Charlie & Friends Pet Care FAQ

What is your availability for pet services?

We have availability most days for dog walking. Monday through Friday, our walk times are 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 3 p.m. Our walks are not available to book on weekends or bank holidays. All bookings are subject to availability.

 

Our cat sitters and pet sitters are available 7 days a week, 365 days a year between 9 am and 7 pm for cat sitting, pet sitting, puppy visits, home visits, and pet taxi. All bookings are subject to availability.

The quickest and easiest way to get your keys to us is by handing them in to reception at our registered office: City Address, 83 Ducie Street, Manchester, M1 2JQ, between the hours of 9:30am and 5pm Monday to Thursday, 9:30am and 4:30pm on Fridays, and 10am and 2pm on Saturdays. Please be aware that our registered office is closed on bank holidays.

Our registered office is located on the corner of Great Ancoats Street and Ducie Street, next to Stocktons. It is the blue mailbox rental building. You must allow at least two hours before the closing time if your service is scheduled for the same-day or the following day. You must notify us by text or email that you have handed your keys in at our office so that we can make arrangements to collect them. Alternatively, please contact us to arrange collection.

How do I get my keys to you for my sitting services?

Will my dog be safe with your dog walkers?

The safety and wellbeing of every dog in our care is always our top priority. We provide training on security, canine first aid, canine behaviour, and canine communication. All training is given and/or supervised by Scott, our founder. Our dog walkers are carefully selected following our two-stage interview process, and we carry out a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check before they start working with us.

Will my dog be walked by the same dog walker every day?

Your dog will mostly be walked by the same dog walker every day. There will be occasions where another one of our dog walkers takes your dog out. However, your dog should've met that dog walker before out on our walks.

Can I meet the dog walker taking out my dog before they start?

We can arrange a meeting before your dog's first day, or you can wait to meet them on their first day; it's up to you. We do request that you be home on the start date to make sure your dog is comfortable coming with us and to give us keys and/or fobs. You will also need to show us where your dog's harness or collar is kept and tell us where they're allowed to go in the home when you aren't home. However, don't worry if you can't be there as you will have already added notes to your dog's profile in your client portal as part of our client registration process.

Where will my dog be walked?

We take our groups to large parks in Manchester and Salford.

Will my dog be walked on or off the lead?

With owner permission, we walk all dogs off the lead, providing their recall is satisfactory. If your dog's recall isn't great, we can help to improve this. However, your dog will be walked on the lead until we are comfortable with their progress.

How many dogs are walked at the same time?

Our groups are kept to a maximum of six per dog walker. Groups are carefully selected with breed, age, sex, and personality in mind.

Will you message me each day to let me know how my pet is?

For dog walking, we will give you daily reports on how your dog is getting on for the first week or until you're happy that they are fully settled in. Once you are happy that they are fully settled in, we will stop providing daily reports. You will see how they get on each day on our social media pages, and you will always be welcome to ask any questions or request specific updates about your dog.

For cat sitting, puppy visits, home visits, and pet sitting, we will not contact you following each visit. We reserve contact for access issues, if we need help with something, if we deem it necessary to notify you about something, or emergencies. Again, we will update our social media pages, so you will see your pet on those each day.

Due to the number of services we provide, it is impractical for us to provide every owner with daily reports. This is why we frequently post on our social media accounts. We will, of course, contact you when it is necessary or if you specifically request a report occasionally, e.g., if your pet has been feeling unwell and you want to know how they are.

Are you insured?

Yes. Our business insurance provides cover for accidents and injuries to animals, public liability, and employer's liability.

What areas do you cover?

In Manchester, we cover Manchester city centre, Ancoats, Beswick, Clayton, Openshaw, Castlefield, Northern Quarter, Deansgate, Hulme, Levenshulme*, Gorton*, Spinningfields, Green Quarter, New Islington, Miles Platting, Bradford, Belle Vue*, Ardwick, Longsight*, Chorlton*, Didsbury*, Withington*, and Whalley Range*.

In Salford, we cover Lower Broughton, Greengate, Chapel Street, and Blackfriars.

 

In Stockport, we cover Heaton Chapel* and Reddish*.

*Cat sitting, pet sitting, puppy visits, home visits, and pet taxi only.

What time will my dog be walked?

Monday through Friday, our walk times are 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 3 p.m. What time your dog will be walked will be dependent on availability and/or where you live. Our walks are not available to book on weekends or bank holidays.

 

 

Pick up and drop off times may vary from day to day depending on which dogs we have booked in and where we are going. This is also because we use a route planner application that automatically plans our routes based on realtime traffic conditions.

What time will my dog be picked up and dropped off?

Do you walk in bad weather or hot weather?

We walk in the rain, snow, and shine. However, in severe weather, we will cancel walks and notify you. This is normally when the temperature is forecast to exceed 30 degrees. You will not be charged if we cancel in this instance. However, we will offer an alternative service such as a home visit if required. On hot days, we try to keep to shaded areas of parks and/or we go to parks where we know there is a river or a lake for dogs to keep cool. We also try to restrict running around and make sure there is plenty of drinking water available.

What happens in case of emergency?

In the unlikely event of an emergency, we will immediately call you or your nominated emergency contact person if you are unavailable. All of our dog walkers are trained in canine first aid. If veterinary assistance is necessary, we will take your pet to your named vet or to the nearest one at the time.

My dog is anxious. Would you take them out?

We can take anxious dogs on our walks as long as they are comfortable coming with us. We will keep you updated on how your dog is getting on after each walk until they are fully settled in. An anxious dog may take a couple of weeks or even a month to fully settle, depending on the frequency of their walks. We always recommend that anxious dogs come out with us at least twice per week so they can get used to us and their new routine. Once per week or infrequently is simply not enough.

What if my dog dislikes one of the other dogs on their walk?

If we find an imbalance within a group and it is causing a problem, we will consult with you. We would look at changing groups if deemed necessary.

I’m worried my dog may get sick or get fleas if they are exposed to lots of different dogs. Will they be okay?

This shouldn't be anything to worry about as long as your dog has their annual booster vaccinations. There are many products on the market that provide effective protection against worms and fleas. If you keep on top of their treatment every month you shouldn't have any issues.

My dog isn’t neutered. Will you take them out?

Yes. We would just monitor their behavior, as sometimes non-neutered males can cause issues. If we deem their behaviour to be a problem at any point, we will consult with you.

My dog is booked in for neutering. When can he come back out with you following his operation?

For safety reasons, your dog will need to wait two weeks before he can resume his walks with his dog walker. We are aware that vet advice is that they can be walked on the lead. However, lead walks are not suitable for our walks when there is the potential for your dog's healing process to be affected. Your dog may attempt to pull in order to play with other dogs, and other dogs may attempt to play with your dog while they are on the lead. The last thing we want is for any stitches to be pulled out when trying to play. 

My female dog isn’t spayed. What happens if she comes in to season? Will you still take her out?

A female dog in season attracts unwanted attention from numerous male dogs in the park and often causes the male dogs to fight. There is also a risk that the female may stray to seek a mate. We would have to temporarily suspend your dogs' walks until their season has finished and they no longer give off the scent that attracts male dogs. This is usually a few weeks, but in some cases it can be up to a month.

My dog is booked in to be spayed. When can she come back out with you following her operation?

For safety reasons, your dog will need to wait a minimum of two weeks before she can resume her walks with her dog walker. Depending on your dog's recovery time, it could be up to a month before she can come out again. We are aware that vet advice is that they can be walked on the lead. However, lead walks are not suitable for our walks when there is the potential for your dog's healing process to be affected. Your dog may attempt to pull in order to play with other dogs, and other dogs may attempt to play with your dog while they are on the lead. The last thing we want is for any stitches to be pulled out when trying to play.

Would you walk my older dog?

Our group walks are suitable for dogs of all ages, as long as they are fit, healthy and their booster vaccinations are kept up to date.

Can you walk my aggressive dog?

Our walks are not suitable for an aggressive dog to be on. We want every dog on our walks to enjoy themselves.

Do you do solo walks?

We only offer group walks.

I don't need your services every week or every month, can I just use them occasionally?

Yes. We have many clients that use our services as and when required. We also have non-resident clients that live elsewhere, and use our services when they are visiting for leisure or work purposes. Once you have completed our initial client registration process, you can book as many times as you like, whenever you like, using your client portal. You only need to complete our initial client registration process once.

Would you collect my dog from my office?

Yes. We would just ask you to meet us with your dog on a street nearby due to parking restrictions.

Can I make a same day booking if I'm a new client?

We require at least 24 hours' notice for new client bookings. We cannot accept same-day bookings for new clients. There is a client registration process to complete before service can begin.

How do I book?

The quickest way to get in touch is by using our live chat service. You can also send a message on our contact us page. Providing us with the following information in your initial message will enable us to handle your booking more efficiently:

-Pet's name and breed

-Details of your requirements, including how many days per week/which days

Once you have completed our client registration process, we will provide you with your client portal log-in details so that you can easily manage your services online.

I need to cancel or make an amendment to a service I have booked. How do I do this?

All amendments and cancellations must be made using your client portal only. If you need to change the date or time of a scheduled service, simply cancel and rebook. You do not need to message us to let us know what you have done. Please add notes to the new request instead. We strongly advise you to read our cancellation policy before making any changes to a booked service, as you may be charged for your new booking.

Can I book a pet taxi for today? Am I allowed in the pet taxi?

Unless you are an existing client that is already registered with us, it will not be possible to book a pet taxi for today. You will need to register with us as a client before you can book any services. At least 24 hours' notice is needed for pet taxi bookings. We are only insured to transport pets. You would need to make your own way to the desired destination.

Can you help me reset my client portal password? My email is not being recognised.

If your email is not being recognised when trying to reset your password, please use your 10 digit client portal account number instead. You will find this in a service request email or service confirmation email. If your problem persists, please email: hello@charlie-n-friends.co.uk.

Do I need to be home when you pick up my dog?

Not after your dog's first day, when you will ideally need to be home to show us where everything is. You will need to provide us with keys if you are going to be at work or out, as waiting at concierge desks or having to pick up keys each time takes up valuable time. All keys and fobs in our possession are coded and securely stored.

How do I pay for my services?

We send out invoices via email. All services must be paid for in advance, with the exception of clients who have a direct debit set up to book services and/or book additional services at short notice. To help you understand, we require payment for services in advance, like many other companies, such as mobile phone companies and TV/broadband companies. 

 

Credit/debit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay

We accept credit/debit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. A secure payment can be made by clicking the "pay now" button at the top of an invoice email.

Direct Debit

The easiest way to pay an invoice is by setting up a direct debit. It takes away the stress of remembering to pay. Our invoicing system automatically arranges to collect payment for each individual invoice sent to you on the invoice due date. If you are an existing client, this can sometimes be after you have had your service if you booked at short notice. If you have set up regular weekly services, e.g., three dog walks per week, you will receive your invoice on Mondays and your payment will typically be taken on Thursdays, which pays for services the following week. We do not collect any payments unless an invoice has been sent to you. Notification emails are always sent at least three working days in advance of any payment due to be made. You do not have to have regular services set up to use this option. A direct debit is easily set up in less than a minute using a simple form we send via email.

What is your cancellation policy?

We do not issue refunds for any cancelled services. We only issue credit notes in qualifying circumstances, e.g., if you have 5 walks per week and it is not possible to book another walk because our walks only run Monday to Friday, you have cancelled with more than 7 days notice, or if there has been an error on our part. All bookings, amendments, and cancellations must be made using your client portal only. Credit notes are valid for 12 months only, from the date of issue. When you receive a credit note, there is an automatic process that occurs. Depending on how much of a credit you have, it will be immediately applied to your next or next few invoices. We request that services are amended or cancelled with at least 7 days' notice. Any booked service or recurring booked service that is cancelled with less than 7 days' notice will be chargeable at the full rate. This means that if you have paid for the service, you will not receive a credit note. If you have not paid, we will charge for the cancelled service on your next invoice. The only exception we will allow is a change of time on the date of your booking, subject to diary availability. You may rebook a cancelled service that you have paid for if you cancel with more than 7 days' notice. However, you must add in the notes of the new booking that you have rebooked the cancelled service. If you fail to add notes to the new booking, you may be charged. If you cancel a service and do not rebook it, we reserve the right to retain 100% of the payment. We do not accept responsibility for rebooking any cancellations made by clients.

How do I raise a concern or make a complaint?

We train our dog walkers, cat sitters, and pet sitters to provide a high standard of service every time. We are confident that you will not need to raise a concern or make a complaint. However, we recognise that you may deem it necessary to contact us about something. In this case, you must put your complaint in writing and send it to our email address: hello@charlie-n-friends.co.uk.

Upon receipt of your complaint, we will investigate the matter and contact you to discuss it. We aim to resolve all concerns and complaints within 24 hours. Sometimes this may take longer if our investigation takes longer than anticipated, but we will always keep you up-to-date.

 
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