Frequently Asked Questions
What equipment do I need to provide for dog walking visits?
As a company focused on force free and positive methods, we do not allow the use of e-collars, prong collars or other aversive when our staff are walking your dogs. We ask that each owner provide a well fitting harness, flat fixed length leash, waste disposal bags and treats appropriate for your dog.
Please note that for safety reasons, we do not permit a dog to be walked with a retractable leash or a flat collar that is not a martingale type. We are happy to review your equipment and provide suggestions at the meet and greet for you!
Treats should be small and something your dog loves. We use treats to help encourage your dog to walk with a loose leash and to reinforce the behaviors that you want to see!
Who will be walking my dogs or caring for my pets?
At Milwaukee Paws Pet Care, we operate as a team to provide consistent, dependable and worry free pet care. All of our team members are screened, background checked and trained by us- we use employees not Independent contractors. We purposely train multiple people to care for your pet so that if/when life happens, your pets care is not compromised. You can see who is assigned to each visit in our software so you always know who is in your home.
You can easily communicate with our team or office through our software, making the transitions between staff as seamless as possible.
Will my dog be allowed to greet other dogs or people?
As a general policy, we do not permit dogs in our care to greet other dogs and people. We understand that every dog is different and not every dog wants to be greeted by dogs or people. Our general policy is to avoid interactions when possible to keep your pet safe and happy.
However, if you prefer that your dog be permitted to greet others, let us know and we can accommodate that. We also offer several options for services such as long leash hikes, our group urban adventures and playgroups for dogs who prefer to be more social.
What if the weather is inclement?
When the weather is not safe for pets, we do quick potty breaks outside, and use the rest of the visit time to work on training and cognitive enrichment activities. Our goal is to provide your dog or pet with an outlet for their energy and using their brains can accomplish this! Our team has access to a fully stocked "enrichment locker" and can provide puzzles, interactive toys, and activities for your pet. If you have your own puzzles and toys, we will use those as well!
Working on specific cues with your dog? Let us know and we will reinforce those cues for you!
Please note that we decide for each individual pet if it is safe to be outdoors. A Greater Swiss Mountain dog will tolerate much colder temperatures than a Dachshund. We make the determination on the dogs breed, health, age and preferences.
What is your cancellation policy?
Our team works hard to be available for you and your pets. Cancellations affect the sitters pay, therefore we do our best to ensure that cancellations are done with enough notice that we can reschedule the team member if needed. For dog walks, we ask that you cancel by 9pm the night before the scheduled walk. After that time, we charge the full rate and the walker is paid their full pay.
For pet sitting jobs, we ask that you provide us with 24 hours notice minimum. Pet sitting jobs take up a large portion of the schedule that cannot be easily filled, therefore we will charge 50% of the total initial reservation if the reservation is cancelled between 2 weeks and 24 hours of your first scheduled visit. If cancelling with less than 24 hours notice, the full reservation will be charged and sitters will be paid their rate. We understand that sometimes life happens and you return home early, if that happens, any visits within the next 24 hours will be charged their full rate, the rest will be cancelled without charge.
How does payment work?
When you become a client of ours, you will enter a credit or debit card in our software. Each week, we charge the card on file for the services provided the week prior. You are then emailed your paid invoice. If you would like to leave your team a tip, simply open the paid invoice and click on "Add tip". Our software distributes the tip to the team on their next paycheck.
Can I leave a tip or gift for the team caring for my pet?
We know that many of our customers appreciate the care that our team provides, and would like to offer a little something extra for the team. As a policy to keep both team members and clients safe from misunderstandings, our policy is that team members may not accept cash, tips or gifts from clients.
If you are leaving a tip, we ask that you do so on the paid invoice. Any staff who covered visits on that invoice will receive the tip. Our staff receive 100% of tips. Tips can be manually adjusted if you would like a particular team member to receive more, just email us and let us know!
If you want to leave a gift for the team member, we ask that you contact our office first. You will be asked what the item is, and when/where it will be left so that we can inform the team member it is ok to accept it.
What training does the team have?
Our team is one of the most highly trained pet care team in the Milwaukee area. All of our team members have the following trainings:
- Pet First Aid/CPR
- Fear Free Certification through Fear Free Pets
- Dog walking basics, Canine and Feline body language and canine development through FetchFind, the gold standard in ongoing education for the pet care community
In addition, we provide our team with ongoing education such as self defense for dog walkers, pet nutrition, basic training skills and leash handling skills.
Before any team member is permitted to do visits on their own, they shadow our lead walker, or manager for several visits to ensure that our high standards are adhered to from the beginning of the visit to the end.
We also offer dog training- both our owner and our on staff dog trainer are certified CDTP-KAs and offer force free training.
How will you access my home?
We always require two methods to access your home. We prefer to have two sets of keys provided. One to be left in a lockbox at your home and one to be secured in a locked safe at our office (in case the lock box fails). Lockboxes can be purchased from our company for $15. This way, if there is an emergency and an assigned team member cannot get to the home, it is quick and easy to send another team member. When team members carry keys and have an emergency, we then need to coordinate getting a key to the newly assigned team member.
If you have a door with an access code, we will accept just one set of keys and the access code.
If a lockbox is not able to be utilized and staff need to utilize keys, we still ask for two sets, to have a back up in the office. All keys are tagged with only a number and no identifying information (such as your house number, dogs name, etc). Our team can see which key number belongs to each client in our software. If keys are ever lost, there is nothing that would ever connect a lost key to your home.
Do you only care for dogs and cats?
No! We provide care to all kinds of pets! We have cared for chickens, rabbits, ferrets, birds, fish, lizards, even insects! If you have a pet, we can care for them!