F.A.Q.

Q: How long has Hounds on the Hudson been around?
A: We were founded in 2008 and have been in the pet care industry since 1999.

Q: What are the advantages of a dog walker over daycare or kennels?
A: Doggie daycare can reinforce undesirable behavior in your dog and may cause anxiety from a new and ever-changing environment. Many common dog illnesses can also be contracted in the daycare and kennel environment, making it unsafe for puppies and some older dogs. A dog walker allows your dog to maintain their regular schedule in their familiar environment, while providing you both with the best possible personal attention and care.

Q: How do I set up service?
A: Send us an email or call during office hours (9am-5pm Monday through Friday and 12pm-5pm on Saturday) to arrange for a free consultation at your home. During this time we’ll meet you and your pet(s), discuss your pets individual needs and the type of service requested, make sure they have proper ID tags and collars, and get a copy of a key from you. We’ll also answer any questions you may have about us or the services we provide. You will receieve proof of our insurance as well as a copy of our service policies.

Q: What areas do you cover?
A: Currently we provide dog walking services in Albany, Delmar, Glenmont and Slingerlands. Pet sitting services are available in Albany only. We are accepting boarding and training anywhere in the Capital Region, though pick up and drop off for boarding is limited to Albany only. Other areas may be covered upon request and for an additional charge. Please inquire about our rates for areas outside of our regular service area.

Q: Is the company and its staff bonded and insured?
A: Yes. We are insured and bonded through Pet Sitters Associates, LLC.

Q: Do you have references?
A: Yes, available upon request

Q: Do you only care for dogs?
A: No. We also care for cats, birds, fish, and other small animals.

Q: Do you only accept well-trained dogs?
A: No, we accept dogs at whatever stage of learning they are at. Dog walking often helps with training. We like to know and use whatever commands and behaviors you and your pet are practicing so that we can reinforce the behaviors you want to see with your dog. We use basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” “heel,” “off “, “lay down,” and “leave it,” and welcome your suggestions. In cases where a dog is unable to be easily controlled on a walk, we may ask that a different leash, collar, or harness be purchased to continue services.

Q: Can you walk my dog at 12:35pm every day?
A: We’ll try our best. In order to make scheduling many clients every day possible, we require a two hour time window for every scheduled walk. Also be aware that 12pm-2pm M-F is our busiest time and regularly scheduled clients will be given priority over occasional clients or last minute requests. We will, however, work with a one hour time window in exceptional cases such as: young puppies, dogs with specific medical conditions, and dogs that we walk more than once a day.

Q: Do you offer discounts? Have a referral program?
A: We discount $2/walk for all Monday-Friday clients. For each referral you give Hounds on the Hudson that results in a regular client, we will credit your account for a free 30 minute walk or pet-sitting visit.

Q: What is your cancellation policy?
A: To be fair to other clients, we appreciate cancellations as soon as you know you won’t need our services. We ask that at the latest walks be canceled with 24 hours notice for the walk to be credited to your next statement.

Q: How do you bill for your services?
A: Payment is due at the beginning of each month for all regularly scheduled walks. This reserves your space in the regular schedule and gives you priority for your chosen days and times. Payment is due at the time of service for all one-time or occasional visits. Please note that priority is given to our regularly scheduled clients, and we may not be able to accept additional service requests during busy periods.

Q: What types of payment do you accept?
A: We accept checks, all major credit cards, and Paypal for payment. We do not accept cash.

Q: How do you ensure my pet’s safety?
A: Your pet’s safety is a top concern of ours. All dogs are walked on-leash (unless otherwise instructed) and never left unattended. Dog temperaments and dispositions are matched to ensure they are a good fit with one another.  All of our dog walkers and pet sitters are Red Cross Pet First Aid certified. During our initial consultation, please go over any health or safety concerns you may have with your pet.

Q: Where do we meet for the new client meeting?

A: We come to your home for the new client meeting so that we can meet your dog in his or her familiar environment, learn where you keep food, treats, bowls, leashes, etc. and test your key. Please have a copy of your dog’s vaccination records available if you are interested in boarding or the dog park playgroup.

Q: Where are pets boarded?
A: We board dogs at our Bed & Biscuit, our three-story historic townhouse located in Albany’s Mansion neighborhood and at select walkers’ homes. Space is limited, as we like to provide the most personal care for your dog(s). Dogs are treated as our own in a home environment. All boarding includes three 30 minute walks a day plus short bathroom breaks, feeding, play time and/or socialization with other dogs, a comfy bed, and lots of belly rubs and scratches behind the ears. A bath and nail trim are available for an additional charge–please inquire when you make your reservation.

Q: What’s the difference between a dog walk and a pet-sitting visit? 
A: A dog walk includes up to two dogs and basic feeding during our regular business hours of 9am-5pm Monday-Friday. If you need an early morning, evening or weekend walk, have more than two pets, a more involved feeding routine, need pee pads changed and/or need a little more time spent at the house taking care of mail, plants, the pool, etc, you will need to schedule a pet-sitting visit.

Q: Why can’t I call your number from my land line? 
A: We use a Google Voice number, and some people have told us that it doesn’t work from their land line. We aren’t really sure why this is, but we are working with Google to solve the problem. In the mean time, try calling us from a mobile number or sending us an email via our contact form.