FAQS

GENERAL

What are your hours?

We provide daily dog walking and cat sitting 365 days a year from 6am until 8pm. We provide daily doggy daycare at Hyde Bark Play Park Monday through Friday from 7am until 7pm. Hyde Bark Play Park is closed on the weekends and federal holidays.

What is the best way to reach you?

We all walk dogs and take care of kitties every day, owners LeAnna and Brandon included, so the best way to reach us is via message in your Time to Pet account or via email at hydebarkdogwalking@gmail.com. Our phone number is 773-359-8158 ext 1 for dog walking and cat sitting, ext 2 for doggy daycare.

How do I schedule services?

You will have your own secure Time to Pet account in which you are able to schedule services online or via the Time to Pet app. You can schedule one appointment at a time or multiple. We ask our clients to schedule their own services to minimize the risk of miscommunication or error, however we can set up ongoing recurring services for you. 

When do I schedule services?

All services for the upcoming week and weekend must be scheduled by Sunday. Services scheduled after Sunday are subject to walker availability and not guaranteed and also have a $5 surcharge. Services scheduled later than 5:00PM the night before or on the same day will incur an additional $10 “same day” surcharge. 

How do I cancel a service?

Doggy daycare, dog walks and cat sitting can be canceled at no charge any time as long as it is before your scheduled service time. Pet Sitting and Boarding services must be canceled at least one week in advance. Pet Sitting and Boarding services canceled less than one week in advance will still be billed at 50% of the total cost unless another client takes your spot. This is due to very limited space and high demand for these services. You can cancel any scheduled service via your Time to Pet account by selecting the service you want to cancel and selecting edit > cancel

 

How and when do I pay you?

You are able to add your bank account or credit card onto your account and you will be auto-billed weekly every Monday after services rendered. We can also take Venmo, Zelle, Cash App, Paypal and checks.

May I give my walker or sitter gratuity?

Of course! When you pay your invoice there is an option to add a tip which will then be dispersed to your walkers or sitters. You can also send tips to @hydebark via Venmo or to hydebarkdogwalking@gmail.com via Zelle - please be sure to write it is a tip for your walker in the comments section.

What is your service area?

We are located in Hyde Park and we service exclusively Hyde Park and the immediate surrounding south side neighborhoods such as Kenwood, Bronzeville, and Woodlawn. We feel keeping our service small and local enables us to provide the best quality service quickly and efficiently. Our borders are south to 63rd Street, west to Indiana, east to South Shore Drive and north to Pershing Rd.

What does it mean to be licensed, insured and bonded?

We are a professional business licensed in the city of Chicago which means we pay taxes and follow all business ethical and legal requirements as put forth by The Department of Agriculture. We also carry an expansive pet sitters’ insurance policy, including an expanded bonding policy. We want to make sure that every aspect of our business is professional and accountable. As of 2022, we have never had to take out a claim on our insurance!

What is your pet emergency protocol?

All of our employees are trained in Pet First Aid and CPR. Depending on the severity of the issue, we would first call you to notify you of any developing situation. If it is determined the pet needs immediate veterinary care, we would call Pershing Animal Hospital or Hyde Park Animal Clinic to let them know of our impending arrival and situation. After hours, we would contact/go to Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital, Veterinary Emergency Group (VEG), or MedVet.

 

DOG WALKING & CAT SITTING 

 

What kind of qualifications do your walkers & sitters have?

Each and every one of our employees is carefully selected, vetted and trained. This includes a background check and two interviews before being offered a job. All employees are trained on the job as well as complete extensive custom online training including learning Pet First Aid & CPR.  Many of our employees have been with us for years and we do not use independent contractors. We are proud to pay above industry standard, offer paid time off, mileage reimbursement and health insurance. We are firm believers that happy employees make happy clients! You can learn more about each employee under the Our Team tab under our About Us section on the website. 

Will I have the same walker or sitter each time?

For regular recurring M-F dog walks, you will have 1-2 primary walkers. For varying schedules (ie not the same day and times each week or temporary vacation care) your walker or sitter may vary depending on availability. We do try to keep the same few people on each pet whenever possible. We always take your pets’ emotional well-being into account first and foremost and we think there is an art to pairing the right people with the right pets!

How will I know when my walker or sitter has taken care of my pet?

We proudly use Time to Pet for every service we provide. When your walker or sitter arrives for your scheduled appointment, you will get an instant email and/or phone notification that they have arrived. The app tracks our time and location for the duration of your scheduled appointment and when your appointment time has been met, we leave you a report about how the visit went, including pictures of your pet.

How does my walker/sitter get into my home?

We ask for two sets of keys for your home whenever possible in case there is an emergency. One set will be secured in a lockbox on your property, and the other in our key safe at our facility. If you need to provide us with keys, you can drop them off at Hyde Bark Play Park at 5508 S. Lake Park Ave. at the front desk or through the mail slot. Please be sure to label them with a tag or in an envelope with your pet’s name and remove all extra unneeded keys. 

Can I set a specific appointment time?

We ask that you allow us a two hour window in which to arrive for your service for dogs, and a four hour window for cats. You can choose your window when you schedule your visits.

Do you do group walks?

Unless specifically requested, we do not do group walks. Each walk is private one-on-one. 

Can you take my dog off leash, like to a dog park?

Unfortunately, our insurance policy requires your dog be leashed at all times when off of your property. For your dog's safety (and the safety of others) we need to keep your pup on leash. 

Can you administer medication to pets?

Yes, we can administer medications at no extra charge per your detailed directions. We can administer the following medications:

Pills - We can manually "pill" dogs, but not cats. We have found the experience of a non-family member physically handling the cat to manually give them a pill to be very stressful to the cat which can lead to aggressiveness and/or hiding. We are more than happy to try to hide the pill in a treat or other edible method. If there is any uncertainty as to whether or not this method will work we recommend medically boarding your pet, or booking a sitter with a veterinary background. We ask that pills be stored in their original containers with instructions clearly visible. 

Liquid Oral Medications

Transdermal Medications

InsulinOnly a few of us have been trained to do insulin injections so please notify us in advance if your pet needs injectable medications. We ask that you leave out a clearly marked "sample" syringe for reference. We recommend using a piece of masking tape, permanent marker, or colored water to mark the dosage on the "sample" syringe.  A medical trial visit is required for all injectable medications. 

What would you do in the event of a walker emergency?

We would first call you to notify you of any developing situation. Next, one of our seasoned walkers or owners LeAnna or Brandon would immediately see to your pet’s needs. We would never just not show up! Note: this is why we ask for two sets of keys, just in case of an emergency!

How can I communicate with my walker?

Simply click Send Message in the app or on the website to communicate directly with your walker as well as management! We highly prefer clients use this tool as their primary mode of communication so that everyone is always updated and on the same page 

 

PET SITTING & BOARDING

 

What kind of Pet Sitting and Boarding services do you offer?

We offer three kinds of pet-sitting. We offer stop-in service, where a walker comes by to walk your dog 2-4 times per day, or overnight service which includes 2-4 walks and a sleeping over in your home. We also offer boarding in a few select walkers’ homes but space is legally limited to six dogs maximum, and only our most long-term walkers offer this service so we get booked up quite far in advance for this option!

Do you ever offer private (only one dog or household) at a time?

We do have a couple of borders that only host one dog at a time, However, they all have cats so the dog boarding must be cat-safe!

Do I have to be a regular client to use your in-home dog pet-sitting or boarding services? 

Yes, we only offer pet-sitting services for our regular clients; and boarding is only for our doggy daycare clients. Because we board 1-6 dogs at a time in our homes and it is cage-free, it is imperative the dogs all get along. We know they get along if they all attend daycare together! Plus, it can make the experience more comfortable and fun when there are other friends they know also staying. We believe it is important to your dog's emotional well-being to establish an on-going relationship beforehand as well. 

Where and when do I drop off my dog for boarding?

Generally people drop off their dog for boarding at Hyde Bark Play Park at the normal drop off times, but we can also schedule a time to drop off at our homes between 7am and 7pm

Do you offer pick up for boarding?

We can sometimes provide pickup for an additional charge of $10 each way

What do I need to provide for my dog while boarding?

You can pack food, bowls, and treats. A blanket, shirt or stuffed animal that reminds them of home can also be nice! 

Will I get updates?

Yes, you will receive a daily update and photos

 

DOGGY DAYCARE

 

Why do dogs have to be neutered or spayed to attend Hyde Bark Play Park?

Unfortunately, due to the changing and increased hormones an unaltered dog produces as they reach maturity, it can cause conflict and fights. We mostly see other dogs reacting poorly to the unaltered dog, not the other way around.

My dog has never been to doggy daycare before. Will she like it?

We hope so! However, doggy daycare is not for all dogs. We will let you know if daycare is not the best fit for your dog. We want all of the dogs that come in to enjoy coming and be happy to be there!

What are some reasons a dog may be “expelled” from doggy daycare?

If your dog poses a safety issue to the other dogs, our staff or themselve. Such as if they are overly anxious and do not enjoy being there, do not take social cues from other dogs, they are not responsive to staff, etc.

Are the dogs separated by size?

The dogs are separated by both size and temperament. We have three separate lots so if a dog doesn't ”fit in” with one group, we can try another group.

What is the best way to introduce my dog to doggy daycare?

We recommend a two-step process. First, scheduling a private tour so you and your dog can come in and check out the play rooms. This can help the dog to get familiar with the environment with the comfort and reassurance of their pawrent being there with them. Next, all dogs have a free trial day. This can be a full day or half day. We recommend a half day for the first day so that they have time to get comfortable but also are not overwhelmed being in a strange new place all day long.

How often should I bring my dog to doggy daycare?

We recommend at least 2 times a week so that they can make consistent friends and get into a routine. Many dogs love to come 5 days a week, however some might get pretty tired by Friday so it really depends on your dog!

How do I schedule doggy daycare?

You can either schedule as needed via our Time to Pet app or website each, or we can set up a recurring schedule for you so you do not have to worry about doing it each week. We ask that you request doggy daycare for the upcoming week by Sunday evening to both ensure we have a spot for your dog, but to also make sure we are properly staffed each day.

 

OTHER RESOURCES:

Veterinarians:

Pershing Animal Hospital 

(preferred vet of Hyde Bark)

1515 E. Hyde Park Blvd. 

773-288-8888 

Hyde Park Animal Clinic 

1363 E. 53rd St 

773-324-4484

Woodlawn Animal Hospital 

6523 S. King Dr.

773-249-7191

Emergency Vets: 

Veterinary Emergency Group aka VEG

(preferred emergency vet of Hyde Bark)

Metropolitan aka MetroVet

1556 S. Michigan Ave. 

312-583-1921 

MedVet 

3123 N Clybourn Ave 

773-281-7110

Grooming: 

Bark N Bubbles Doggy Day Spa 

1433 E. Hyde Park Blvd 

773-236-0886

Puppy Haberdashery 

5100 S. Cornell Ave. 

773-424-8871 

Cindy @ Hyde Park Animal Hospital 

6937 S. Stony Island Ave.

773-324-4484

So Fetch!

4757 S. Ashland Ave. 

773-347-3187

Pet supplies, food and treats: 

Sprocket & Stone 

1013 E. 53rd St 

773-966-4777 

Dog Parks: 

Jackson Bark 

6000 S Lake Shore Dr. 

773-272-1307

Cat adoptions, fostering and rescue: 

Hyde Park Cats 

www.hydeparkcats.org