FAQ’s about our dog walking & pet sitting service in Austin, TX
What is the best way to contact you?
- Email: Team@GameTimeDogServices
- Call or Text: 512-995-9255 (Please leave a message if we don’t pick up)
- Click “Schedule a Dog Walk” at top right of your screen
What areas of Austin, TX do you provide pet services?
Austin Neighborhoods: Allandale, Austin Hills, Balcones, Brentwood, Bryker Woods, Central East Austin, Cherrywood, Chestnut, Clarksville, Crestview, East Ceasar Chaves, Downtown, Enfield, Far West, Gateway, Georgian Acres, Govalle, Hancock, Heritage, Highland, Holly, Hyde Park, Johnston Terrace, Martin Luther King, Mueller, North Austin Civic Association, North Burnet, North Lamar, North Loop, North Shoal Creek, North University, Northwest Hills, Old West Austin, Tarrytown, Triangle State, Raintree Estates, Riata, Rosedale, Rosewood, Upper Boggy Creek, University Hills, Whooten, Windsor Road, Windsor Park, Zilker
Austin Zip Codes: 78701, 78702 (limited), 78703, 78704, 78705, 78712, 78722, 78723, 78731, 78751, 78752, 78753 (limited), 78756, 78757, 78727 (limited), 78758 (limited), 78759 (limited)
Why do y’all wear bright yellow hats?
Safety is our number one priority. Many drivers and cyclists aren’t paying attention or are distracted. #donttextanddrive There have been countless times where our “defensive walking” has avoided an accident. Our intention for the bright hats is that they will catch the attention of said drivers and cyclists. We utilize sidewalks whenever possible, keep our head on a swivel for potential dangers, and avoid busy streets and intersections. We want everyone and every dog to be happy and healthy while enjoying their outside fun and exercise.
What happens to my scheduled dog walk if it’s raining?
We are still on duty! Texas weather keeps us on our toes. Many times we show up and the clouds part and it’s a perfect outside walk. If it’s spotty we go on the walk, but stay close to the house in case it starts to pour. If it’s thundering and it’s raining cats and dogs (pun intended) we offer a potty break, play inside, then give another potty break at the end of the visit.
What happens to my scheduled dog walk if there is a heat advisory?
Heat exhaustion and overheating are a HUGE concern of ours in the summer months. Dogs don’t sweat, so aren’t as efficient at cooling themselves. We walk the pups on the grass, test the temp of the pavement, and keep a close eye on the dog to see if there is excessive panting or bloodshot eyes. If we are in a heat advisory, we follow the same protocol as if it’s raining. We stay at a close radius to the house in case we need to get your dog to the cool inside asap.
Where are you based – are y’all local?
Born and raised right here in Austin! Amy was born at St. David’s and Aaron was an extra on Dazed and Confused. Alright, alright, alright. We only service Austin and plan to keep it that way. We think when you branch out too much you lose the local and family feel along with customer service. Our clients are family and will never be a number. The competition from outside services from other states can be daunting, but we stay focused on what we do best – caring for the fur babies of Austin!
I have more than one dog is there an extra fee?
There is more work, poop, untangling of leashes, and more when other dogs are involved, so we do charge an extra dog fee. 2nd dog + $3, 3rd dog + $6. This goes to the dog walker to compensate them for their efforts.
Do y’all walk dogs on the weekend?
Yes, we would be thrilled to walk your pup on the weekend! There is a $5 surcharge for walks requested on the weekends.
Will I have only one or several dog walkers?
You will have a primary dog walker, but from experience I know it’s best to have a team approach to ensure we can always fulfill service requests. I will be your fur baby’s walker at first and then introduce them to their primary dog walker. After some time, I’ll introduce them to a backup walker. Three of the Game Time Team will get to know your dog and know their preferences and the layout of the home. Doing it this way ensures that there is never a ‘stranger’ arriving to walk your dog. It’s someone they know and are comfortable with. This circles back to the ‘our clients are family’ priority.
Can you take my pet to the groomer?
Absolutely!! Our Pet Taxi service is ideal for this. We can drop them off and pick them up if you like, or you can pick them up after you get off work.
What is your price for Pet Taxi?
We utilize Taxi Fare Finder Austin to find the rate for your requested taxi ride.
Why do y’all focus on dog walking?
There were 2 reasons I started Game Time. 1. I was working 10 hours/day and had trouble finding a reliable dog walker 2. My Great Dane loved and needed her exercise. When we would take active walks, she was over the moon excited. At the time there weren’t any services in the area that focused on exercise. I saw a hole in the market and took the leap. Exercise and fun for dogs was the focus from day one. I’ve seen the AMAZING positive changes in a dog when getting more exercise. I had a client once call me and say, “Well, my dog is kind of an a$$ hole” The dog did lunge at other dogs while on walks and was a little snappy. We started an exercise routine of 30-minute runs 3x/week. After 2 months he turned into a different dog! He was so happy and loved his runs and didn’t lunge anymore! I’ll never forget that experience. I cannot promise that will happen with every dog, but getting dogs out for exercise creates balance and wellness physically and mentally.
Do you do background checks?
Abso-freaking-lutely! I’m a pretty good judge of character and usually bring my dog on the interview to see what their reaction is to her. Anyone on the Game Time Team has a clean background check and is an animal lover.
How long are your dog walks?
We offer dog walks in 4 different lengths – 20, 30, 45, and 60 minutes.
Do you train dogs?
We do not train dogs, but we have worked with several trainers. Consistency is key so we maintain what training you have done or are doing. We use the same flow, verbiage, hand signs, and anything else you and your trainer use to keep it consistent. If you or a trainer uses a command before/during/after the walk we will do the same. E.g. you require your dog to sit at the door before leaving, or sit before opening the crate – we do the same. Consistency is key in training. We also have worked directly with Sit Means Sit and Taurus Academy.
Will you visit my dog at the same time every day?
There are several factors that throw a stick in the spokes of maintaining a strict schedule. Sometimes we arrive at the client’s home to find a dog mess that needs to be cleaned up, Austin traffic, and weather are the top three. We request a 3-hour window to complete the service.
If my dog has an “accident”, will you clean it up?
Yes, I don’t think it’s very kind to leave it there and almost mean if it’s in the crate. If it’s a little mess no charge, but if it’s explosive out the bootie there will be a fee.
How do you access my home for the dog walk?
We utilize lock boxes for several reasons. 1. You will always know where your key is (which has been helpful for clients in the past when they accidentally locked themselves out). 2. If a backup dog walker needs to carry out your dog walk – the key is already there and service isn’t slowed down. You can purchase a lockbox from us or purchase one on your own. Totally your prerogative. You also don’t have to put it on your doorknob – most clients place it on the ground behind a pot or secure it somewhere on the property. The one request we have is that it is in a place it doesn’t get rained on. If it gets hit by rain it will get jammed/rusted and is difficult to open. We also use garage codes and the new snazzy keyless entry locks.
I live in a secure building, how is that handled?
We have a tight schedule to keep and lose A LOT of time if we have to go to the leasing office and exchange an ID for a key/fob. I’ve waited 30 minutes before because no one was in the leasing office for me to give my ID to. We will need to get a key/fob made for us and secure it somewhere on the property. Most times it’s by the bike rack in the parking garage and I get permission from the office to do this.
Is the Meet n’ Greet free?
Yes, we appreciate the opportunity to meet you and hope to earn your trust and business.
May I give my dog walker gratuity?
That’s so thoughtful of you!! Yes, you absolutely can. You can leave cash or a gift card in an envelope with their name on it by the leashes, or leave a tip when paying your invoice in the software we utilize.
Do you let me know how my pet is doing while I’m away?
Yes, absolutely!! I want to know how my pet is doing when I’m away, so I completely understand! We send an update after every visit that includes a checklist of what happened on the visit and a picture of your pet.
Can I have every other day cat sitting visits?
We prefer to visit a cat every 24 hours. This is for health reasons and to ensure they are safe and healthy. If you prefer visits every other day we will proceed as requested.
Is there a holiday fee?
Yes, we do. We walk dogs 365 days a year. There is a holiday fee of $10 per visit on the following holidays. MLK Day, President’s Day, Easter (and weekend), Memorial Day (and weekend), Independence Day (and weekend), Labor Day (and weekend), Thanksgiving Day – following Sunday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day through New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day
This is how we reward our pet sitters and dog walkers who are giving of their holiday time.
Are you insured and bonded?
Yes. We are insured and bonded through our membership with the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. Our dog walkers are also employees vs independent contractors. This is a very big difference when you choose us!
Do you board pets?
Short answer – YES, but it’s very limited. I and a few others on the team are open to bringing other pets into our home. It’s quite fun and we love having sleepovers!! We will have only one other dog family at a time, so these spots get booked fast. We offer overnight pet sitting too where a caregiver spends the night at your home and the dog stays in the environment they are comfortable in. This option works well for high anxiety and senior dogs.
How is payment handled?
We email you an invoice after service has been rendered every two weeks. It will be sent from our scheduling software Time To Pet. You can access your invoices, pet care schedule, pet details, and details of service any time you choose via your desktop computer and/or the app on your smartphone.
How do I know what dog walks I have scheduled?
Log into your account and go to My Schedule. You can see what dog walks we have on the calendar for your fur baby right there. You can also request more dog walks, and cancel dog walks you don’t need. There is an app for your smartphone, so you can access your schedule and make requests from the palm of your hand! Yayerz!
What is your cancellation policy?
We have a 24-Hour cancellation period. If you cancel 24 hours before your scheduled dog walk – No Charge. If it’s within 24 hours we still charge for the service.