Skip to content

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find common questions about our business and the services we offer. If you still can’t find the answer you’re looking for, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

General Business Questions

Why should I choose Pet Partners for my pet’s care?

We are an established company with outstanding references and a proven track record of taking care of Silver Spring pets, the lucky ones!

How long has Pet Partners been in business?

Since 2004

Where are your service areas?

Silver Spring and within about 5 miles from the downtown area including homes in zip codes 20901, 20910, and 20902. Some parts of Takoma Park, Kensington and NW Washington, DC may fall within this area so please check with us.

What types of payment are accepted?

Cash, Check, Paypal, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

What is the best way to contact your office?

Phone 301-920-2168 or email at sherry@thepetpartners.com.

What if I need emergency pet care?

Ideally, we request you schedule at least 48 hours in advance. However, for emergency requests that are 48-hours or less, we charge a $25 emergency surcharge and will do all we can to accommodate you.

Are there extra costs for services performed on a holiday?

Yes, on these annual holidays: New Year’s Day, Labor Day, Easter, Independence Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve Day. There is a $10 surcharge per visit to your home and a $25 surcharge for Bed & Biscuit and Stay & Play services at Sherry’s home.

Are there a minimum amount of services I must sign my pet up for?

No, sign up for only the number of visits that best serve you and your pets.

My pet has been aggressive in the past. Can he or she still be a client?

Unfortunately no, but we will provide referrals to dog trainers and animal behaviorists.

Can you give my pet medication?

If your pet will take the medicine in a pill pocket or mixed in a treat or food, then we can do that with written instructions. (Written instructions to include dose, frequency, duration and possible side effects.) However, we are unable to administer medications that require forced pilling or injections.

Is there an extra charge for giving my pet medication?

No.

Is Pet Partners insured?

Yes, we are insured by Business Insurers of the Carolinas.

How much notice do I need to give Pet Partners to cancel a visit or service?

24 hours

Dog Walking

Is my dog walked with other dogs, in what is commonly called “Pack Walking”?

No, your dog receives individual walks and one-on-one personalized attention. The only exception is families who own more than one dog. We walk just one family’s dogs at a time.

How long is a dog walk?

20 to 30 minutes

How will you handle my dog’s misbehavior on a walk?

Distraction with a “sit” command, quick tug on the collar, breaking the sight-line if they are overreacting to something or someone.  Once we have their attention again, we give positive reinforcement verbally and with treats if your dog is allowed to have them.  If you use specific verbal commands it is helpful for us to know them.  We do not use harsh language or physical treatment.

How will I know my dog was walked and how the walk went?

Unique to Pet Partners is our journal system. Each dog walking client receives a Pet Partners spiral journal which remains in your home. After each walk, the walker will record date, time and a note about how the walk went. Did your terrier blaze around the neighborhood at top speed? Did your retriever have a roll in the puddle? All these details will be recorded so you’ll know why your pup is extra tired when you get home or why their belly is still damp! The journal is also a means for you to communicate with us easily, and provides a handy record of your dog’s adventures to save for years to come.

My dog is fearful of certain situations. How will the walker handle this?

We will follow your careful instructions to 1) avoid stressful situations for your dog, and 2) minimize unavoidable stress by whatever means works best for your dog. Whether that means breaking the sight line so the mailman is no longer right in view, or being put into a sit position so a treat can be offered when being incited to riot by the squirrel passing by.

Does Pet Partners provide dog training or grooming services?

No.

I know that on rainy days my dog comes in from a walk sopping wet. How will my home and furnishings be protected?

We will towel dry your dog each time we come in from snow or rain. All we ask is that you leave towels by the door for this purpose. Most dogs love this mini massage!

My work schedule varies from week to week. Do I need to have preset days for walks or can I let you know when I need you?

You can either give us a preset schedule, or you can give us a monthly or weekly schedule, or just let us know on a walk by walk basis. Please let us know by noon on Saturday for the upcoming week so we have time to prepare the schedule.

I walk my dog off leash, will the walkers do this also?

No, we will not walk any dog off leash. If you have a fenced yard, we will spend part of our visit with your dog there – exercising your dog by throwing a ball or Frisbee, if you ask us to.

How am I billed for dog walks?

We will email you an invoice monthly. This invoice will give you a link to enter your credit card information directly. You may also pay by cash or check by leaving it in your house for Sherry; please let us know if you plan to pay this way and where payment will be.

Pet Sitting

Who does Pet Sitting visits?

Sherry does all the pet sitting visits personally.

Do you require prepayment for Pet Sitting visits?

Yes.

How do I pay for Pet Sitting visits?

We will email you an invoice. This invoice will give you a link to enter your credit card information directly. You may also pay by cash or check by leaving it in your house for Sherry; please let us know if you plan to pay this way and where payment will be.

How will I know how a pet sit went?

You determine the frequency and mode of communication, from daily emails to handwritten summaries at the end of a pet sit.  You are also welcome to check in with us by phone at any time.

I have a ferret, chickens in the backyard, guinea pigs, chinchillas and fish in an aquarium. Can you take care of these?

Yes, these are all examples of animals we have cared for in the past, as well as birds and reptiles.

My vegetable garden will wither under summer’s heat without water. Do you provide watering services?

Yes. House plants are included in the cost of the pet sit. If you need outside plants watered (containers, landscapes, lawns and vegetable gardens) we will take care of this for an additional $15 for any watering time up to 30 minutes, per visit.

Bed & Biscuit, Stay & Play

What is Bed & Biscuit?

Bed & Biscuit is a phrase we coined to describe our kennel-free boarding in Sherry’s home for your non-aggressive dog who is friendly to cats and house trained.

What is Stay & Play?

Stay & Play is a daytime visit for your dog to Sherry’s home for walks, playtime with other dogs and socializing. Like the Bed & Biscuit requirement, dogs must be non-aggressive, friendly to other dogs and cats, and house trained.

What are your drop off and pick up times for Bed & Biscuit and Stay & Play?

The drop off time begins at 8 AM and the pickup time ends at 9 PM. We are very flexible with these times, however, and there is no charge for being early or late, we just ask you to contact us to make arrangements – and to make sure we are not out on a walk with your dog!

How can I be sure my dog will get along with yours and your cats?

A free visit is required before any services are scheduled. If your dog currently receives midday dog walks, Sherry can handle the visit instead of a walk one day at no charge. If you would like to visit, we will set up a time for you to do so.

What do I bring for my dog for Bed & Biscuit or Stay & Play?

A halter or collar, a sturdy leash and food if you wish us to feed your dog. If you routinely administer medication or supplements, please bring those also with written instructions and the original containers. Dog beds, bowls, toys, clean up bags and treats are provided here, although you are welcome to bring them if you like. We have some medium-sized crates your dog may use. Of course we provide unlimited quantities of filtered, fresh water.

My dog is on a special diet whose food requires refrigeration. Is that a problem?

Not at all, we are happy to refrigerate any food or supplements.

Where will my dog be while at your house?

Your dog will have free access to the upstairs of the house and fenced yard. Crates are used per your request. Baby gates block all of the dog’s access to the lower level so Sherry’s cats have dog-free zones if they need them, and to prevent dogs from getting into the litter boxes. When you are at the door for either drop off or pickup, you will most likely see dogs in crates and behind gates in the kitchen. This is to prevent dogs from rushing the front door and possibly escaping; as soon as the door is shut again we take down the kitchen gate and release dogs from crates. This is another reason why it is important to coordinate with Sherry about drop off and pick up times.

What if my dog has an accident at your house?

Accidents happen, especially when a dog is first in a new place. Also, some dogs have a strong instinct to mark their surroundings with urine. We don’t yell, punish or isolate your dog for this behavior. We clean up with enzyme cleaners and provide more access to outside. Of course, if the behavior continues we would let you know and troubleshoot together. For instance, some dogs that have a strong marking urge just need to go out to the yard immediately upon arrival so they can satisfy this need there!

Which vaccinations are required?

Proof of current rabies and DA2PP vaccinations is required. Bordetello vaccine is not required. A recent dose of Frontline is a good idea but not required.

How am I billed for Bed & Biscuit and Stay & Play services?

Bed & Biscuit services must be prepaid. Stay & Play services which are regular and on-going are billed monthly. For both, we will email you an invoice. This will give you the dates of service and a link to a credit card billing service through Quickbooks Billing Solutions. You may enter your credit card information directly on this website where it is stored confidentially. Pet Partners receives an email notice when you have paid, but we never see your credit card number. For Stay & Play, invoices must be payed by the 15th of the following month, or it will be necessary to go to a weekly invoice. If you prefer to pay by check, mail it to our office or drop it off.

happy animals

Pet Partners is much more than a dog walking service — they help make our lives run smoothly. We have two large dogs, a toddler and busy jobs and Sherry and her team are always ready to provide an extra walk when needed. If you have dogs and a demanding schedule, you really need to add Sherry to your team!

Christy

Sherry and her Pet Partners’ walkers are more than partners.  They really are my Irish Setter’s friends.  He looks forward to his strolls and from the time he was a pup,  Sherry and her walkers have been true partners with me in raising Joe to be a friendly and well-mannered (not genteel, after all he is Irish) dog.

Jim