Answers to frequently asked questions for our Gusto Dogs dog walkers:
- What makes you different than other pet services in Austin?
Gusto Dogs’ primary focus is dog walking, so that’s what we do best! We especially understand our clients with higher-energy dogs and take into account each dog’s individual requirements and customize his or her walk, accordingly. That might mean we’re jogging instead of walking, or it might mean that we incorporate a lot of mental enrichment into the walk to really work their brains. We believe a walk is more than just physical exercise, and that it’s just as important to give them a job to do. We will work with you to determine what that job is for your dog, even if it’s as simple as sitting at every street corner or fetching a tennis ball at the end of the walk.
- Do you offer pet sitting services?
Gusto Dogs’ priority clients are our dog walking customers, but we do make some pet sitting house calls depending on availability. Visits that occur outside our normal business hours (Mon-Fri 8am – 7pm) do incur an additional modest fee.
- What happens in very hot weather?
Every dog has a different threshold, but generally we don’t walk dogs during the hottest part of the day during the warmest months. We will work with you to schedule a morning walk and we can make arrangements to stop by in the afternoon for a quick potty break or to check in on dogs who are outside. Depending on location and availability, we can take your dog to splash around in a nearby watering hole to cool off and get some beneficial exercise. If you have your own pool and your dog is already a great swimmer, we can also use this to our advantage during the summer months!
- Do you walk in the rain?
Our dog walkers walk rain or shine! Well, within reason. If it’s hailing or raining so hard that even your dog isn’t going to enjoy it, we may practice enrichment activities inside until the skies clear. We recommend keeping a dog towel out for your dog walker so that we can towel him off before letting him inside. All clients are required to fill out an emergency plan form in case of events like wildfire or tornado. We will do our best to make sure your pets are safe.
- How do I know my keys are safe?
For clients who keep keys on file with us, your keys will never be marked with your name or address. We mark all keys in code to protect you against the unlikely scenario that they are lost or stolen. All keys are kept on our person during our dog walks and locked up securely when we’re done.
- Will you take my dog off leash?
Gusto Dogs keeps all dogs on leash during walks for their safety and our peace of mind. Even if your dog has excellent recall, there is still a risk of the odd interesting squirrel, dog or rabbit that may catch his attention. We don’t generally visit dog parks because we like to keep our walks structured and focused. Dog parks are a great reward post-walk, but should never replace a quality ‘pack walk’. In some circumstances we may use really long leads to practice training techniques and recall.
- Will you let me know how they’re doing?
One of our favorite things to do is to send you updates as often as you’d like them! We can text or email photos, videos or just a quick note to tell you about their day. If we notice anything unusual related to their health, we will always notify you as soon as possible. Keeping an open line of communication is something we really value and believe is a big part of our responsibility as your trusted dog walker.