Frequently Asked Questions
I've never had a professional service care for my pet before - how does it work?
Call 604-831-0766 or contact us through our website. We will get back to you within 24 hours at which time we will answer your initial questions and set up a free in-home consultation. This meeting usually lasts 30-45 minutes. We will discuss your pet's history, go over their regular routine, talk about their unique needs, answer all of your questions, and fill out some paperwork. We will provide you with references and show you our license and insurance papers. This is also a good time to give us a copy of your house key. If we have to make a return trip to your home to pick up a key there will be a $10 charge.
What areas do you service?
Our service area varies by service:
Group Hikes: Marine Drive and Oxley Street in West Vancouver to Northlands Drive and Mount Seymour Parkway in North Vancouver
Private Walks: North Vancouver from Capilano Road to Riverside Drive
Cat and Critter and Relief Visits: Taylor Way in West Vancouver - Parkgate Mall in North Vancouver
Pet Sitting: Dundarave in West Vancouver - Parkgate Mall in North Vancouver
What do I need to know before hiring a pet care provider?
You should know that it's important to do your homework. Ask as many questions as you feel are necessary.
Anyone who is running a reputable business will be happy to provide you with all the answers you need in order to feel comfortable leaving your pet(s) in their care.
You should know that professional dog walkers require a license to operate in the Districts of North and West Vancouver. They also pay a Park Use Permit fee, must display a permit on their person while hiking, and are required to wear a sash or vest with their company name and number on it. Every licensed company must also be insured.
What questions should I ask someone who will be caring for my pet(s)?
The first question you should ask is; are you properly licensed and insured?
For a list of important questions to ask someone who will be walking your dog follow this link: http://raisingrover.com/how-to-choose-a-dog-walker
For questions to ask a potential cat sitter click here:
How do you keep the dogs from getting overheated in warm weather?
We provide fresh water for the dogs while they are in our vehicles, we also carry water while on the trail. Our trucks are well ventilated. We park in the shade whenever possible and we never leave the dogs in a parked vehicle for longer than it takes to quickly pick up or drop off a dog. We also ensure our dogs have cooled off in a creek before getting into the vehicle after a hike. If the creeks are dry, we carry a mister which we use to cool the dogs. We are Pet First Aid certified and fully alert to the signs of heat exhaustion. We have never had a dog overheat while in our care.
Are there any bylaws pertaining to Commercial Dog Walking?
Commercial Dog Walking is a heavily regulated industry. Here are just a few of the bylaws governing CDW on the North Shore:
-maximum 6 dogs at one time
-must stay on specifically designated trails
-must pick up after their dogs
-are required to have a detailed history of each client dog
-dogs must be leashed when they are fewer than 50 metres from the trailhead, as well as on roads
For a link to the complete list of the bylaws governing Commercial Dog Walking please visit our "Links" page
Can you visit my cat every 2-3 days instead of every day?
It is not a good idea to leave your cat home alone unattended for extended lengths of time. Though most cats will get along fine if they have a litter box, fresh food, and water, accidents can happen. Injuries or illnesses can creep up quickly and may threaten your cat’s health if undetected. Your cat’s emotional state is as important to us as his or her need for food, water and a clean litter box; so we visit them a minimum of once per day to provide the practical basics but also to offer plenty of love and playtime so that she/he remains happy and stress-free. Daily visits help ensure the safety and security of your cat and your home.
Are there special requirements my dog needs to meet in order to walk in a group?
-a yearly titer test is required
-dogs must have a current license
-we can not accept dogs with a history of aggression towards people or other dogs
-we do not discriminate based on breed or age. Each dog will be assessed on an individual basis during our initial consultation.
Do you take dogs that haven't been spayed or neutered?
We take puppies up to 7 months of age who have not been spayed or neutered, however we can not include "intact" adult dogs in our groups. Even if your dog is calm and friendly there is too great a risk that he or she may attract unwanted attention from other dogs we encounter. Many dogs react negatively to unneutered males and can be overly interested in unspayed females. Unfortunately this puts everyone at risk. We would be happy to discuss taking your dog on private walks.
Where do you walk the dogs?
Our group hikes take place on mountain trails in North and West Vancouver specifically designated for commercial dog walking. Where we go on our private and semi-private walks depends on the needs and abilities of the dogs on those walks.
Will my dog get dirty on a hike?
The short answer is "yes". We walk rain or shine and most dogs love to get dirty. We ask that you keep a towel handy so that we can dry your dog before we let them into your home. We will do our very best to clean and dry your dog but there is a limit as to how much time we can spend on each dog. We are happy to leave your dog in a designated area if you wish - please just let us know.
How does A Walk in the Park access my home if I'm not there?
Most clients prefer to give us a copy of their key. In the event that you are called away unexpectedly or are delayed at work or when travelling, it makes it easy and convenient to contact us and schedule a service on short notice. However if you prefer to make other arrangements we can discuss that during our initial meeting. There will be a $10 charge each time we need to pick up or return your key. We are fully insured and bonded.
What if my pet needs medication?
We are trained in pet first aid and experienced at giving medication. We can administer most medications (ie. pills, subcutaneous injections, etc). If we are not able to help we will happily recommend someone who can.
What is your cancellation policy?
Any service cancelled the day before, or day of, will be charged in full.
For pet sitting and boarding we require 2 weeks notice - 1 month for Christmas, New Years and March Break.
Our full cancellation policy is outlined on our "Policies and Paperwork" page. Please contact us for the password to access that area of our website.
How does payment work?
A Walk in the Park is eco-minded; invoicing for all dog walks and hikes is done once a month, at month's end, via e-mail. If you prefer a hard copy of your invoice please let us know.
For pet sitting, boarding, and drop in visits, a small deposit will be required at the time of booking in order to hold your dates. The balance will be due upon your return.
We accept payment in cash, by cheque or via Interac e-transfer.
A full outline of our payment policy is available on our "Policies and Paperwork" page. Please contact us for the password to access that area of our website.