Frequently Asked Questions
Why The Monster Minders?
We've been doing this since 2005, which makes us one of the most experienced dog walking companies in Philadelphia. (You'll be hard-pressed to find a service that has been around as long as we have.) What does that mean for you? With over half a million walks under our belts, we have the experience and dependability that Philadelphia pet parents have learned to trust over the last fourteen years.
We’re a Philadelphia magazine, three-time Best of Philly® winner. (Best Dog Walkers 2013, Best Pet-Sitters 2009 & Best Urban Pet Sitter 2006). Additionally, all of our walkers are employees (not contractors) and are offered continuing education in dog training and behavioral science. Know that when you chose The Monster Minders - you’re getting more than “just a dog walker.” You’re getting a trained canine professional. Learn more about what sets us apart.
Taking the Philly dog walking world by storm since 2005.
Who are The Minders?
Our Minders are trained, bonded/insured, back-ground checked full-time employees for our family-owned business. We invest in our staff. We train our staff. We retain our staff. We do NOT utilize Independent Contractors, which is on the rise as national technology corporations are looking to cash-in on the "gig economy." Legally, Independent Contractors work for themselves and cannot be trained by the corporations that hire them in safe dog handling or basic home security. Technology is great, after all, it brought us viral videos of dogs dining out. However, The Monster Minders are not a part of the gig economy; we're professionals who understand that our clients deserve more than just an online profile from their dog walker. Our service wasn't dreamed up in a corporate tech board room across the country. We are truly a hometown Philly business, but that doesn't mean our clients don't get the latest in dog walking tech. (See "How do I know a walk has been finished" below.)
As a company, everything we do revolves around dog safety, peace of mind for our clients, and treating our employees well. Not only are our employees responsible for the wellbeing of best friends, but Minders also maintain home security. We truly believe that happy, experienced, and thoroughly trained employees allow us to offer our clients a more dependable, trustworthy, and consistent service. Our Minders become "part of the family" for us and many of our clients. We also offer our Minders job security, workers compensation, benefits such as Paid Time Off (because it's the right thing to do) and ongoing dog training opportunities. Our Minders are a team of dog professionals working together for one goal: To make The Monster Minders the best dog walkers in Philly.
How do I know a walk has been finished?
We get it. We worry about our dogs too when we're away from them. Minders use a scheduling app, and office managers are constantly monitoring the schedule in real-time so we know where Minders are throughout the day. This assures our clients that no pup is left behind. Clients have the ability to log into our website 24/7 to check the status of their walks and/or opt to have emails automatically sent to them when a Minder has completed each walk (with notes about how the walk went.) We want you to rest easy when you are away.
Our snazzy scheduling website makes booking dog walking a snap!
How do keys work? Do I have to leave keys in a lockbox outside?
Keys are numerically coded with no identifying information on them. (We have a very snazzy key-tracking feature on our website so we know where keys are at all times.) If you live in a condo building that requires front desk sign-in/key pick-up, we're happy to comply with your building's key policies and pick keys up at the beginning of each walk. We're also very comfortable with coded lock systems.
While we're more than happy to use a lockbox, we do not REQUIRE the use of a lockbox. There has been a new trend in the last few years to require clients to leave their keys in lockboxes outside their homes. (Especially with “app-based” corporations.) Why? This is for ease of scheduling so the company can send in “whoever is working” to your home (without offering consistency of care or tracking keys.) This is not how we operate. We wouldn’t want new walkers in our home every other day and we know our clients don't either. Peace of mind for our clients is at the core of our business model, and home security is a big part of it.
What about weekend and vacation care?
We know life doesn’t stop on the weekends, and we’re proud to offer pet care 365 days per year for clients who use us on a weekly basis. So feel free to take that weekend trip or head down the shore for the day. We’re here seven days per week for our regular customers. Want someone to spend the night at your place for midnight snuggles? No problem! We're sleepover champs.
I don’t need a weekly dog walker, I just need someone to watch my dog or cat when I go out of town or when I can’t get home from work. Do you provide as-needed visits and vacation care?
We are primarily a weekday dog walking service. If you are only looking for here-and-there care when you're out of town, you're probably looking for a pet sitter vs. a dog walker. As a weekly dog walking service, we specialize in ongoing, weekly care for monsters. It's how we build our staff's schedule. Clients who use us weekly are able to book vacation pet sitting, weekend and overnight services with us. We are geared for the busy dog owners who want a long-term and consistent buddy for their best furry friend. It allows us to send the same Minder into our client's homes for peace of mind and walker consistency.
What neighborhoods do you cover?
We mind monsters the following Center City Neighborhoods: Bella Vista, Old City, Queen Village, Midtown Village, Fitler Square, Rittenhouse Square, Washington Square, Society Hill, Pennsport, Passyunk Square, Dickinson Narrows, Newbold, East Passyunk Crossing, Lower Moyamensing, Point Breeze, Graduate Hospital, Northern Liberties and parts of the Art Museum. Check out our Service Area Map.
How does set up work?
First, let us know what type of services you are looking for by filling out our quick online form. The more details you can give us the better so we can quickly determine that we have a Minder available in your neighborhood, during the days and times you need. (If not, we will add you to our waiting list and reach out when we have an opening.) Then we'll determine a time to come over to your house and introduce ourselves, do some paperwork, sign contracts and meet your monster. You can show us where you keep all of your supplies and we'll chat about your dog's preferences and quirks. After the meeting, we'll get you all set up online and you'll be ready to go.
What if my dog walker is sick or needs to go on vacation?
Here at The Monster Minders, we do not think time off for our employees is luxury, it's a necessity! Our employees are pet care professionals and we treat them as such. That is why we proudly offer our employees Paid Time off. So what happens when your Minder needs a day off? We'll contact you ahead of time to let you know who will be filling in and give you a chance to offer any special instructions or details. It's always a great idea to keep your online file up-to-date in case another Minder has to jump in at the last minute due to sickness. Through our state-of-the-art scheduling website, no monster is ever left behind. And of course, a manager is on duty seven days a week for feedback and questions.
Will my dog be walked in a pack with a bunch of other dogs? Will other dogs be in my home?
Absolutely not! We believe in one-on-one care for safety and tailored care. We don’t believe that walking 3 (or 10) dogs at one time is a safe activity in an urban environment. Nor would it allow us to tailor the walks to a monster’s specific training requirements and preferences. Safety and mental enrichment are two focuses of our dog walking services. Pack walks just don’t allow attention to either goal. Here at The Monsters Minders we emphasize SAFE dog socialization. Our focus will be on your dog, and your dog alone during our visits. This also assures that you don't have other animals in your home. Does your dog love dog parks? Great! Our focus will be on your dog and your dog alone for safe, off-leash fun.
What about nasty weather?
Don’t worry, we won’t melt. We all have all-weather gear for rainy/cold/snowy days. If it rains, remember to leave out a towel so we can dry off your monster. If your monster hates the rain, we’ll just go out for a quick potty break and spend the rest of the time playing inside. In extreme weather, (heat waves, snowstorms, thunderstorms, etc) services may be modified for the safety of everyone involved.
Lindsay takes Max and Lola out for a walk in the snow.
When is payment due?
Clients are billed on a biweekly schedule. We require all clients to sign up for automated e-checking to make paying for services a snap. (Personal checks or cash payments are not accepted.) Emailed confirmations will be sent each billing date. Clients are always able to log onto our website to view old invoices, check past payments, check their amount due balance or update their bank account details.