FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What services do you provide?


Pet care services are provided to ensure care and companionship for your pets while you're away. Care includes walking dogs, providing play and exercise time for pets, feeding and watering, litter box cleaning for cats and caged animals, administering medications (if needed), and providing your pets with lots of love and attention, while they're in our care. We can also bring in your mail and newspapers, to provide a "lived in" look to your home, while you're away. Additional services (upon request) may include moving your outdoor garbage and recycling containers to and from the curb, opening and closing blinds, and/or watering indoor plants. We also offer optional text updates—including photos—so you know that your pets are well cared for while you're away! We also offer one-on-one, in-home dog training services for puppies, dogs, and their owners. We provide puppy preparation consultations, for familes preparing their homes for arrival of their newest, furry family members. We also will help train your kids to help train your dogs! In addition to puppy training, we love working with families bringing rescue dogs home and will help you help your new dog how to learn basic household rules and manners.




Who comes to my home, if I hire WindyWalksPDX?


We are currently a husband and wife team working closely with our clients to ensure personalized care for their pets. During our busier seasons, we occasionally hire part-time pet sitters and dog walkers to join our team. However, each new WindyWalker has been carefully interviewed to ensure they meet our high quality of standards, as well as demonstrate knowledge of basic animal care. After passing the interview process, potential WindyWalkers are provided with a WindyWalksPDX manual. The manual provides policy, guidelines, and procedures for understanding animal behavior, universal dog commands, work behavior, and safety. They are then tested on their knowledge and understanding of the manual. Those who pass our exam are then screened by an outside organization, to conduct criminal background checks, as well as comprehensive employment screenings. New WindyWalkers are considered temporary employees for their first month, during which time they are required to earn Pet First Aid & CPR certification, as well as receive one week of detailed, hands-on training. After one month, the best of the best move on as official WindyWalkers!




What areas do you service?


Pet care services, excluding dog training, are available within most of Portland's Southeast neighborhoods and limited Northeast neighborhoods. If you reside outside a five-mile radius of Mt. Tabor, and are in need of our services, please contact us before scheduling an initial meeting. Currently serving the following Northeast Portland neighborhoods: Grant Park Hollywood Irvington Laurelhurst Lloyd District Sullivan's Gulch If you don't see your NE neighborhood listed, please contact us! Extended service areas are happily considered on a case-by-case basis. For dog training services that fall outside of the neighborhoods listed above, please add $10.00 to the currently listed dog training rates.




Do you only care for cats and dogs?


Our walkers are familiar with caring for most types of critters! The appropriate sitter, with thorough knowledge and understanding of your special pets' needs, will be assigned for care. If you believe you have a special situation, please contact us! We're always willing to work with your needs.




What do you do, while in my home?


For pet care services, we care for your pets! This includes feeding and watering, changing litter boxes, and/or cleaning critter cages. We usually only enter kitchen and formal living areas. We keep out of bedrooms, unless you specifically tell us it's okay (e.g., your dogs have crates in your room or your cats sleep on the bed). If you have additional needs, such as bringing in mail and opening and closing blinds (to provide that lived-in look), just let us know. For dog trainng services, our first consultation consists of creating a customized learning plan for you and your dog. We provide hands-on assistance for you, your family, and your dog so that you fully understand how to best accomplish each progressive step in your dog's training process.




How many times a day do you visit with my pet?


How many visits your pets require while you're away really just depends on your needs. If you want to make sure your pets get a quick, outdoor potty break while you're away at work, you may only need our services once, or twice, per day. If you want to curb your pets' anxieties and ensure physical health, you may opt for daily walking services. For those needing overnight care, we offer in-home care—from 8PM to 8AM—that includes two 30-minutes walks, feeding, play time, and (of course) overnight care for your pets! Whatever your needs, we'll work with you to ensure your pets receive the best care and attention while you're away.




Do you administer medications to pets?


Absolutely! Carefully following instructions provided by you and/or your vet, we can administer pills, liquid drops, skin ointments, and any other sort of medical prescriptions your pets may require.




Are you trained to handle pet emergencies?


Yes! all WindyWalkers are certified in Cat and Dog First Aid, through ProPetHero. We are knowledgeable in: Snout-To-Tail Assessment for Injury & Wellness Assessing a Pet's Vitals Stocking Contents for a Pet First Aid Kit Primary Assessment Restraining & Muzzling Rescue Breathing Canine & Feline CPR Choking Management Bleeding & Shock Management Handling Insect Bites & Stings and Snakebite Handling Heat & Cold Injuries Handling Seizure Caring For a Senior Pet-izen While trained in many skills to successfully deal with emergency situations, it should be noted that the goal of any pet parent and caregiver is to prevent emergencies before they happen. Ultimately, we are NOT veterinarians, and our goal—should an emergency occur—is to handle the emergency as best we can. Then, depending upon the type of emergency, ensure your pet is seen by a veterinary professional.




What do you do, in case of an emergency?


Before services begin, we will work together to determine a procedure for dealing with emergencies. Usually, we contact you first, to advise of the emergency and consider the best course of action. However, if you're unavailable, we will contact your predetermined pet emergency contact, which may include a family member, your veterinarian (if during regular business hours), or an emergency veterinarian (if after regular business hours). We highly recommend DoveLewis ER & ICU Animal Hospital, located in NW Portland; however, you may have a different pet emergency hospital that you'd prefer to use instead. Again, we'll work with you BEFORE an emergency happens, to determine the best course of action.




What about my house keys?


While we offer several options for safeguarding the keys to your home, our ideal and preferred method is a lockbox (or keypad lock) kept at your premises. If providing us with keys, we require that you provide us with two (2) copies—one for your WindyWalker, and the other held at our office.

For our apartment-dwelling clients, whose residences have on-site management, you may leave your key with the office manager, for pick up and drop off, during the apartment office's normal operating hours.

If you need your keys back because you're moving or no longer need our services, please contact us. We'll immediately return your keys to you, at your request.




Are you licensed and insured?


Yes and yes! We are licensed in the state of Oregon, as well as registered within Portland and Multnomah County, to operate our business as "WindyWalksPDX, LLC." We are also insured through Pet Sitters Associates, LLC, to provide dog walking and pet sitting services.




When is payment expected and how may I pay?


Payment is expected before services are provided. Service is only confirmed once you have received a final invoice/confirmation from us via email. In the event of additional unforeseen costs (such as food, supplies, vet fees, etc.), payment is expected within 5 days of the completion of services, or a late charge of $20 will be applied. We are able to accept cash and checks (made out to "WindyWalksPDX"), and/or credit/debit cards (processed through Square invoicing). Payments not received in person may be left on the counter, in the form of cash or check.




Do you accept tips?


Absolutely not (but thank you for the offer). The standards to which we hold our WindyWalkers is very high. Because they have gone through such a thorough vetting process, we generously compensate our walkers accordingly. We don't want any of our clients to feel that they need to tip, to ensure their pets receive quality care. We will ALWAYS provide the *best* pet care for our clients and their pets... without expecting gratuity.




May I contact you while my pets are in your care?


Of course! If you need to reach us immediately, please call or text your assigned WindyWalker. You can also contact the owner/lead walker at 323-739-4639. For less urgent matters, you can email us at info@windywalkspdx.com, and we'll reply to your messages as quickly as we are able. Remember that you can also receive regular updates from us, if you'd like, after we visit with your pets. Updates may include emails or text messages, as well as photos of your happy pets (if requested).




How do I get started?


Contact us (text, call, email) and we'll arrange a time to come to your home and meet you and your pets. We'll discuss your pet and house care needs, as well as dates and types of visits you'd like to receive.




What are your holiday fees?


Per visit, please add $5 for services requested on the following holidays: New Year's Day Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Presidents' Day Easter Memorial Day Independence Day Labor Day Columbus Day Veterans Day Thanksgiving Day Christmas Eve Christmas Day New Year's Eve




What are your operating hours?


Our normal operating hours are between 8AM and 8PM. For earlier or later needed care, EXCLUDING Overnight Care services, please add $5 per visit.




Can I split pet care between WindyWalksPDX and friends and/or relatives?


Due to our liability policy, we cannot share pet care with your friends or family. This policy ensures that your home and pets are protected by WindyWalksPDX exclusively. If your friend or family causes damage or injury to your house or pet, WindyWalksPDX would be held liable, even if we weren't responsible. Therefore, if we find an unexpected person in your home while our services are provided, we will leave the property and immediately contact authorities.




What is your inclement weather policy (extreme heat and cold)?


Bad weather happens. For snowy/icy days, if you will be home (because weather conditions warranted work/school closures), please call us to cancel services! While our walkers continue to work during inclement weather, their safety is as important to us as our clients'. Additionally, remember that your pets can easily overheat during extremely hot temperatures. If your dog still needs an afternoon potty break, consider scheduling a 15-Minute Check-In, instead of a longer walk. Our inclement weather policy:

  1. During inclement weather, we do NOT charge cancellation fees for services cancelled less than 24 hours in advance. However, if you need to cancel, or if you'd like to change walks to 15-Minute Check-Ins, please let us know ASAP. This helps us plan the remainder of our days accordingly.
  2. Pets requiring medication take priority. We prioritize our visit times based on those whose pets are in need of medications. We will do our utmost best to make sure that they are visited at their regularly scheduled time, to ensure that they receive their required medications in a timely manner.
  3. Pets on "strict" potty schedules get next priority. For those clients with puppies or elderly dogs, we will try to maintain their normal schedule, to ensure they don't have any "accidents" inside their homes.
  4. For all other care services, we simply ask pet parents to understand that we may need to do a bit of schedule juggling in order to ensure every pet will be seen! Otherwise...
  5. Please allow us a bit of leeway (usually 30 minutes in either direction) around our regularly scheduled appointment times.




Do you keep my personal information private?


Yes! We recognize that your privacy is important to you and your family. We will not, at any time, either directly or indirectly, use any information for our own benefit, disclose, or communicate, in any manner, any information to any third party. Read our Privacy Policy here!




Do you offer any discounts?


We offer two types of discounts (and they may be used together)! Regularly scheduled Dog Walking services, scheduled one month in advance and at least three (3) times per week, receive $3 off all listed Dog Walking rates. On invoices, this discount is noted as our "Frequent Dog Walking Discount." We also offer a 10% discount off your total bill, when services are paid with cash or check (for currently listed rates only).




Do you charge extra for additional pets?


All of our Dog Walking rates are for one (1) dog; please add $5 for each additional dog. Overnight Care includes up to two (2) pets (excluding dogs). For each additional pet, please add $5. For Overnight Care that includes dogs in the household, please refer to dog walking rates. Pet Sitting rates include up to two (2) pets, for any type of pet EXCEPT dogs; please add $5 for each additional pet.




What if I need to cancel a service?


A $25 cancellation fee, or the cost of the service cancelled (whichever is less), will be applied to services cancelled with less than a 24-hour notice. For clients who use the Frequent Dog Walking Discount, one cancellation per month will not be charged a cancellation fee, if cancelled with less than a 24-hour notice.




What's the difference between loose leash walking and a casual puppy or dog walk?


During casual walks, puppies and dogs are given the freedom to walk, sniff, play, and potty at will. Casual walks are offered in 15-minute, 30-minute, 45-minute, and even 60-minute increments (for puppies and dogs that need a bit more exercise). Casual walks are the most common service for those who need daily walks and potty breaks for puppies and dogs that are left home alone during working hours. Loose leash walking, also known as "heel," is a learned behavior—just like "sit," "down," or "stay." One-hour, training walks are structured in such a way that puppies and dogs learn not to pull on the leash. They are also taught the command "break," which offers them a little bit more freedom during their walk, such as letting them use the bathroom, and "with me," which tells them to maintain at least a 6-foot proximity to me, but not necessarily in "heel" position. In short, training walks are exactly that... training!





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