F A Q

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

F A Q

When can my puppy start?


We can help you with in-home visits right away. Feeding, playing, paper changing and then with local neighborhood walks until your puppy is old enough to join the mountain hikes.




When can my puppy start on the Mountain Hikes or Beach Walks?


At 4 months and upwards they are ready to join in the fun and adventures. Please check with your vet and make sure your dog has had all the necessary shots before being with other dogs! We strongly recommend your puppy be spayed or neutered. Please discuss this with your breeder and / or vet ASAP. We do not take older dogs on the Mountain Hikes or Beach Walks who have not been fixed yet.




What else does our dog need to go Hiking or Beach Walking?


Most vets will probably recommend that your dog has a BORDETELLA SHOT and be on FRONTLINE. Please make sure that your dog has a snug fitting collar that will not slip off with current NAME and PHONE NUMBER tags




How often do you go Mountain Hiking?


We go every day. We also hike when it is raining and on all public holidays. We always show up for your doggies hike, no matter what the weather is like and no matter which holiday it is. When it is raining we request that you leave a towel by the front door so that we can wipe your doggies paws afterwards if need be!




What area do you cover for Mountain Hikes?


Our LA main area is between the 405 Freeway and PCH, North of Wilshire and up to the Santa Monica Mountains, which covers Brentwood, Santa Monica and the Pacific Palisades.

We also cover Carpintaria, Summerland, Montecito and Santa Barbara, where we also do Beach Walks.




What area do you cover for Local Neighborhood Walks?


We cover Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Brentwood in LA.

We also cover Santa Barbara, Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria where we also do Beach Walks




What time do you pick up / drop off?


We have three vans with various pick up times, so we will do our best to accommodate your requested pick up times. We do require that the doggies be home at least an hour prior to their regular pick up time and may return at least an hour later than their regular drop off time. Mostly we do arrive on schedule. We do not accept “TIME SENSITIVE” owners.




How do you get the dog if nobody is home?


Preferably we should have a key, unless the doggie is in the yard or has a doggie door. Even if there is normally somebody at home, we strongly recommend giving us a key as you may be delayed on an unexpected errand and we cannot get to your dog, who is now desperately trying to scratch their way through your front door, trying to get to the van and their other doggie friends.




Can you take care of our dog when we go out of town?


YES! You have THREE different options to choose from:
1) DAILY VISITS: We can come to your house to feed and take your dog walking locally, Hiking in the mountains or Walking on the beach.
2) PET SITTING: One of our Hikers or Walkers can stay overnight at your house.
3) BOARDING: Your doggie(s) can stay over at our place while you are away.
Please make your vacation pet sitting, dog walking, and/or feeding reservations well in advance as we do get booked up.




What are your rates?


Santa Barbara, Montecito, Summerland & Carpinteria

Beach Walks:

1 Dog $40 per trip per dog.

2 Dogs $60 per trip for both dogs.

3 Dogs $90 per trip for all three dogs.

Private Boarding & House Sitting: (We only board ONE family’s dog(s) at a time)

We would love to help take care of your doggie(s) while you are traveling. They will be with either my wife or I 24/7. As we only take ONE families doggies at a time, they will get plenty of love and PERSONAL attention all the time. They will never be alone. They will also be able to go to the beach every day and will also get plenty of other little walks to do their business. They must be dog and people friendly though. We treat your doggies as if they were our doggies.

1 Dog: $150 per night, includes feeding, early morning, frequent day time and evening walks to do their business.

2 Dogs: $200 per night, includes feeding, early morning, frequent day time and evening walks to do their business.

3 Dogs: $300 per night, includes feeding, early morning, frequent day time and evening walks to do their business.

50% Non-refundable deposit required to confirm booking.

Main Holidays: 50% extra such as on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve

100% Non-refundable deposit required to confirm main holiday booking.

Extra Beach Walks: Regular rates apply (see above)

Active Dogs are required to do one beach walk per day.

Feeding: No extra charge to feed, as long as it is easy dry food.

Hotel Rates: Please ask your Hotel Concierge. Please complete the following form and forward to your concierge.
Rosewood Miramar Beach Hotel: RMBH.doc If ever any of your family or friends are visiting and staying at the Rosewood Miramar Beach Hotel with their doggies and need help while there, we are the hotel’s official Pet Care company. They can either call us directly or talk to either Lawrence, Ashely or Jammie at the Concierge Desk. Rosewood Miramar Beach Concierge: miramar.concierge@rosewoodhotels.com San Ysidro Ranch: SYR.doc
San Ysidro Ranch Concierge: aray@sanysidroranch.com Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica & Brentwood Mountain hikes: 1 Dog $40 per trip per dog. 2 Dogs $60 per trip for both dogs. 3 Dogs $90 per trip for all three dogs. Local neighborhood walks: 1 Dog $22.50 for up to 30 minutes 1 Dog $27.50 for 45 minutes / $33 for 1 hour 2 Dogs $30 for 30 minutes / $35 for 45 minutes / $45 for 1 hour 3 Dogs $35 for 30 minutes / $45 for 45 minutes / $60 for 1 hour Private Hikes: 1 Dog $50 per trip per dog 2 Dogs $70 per trip for both dogs 3 Dogs $100 per trip for all three dogs House Sitting: $150 per night, includes feeding, early morning, frequent day time and evening walks to do their business. 50% Non-refundable deposit required to confirm booking. Main Holidays: 50% extra such as on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve 100% Non-refundable deposit required to confirm main holiday booking. Extra Walks or Hikes: Regular rates apply.
Feeding: No extra charge to feed, as long as it is easy dry food.




What is your Cancellation Policy?


As most of our doggies have been with us for a long time and are on a regular schedule, which we really appreciate, we do not like to charge for hiking / walking cancellations. We do request that you call us as soon as possible beforehand to let us know! Hopefully we can reschedule to make up the hike / walk another day. Unfortunately, if we do not hear from you and our Hikers or Walkers arrive at your house and there is no doggie there to be walked, I will need to bill you 50% to make sure your Walker gets paid for going there.




What are the basic risks for dogs in the mountains?


Please note that we cannot be held responsible for any of the following risks, or others not listed here. If you are worried about any of these risks, it might be better to let us take your doggie on our neighborhood walks instead. Playing in the mountains is great for your dog, as they get to run, play and get tons of exercise, socialization and have loads of fun. There are some inherent risks that we do our best to minimize but are impossible to avoid 100% of the time on every hike. On the Santa Monica mountain hikes, we might encounter the following: Fox Tails are out there in late spring and summer time. We strongly agree with the owners of dogs with very thick, curly or long hair who clip their dogs hair down to help prevent foxtails from sticking to the hair and becoming hidden beneath it. After the hikes we do try and remove any Foxtails that we can see, but to help guard against foxtails, many doggie owners give their dogs a thorough “grooming” after their dog has possibly come into contact with these plants. This includes combing through the dog’s coat with a fine-tooth comb. Owners should also examine the dog’s entire body, especially the undersides of the paws, the armpits, stomach and inside the ears. If you suspect your doggie has a Fox Tail embedded, they should be taken to see their vet. Please note that we cannot be held responsible for any Vet Bills arising from any Fox Tail injuries, while your doggie is in our care. Here is some additional info you should read: WebMD - Foxtail Grass and Your Dog Cuts and Scrapes can occur while your doggie is out having fun in the mountains. Just like young children running and playing outside come home with cuts and bruises, doggies, especially young energetic puppies may come home with a cut or scrape from running at top speed through the bushes while being chased or chasing another energetic doggie friend. We try keeping them out of those bushes when travelling at top speed…but that is not always possible. Rattle Snakes are found in the Santa Monica Mountains, but we very seldom encounter them and all our Mountain Hikers will do their best to keep your doggies safe and will also do their very best to take care of the situation should a snake be encountered along the way. I highly recommend and strongly urge you to sign up for one of the Rattlesnake Aversion Training sessions as soon as possible. This training really works and helps a lot in keeping your doggie safe in the mountains. Please look online for the next available session. Eric from "Natural Solutions Wildlife Enterprises - Rattlesnake Aversion Training" is the best person that we know of to do these classes with. Learn more about Eric and Natural Solutions Wildlife Enterprises Eric offers group sessions to the public on the weekends where you yourself can take your dog through his course. His public classes are $75 each. You will need to find one online and sign up to it through its individual group organizer not through Eric. Obviously nothing is 100% guaranteed and an accident can always happen, so I also now highly recommend that you talk to your vet about getting the Rattle Snake Vaccine for your doggie. This way you have TWO LAYERS of protection for your dog. Needless to say, dogs will be dogs and still may either sniff out a Rattle Snake or accidently step on one while having fun along the hike. Because of this, we cannot be held responsible in any way, including for any vet bills or death resulting from any Rattle Snake bites while your doggie is in our care. Having said all that, since we starting hiking doggies in 2000, we have never lost a single dog to a Rattle Snake Bite. Ticks can also be picked up by the dogs in the local mountains. They seem to be more common at the beginning of winter time when the first rains come. They are also not very common where we hike the dogs and can be easily removed with the correct tool. A GREAT little tool for removing ticks easily is called TICKED OFF and is found in most pet stores. I strongly suggest getting one of these if you feel your doggies may get a tick on them at some point. Visit the TICKED OFF website. If you need help finding or getting one, please let me know. In the unlikely event that your doggie does pick up a Tick along the way, our Hikers will gladly remove any ticks that either you or they notice on your doggie. You should occasionally run your hands through your doggies hair and feel for any unusual “bumps” and then look to see if it might be a tick. Let us know if you ever find one. Kennel Cough: Please make sure your dog is vaccinated against this.
If you suspect your dog has Kennel Cough, they should be taken to their vet and should not be with other dogs for about two weeks.
Kennel cough sounds like this:
Video of Kennel Cough #1
Video of Kennel Cough #2 There is an injectable Bordatella vaccine, and one that is given intranasally (squirted into the nostrils). Neither vaccine will totally prevent infection with Bordatella. For the injectable vaccine, 2 doses must be given 3-4 weeks apart, and protection does not occur until 1-2 weeks after the second injection. More commonly, for best protection, an intranasal vaccine containing both parainfluenza and Bordetella is used. Intranasal vaccines create localized immunity that greatly reduces the incidence of clinical signs and illness. The vaccine may be used in puppies as young as 3 weeks of age, only one dose is necessary to provide protection, and protection occurs as early as 3-4 days following vaccination. There are several precautions and warnings that need to be observed pertaining to this vaccine. Some dogs will develop mild signs similar to tracheobronchitis when given this vaccine. Very often, the symptoms will last for several days and the dog will recover without treatment. Dogs that are vaccinated can also shed the virus and cause other dogs to become mildly infected and show mild signs. This shedding usually lasts less than 72 hours. In addition, it takes up to 4 days after vaccination for dogs to develop protection. When you combine these facts, you will see why it is strongly recommend that a dog not be given intranasal vaccine within 72 hours of coming into contact with other susceptible dogs. Do not give the vaccine the day before a dog show, boarding, etc. Try to give at least four days before contact with other dogs and preferably 7 days. This way you will protect your dog from becoming infected by other dogs, and protect those dogs from becoming infected by yours. Once again, please remember that we cannot be held responsible for any vet bills arising from your doggie getting Kennel Cough. Diarrhea (Giardia) is another illness that your doggie can get exposed to while hiking in the mountains. Some doggies love to play in and drink from puddles of rain water, while a few cannot resist the temptation and make it their mission to seek out other dogs poop and gobble it up as quickly as possible, before we have a chance to stop them doing so. Unfortunately both of these activities can cause your doggie to get Giardia, then possibly having to go to the Vet and stay home for a few days till it clears up. We do try to stop them from drinking stagnant water and from eating other doggies poop, but sometimes they are just so incredibly fast (or sneaky) it is impossible to stop them in time. Here is some additional info you should read: PetMD - Giardiasis. Scuffles: We do our best to only take Dog Friendly dogs on our Mountain Hikes…..but, just like kids at school, some doggies may play a bit too rough with another doggie which could cause a scuffle resulting in either one or both doggies getting bitten and a trip to the vet resulting in some stitches. Scuffles over sticks or tennis balls can occur when some doggies race after the same stick or tennis ball and are determined to get it first and keep it all for themselves. Some dogs love to play in the back of the van, while some prefer to relax and can get annoyed by the other doggie wanting to play. Needless to say, this can also lead to a scuffle in the back of the van. As much as we do our best to prevent these scuffles, it is impossible to prevent 100% of the time. We therefore cannot be responsible for any vet bills caused by these altercations either in the van or along the hikes. Running away is a possibility as we hike the dogs in the Santa Monica Mountains. The mountains stretch all the way to Santa Barbara and beyond, but in 10 years of hiking we have NEVER EVER LOST a dog and not got it back. Dogs like to stick with either their buddies in the pack or with their walker. On the rare occasion a doggie can wonder off and disappear from sight for a few minutes. There have been times where a dog has been missing for 20 minutes or so, a few times for a few hours and once overnight…BUT we have ALWAYS found them again. Not being able to find a doggie is a very scary and traumatic event for both the owner and for us. We therefore do our best to make sure that never happens and do not accept doggies for the hikes that are known bolters as our Mountain Hikes are all OFF LEASH HIKES. We keep all new dogs ON LEASH at first, then if they seem fine to be let OFF LEASH we let them off to run and play with the other dogs. IF they wonder too far from their Walker, we will put them back on leash for a while and then try letting them off again later on. If they do not respond well and do not stick with the pack … we will let you know and require that they go on neighborhood walks instead. The younger the dog, the faster they seem to adapt to sticking with The Pack. Dogs who love playing with other dogs also generally stick to The Pack right away as do dogs who love attention from Humans as they stick right next to their Walker all the time and vie for their attention. Squirrels, Rabbits and Deer can lead any dog astray … but as soon as they lose sight of the fleeing suspect …they stop and return to The Pack.




Should my dog have the Rattle Snake Vaccine?


I highly recommend that you get the Rattle Snake Vaccine for your dog, but suggest you discuss it with your vet first. I don’t think there is any harm in giving the Vaccine to your dog, but always best to talk to your dogs vet about that. Some vets recommend it, some don’t. But - if it does no harm and could potentially do some good or possibly even save your dog’s life I don’t see it as a bad thing to do. Especially if your dogs vet recommends you get it as well. As one of our doggie moms said: “I would hate to think that I did not do everything possible beforehand, in the event he did get bitten someday”. So talk to your vet and read up online about it. I'm sorry to say this but you will need to make up your own mind on this one. Read about Rattle Snake Vaccines for Dogs PS. I will obviously update this as I gather new info. If you have any expert / valuable insight into this subject please let me know.




Is my dog Too Small to go on the Mountain Hikes?


The smallest doggie we take is this Yorkie named Angel and we also take a Papillion as well….so you decide !!! Angel




Do you ever go to the local Dog Parks?


We never take any of the Mountain Hike doggies under our care to any Public Dog Parks.
The reason for this is because we have an awesome PRIVATE AREA in the Santa Monica Mountains to take them to.

The Public Dog Parks are not always a reliably safe place for your dogs to be in.
One never knows when an owner will bring their DOG AGGRESSIVE dog to the park, where as in our PRIVATE AREA there are NO OTHER UNKNOWN DOGS there, only the nice dog friendly dogs under our care.
At the PUBLIC DOG PARKS many owners use it as a SOCIAL EVENT to chit chat with other owners and do not watch their often unruly dogs. Some COMMERCIAL DOG WALKERS also show up at the PUBLIC DOG PARKS with 10 or 12 or more dogs and have absolutely NO CONTROL over all these dogs, nor can they see when each dog poops, needless to say, it never gets picked up.

We will however take a Neighborhood Walk doggie to a dog park near their house IF their owner expressly wishes us to do so. We will never take a large group of dogs to a Dog Park.




Can we buy a "The Dog Walker" GIFT CERTIFICATE for a friend's dog?


Yes, we do sell Gift Certificates.
The Dog Walker GIFT CERTIFICATES make wonderful presents, especially when you cannot think of something to buy your human friends.
So why not treat their BEST FRIEND to a real treat: some Awesome Mountain Hike Adventures or some Local Neighborhood Walks.
How often do you say to yourself:
"My friends have everything they need, what can I possibly buy them?"
"My friends told me not to buy them anything, but I still want to get them something."
"I can't afford anything my friends would really like."
"I wish I could think of something really different to buy my friends for some special occasion."
"My parents are getting too old to walk their dog, what can I do to help them out?."
"Our neighbor broke their leg, I wonder if they have somebody to walk their dog now?"
Well you don't have to think about it anymore…. The Dog Walker’s GIFT CERTIFICATES are the perfect solution.
We will customize it for you at no extra cost and they are fully refundable if their dog decides to stay at home.




What type of Charity & Donations can THE DOG WALKER provide for my Fund Raising Event?


We would love to be part of your Fund Raiser.


We can offer FREE HIKES, BEACH WALKS, NEIGHBORHOOD WALKS or BOARDING for your AUCTION etc.


We can also help get other Local Pet Related Companies to donate their services to your Fund Raiser.




Which Community & Charity fund raisers has The Dog Walker donated to?


We have donated FREE WALKS or HIKES to the following fund raisers: Fox Studio’s Annual Pet Adoption Day Castellemmare Mesa Home Owners Association’s Annual Picnic and Silent Auction
To Wag For Pet Store’s Halloween Costume Contest
SPCA / Baja Cantina’s Annual Silent Auction




Do you recommend Pet Insurance?


Obviously, we would love to promise and guarantee that your doggie will be 100% safe with us and that nothing will ever happen to them while in our care. This unfortunately is not possible to do, so we cannot be held responsible for any injury or illness etc that happens to your doggie while in our care. This is why we now strongly recommend getting Pet Insurance, Getting the Rattle Snake Vaccine and putting your doggie through the Rattle Snake Avoidance class. It is also most important that your doggies remain up to date on all their shots. Please make sure your vet knows that your doggie goes off leash hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains with a group of other dogs. This way your vet should make sure that your doggie has all the correct vaccinations etc and can also recommend the best Pet Insurance that their practice works with. As with any insurance, it is something you buy and hope you will never need.

Pet Insurance is really great to have when you do need it and really bad to need it and not have it!!

So after some asking around to people who should know and after personal experience with them,
I know highly recommend: TRUPANION
Tel #: (800) 569-7913


Website: www.trupanion.com




Are you responsible for any vet bills?


Should you dog gets injured or sick in our care while on the Hikes or on a Beach Walk, in our van or on a neighborhood walk, we cannot be held responsible for any vet bills etc.

We always do our very best to keep your doggies safe, but due to the nature of our service, we cannot be held responsible for any accidents, illnesses or incidents while on their way to and from their Hikes, nor while on their adventures in the Santa Monica Mountains, on a Beach Walk or on their fun Neighborhood Walks.




Do you take Show Dogs on your Mountain Hikes or Neighborhood Walks?


Please note that we do not accept ANY SHOW DOGS what so ever on the Mountain Hikes, Beach Walks or on any Neighborhood Walks. This applies to current or possible future show dogs.

All doggies that join our pack must get neutered or spayed, sooner rather than later, thus making it impossible for them to become show dogs later on anyway.

We cannot be held responsible in any way for anything that happens to your doggie that could affect their ability to be a show dog.




Can we see the doggies hiking?


Yes. Please watch the Mountain Hike Adventure Video. This will give you a great idea of what your doggie will be doing on the hikes with us.




Does my dog need Name and Phone Number tags to go on your Mountain Hikes, Neighborhood Walks or Beach Walks?


Yes. Absolutely. This is very important. Please make sure your doggies have current NAME and PHONE NUMBER TAGS on their collars. Collars should be secure and not easily be able to slip off. Even if your dog is Micro Chipped, it is extremely important that they have your current contact info on their collars. Micro Chips only help when a dog is taken to a Vet or Shelter to be scanned. Many lost dogs are NOT taken to one of these facilities and therefore do NOT get scanned, often causing long delays in getting your dog back and in many cases, causing your dog to live with another family as they could not make contact with you.




Do you hike or walk in the rain?


Yes, most of the time when it is raining we will take the doggies out as we know they absolutely love hiking or walking in the rain. Some doggie moms and dads have nice white carpets etc and prefer their dogs not to go out when it is raining and muddy up in the mountains. If you prefer your doggie not to go in the rain, please let us know. When we have RAIN DAYS… please make sure that you ALWAYS leave some DRY TOWELS outside at the front door, if your doggie is going out with us in the rain or when it might be dirty or muddy up in the mountains after a heavy dew fall. We will do our best to wipe your doggie’s paws off and give them a quick rub with the towels you provide, but please remember we are not groomers and have many other doggies in the van waiting to go home or waiting to be picked up for their daily adventure with us. If it is raining really hard, your doggies hiker or walker may decide not to hike or walk that day. We will do our best to let you know as soon as that decision is made and if need be, will do our best to organize a neighborhood walk if necessary.




Do you pick up & walk dogs from Pet Friendly Hotels?


Yes, we will gladly pick up your doggie from your hotel. When your are forced to leave your doggie behind in your hotel room, we’ll take great care of your “baby” so that you can relax and enjoy your vacation. A happy dog is a tired dog. When you are away from the hotel, try our convenient service. We will entertain & exercise your doggie, feed them and give them the necessary potty breaks they need! If you have full days planned and are worried about how your doggie will handle staying alone in a strange hotel room, we can assure a happy dog. We will even call you after the walk with an update on the well being of your four legged family member.

These are some plans where including the family pet may be challenging:

Amusement park days — Dinner & Movie Nights
Beach days — Weddings & Barmitzvahs etc.
Visiting with relatives — Shopping Days
Business meetings — Sporting Events

Hotel services we offer:
Daily Dog Walks: 30 minute / 45 minute / 60 minunte neighborhood walks.
In Room Pet Sitting: From 2 to 10 hours or even overnight if need be.
We will also do our best to accommodate any special requests you have for your doggies.

For pricing see: What are your rates?

All services must be reserved by a VISA or MASTERCARD. There is a 24 hour cancelation policy. For further information or to reserve your dog walker / pet sitter, please call us: 310.383.3000




Which PET FRIENDLY HOTELS do you recommend?


Pet Friendly Hotels: Montecito: Rosewood Mirimar Beach Hotel San Yisidro Ranch Biltmore (Closed for Renovations)
Santa Monica: Shutters on the Beach
1 Pico Blvd Santa Monica, CA 904005
Tel #: 310.458.0030 … for any Doggie Services, ask for Johnathan, the Concierge.




How often are the Beach Walks?


In the Santa Barbara area only, we go Monday thru Friday and by request on the weekends. We also walk when it is raining and on all public holidays. We always show up for your doggies walk, no matter what the weather is like and no matter which holiday it is. If your doggie loves to go in the water we request that you leave a towel by the front door so that we can towel dry them off a bit afterwards if need be! Please remember that we are DOG WALKERS and NOT DOG GROOMERS, so your doggie may come home damp.

IF you want your doggie to stay DRY, please let us know and do NOT leave a towel outside. We will then keep your dog ON LEASH and OUT of the water at the beach.




Can you tell us more about Boarding our dog at your place?


We are now personally BOARDING nice friendly doggies at our place up in the Santa Barbara area.

We would love to help take care of your dog(s) while you are traveling or not able to take care of them due to surgery and recovery time etc.

We ONLY board ONE family’s doggies at a time, so they will get plenty of LOVE and PERSONAL attention 24/7. They will never be left alone. They will be with either my wife or I ALL the time.

They can go for a WALK the BEACH every day and have fun with some other nice friendly dogs and will also get plenty of other little walks to sniff around and do their business etc.

We can also arrange to PICK UP and DROP OFF in LA…. But feel free to drive up here, come for a walk on the beach with Monster and us and then stop at the harbor for some delicious Fish & Chips.

We can have your dog washed, dried, brushed and have their nails clipped at our local groomer before bringing them home if you like.

Your dog needs to be 100% dog and people friendly and not have any separation anxiety as they will sleep in our living room, separated from us at night by a baby gate.

Needless to say, we will send great photos and videos of them having tons of fun to make you wish you had come here instead of them.

IF you have any friends with cute, cuddly & friendly doggies, who may now be venturing out of town again, please let them know that we now BOARD nice friendly dogs.




How often should my dog go hiking?


That depends on you and your dogs needs. We go hiking every day - so they are welcome to join us as often as they want. Our mountain hiking dogs are all on a regular schedule, but we will do our best to help when you have an emergency or your doggie is demanding an extra (unscheduled) walk.