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Learn More, Frequently Asked Questions for Bark by the Park's Pet Care Service

FAQs

  • What areas do you cover?
    We gladly offer our pet care services in the following Boston neighborhoods:
  • Are you insured & bonded?
    Yes The safety of your pet and our pet care specialists are our top priority Every walk or pet sitting visit is covered by our insurance Our Insurance Certificate is available upon request
  • What are your hours of operation?
    Our normal hours of operation are Monday thru Friday 10AM-4PM for the following service blocks: Early Morning (7AM-10AM) * Morning (10AM-12PM) Afternoon (12-2PM) Late Afternoon (2-4PM) Evenings (4-7PM) * * Services outside our normal business hours incur a surcharge
  • How do you become a client?
    To get started as a prospective client, please visit our NEW CLIENT page. We onboard clients within 3 easy steps: 1.) NEW CLIENT REGISTRATION: This initial step helps us understand your needs and the needs of your pet. 2.) SCHEDULE MEET & GREET: After your submission has been processed a follow up will be sent. Be mindful that you'll receive two correspondence: A follow up from us (info@barkbythepark.com) with instructions including how to schedule your MEET & GREET An activation invite from PetPocketBook 3.) MEET & GREET TIME: We'll connect to build your pet's profile, discuss policies / the platform, review our service as a whole, and answer any questions you might have. Afterwards, with your new account, you can manage your pet's profile, message the BBTP team or request a service. All requests are subject to approval.
  • What's a Meet & Greet?
    Prior to starting any service, we conduct a ​Meet ​& ​Greet. We offer two options for connecting: Virtually (video call) which is complimentary In-person session is $25 This is a consultation where we build your pet's profile by asking a series of questions that will help us provide the best care possible. We will also review the service, our policies, and our software -- PetPocketBook. Generally this is a 30 min one-on-one for the first pet and 1 hr for two pets. If you have a special needs / anxious dog, a follow up service (i.e. shadow walk) is highly recommended.
  • Will ​I ​always have the same walker / sitter?
    Since relocating to Boston, we're operating as a solo provider while we build the route Your walker / sitter will be Nicky (the owner of Bark by the Park) When the time comes to build a team again, rest assure — we are very particular on who we hire. Personnel are background checked, will have previous experience, and will be trained extensively before they're able to conduct services without a supervisor.
  • How are keys handled?
    During your Meet & Greet or beforehand, ​you’ll ​have ​the ​option ​to ​let ​us ​know ​how your ​dog walker ​or ​pet sitter ​will ​gain ​access ​to ​your ​residence: Your ​key ​will be ​available for pick-up at the front desk ​/ with doorman You ​or ​someone ​else ​will ​be ​home ​to ​allow ​the ​walker ​access ​to ​your ​home You will provide us lockbox details (ie. code and placement) You will provide a custom access code (ie. home has a smart lock ) I'd like a BBTP representative to pick-up / drop off keys ($10 fee applicable) We ask all active and prospective clients to utilize a lockbox.
  • Is there a lockbox you recommend?
    We highly recommend units with a weather protector cover like these: Puroma Masterlock Weather protectors are especially helpful to void frozen units in the colder months.
  • Are there any perks to being a client?
    Yes, of course ;) We offer a referral program with the opportunity to earn service credits
  • How do I schedule services?
    We use the pet care software called PetPocketBook. Clients will be able to request services using their account. Click here for the availability and submission reminder.
  • Why do you have a cancellation policy?
    As a small business owner / solo service provider, we can only accept a limited number of appointments. Periodically we do turn away requests to accommodate set reservations. Hence, when we receive a short notice cancellation we need to enforce our cancellation policy to offset lost income.
  • Do you require a minimum number of visits per week?
    Yes, we do. At minimum, we ask active clients to book 2+ walks a week to maintain their place on the schedule. Clients needing less frequency will be accommodated based on availability
  • What is your scheduling policy for dog walking?
    We ask clients to submit before Sunday at 6PM so we’re able to finalize the schedule for the upcoming week. Submissions past the formal cutoff will be accepted based on availability. We can accept short notice / same day requests. Cutoff is 9AM (day-of), availability is not guaranteed A $10 surcharge is applicable For scheduling purposes, we can only accept 30 mins services Anything longer could cause scheduling disruptions for other clients
  • Do you have service fees for dog walking?
    Yes, we do. Similar to our competitors, we have a few standard fees... Extra Pet (same household): add $7 per dog After Hours: add $5 per walk for services before 10AM or after 4PM (weekdays) Weekends: add $10 per walk Same Day: add $10 per walk Cutoff is 9AM (day-of), availability not guaranteed For scheduling purposes, we can only accept 30 mins services Anything longer could cause disruptions for other clients Holidays: add $10 per walk Applicable for all major holidays
  • What's your dog walking cancellation policy?
    Clients can cancel anytime. Advance notice is requested so we have enough time to fill the opening with another client. Cancellation submissions after 3PM the day before will incur a cancellation fee equal to 50% of the service rate. Same day cancellation submissions will incur a cancellation fee equal to 100% of the service rate. If a cancellation is submitted with proper notice, your service will be canceled and a cancellation fee will not be assessed. Here's a guide to request a Schedule Change / Cancellation
  • What's your Inclement Weather Policy?
    In the best interest of both your dog and Bark by the Park staff, walks will not be conducted if: Temperature is below 0°F Temperature is above 95°F Otherwise, walks times will be shortened in cases of extreme weather. Your pet will receive a bathroom break and exercise outside based on their weather tolerance. We will offset remaining time with non-walking activities indoors (i.e. playtime).
  • What is drop-in service?
    This is a service where your pet sitter will arrive within the selected service block for the selected service length to conduct the following duties: provide a bathroom break for your pup prepare and provide breakfast or dinner administer medication (if applicable) offer playtime indoor or outdoors (enclosed area only) miscellaneous tasks (i.e. bringing in mail / packages or watering plants) A drop-in is different from a walk, in that during a walk, the entire time is devoted to being on a leash. Walks do not include feeding or medications, as the primary focus is on getting out energy and providing mental/physical stimulation.
  • What kind of dog is best suited for a drop-in visit?
    This service is best for dogs who... Have limited separation anxiety Do not do well in a boarding environment Have medications Needs a walk and meal service while you're stuck working late or simply part of vacation care
  • Do you have service fees for dog sitting?
    Yes, we do. Similar to our competitors, we have a few standard fees... Extra Pet (same household): add $10 per dog / cat After Hours: add $5 per visit for services before 10AM or after 4PM (weekdays) Weekends: add $10 per visit ​​​ Late Booking: add $5 per visit if booked less than 7 days prior to booking date Holidays: add $15 per visit Applicable for all major holidays
  • Do you require a deposit?
    Yes, we do. As of 2024, we will require a deposit for new pet sitting clients. We required a 50% non refundable deposit to hold your requested date(s). A deposit is not due until after your Meet & Greet. Your reservation is not confirmed until your deposit is processed.
  • What's your scheduling policy for pet sitting?
    We ask clients to submit requests in advance (2 weeks or more) A late booking fee is assessed if booked less than 7 days prior to you first visit
  • What is your cancellation policy?
    We can accommodate minor updates at no additional cost. We require clients to submit a cancellation request 1 week in advance. A 50% cancellation fee is assessed if canceled under the noted timeframe. Here's a guide to request a Schedule Change / Cancellation ** Applicable for all our pet sitting services: drop-in, overnight, and cat care **
  • What makes overnight care different from drop-in dog sitting?
    Simply put, we stay with your fur friend throughout the night with overnight care. With drop-ins, we arrive at the scheduled time for the selected service length (30 mins or 60 mins). For overnight care, we check-in between 5:30/6PM day of and then we start our 'sleepover checklist'. At minimum, your dog will receive three walks (the first stroll of the night, a before bed potty break, and an early morning stroll). Cuddles, pets, and playtime are also included. We formally clock-out between 8AM / 9AM and a pawgress report will be sent on how the night went. Pictures and videos are included in the report. A midday walk is included in the rate. A separate pawgress report will be sent for this service.
  • What kind of dog is best suited for overnight care?
    This service is best for dogs who... Have separation anxiety Senior animals who need additional attention / potty breaks Do not do well in a boarding environment Take medications
  • Is this 24/7 pet sitting?
    No We are not at the house 24/7 We leave during the day / evening when needed for other clients or errands Trips in the evenings are usually for picking up dinner or groceries for meals We do our best to minimize this
  • What to expect when hosting a sitter?
    We provide our own food, toiletries, and other necessities. We do ask that clients provide clean linens (towels / bedding) and Wi-Fi access WI-FI is especially important if you're in a building with connection issues Kindly advise where you'd prefer us to stay (i.e. sofa, guest bedroom, or master bedroom)
  • What is included in this service besides pet care?
    Mail and packages will be brought in on a daily basis Plants will be watered as requested Any used dishes will be washed Trash will be taken out accordingly Light cleaning around the house The goal is for the client to come home and not notice we were even there.
  • How do you become a client for this service?
    This service is only available to established dog walking clients. If you're not an established client, we assess case-by-case submissions. Complete in-take form here.
  • Do you have service fees for overnight dog sitting?
    Yes, we do. Similar to our competitors, we have a few standard fees... Extra Pet (same household): add $10 per pet Late Booking: add $10 per visit if booked less than 7 days prior to booking date Holidays: add $20 per visit Applicable for all major holidays
  • Do you require a deposit?
    Yes, we do. As of 2024, we will require a deposit for new pet sitting clients. We required a 50% non refundable deposit to hold your requested date(s). A deposit is not due until after your Meet & Greet. Your reservation is not confirmed until your deposit is processed.
  • What's your scheduling policy for overnight pet sitting?
    We ask clients to submit requests in advance (2 weeks or more) A late booking fee is assessed if booked less than 7 days prior to you first visit
  • What is your overnight cancellation policy?
    We can accommodate minor updates at no additional cost. We require clients to submit cancellation requests 1 week in advance. A 50% cancellation fee is assessed if canceled under the noted timeframe. Here's a guide to request a Schedule Change / Cancellation ** Applicable for all our pet sitting services: drop-in, overnight, and cat care **
  • Do you have service fees for cat sitting?
    Yes, we do. Similar to our competitors, we have a few standard fees... Extra Pet (same household): add $5 per cat After Hours: add $5 per visit for services before 10AM or after 4PM (weekdays) Weekends: add $10 per visit Late Booking: add $5 if booked less than 5 days prior to service date Holidays: add $15 per visit ​​Applicable for all major holidays
  • Do you require a deposit?
    Yes, we do. As of 2024, we will require a deposit for new pet sitting clients. We required a 50% non refundable deposit to hold your requested date(s). A deposit is not due until after your Meet & Greet. Your reservation is not confirmed until your deposit is processed.
  • What is your scheduling policy for cat sitting?
    We ask clients to submit requests in advance (2 weeks or more) A late booking fee is assessed if booked less than 7 days prior to you first visit
  • What's your cat sitting cancellation policy?
    We can accommodate minor updates at no additional cost. We require clients to submit a cancellation request 1 week in advance. A 50% cancellation fee is assessed if canceled under the noted timeframe. Here's a guide to request a Schedule Change / Cancellation ** Applicable for all our pet sitting services: drop-in, overnight, and cat care **
  • What platform does Bark by the Park use?
    We use PetPocketBook (a woman owned and Boston based software provider) for dog walking and pet sitting services.
  • What are the features?
    Client Portal Customer Conversations with Pawgress Reports Client/Pet Information Scheduling Invoicing Client Documents
  • Is there an app?
    An app for pet parents will be available shortly Dog Walkers / Sitters are currently BETA testing the app Owners can add a shortcut to their home screen. Click here for guide.
  • How do you book a service?
    For established clients, simply log into your PetPocketBook account to submit your request. Here's a guide on Booking and Managing My Appointments
  • How do you change or cancel a service?
    For established clients, simply log into your PetPocketBook account to submit your request. Here's a guide on change or cancel an upcoming appointment
  • Is there a Guide to Help with Onboarding?
    Of course! See below based on service type. For Dog Walking / Dog Sitting For Cat Sitting
  • What's your payment policy?
    We require that a payment method be on file. This is still required even if you pay outside the platform Autopay will be ENABLED. Only clients paying outside the platform will have this disabled moving forward to avoid payment delays. Invoices are closed weekly on Mondays for either autopay or a manual payment. The billing schedule is only adjusted for overnights due to how PetPocketBook assesses this service. Close out date varies based on reservation. Gratuity is not included, but greatly appreciated Auto-tipping in PetPocketBook is now available. Simply enable the feature under BILLING.
  • What forms of payment do you accept?
    We accept all major credit cards, debit, and/or bank transfer all through PetPocketBook. Payments through the platform assess a service fee of 5% from the provider. Payments collected outside of PetPocketbook (i.e. zelle, cash, or check) are not subject to this. If you choose this option, our zelle account is associated to our email (info@barkbythepark.com). Please list invoice number and the service dates in the memo section. After which, we’ll document the payment to close your invoice on the backend.
  • Can I add a tip before autopay is processed on Monday mornings?
    Yes, this feature is now available. You simply need to enable this feature. Click here for the gratuity guide.
  • Are there other ways to tip my walker / sitter?
    Yes. Clients are welcome to leave cash or send gratuity to the company's zelle (info@barkbythepark.com) to avoid processing fees.
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