Dog Walking FAQs
Q: How many dogs do you walk at any one time?
A: When it comes to group dog walking, Dog Walking Services by Darren Larkin will never walk more than 6 dogs at any one time when working alone.
When being accompanied by a member of my team this allows 8 dogs at any one time which equates to 4 dogs per walker and remains within the legal guidelines and my insurance policy.
I ensure temperamentally as well as geographically only suitable dogs are walked together.
If walking restrictions exist in certain areas, then I abide by the rules for that area.
My team go through a thorough training process and are regularly assessed.
Group dog walking is a fantastic way to socialise your dog and builds their confidence and they gain greatly from this social aspect of their walks.
Q: Can I specify a particular time for my dog to be walked?
A: My daily group dog walks are generally carried out between 8.00am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday though pick-ups may be earlier/later and drop offs may be earlier or later too. Depends on the dogs on a particular day and traffic conditions and weather and so forth.
I can never pinpoint the exact time, but I do endeavour to walk as near to any requested time as possible. It would of been agreed at the time of the assessment or if any time changes to the group your dog will be walked whether its an AM or lunchtime appointment. Dogs should be in their homes and be ready for collection for their specified walks.
I'm happy to make any changes as long as plenty of notice is given. I’ll do my best to fit in with your needs.
Q: How long are the walks?
A: All my walks are for a minimum of 1 hour, not including pickups and drop offs. If your dog requires a longer walk, then please contact me to discuss your requirements.
Q: Where will my dog be walked?
A: All my walks are carried out in green spaces where it is safe and interesting for your dog. I vary the locations in order to provide variety for your dog.
Q: My dog is nervous around other dogs; will you be able to walk them?
A: Yes, if your dog is nervous around other dogs this can be assessed at your FREE consultation. Sometimes dogs behave/react differently with an owner than they do being taken out with a dog walker. Therefore, if your dog is nervous but non-aggressive I can introduce him/her to an appropriate group of friendly dogs, a little bit at a time and see how things go.
One of the biggest benefits of group dog walking is how much it can improve your dog’s socialisation. I am often amazed how quickly dogs gain confidence and settle into a group dog walk with just a little support from one of the dogs.
Q: What happens if my dog doesn’t get on with another group dog?
A: I carefully select which dogs will walk together, if I find an imbalance within the group I will switch accordingly. I want all my dogs to enjoy their walks.
Q: Do I need to be at home when you collect or drop off my dog?
A: No, most of my clients are happy for me to retain a key for them which enables me to collect and drop off your dog while you’re not at home. All keys are kept in a secure location overnight and will never be marked with anything other than the name of your dog.
Some clients provide a code to their key safe boxes for entry to their homes, I’m happy with whatever works for you.
Your personal information will never be sold or discussed with any 3rd parties in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
Q: What happens in an emergency?
A: In an emergency I will contact you immediately to discuss the situation. If I am unable to contact you and urgent veterinary attention is required I will take your dog to your nominated veterinary practice or alternatively the nearest vet depending on the circumstances.
Q: Can I just have occasional walks?
A: Absolutely. I am very happy to offer ad-hoc walks. All I ask is that you give me as much notice as possible to get you booked in. Ad-hoc walks should be confirmed by a text or email.
Q: Can I meet you before walking my dog?
A: Absolutely. I always book in a FREE consultation with new clients so we can meet.
This is an opportunity for me to discuss my background to make you comfortable using my services, as well as an opportunity to discuss your requirements and to meet the most important member of the family.
Q: Will my dog be walked by you each time?
A: Yes. I will always be your dog walker although I do have a member of my team with me so you have the benefit of two walkers on any group walk.
Q: What happens in the case of you being sick?
A: Depending on the nature of the illness I will always endeavour to walk your dog, although you can never predict the future. If for any reason I am unable to walk your dog for a period of time I will contact you in the first instance. If the illness is longer than a day I have access to a dedicated team of insured dog walkers whom if acceptable to yourself I will try an arrange a backup walker for you. The backup walker will be fully briefed on your dog’s specific requirements and is very experienced, we will communicate so I will know your dog is getting along okay and make sure they are happy and content.
Q: Is your dog walking business insured?
A: Yes. I have full-coverage insurance as well as an up-to-date DBS certificate and registration with HMRC, all to give you the peace of mind you need when you’re hiring a professional dog walker.
Q: Will I be charged if I cancel a walk at short notice?
A: A cancellation is considered late when the appointment is cancelled less than 48 hours before the appointed day. Cancelled appointments less than 48 hours’ notice, will incur the full cost of the chargeable fee for the day and an invoice for payment sent to you accordingly.
In the case of unforeseen circumstances this will be managed on a case by case basis.
Q: Can you do evening and weekend walks?
A: My working hours are 8.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.
I do offer walks on a Saturday, this carries an out-of-hours fee, please contact me for more information.
Q: Do I have to pay for walks upfront?
A: No. I invoice in arrears and send invoices at the end of the week for that week’s walks. I accept payment by credit or debit card, bank transfer and direct debit.
Q: How much do you charge?
A: With prices from just £16 per hour, including a door-to-door collection service and live pupdates to let you know how your dog’s getting on, Dog Walking Services by Darren Larkin is the best value for money dog walking service in the area. For other services please contact me where I will be able to provide you with my price list.
Q: My dog has not been spayed or neutered; can he/she still be walked?
A: Clients should advise me if they suspect their female is in or coming into season (oestrus). It is advised a three-week grace period is recommended before recommencement of the walking service; this can be managed on a case-by-case basis.
Q: How do you transport the dogs to their walk locations?
A: I have a fully business insured van, which has crash proof dog cages made to the highest specifications fitted. All cages have non slip mats to make the journey to the walks as safe as possible.
Q: Do you have doggy first aid experience?
A: I am an experienced owner of Siberian Huskies with over 20 years with the breed and run Tonbridge Husky & Malamute Walking Group which has a partnership agreement with The Siberian Husky Welfare Association so I am versed in treating incidents should they occur on the walks. I carry a first aid kit with me.
Q: What happens in bad weather, are the dogs still walked?
A: The nature of the business is we all get wet!! I will clean and dry your dog off as much as possible. I do ask that you leave out a towel and if you have an outdoor hose that I have access to this, otherwise I will use my shower unit from my van.
If the weather is more severe like snow or freezing ice then the day’s walks are subject to cancellation depending on the severity of the weather that day. Where possible walks will always try to go ahead.
Q: Do you walk dogs off leash?
A: It depends on what you want- but generally yes! If your dog is a little bit rusty on their recall then I can keep them on a lead and let them walk in safety! I will only let your dog off lead once you have signed the Indemnity Clause on the contract.
Q: Will you feed my dog?
A: Absolutely, as long as I know in advance what the procedure is then I am happy to leave a bowl of food/kibble down for your dog after their walk. I also replace waters if necessary.
Q: What are your terms and conditions?
A: These can be found below...