FAQ: DOG PARK GUY DOG WALKING
If your particular concern or question isn't answered here, call Mike, to ask.
What's your availability?
2 "full time reservation" slots are available in my late morning pack, a mixed-size pack centered around Hayes Valley/Lower Haight/Alamo Square. Please include your cross streets in all correspondence!
Who is Dog Park Guy?
It's a one-man operation! My name is Mike and I have been caring for, and living with, dogs for over 15 years (not counting childhood dogs of course). I love all animals, but dogs are especially close to my nature.
When I walk your dog, you and your companion animal get attention and dedication from one person, not an employee of a larger organization, and not a dog walker manager. There is no "employee turnover" when you pair your dog up with Mike, the Dog Park Guy. I personally bond with every dog I meet.
Your dog will love our walks, listening for that first jingle of keys, and I will love your dog just like you would. I do have my own companion dog, a very vocal Lab mix rescue named Ben Star. He is well socilaized and comes with me on most walks, but not if I think he needs a rest period. I've lived in San Francisco 25 years now, it's my home.
How do I sign up for your service?
Call me at , and we will arrange for me to come and meet you and your dog at your home, usually in the evening after work. I call this a Meet n' Greet. I will have you fill out a service agreement/contact info sheet, and you will have a set of keys for me to use for pick-ups and drop-offs. I also require the first month's payment up front. After the first month, services are billed at the end of the month just like all your other bills. Please note, I require all dogs to be licensed, vaacinated, and on some kind of flea medication.
What is 'full time reservation'?
This means your dog has a reserved spot in the pack every day Monday - Friday. Unlike part-time dogs (less than 5x a week) who request a schedule change, full time reservation dogs never get told 'Sorry, but the pack is full (8 dogs), so I can't take FiFi out that day.' If you go on vacation, your dog's slot in the pack is still there for you when you get back. Full time reservation dogs get a small discount on the per walk rate over the course of the year, and the charge is currently a flat monthly fee of $350.
Do you provide service in my neighborhood?
I service Alamo Square, Panhandle / NoPa, Lower Haight, & Hayes Valley. If you're on the edges of those neighborhoods, email me and ask.
What time will my dog be walked?
I do 2 pack walks on either side of noon, and 1 late afternoon pack walk. Pack 1 gets to the park around 10:30 am and Pack 2 gets to the park around 1:15 pm. The late afternoon pack gets to the park around 3:45 pm. Pick-up times vary based on where you live and the order of the dogs I am picking up.
Are you licensed & insured?
Yes! I am licensed by the city of San Francisco Animal Care and Control, and insured through Kennel Pro with a $2 million liability policy. I am also certified in dog CPR & First Aid.
I need a dog walker tomorrow! Can you walk my dog?
Probably not. If we can arrange to meet in the evening, it is possible. If we can't meet first, I can't pick up your dog for a walk the next day. I need to meet your dog and your dog wants to meet me too, and I also need to have things like emergency contact info, a veternarian care release form and our service agreement signed. My top priority is to the safety of the dogs I walk, and I want my customers to know that I am not bringing unvetted dogs into the pack with their precious family member. If I can't assess your dog, and if I don't have the human companion's emergency contact info, that puts your dog and all the dogs at risk. It's just not a good idea.
What happens if there is an emergency involving my dog?
First I will call you and probably text you too. I will have your emergency contact info, including your vet's name, on your service agreement. My first choice will be to have you meet me at the emergency room so you can handle it from there. The service agreement that you sign allows me to take your dog to the vet or emergency room on your behalf and order care, should it come to that (so far it has never happened). If your dog seems to have an issue that needs attention but is not a emergency, I'll let you know via phone or text. I generally do not like leaving "notes" in people's home because it can be an unreliable way to communicate.
Do you take credit cards?
No. Cash or check, please. I also am accepting Venmo, a wallet app that some of my clients like. I bill on a monthly basis, for both full-time and part-time dogs. The first month of service must be paid in advance.
My dog is aggressive, will you still walk her?
Dogs that display aggression will be removed from pack walks. If the dog is dog-aggressive but not aggressive towards humans, yes, leashed solo walks are an option for you (please note that as of Sept. 2015, I can not offer solo walks due to a full schedule). If the dog is human agressive or extremely anxious around strangers, sorry but likely no. It's too much of a risk to my health and livelyhood.
Do you work on weekends or holidays?
Generally no. If you're in a pickle, I live in the neighborhood, so I can sometime help out, but I usually have pretty busy weekends with my own obligations. You can always ask.
I'm going on vacation/out of town for work, do you offer boarding?
Sorry, but no. You will have to arrange for your companion dog to be boarded at your favorite boarding facility.
Will you wash my dog / clip their nails / give them a haircut?
I will towel off wet & muddy dogs before dropping them off, but I do not offer grooming services.