Frequently Asked Questions
We’re committed to your peace of mind and the best care of your animals.
Give me two sentences that sums up what your job is.
It’s our job to deliver skillful, safe, conscientious, and compassionate care to all animals entrusted to us, being constantly attentive to their security, safety and well-being, and placing their welfare above all other considerations. We uphold the principle of “doing no harm” to the animals in our care, to ensure that every animal we work with returns home safely, every time.
Does Rover-Time hire employees or independent contractors?
Rover-Time hires employees. We pride ourselves on our selecting, training, and providing continued education and support for our dog walking team and office staff. Despite what others may tell you, companies that have independent contractors are by law, not allowed to do this. Having the ability to set and enforce company standards and protocol helps ensure the quality of safety, happiness, and comfort that all of our clients and pets have come to depend on!
To learn more on why you should care about this very important issue, click here.
Why is there a 'meet and greet'?
The meet and greet is a visit in your home that allows you to familiarize yourself with Rover-Time’s employees, its services, and its policies. During this visit, we’ll also take care of introductions, pick up two sets of keys, confirm important information about how to safely work with your pet, and we’ll address any additional questions on your mind. There is no charge for this visit.
We are available to meet on weekdays only, any time after 9am until 7pm, with our last available appointment beginning by 6:30. Our walking and vacation care services cannot be performed without meeting first in person.
What are my options for scheduling dog walks with you?
Rover-Time implements an online scheduler and each established client has a profile set up to allow the client to submit their service requests. You are welcome to set a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule or you can use us for sporadic service. Clients that use us on-call are subject to availability, are only guaranteed with a confirmation, and are only available to customers that have met with us in-person first to establish themselves a Rover-Time client and have an active profile set up within our system.
We make every effort to complete each scheduled dog walk within a three-hour window. If you have very specific dog walking times, please let us know and we will try (but can’t guarantee) to accommodate you.
What is the cancellation policy?
Stuff like sickness and emergencies can come up and out of nowhere. Our team of walkers work really hard to be available for you when you need us most, often during those last minute emergencies and trips. We get that cancellations happen, so if you are an a la carte or Happy Hound package client, you will not be charged for any walk that you cancel prior to 4pm the business day before. Customers on the Frequent Frolicker walk package are not subject to cancellation fees, but we appreciate your advanced notice.
What are your office hours?
Our office hours are Monday-Friday: 8am-5pm Chicago time, not including holidays. While we make every effort to respond to client communications in a timely manner, we reserve the right to only respond to emails, phone calls, and texts during our office hours.
Will my dog's walk be shorter on extremely hot or dangerously cold days?
Yes but our visit with your dog will not be. We work in all weather but we prioritize safety first. Our walkers know the early signs of heat stroke and frostbite so we will bring in any dog that isn’t tolerating the weather and spend the rest of the time cuddling, spoiling, and playing with your pooch indoors.
How long will you walk my dog and will they be walked in a group?
Our visits are 25-minutes in length from the moment we enter the home until we lock up. Depending on how specific you are with the routine you’d like us to follow before and after the walk, we work to keep the dog outside for 18-22 minutes.
Almost all of our walks are done individually with just the walker and your dog. If you are comfortable with “a friend” joining the stroll, we do have other clients that would love to make their scheduled walk a little more social for their pooch.
My pet has a history of aggression. Can they still be a client?
We want to work with and walk all dogs but we strongly urge owners with dogs that have human-aggression to seek the professional opinion of a behaviorist before reaching out to any dog walking company. Dogs are always in training and learning.
If you feel your pet has some special needs, we’ll set up a meeting in person to determine if this is a good fit between your pet and our services. We reserve the right to refuse to walk any dog. Rover-Time’s pet sitting service is unable to accommodate aggressive dogs, dogs requiring 24-hour supervision, or dogs with severe separation anxiety.
Do I need to provide you with keys to my house?
Dog walking clients have the choice of whether or not to give us a key. In any event, you need make sure that our walkers can easily access your premises to collect your dog. If our team member isn’t able to begin a walk because of his or her inability to (a) access or enter your premises, or (b) locate your dog, and the delay lasts for more than ten minutes after the time that the dog walk was scheduled to begin, then the walker reserves the right to leave and not provide that walk. In such an event you will still be charged the full price for that walk.
If you choose to issue Rover-Time keys to distribute to your walker we ask you provide us with two sets. The walker is only permitted to use your keys to perform dog walks and the spare will be kept at our premises and is filed as your “emergency key.”
Do you provide overnight dog sitting?
Short answer: no. Longer answer: as employees of Rover-Time, everyone on our team works at an hourly rate verses “by the night”. There are so many wonderful benefits to hiring employees over independent contractors, but unfortunately Illinois’ state minimum wage requirements will likely price us higher than many of our competitors.
We do offer an alternative to overnight housesitting here. And we’re happy to share a referral list to match you with a great overnight sitter if that’s what you need.
How will you discipline my pet, if necessary?
Rover-Time practices positive reinforcement and all its walkers are trained with this methodology. The ‘Alpha’ human is a common misconception. This is one of the most harmful myths of dog ownership, and it’s an idea that leads to harsh, adversarial training methods and often to failure. Dogs are simply animals who depend upon us for literally all their needs and who deserve unconditional kindness. The cultural philosophy of confrontational dominance is no longer relevant. If there is a problem, i.e. house breaking issues, not responding to simple command, etc., you will be informed of the occurrence(s) and we will partner to implement a plan that will set your dog up to be successful in their training.
Tail Wags & Happy Parents
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Rover-Time is completely terrific. When we moved into their area, and reached out, they responded immediately. They're very serious about doing great dog care, asked great questions to get us started, and they've been totally reliable ever since. It's so good to know that they're there -- Shaun is wonderful with our dog. And, whenever we have needed extra walks, or dog-sitting, they've come through. I would recommend them to anyone looking for pet care!
— Shoshanna C., Chickadee's Mom