Windy City Paws service minimum policy

To achieve and maintain our high standard of service with a consistent walker for every client, we require dog walking clients to meet the minimum service requirement of three (3) scheduled service days per week. Scheduled services are defined as M-F, 8am-5pm with recurring days and times (ex: M/W/F 11am-1pm). If minimums are not met, the minimum service commitment will be applied to the monthly invoice.

Why are service minimums important?

  1. To hire and retain the best talent, we need to offer consistent work. When a dog walker’s clients cancel, they work fewer hours and get paid less.
  2. Our dog walkers are rarely able to pick up an extra service to compensate for cancellations. Most of our dog walkers have other jobs and life pursuits. Because our employees are of a higher caliber, they can find other forms of part-time consistent work if we are not able to offer it.

Please view the below frequently asked questions for more information about our 3-day service minimum policy:

Service Minimum FAQs

Can I cancel a regularly scheduled walk and replace it with a walk at a different time without penalty?

Yes. As long as the replacement walk is:

  • The same service as your regular service (ex: both are 30-minute walks)
  • Scheduled during normal dog walking hours (8am-5pm) M-F during the same week as the walk you want to cancel.
  • We have availability to fill that request

An example: If you have a regular schedule of Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday and you want to cancel a Tuesday and add a Friday afternoon service, that qualifies as the same service in the same week (mid-day dog walk for 30 mins) and if we had a walker available, then you’d be all set!

Do evening and/or weekend walks count toward the 3-day minimum?

No. Evening and weekend walks as well as cat visits and petsits are considered additional services and are not part of the walker’s regular schedule. All regularly scheduled walks are between Monday through Friday between 8:00am-5:00pm.

What is the charge if I don’t meet the weekly service minimum?

The service charge if you do not meet your 3-day minimum is simply the charge of your regularly scheduled service for each service under the minimum.

An example: If you have a regular schedule of one dog walk per day between 11am-1pm Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday and you want to cancel your Tuesday and Wednesday services, you will be charged for Monday’s service and also charged an administrative fee equal to the amount of two services on your monthly invoice.

Do I have to meet the 3-day service minimum during holiday weeks?

No. WCP will not enforce our minimum requirement on weeks in which there is a WCP observed holiday. WCP Observed holidays are: New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day. Service minimums will apply to weeks with any other holidays not listed above.

The WCP week is Sunday-Saturday. For holidays falling on a Sunday, the weekdays after the holiday will be considered the holiday week. For holidays on a Saturday, the weekdays prior to the holiday are considered the holiday week.

What about vacations, illnesses, and emergencies?

Vacations: Please email us at info@windycitypaws.com with 2 weeks’ advance notice of your vacation plans and we’ll be happy to occasionally waive our service minimum requirement. We are happy to make exceptions for occasional trips but will be unable to accommodate exceptions for frequent or regular travels.
Please note: Our online system does not automatically waive the administrative fees. You must contact the office by emailing info@windycitypaws.com if you would like for us to consider an exception for a non-holiday week.

Sick/Working from home: Unexpected sick days or working from home are not exempt from the policy. However, we can still provide service on such days and ensure your dog has a full walk so you don’t have to.

Emergencies: If you have an emergency, please email us at info@windycitypaws.com and we can try to accommodate your needs.

What if my regular walker is sick or has a day off?

We will always guarantee your regularly scheduled walks and have backup walkers to help when our regular walkers are ill or otherwise unable to complete a service. Because we are still able to provide the guaranteed service, our service minimum policy applies in this scenario.

What if my dog can’t have a substitute walker – would I be charged for a day that I couldn’t use?

No. If your account reflects that you cannot have a substitute/backup walker, we would not enforce our service minimum that week.

What if I have multiple regular walks in a day, how does that work?

The service minimum policy addresses service days rather than number of services. If you have regular services of 2 walks per day 3 days per week, your minimum is considered to include all 6 services. This reserves both timeslots needed for 2 walks per day in your walker’s schedule. In order to have that schedule guaranteed and with a consistent walker, we’d charge for any cancellations.

Can I change my regularly scheduled days and/or times?

Yes. If your needs change, you can change your regular schedule by altering your days of service or time frames – as long as your new schedule adheres to at least 3 service days per week. To change your regular schedule, email the office with at least one week’s notice to allow time to check our availability and get everything updated on our end. Changes to your service days or time frames may result in a walker change.

What if I need to cancel for an extended period of time such as a summer or winter break?

We do have the option to temporarily suspend your service if you will be away for longer than two consecutive weeks. We cannot hold your spot with a specific walker during this time but will guarantee that we will have a walker for you when you return.

To place a temporarily suspended status on your account (AKA “go on a break”), please email info@windycitypaws.com with details of your needs.