Frequently Asked Questions


Why choose Doggie Au Pair?

First and foremost, because experience matters! We have been providing consistently top notch service to our clients since 2006, and will do so for years to come.

Second, we hire employees, not independent contractors. Each employee is hand selected based on their experience and proven track record working with animals. All employees are trained to provide impeccable service, background checked and insured & bonded.

Finally, our responsive, easy to reach managers ensure every interaction with Doggie Au Pair is a positive one; and if there ever is an error, we will do everything in our power to make it right.


What happens next?

The first step is to schedule a no obligation meet & greet appointment where one of our management team will meet you and your pet at your home. At this meeting we will go through a comprehensive questionnaire to ensure we have all the information needed to safely walk your dog or take care of your cat / small animal. This meeting also gives you a chance to discuss your service needs and decide if Doggie Au Pair is the right fit for you.

Please have a copy of your pet’s most recent vaccination records available at the meet & greet and a signed copy of our client contract, which will be emailed to you ahead of time. Finally, we ask that you to have a key available and can discuss our key policy in more detail when we meet.


Can you provide references?

Indeed we can! We have hundreds of satisfied clients who will be only too happy to share their experience, just let us know and we can provide a list of clients you can speak with. You may also check out our reviews on Google, Yelp, Angie’s List & Facebook. Doggie Au Pair’s Instagram and Facebook pages also showcase many of our happy pet clients.


Are Doggie Au Pair Employees Insured & Bonded?

All employees are insured through Business Insurers of the Carolinas and bonded through Travelers Insurance. These policies are in place to cover costs incurred due to an incident caused by our negligence. It does not cover incidental accidents or injuries that may occur during regular play or where we determine a staff member was not at fault (including but not limited to sprains, broken bones, cuts or bites). If your dog becomes ill or injured while participating in activities with DAP we will make every reasonable effort to reach you. However, if we are unable to do so we will seek appropriate veterinary care. DAP will not be responsible for paying any veterinary expenses incurred.


Will I have the same walker / sitter each time?

Whilst we do assign each client a primary walker and strive to offer you and your pet the consistency of that, it may sometimes be necessary to send a back up walker due to employee illness or vacation.

We reserve the right to make changes to your regular walker at any time; however it is our promise that we will always have a trained, qualified walker or sitter available to cover your pet care needs. We have found that our clients quickly get used to our team and are happy with the service we provide. We work with a rotating skeleton staff on weekends and Holidays so if services are needed during those times please know it is likely to be someone other than your regular week day walker or sitter.


Are there a minimum number of walks required each week?

To ensure we can plan to have enough staff coverage we do require customers commit to using our services on a regular basis at least 2 days per week.


Will my dog be walked solo or with a group?

You tell us! Small, closely supervised group walks are a great way for dogs to socialize and exercise with friends. However not all dogs are suited to group walks and this is something we will discuss at the meet & greet so we can determine which service option is the best fit for your dog.


How many dogs do you walk in a group?

Our group walks are a maximum of 6 dogs and we match our dogs based on temperament and energy level.


Are Doggie Au Pair walkers also certified dog trainers?

We are not certified trainers, however we have extensive experience with various training methods and equipment and will be happy to reinforce any training you are currently working on. We are also happy to recommend trainers, veterinary offices and local pet supply stores.


What time will you pick up my dog?

At our meet & greet appointment we will discuss your preferred window for pick up based upon your schedule and needs. We do our best to accommodate walks within your preferred window of time, however due to the high demand for ‘midday’ walks we generally plan pick up within a 3hr window. Exceptions to this will be made for puppies, elderly dogs or those with a medical condition that requires they go out more frequently.


What if I need to make a change to my walk schedule?

No problem! Just email our office with all schedule requests and changes. Schedule requests should preferably be received no later than 4pm the day before; a $5 surcharge will apply to any service requests sent after that time.


Is there a cancellation fee?

We understand schedules can change, but so long as you notify our office by 9am the same day there will be no charge for you to cancel. Cancellations received after 9am or not notified to our office will be charged the full service rate.


Who do I contact if I have a message that needs to be passed along to my walker?

Information that needs to be shared with walkers should be emailed to our office to ensure notifications are received and our records updated. We do not accept responsibility for notes left at your home that include information that has not been relayed to our office.


What forms of payment do you take?

An invoice will be mailed on the last day of each month. We accept cash and checks made payable to Doggie Au Pair. There will be a $25 charge for returned checks.

Stayed tuned, as we will shortly be making some updates that will allow you the option to pay by credit card


What do I need to provide?

We require dog wear a flat collar with a name tag and valid dog license. They must walk well on leash, with a training aid where necessary (harness, prong collar, gentle leader etc). We ask you provide a leash but please note that for the safety of your dog we do not use flexi leashes. Please provide a towel so we may clean off wet and muddy paws where necessary.

We will provide pick up bags and treats (unless your dog has known allergies or food sensitivities in which case we ask you supply permitted treats).


What vaccinations are required?

All dogs must have a current rabies vaccine and a copy of their most recent certificate should be provided for our records at the meet & greet appointment. We also strongly recommend bordatella (kennel cough) and a regular tick & flea prevention program


My dog doesn’t like the rain / cold / heat?

Our employees will use their discretion and shorten walks for dogs on extremely hot or cold days, or when weather conditions are deemed detrimental to the health of your dog. For dog and walker safety, we ask best possible efforts are made to clear snow and treat icy walkways during the winter months.

For cat sitting / small animal sitting assignments we will make every effort to ensure visits are made during inclement weather, but if for any reason we are unable to safely drive to your home or gain access you or your emergency contact will be notified and a contingency plan made.

For the safety of our staff we ask you make arrangements ahead of a trip to ensure all points of entry are clear of snow and have been treated for ice.


What if my dog has a behavioral concern, health issue, injury or allergies?

Please make our office aware if your pet has any health issue, allergies or behavioral concerns so we may make concessions as needed. Notify our office immediately if your dog develops a condition considered contagious so we can arrange for solo walks until your vet confirms he / she is healthy and can rejoin group walks. We do not accept responsibility for contagious infections or diseases, which may be passed from dog to dog (including but not limited to parasites, viruses, fleas, skin infections, GI infections & kennel cough).

Please inform our office if your dog has a history of aggression or biting, or develops any kind of behavior that could be put our employees or other dogs at risk.

Give us a shout at 617 571 2556