forth.