FAQ

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What kind of animals do you care for?

Although we primarily focus on dogs and cats, we love and care for all creatures whether furry, feathery or leathery. We’re meticulous about lovingly caring for your pets, and if we need to learn about a particular species, we will fastidiously do our homework, consult with experts, note any special care requirements and follow your specific instructions to the letter.

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What is your service area?

We’re based in NE Portland (Rose City Park neighborhood) and serve a ten-mile radius from our Headquarters, which includes all of Portland Metro.

We’re happy to discuss serving you if you’re outside this radius, but in order to cover our costs and time commitments, we charge a $1.00 additional per mile fee over the 10-mile service area for just one way to your home. Please contact us and we’ll discuss your needs.

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Do you screen out particular breeds of dogs to walk?

Absolutely not! All of our Animal Care Companions are experienced professional dog walkers and pet sitters or dedicated dog walking volunteers at a shelter. So we have a tremendous amount of experience walking and working with all types of dogs.

One of our Animal Care Companions, Jennifer, is Behavior and Training Assistant at the Oregon Humane Society. With their background, knowledge and experience, we have access to tackle any concern with any breed.

Two of our Animal Care Companions spent time in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina caring for the rescued dogs labeled as “challenging” (Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, etc.). So we’re comfortable handling all breeds of dogs!

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What do you require from my dog?

Your dog is required to wear a collar with an ID tag with your cell phone number. If you do not have an ID tag on your dog when we walk them, we would be happy to acquire one for you at a nominal fee. Not required, but recommend, is a registered microchip implant to reunite you with your pet if he or she gets lost and the collar goes missing.

We need written verification that your dog is current with their rabies and DHLPP (five-in-one) vaccination. If your dog attends group training or is boarded in a kennel, we recommend the Bordatella (kennel cough) vaccine.

We also require that your dog be people-friendly, particularly to their Animal Care Companion. If your service package includes taking your dog to your local off-leash dog park, her or she must be manageable and must be trained to come when called off leash. In addition, you must sign a Portland Mutt Strut off-leash dog park liability release form.

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What do you require from my cat?

If your cat is an “indoor/outdoor cat,” they are required to wear a collar with an ID tag with your cell phone number. If you do not have an ID tag on your cat, we would be happy to acquire one for you at a nominal fee. Not required, but recommend, is a registered microchip implant to reunite you with your pet if they get lost and the collar goes missing.

We need written verification that your indoor/outdoor cat is current with their rabies and FeLV (feline leukemia) and FVRCPC (four-in-one) vaccinations. If your cat is solely indoors we prefer verification of a rabies vaccination.

If your cat needs medications, we require that your indoor/outdoor cat remain indoors for the duration of our service agreement.

Although we recommend that your cat stay indoors for a longer, healthier life, if he or she does go outside, your Animal Care Companion is not required to find it when they visit, but we will attend to other contracted needs in your home.

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Do you administer medication to pets?

Yes, we administer medication per your detailed directions. Pills, drops, creams, injections and Sub-Q fluids are administered at no additional charge. However, if we need to administer medications at a specific time OR before or after our service hours (M-Su 8am-7pm), we do add a nominal fee to your service package. Sorry, but we do not administer intravenous medication.

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Do you provide service in my home or yours?

Animals, especially cats, tend to get somewhat stressed by a change in routine and location, so the benefit of partnering with us allows your pets to stay in their home and to maintain their regular patterns and sleeping spots. This keeps your pet happy and stress-free, and you can come home to a happy and “poop-free” home!

At this time, we do not offer boarding in our homes, but can recommend a couple good dog boarding facilities.

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Why is it important that my animal care provider’s company be licensed, insured and bonded?

Portland Mutt Strut, LLC is a professional business licensed in the State of Oregon which means we pay taxes and must follow business ethics and legal requirements.

We also carry specific pet sitters' commercial liability insurance through Pet Sitters Associates, LLC which covers bodily injury or property damage as well as loss, injury or death of your animal or the involved animal, limited emergency veterinary care, and lost key replacement. Portland Mutt Strut is only responsible for costs caused by our negligence.

We also have an expanded bonded policy through Pet Sitters Associates, LLC, which means we are covered if Portland Mutt Strut is convicted due to a dishonest act (standard bonding) or if we’re at fault for negligent acts by one of our Animal Care Companions in your home (expanded bonding).

All of these important business policies, insurance and licenses guarantee that you are working with a professional business with strict ethics, principles and values. Please request a copy of our licenses and policies if you want more details and/or insurance coverage.

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What will Portland Mutt Strut do if my pet suffers an acute illness or is injured while I am away?

During our initial consultation, we will document your pet’s medical issues and medications and, during our visits, to the best of our ability, look for any symptoms of illness. However, we are not trained veterinarians or vet techs and cannot diagnose or treat any illness. We will note and/or act upon any visible changes and call you and your vet for next steps.

We will contact you or your emergency contact immediately to discuss treatment if your pet displays signs of acute distress. If unable to reach you, we’ll contact your preferred veterinary clinic or emergency hospital and continue to try contacting you to discuss treatment and payment arrangements. Portland Mutt Strut is only responsible for costs caused by our negligence.

If your pet is hurt, injured or bites another animal or person under our care, we will contact you or your emergency number immediately and bring your pet to the vet or emergency hospital if needed. Portland Mutt Strut is only responsible for costs caused by our negligence.

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What does the free initial consultation include?

Our initial consultation with you is very important for both of us. We’ll come to your home and meet with you and your pets, discuss their routine and needs, and address any medical issues and walking concerns.

We will review the services that we offer and discuss any customization you desire that we’re able to provide. In addition, our policies, procedures and contract will be discussed and your questions will be addressed. We’ll also document the procedures you want us to follow for the services you request.

This consultation is complimentary and is essential to assure that we’re both fully informed and comfortable with our partnership. Bottom line: we hope for a long-term, enjoyable relationship with both you and your pet.

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What paperwork/documents are required?

After we get all the information we need from you during the free initial consultation, we go back and prepare the appropriate documents for your service so that we are all in agreement with what we will provide and at what cost. These documents include:

  • Pet Sitting or Dog Walking Service Agreement – this form gives us permission to enter your home with your key and perform the services that are required during the specific time period discussed. This form includes the formal price quote which is paid in advance of your departure in the form of a check (preferred) or cash.
  • Client Information Form – includes your information (cell and work numbers), local emergency contact person and phone number, details about your home, alarm (if applicable), and the name and number of others who may be in your home during our visit.
  • Pet Information Form – specific information about each pet, including their description, age, breed, feeding and medication needs, confinement and any precautions we need to be aware of during our visit.
  • Veterinarian Release Form – allows Portland Mutt Strut to take your pet to your vet or emergency hospital if the need arises during our visit. We also ask that you contact your vet to advise them of your trip and to alert them that Portland Mutt Strut is authorized to treat your pet if necessary.
  • (optional) Off-Leash Dog Park Release Form – our Animal Care Companions are trained to observe dog body language during a dog park visit and curtail any incident before it may arise. However, if an incident with another dog or human arises during our visit that we could not avoid, this form releases Portland Mutt Strut from any liability that was not foreseen.
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Can I be assured of the same Animal Care Companion each time?

We prefer to maintain the same Animal Care Companion assigned to you for each visit. If your Companion is not available for any reason, a fully informed alternate Companion or the Owner will come in their place.

Depending on your care contract, you may have two regular Animal Care Companions for your services. If you require, we will introduce you to your Animal Care Companions. For Overnight visits, you will meet the Animal Care Companion in advance of your departure. All Portland Mutt Strut Animal Care Companions display identification at all times. All Portland Mutt Strut Animal Care Companions are covered by our liability and bonding insurance at all times.

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How does my Animal Care Companion get into my home?

Once the contract is signed, we will obtain two keys from you – one for your Animal Care Companion and one for Headquarters. Both keys will have a coded label and will be kept in a secure location at all times. In the event that we lose your key, our liability insurance will cover re-keying your home.

The contract will outline your home’s security access requirements, including alarm systems and codes. We’ll need your security codes in order to prevent setting off an alarm upon our entry and to re-secure the home when we leave. As with your keys, this confidential information will be kept safe and secure in our Headquarters.

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Do you offer longer term contracts at a discounted rate?

Yes, we do! At our initial consultation, we’ll determine your specific needs and, if appropriate, discount our rates accordingly. Obviously, the more services you engage with Portland Mutt Strut or the more visits you require per week, the greater your discount.

In addition, if at any time you book ten (10) or more overnights during a trip, we will discount nights eleven and above. Please review our Rates/Policies page.

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Do you have a Referral Program where I can benefit and how do I sign up?

We’re pleased to offer our clients a free visit (up to $30 in value) when you refer one of your family, friends, work colleagues or neighbors to Portland Mutt Strut, and they contract with us to use our services.

The more clients you refer, the more visits you earn. You’re automatically entered into this program when you sign up with Portland Mutt Strut. We believe our business success is based on referrals and great service!

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How and when do I pay you?

All charges are paid by you in advance of services rendered via check (preferred) or cash. For new clients for your first overnight or vacation visits, we require a $100 deposit at time of booking and the balance due before you leave. There is a $25 fee for returned checks. Your Animal Care Companion will pick-up your check in your designated location.

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May I give my Animal Care Companion a gratuity?

Yes and they will certainly appreciate it! We ask that you leave the cash or check (written out to them) gratuity in an envelope with their name on it to be picked up where the service check is left. We don’t want any misunderstanding of loose cash that may or may not be intended for them.

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How do I get in contact with you or to sign up as a client?

Please call Portland Mutt Strut’s owner, Patricia McKinney at 503-335-9889 (please, just Mon-Sat from 9 am – 7 pm), or send an email to info@portlandmuttstrut.com to schedule a free consultation or to make any additional inquiries not addressed in this website. We would be happy to answer all your questions immediately and we look forward to serving you!