Business Related Questions
Will my dog be safe?
Safety is our number one priority. We double-check your dog’s collar or harness for proper fit before the walk. We watch for fatigue or any other signs of discomfort while on the walk. We keep a safe distance from other dogs who are out and about, and from passer byers. If we walk your dog with another dog we look for compatibility, in terms of both temperament and size. We keep your dog on leash at all times.
Will you play with my dog off leash?
For the safety of your dog we avoid dog parks and other areas where unfamiliar dogs are off leash. Our policy is to keep your dog on leash at all times.
Do you walk dogs in the rain or snow?
Yes. We go out in all kinds of weather. Most dogs we walk enjoy their time, rain or shine! If it’s too cold for your dog we will only walk him part of the time and spend the remainder inside playing with his favorite toys.
How many dogs do you walk at a time?
We walk up to four medium to large dogs at a time. We walk up to four small dogs at a time. Our goal is to make the walk enjoyable for everyone.
What is a Meet & Greet?
The Meet & Greet is a time to get to know each other and your dog(s). We will go over our services, policies, and any questions you have. It’s a great way for us to learn your dog and it’s routine. There will be a little paperwork to sign, and then we will start your service on the date you request.
What do you need from me to get started?
We need your veterinary information, if your dog has any health issues, and other basic information such as vaccination records. We need instructions on how to enter your house, a copy of your house key, or a key code/security alarm code. We need to know the weekly schedule for walking your dog. If your schedule changes frequently, that’s not a problem; you can let us know your schedule change a week in advance.
How long have you been in business?
Formerly Jackie’s Walk – Grand Rapids Dog Walking Service; we have been in business since March of 2011. We changed our name in January of 2014 to Nature of the Dog because we are a husband and wife dog-walking team. Jackie first started the company and was the sole dog walker. When Jackie and Luke were pregnant with their first child, Luke started helping out with the walking. Now both of them are whole-heartedly committed to the company and lifestyle of being outside and walking dogs!
What’s involved in a typical walk?
We use a copy of your house key, or a garage key code to enter your home. During the walk we leave your house locked and secured. If you have given us permission, we will sometimes transport your dog in our car to another dog’s neighborhood. Walks are for 30 minutes, or 45 minutes if you’ve requested that option. We use biodegradable bags while on the walk. If it’s a wet or snowy day, we’ll leave the paw prints outside; we use our own towels to dry off their feet. We will make sure your dog gets water or a treat, and then we will leave your house making sure it is locked and secured.
Do I have to make a weekly commitment?
We require a commitment of two walks per week in order to build a good relationship with your dog. For our Pet Sitting service we do not require a weekly commitment.
What are your billing, refund, and privacy policies, and what forms of payment do you accept?
Our billing policy requires up-front payment at the beginning of each month. We accept cash, check, credit and debit card payment. Services can be cancelled at any time and refunded when applicable. Client information is kept confidential and is not shared.
Is your company insured and bonded?
We are an LLC that is insured through Pet Sitters Associates, and we are bonded through NAPPS (National Association of Professional Pet Sitters). We are also a certified through dog*tec.
What if you go on vacation?
We will give you at least a one-month notice if we have a vacation planned.
Do you have evening, weekend and holiday hours? What is the additional fee?
We walk dogs on weekdays from 9am – 5pm. We pet sit for our dog walking clients on weekends from 7am – 9pm. We are not available on New Years Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Independence Day (if it lands on a Thursday, then Friday we will be closed as well), Thanksgiving (Thursday and Friday), Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
What are your office hours?
Phone calls and e-mails are returned between 8am and 6pm on Monday through Friday, or between 8am and 1pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Jackie and Luke have been walking my dog, Oliver, for over a year now and they are wonderful. They are flexible in scheduling, highly responsive, and very reliable. I can trust that Oliver will be walked and well cared for while I am at work and enjoy the assurance of a text from Jackie or Luke letting me know when Oliver has been walked usually along with a fun detail about the walk. I also love seeing pictures of my dog on Facebook from his walk!
My husband and I hired Nature of the Dog to walk our 8 month old dog PG. It was such a relief not to worry about leaving PG alone during the work days that I couldn’t come home to let her out. Nature of the Dog always sent us texts knowing how PG’s walks went and sometimes on Facebook we would see a cute picture of her from the day! We noticed a huge positive difference in her behavior on the days she was walked. She was more well behaved from having been exercised, and happy from getting to go out on a walk while I was at work! I would definitely refer Nature of the Dog to someone looking for a dog walker. They were always very professional when I contacted them.
Luke and Jackie are just exceptional! Having just moved to the Grand Rapids area, we knew no one. Nature of the Dog came recommended to us by our apartment building manager, as they were the dog walkers that most of the building was using. We have been SO happy with their service provided, and they are great with Lily, our Cavalier King Charles. They go above and beyond! Lily LOVES her daily walks with Luke! I would totally recommend Nature of the Dog if you need a dog walking service! They go above and beyond!
I called Nature of the Dog when I realized that my work schedule didn’t allow me to get my three dogs out for walks as much as they needed. Luke came over a couple of days later and the next week they started walking my pups. Nature of the Dog is great! They are dependable and take such good care of my dogs. They are very easy to work with and stay in communication. I plan to increase the number of days they come to walk my dogs.
Luke comes two to three times a week to walk our dogs around our neighborhood. He has also helped us with waste removal around our yard. Right off the bat we could tell Luke was good with animals. We have 3 dogs of varying age, size, and temperaments and he does great with all of them! Since one of us works days and the other works nights, our schedules are always hectic and changing from day to day. Luke & Jackie are willing to work with us on our ever-changing schedule. Also, our home was slightly outside of their normal service area, but they were able to work something out with this. We are very thankful too, b/c we’ve had a couple of less-than-desired pet caretakers in the past. Luke comes 2 or 3 days a week and walks our dogs around the neighborhood. The dogs are always very content after their walks. Each wears a different style collar or harness and Luke quickly learned which dog takes which type. I hope they continue their business venture, b/c with their professionalism and the level of service they offer, they are sure to be the leading dog-walkers in the area.
I am super grateful for Nature of the Dog. They really care about my dog and are super reliable. I have called multiple times to ask for them to pick-up my dog for a walk, very last minute, and they have been there every time. I love seeing her happy pictures on their website and knowing that she has had a chance to take a potty break and stretch her legs puts me at ease while I’m at work. Moreover, Luke doesn’t just walk my dog; he has gone out of his way to be helpful. For instance, one day I had not had time to bring the trash can in and when I got home he had put it in the driveway. Another time, I had bought a harness for my dog, but couldn’t get it fitted properly and Luke was nice enough to fight it to her so we could use it.
Jackie and Luke are great! They come every week to let our two 50+ lb dogs outside and take them on nice, long walks. When we get home after work, the dogs are always happy and exhausted.
I love your focus on the nature of the dog. Chloe seems to me to be such a cheerful loving playful spirit. She also is devoted and loyal. I am so glad you are in her life. Look forward to continuing to have you work with Chloe for her health and happiness. I think she is happy and contented. I know she has a better life because you both are in it! Thanks again.
I moved to Grand Rapids from Chicago and was looking for a dog walker that was right for my dog who is not the most friendly to strangers. When I met Jackie she was great and Piper (my dog) liked her. She leaves great notes about her walk and even brings Piper on walks with other dogs which she loves! There have been days where I had to move around walks and she is always so easy to work with. I know I have found the best dog walker!