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Q: What are the requirements for my dog to join a pack on a fun workout?

A: Because safety and health of the entire pack is of prime importance, all dogs must be current and up-to-date on all their vaccinations, particularly rabies and distemper, and when possible, bordetella or CVK vaccinations. Each dog over 9-months old must be spayed/neutered.

All dogs must also be current on flea and tick medication at all times. Although finding a flea or tick on a dog even when protected, these would not stay on a dog for long. I recommend a full-body application like Advantage or Frontline over flea collars.

An initial assessment will also be scheduled to determine if your dog is both people- and dog-friendly. This is necessary, as the dogs will be going around public places in a pack. We can help improve socialization, but we cannot work with dogs with a history of aggression.

Pitbulls are not accepted to workout in packs.

Q: At what age should my dog be to join these walks?

A: Dogs are welcome as early as seven months. recommends that pack composition be made up with a lot of thought other than location and an open/available spot, so I always pay attention to dog personality, size, age, and other key factors like temperament, to keeping a safe pack. I will not just fill up an open spot if a dog is not a right fit for the chemistry of the entire pack.

Outdoor Pet Care has several “play groups” to choose from as well as special “small dog groups” and “high energy dog groups”.

Q: Off-leash walking?

A: Off -leash walking is done on hiking trails. The dogs are walked on leash into the trail where it is safe enough to let them run free/unleash (controlled with strong recall training and reinforcement). With Outdoor Pet Care, your dog is taken with a pack of no more than 6 other dogs with similar energy levels and personality to at least one of the several trails in Strawberry Canyon, Tilden Park, Albany Bowl and Claremont Canyon.

Q: Do the dogs get dirty on walks?

A: Since our goal is to make them experience and enjoy the outdoors and to get the most of a workout and playtime, dogs in our packs can get dirty, especially when the weather leaves the roads and/or trails wet. In those instances, I’d be happy to give them a clean-up or wipe-down with a pre-approved or provided towel if needed. I would appreciate knowing before hand about concerns owners might have regarding their dogs bringing some dirt back into the house, so we can make adjustments in the scheduled routes.

Q: What can I do to prepare my dog for off-leash adventure hikes if we don’t go off leash much?

A: I take 6 dogs at a time on hiking trails here in the Berkeley Hills. I NEVER take them to dog parks as there are way too many other factors that can compromise the dogs safety that are beyond my control. At the dog parks they are also not able to climb any hills for that added degree of physical challenge.

The essential training that I exercise with your dog is recall training. Once in my pack, their recall abilities will strengthen tremendously.

If a dog does not have good recall I usually take them on solo walks for 2-4 weeks to work on their recall before they can go on packs. If they still do not have good recall at that time, I normally recommend solo walks and can, as an exception, walk them on leash depending on their reactivity level, for an extra charge.

High-energy dogs are allowed a long range of play as long as their recall is strong.

Q: What is the policy on who’s financially responsible for a dog that gets injured during walks?

A: The importance of choosing a qualified dog walker is to ensure that all workout sessions are safe and that accidents and scuffles are expertly avoided. However, dogs can be unpredictable at times and in these isolated cases, injuries sustained by a dog during a workout will be the financial responsibility of the owner.

Q: What are the payment terms for the walks.

A: For each new client, Outdoor PetCare requires advance payment for the first month of walks. This payment will be made after the initial meeting and assessment. After that, you will be billed monthly, in PDF form via email. Payments are accepted in the form of a check or through Paypal. (Please note that payments made through Paypal incur a 4% service fee—that’s what they charge us.)

Q. What’s your policy on cancellations or change of schedules?

A. When unavoidable, please cancel no later than 24 hours (business hours, please) before the scheduled workout, through email, text message, or call. Kindly wait for the notice to be acknowledged.

During a 12 month period, a client is allowed 7 (seven) cancellations. After that, the client will start getting charged a cancellation fee for each instance. Since I only walk 6 dogs at a time, your dog’s slot cannot be easily replaced. I view it as one would a child at daycare. Parents are being charged for the slot due to the child filling up a seat for the course of the year that otherwise could have been given to another child. It’s assumed that they will be walked on their regular schedule, including holidays, unless otherwise noted.

Q: What happens if I am not happy or satisfied with Outdoor PetCare services?

A: With Outdoor PetCare, dog walking is a relationship between the dog, the walker, and the parents. Since your dog’s safety & well being is important to all of us, if I’m unable to provide the service that makes them happy, I would bring it up and offer other companies I know of that might be a better fit. Similarly, I would greatly appreciate getting immediate feedback from you about any concern regarding a particular session or if you would want something done better.

If a particular walk is unsatisfactory, you will not be charged for it. If, for some reason, the service you signed up for is not a fit and I do need to refer you to another dog walking company, I am willing to pay for the first two walks as a good will gesture.

Just like any professional and personal relationship, it would take some time before it sits well with every one concerned, so I would give it at least a month before opting out of the contract.

Q. How do I get started?

A. If you have learned enough to be interested in Outdoor Pet Care services, please click on this link and fill out a New Client application form.



Outdoor Petcare