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Frequently asked questions

Why should I choose and trust Barksley to care for my pet?

Barksley has been Richmond's most trusted dog walking and pet sitting service since 2017. We value the trust our clients place in us to care for their pets and home. We have a team of experienced, trained, and reliable professional dog walkers and pet sitters, who are insured and bonded. All of our staff are W-2 employees rather than contractors. We use positive reinforcement techniques only and focus on creating a trusting bond between Barksley dog walker/pet sitter and pet. We send you a real-time update and pictures at the end of every scheduled visit and promptly respond to any questions or concerns.

What is your service area?

Our service area includes Church Hill, Rocketts Landing, Shockoe Bottom, Downtown, Jackson Ward, The Fan, Museum District, Carytown, Oregon Hill, Scott's Addition, Bellevue, Ginter Park, Willow Lawn, Mary Mumford, Manchester, Forest Hill, Westover Hills. Pet sitting is limited in some neighborhoods. Please complete our New Client Form to ask if you are in our service area.


What services do you provide?

We provide private in-home dog walking and pet sitting services. You can schedule a visit for 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 1 hour. We are happy to do whatever is needed during each scheduled visit. For dog walking, we can take your dog on a walk or stay at home in the yard. For pet sitting, we can feed, provide medication, and clean litter boxes for cats. 

How do I get started as a new client?

Please complete our New Client Form to get started as a new client. We will respond as quickly as we can, usually within one business day, and let you know if we can provide you with the services you need. We require a Meet & Greet for all new clients. The Meet & Greet costs $22, but is applied as a credit to your account once it is completed. If you schedule services with us, the deposit is applied as a credit. If you do not schedule any services with us, we retain the $22 payment to cover our time. There are no other fees for becoming a new client.

Tell me more about the Meet & Greet? 

We require a Meet & Greet for all new clients and before we can provide service. The Meet & Greet will be scheduled with Abby, the owner of Barksley, and your primary dog walker/pet sitter. Abby and your dog walker/pet sitter will come to your home to meet you and your pets. We will discuss everything we need to know to care for your pet and how to securely get in and out of your home. We ask for two keys to your home. We will keep these keys until you ask for them to be returned to you. You do not need to supply us with keys if you have a lockbox for us to use instead or if you have keyless entry. You can tell us the lockbox code or keyless entry code at the Meet & Greet. If you live in a building that requires a fob, we require at least one fob. This may limit our ability to provide you with services. We are happy to be as accommodating as possible with keys. We do not charge a key pick up or lockbox fee. 

How much do your services cost?

Please look at our Services page for our rates. We charge per scheduled visit, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 1 hour.

Our rates are the same for 1-2 pets at the same household. We charge $5 for each pet after the second pet. For example, we charge an Additional Pet fee of $5 to each scheduled visits that we care for 3 pets. We charge an Additional Pet fee of $10 for 4 pets. 

We have an After Hours fee add to any visit scheduled during the week (Monday-Friday) before 9am or after 5pm. We have a Weekend fee for any visit scheduled on the weekend (Saturday-Sunday). We do not charge both After Hours fee and Weekend fee on the same visit.

We have a Holiday fee. Please see the Services page for more information.

We do not have a medication admin fee or any other fees. We send you an invoice when you schedule services and all services are pre-paid. We have a 24 hour cancellation policy for all visits. 

When can I schedule a visit?

You can request a visit scheduled anytime between 7am-9pm 7 days a week, year round. We are open on weekdays, weekends, and holidays. Our holiday pet sitting is extremely limited as many of our employees take off for the holidays. We do not take on new clients for the holidays. You must be a current client to schedule a visit on a holiday. Availability the rest of the year depends on staffing levels, so some weekends or late nights may not be available. 

What is your cancellation policy?

All invoices are due two days prior to the first scheduled visit. We have a 24 hour cancellation policy. If the scheduled visit is cancelled with less than 24 hours notice, it is not eligible for rescheduling or a refund. If the scheduled visit is cancelled with more than 24 hours notice, a credit will be applied to your account or no payment will be required. 

How much notice is required for scheduling?

We greatly appreciate as much notice as possible, especially with pet sitting. However, we do not have a minimum requirement for scheduling. We understand that plans change and things come up. We are here when you need us, as our availability allows. If you need a visit, submit a Scheduling Request and we will review as soon as possible. We monitor Service Requests 7 days a week. We do not have a last minute or same day scheduling fee. 

What if I'm delayed getting home from my trip?

We understand that weather, plane delays, and traffic are out of your control. If you are delayed getting home, please let us know as soon as possible and request additional visits until you are able to get home to your pets. 

How do I pay for scheduled services?

We use a pet scheduling software called Time To Pet, which has an easy to use app. All scheduling is done through Time To Pet. You will be sent an invoice for any scheduled services, which is due two days before the first scheduled visit. Invoices can be paid with a credit card or secure bank transfer through Time To Pet. 

Can I tip my dog walker/pet sitter?

Yes, you can add a tip to your invoice when you pay. You can also add a tip to an invoice after the invoice has been paid. Tips are distributed 100% to the dog walkers/pet sitters. Barksley does not retain any percentage of tips. You can also leave us a review on Google, Facebook, Nextdoor, or Yelp. This is a great way to give praise to your dog walker/pet sitter. We send a message to the whole team celebrating each review and praising the team member. We can't tell you how much our clients' reviews mean to us. You can also share pictures of your pet on social media and tag us. Follow us too! We are on Instagram and Facebook

Do you provide discounts or frequency deals?

No, we do not offer discounts or frequency deals. You can receive up to $20 off your next invoice if you leave us an online review. Leave us a review on Google, Facebook, Nextdoor, or Yelp and receive $10 per review, max $20 off per household. 

How does dog walking work?

Each visit is tailored to the needs of you and your pet. We will discuss exactly what you want us to do at the Meet & Greet. A typical dog walking visit includes the walker arriving and greeting your pup, going on a walk or playing in the yard, then coming home to provide fresh water and a treat before locking up and leaving. Your walker will send you an update and photos at the very end of the visit as they leave. You will know in real-time when your pup is visited and what happened.

We can set up weekly dog walking visits if you have the same schedule each week, but we do not require weekly scheduling. Request visits whenever you need us. 

How does pet sitting work?

Each visit is tailored to the needs of you and your pets. We will discuss exactly what you want us to do at the Meet & Greet. For dogs, we typically visit 3 to 4 times per day (morning, afternoon, evening or morning, afternoon, dinner, and night) to provide meals, potty breaks, and attention. For cats, we typically visit 1 to 2 times per day to provide meals, scoop the litter box, and give plenty of love. We do not charge a fee to feed or administer medication.

Schedule pet sitting as needed. We do not require that you schedule dog walking services in order to be eligible for pet sitting services. However, our holiday pet sitting is available to current clients only. We do not allow new clients to schedule on a holiday for their first time using our services. 

How do puppy visits work?

Each visit is tailored to the needs of you and your pets. We will discuss exactly what you want us to do at the Meet & Greet. Our dog walkers are trained on puppy development and basic obedience using positive reinforcement techniques only. We are not dog trainers, but can continue any training you are working on with your puppy. We will work on commands such as Sit, Down, and Stay, potty training, and good leash manners. We can provide meals as needed. Your puppy will also greatly benefit from the socialization we provide during each visit along with enrichment activities to help their brains grow!

How do senior pet visits work?

Each visit is tailored to the needs of you and your pets. We will discuss exactly what you want us to do at the Meet & Greet. Our senior pet visits include a lot of TLC and patience. We can limit your dog's walk to 10 minutes or just around the block. We can walk to the park to sit and watch the world go by, which is excellent mental stimulation. We can also clean up potty pads and change diapers. We are great with senior cats as well, whether they want to be fed and left alone or showered in attention. We have experience with pets on hospice or palliative care as well. We do not charge a fee to feed or administer medication.

Can you care for my pet that just had surgery, has mobility limitations, takes medication, needs insulin shots, is blind or deaf, or any other special needs?

Yes, we have experience caring for pets with special needs. We will discuss your pet's specific needs and let you know if it is something we are able to handle or not. We may ask to schedule a brief Meet & Greet with you to go over specific instructions or medication. We want to make sure your dog walker/pet sitter can comfortably and confidently care for your pet in the way that is needed. We do not charge a fee to feed or administer medication.

Do I bring my pet to you? Do you have boarding? Do you have daycare?

No, we do not have a brick and mortar facility. You do not bring your pet to us. We come to your pet in your home. We do not offer boarding. We do not offer daycare. We will not stay in your home all day long with your pet. We perform 30 minute, 45 minute, and 1 hour visits scheduled throughout the day. Please go to our Services page for more information about the services that we offer.

Do you have breed or temperament restrictions? Will you work with a dog or cat with a bite history? Leash aggression? Dog aggression? Food aggression? Intact male dogs?

No, we do not have any restrictions on breed, temperament, or behavioral issues. However, we will NOT work with any pet that is a CURRENT bite risk to our dog walkers/pet sitters. If your pet has a bite history, you must disclose it to us so we can determine if we can keep everyone safe. We will work with a pet that has a bite history, but no longer poses a threat to our dog walkers/pet sitters. We have experience with anxious/fearful behavior, leash/dog/barrier/food aggression, resource guarding, and more. We do care for intact male dogs. 

Do you provide dog training? Can you maintain my dog's training?

No, we do not provide dog training. Yes, we can maintain your dog's training and routine. We can make the visit as structured as you would like. Just let us know what you are doing so we can provide your pet with consistency. 

Do you offer group dog walks or Adventure Walks?

Please let us know if you are interested in a group dog walk or Adventure Walk. We do this on an extremely limited basis. Your dog must be dog friendly, able to ride in the car with other dogs, and work well with the other dogs already part of our group walks.

What if the weather is really bad?

We will drive to your home for a scheduled visit as long as it is safe to do so. If not, we will notify you immediately and when we plan to see your pet next. Once at your home, we will take your dog outside as long as necessary. During the Meet & Greet, we will ask what your dog thinks about heat, cold, rain, and storms so we know how long to safely stay outside to allow potty and exercise. Our priority is keeping everyone safe in all weather conditions. 

What type of pets do you care for?

We care for dogs, cats, rabbits, turtles, reptiles, birds, fish, and other small animals. 

What vaccines do you require?

We require proof of Rabies for all dogs and cats over the age of 6 months. We need proof of Rabies by the first scheduled visit. We do not need proof of Rabies before the Meet & Greet. 

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