Frequently Asked Questions
We’re committed to your peace of mind and the best care of your animals.
What neighborhoods do you work in?
Our customers live in Edgewater, Andersonville, North Center, Albany Park, Ravenswood, Uptown, Lincoln Square, Old Irving Park, Bucktown, Logan Square, Portage Park, Avondale, and Mayfair.
Are you still open during COVID-19?
We are happy to report, yes! Our team members are still walking dogs. We are taking CDC recommended precautions to make sure that both our clients and our staff are operating safely during the crisis. All of our staff members are wearing masks while out in the field. They are also wearing gloves or using hand sanitizer between each walk. We are also encouraging contactless hand-offs at the door to help minimize any contact. You can read the full detail on our COVID-19 safety protocols page.
Will I have the same walker every day?
You will be assigned a Primary Walker in your area for your dog. You will have the opportunity to get to know your Primary Walker during the Meet & Greet, prior to their first visit with your dog.
If your Primary Walker is unable to walk your dog due to illness, planned time-off, etc., we will assign another nearby walker on staff or a Team Manager to walk your dog that day. We will contact you as early as possible regarding any last minute changes and will notify you in advance for any planned time-off.
Are you insured?
Yes, we are bonded, insured and licensed in the city of Chicago. We can also provide prospective clients with copies of this documentation.
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.
More importantly, Rover-Time is proud to hire and employ candidates regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, or genetics. We are a safe space employer for those who are more likely to face discrimination.
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.
How do I pay?
All customers are kindly asked to keep a form of payment on file. A la carte walking services will automatically be charged between the hours of 10am – 12pm every Friday. A copy of your invoice will be sent for your review at the time your payment is processed. You may pay with an auto-debit from your bank account (ACH payment) or we accept Visa and Mastercard credit card payments.
Invoices for walks requested after 5pm or on weekends (off-hour service), cat sitting, and hourly babysitting will be sent at the time your appointment has been confirmed on our schedule. Payment due dates will be scheduled in the following ways:
- Payment for weekend off-hours services will be due in advance of the service and charged on the Friday previous to your scheduled weekend walk(s.)
- Off-hours services scheduled between Monday-Friday will be due on the Friday following the service and charged along with weekly a la carte services.
- The due date for cat sitting services will be dependent on the first day of service.
- Any outstanding payments for Happy Hound and Frequent Frolicker packages will automatically be charged on the Friday immediately following the invoice due date.
Why do you charge so much?
We recognize that this is a large investment in your pet but can assure you that we’re delivering top-notch care that you won’t receive with a low-cost competitor. Our clients can feel the hands-on training and continued education we provide each of our employees. We also support paying living wages and are proactively preparing for Chicago’s minimum wage increases so that we can retain the talented pet professionals that make up our amazing team.
Our customers have valued and respected our hard work since 2012. They trust us with their homes and appreciate the work we do with their family members. If at this time, you don’t have the budget for Rover-Time, keep us in mind. We’ll be here whenever you’re ready. Because we’re here for the long haul.
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 package are able to cancel a walk on the same day without charge so long as the cancellation request is sent by 11:00 am that day. We truly appreciate your advance notice as often as possible.
Do you work on holidays?
Although Rover-Time does observe all federal holidays, we do offer holiday services if our walkers are available to work. Please inquire before submitting your holiday request.
Do you provide GPS tracking on your walks with my dog?
Yes! For a quick understanding of what you’ll receive and what it should look like, visit this link.
Fun Fact, since this is important to you: companies that have independent contractors are by law, not allowed to do this. If you find a company performing walks for less money per visit because they’re hiring IC’s, but GPS their walks, they’ll misclassifying their labor.
How will I know what happens on my dog's walks with Rover-Time?
We implement GPS tracking technology on all of our walks and Rover-Time’s client portal provides you with instant updates as soon as your dog’s visit is completed! Post-visit reports can include notes, pictures, and a visit report card. Messages can be sent as email, texts, or push notifications sent directly to your phone. You’ll also be able to directly message your dog’s walker as much as you’d like.
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.”
Why is there a Meet & Greet?
The Meet & 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.
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 does the New Client Charge include?
New clients are responsible for a one time New Client Charge* of $25. This fee can be applied to a future invoice if we complete five visits within the first month of signing up with Rover-Time. The fee covers:
- A permanent profile in Rover-Time’s client portal.
- A meeting with a member of our team who will take additional notes on your pet(s) that we’ll to your online customer profile.
- Ongoing support to ensure that your pet and their primary walker are highly compatible. We will work together to develop a routine that makes every visit a safe and enjoyable experience for your pet.
- Key processing, nondescript key tagging, and key storage in our secure office.
- Access to our mobile client portal and GPS walk technology.
- A digital report card sent at the completion of each visit including detailed notes from your walker and occasional mind-blowingly adorable pictures of your pet.
* In the instance that Rover-Time determines your pet(s) will not be a good candidate for our services, the new client enrollment fee will be refunded.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Give me two sentences that sums up what your job is.
It’s our honor 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.
To learn more about our company values and level of professionalism, click here.
Tail Wags & Happy Parents
Schedule A Meet & Greet
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