Do you come to my house?
Care for your pets at your home is our primary service and is the least stressful care plan for most pets. If you have an older dog, puppy, or dog with special needs your dog might benefit more from our private boarding. You can find out more and apply at our FAMILY BOARDING PAGE
When does your service operate?
We are here for you every day! Our office is staffed from 8am to 3pm Monday through Friday and a member of our Leadership team is on-call after hours and weekends for you and our caregivers. Should there be inclement weather or something else preventing our normal schedule we will wait on standby and resume service when safe to do so.
Do you have an app?
Yes we do! Your online customer portal is available as an app for convenient service requests, notifications, and communications with our Leadership Team and your Care Team.
How do I get started?
It is easy to get started with 4-Legged Kids! Once you have a trip planned or realize you are in need of a dog walking service, you just fill out one of our Care pages for DOG WALKING or PET SITTING. From that point it is an easy process:
1) FILL US IN on everything your home and pets need while you aren’t home. We will set up a meeting to verify your information and gather additional details.
2) REQUEST SERVICE through our secure online portal. We love advanced notice but we also take reservations on-demand, as available!
3) ENJOY YOUR TIME knowing that your pets have received the next best thing to you being there!
Do I get to meet my walker or sitter?
Your registration with our company will be with a member of our Leadership Team. We gather all the details for your pet and home care and we are able to ensure it is all entered into your portal accurately and consistently. Our Leadership Team is part of your care team!
You can certainly set up a standard visit in the schedule to meet a member of your Care Team at your convenience!
Do you charge for registration?
Thorough and detailed information gathering is the cornerstone of excellent pet care. Onboarding a new family to our 4-Legged Kids team requires significant time to make sure it is done right. Your registration is simply equivalent to a standard visit ($25) and includes your setup within our online system, a meeting with a member of our Leadership Team, and proper setup of your Care Team.
What if my pet sitter or dog walker isn’t available?
4-Legged Kids operates 24/7/365 and functions as a tight, local team for you and your pets. You are typically assigned 2-3 Care Team members in your area to help you when needed. They all have access to the details of your needs and to each other for a seamless transition of care should someone be unavailable.
How do you get in my house?
We are a “keyless Company”. All access remains at your property to ensure the care of your pets. We made this decision in 2017 after a scare where we were unable to get to a client house except BY BOAT because of flooding. Keeping your access on-property either with a door code, garage code, or preferably lockbox ensures access even to your emergency back-up.
We have Company lockboxes available for your use. A lockbox requires a $25 deposit for setup. We use a Company code that is encrypted in our system to prevent security risk. We locate the lockbox on your property/at your building in an inconspicuous location. It is intended to remain in that location as needed for services or emergency purposes until you move or no longer need our service. At that time you can return the working lockbox to our office and receive your $25 deposit back.
Can I use my own lockbox?
Absolutely! Several clients have one already or have a preference. Some clients prefer to remove them when they aren’t traveling and put them back out when needed. We just ask that any time you need to use your lockbox, check the code and the function before you leave! Update us if either the code or location changes.
Can I just give you a garage code? A door code?
We certainly can do that, but we do recommend you have a lockbox with a working key in addition to your garage code and/or door code. We have had times where batteries die, signals reset, and mechanics fail and it is super-important that we always have access to your pets for safety!
Can I just deactivate my door lock when you get there?
The smart locks have become more popular over the last few years. They are wonderful because you can set a code just for us and it will notify you when we arrive and leave (much like our online portal notifications!). We are not able to run our schedule with a remote unlock/lock system. Your days are busy and time spent waiting for technology is time lost with your pet!
How do I schedule service?
We are absolutely available either by phone at (636)405-0400 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Most of our clients enjoy the “anytime” convenience of our secure Customer Portal. You can request services through your own portal and receive confirmation quickly.
How far in advance do I have to book?
We love that question! As soon as you have a need we would appreciate being next on your notification list. Even if you only have an “idea” of dates, we can still get your time on the schedule. As we get closer to the dates we can finalize the specifics but you will be assured availability with advanced notice!
Do you provide service for more than dogs and cats?
Absolutely! The majority of our service is for dogs and cats but we love variety and have varied experience! We have also taken care of: horses, chickens, goats, rabbits, various caged bird species, guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters, chinchilla, sugar gliders, donkey, miniature horses, leopard gecko, bearded dragon, iguana, and snakes of all sorts to just name a few!
Can I request my visit time?
Our services run on 2 to 3 hour time windows. Working with pets is “predictably unpredictable” and we always allow time in our schedules for the surprise we might encounter at a home. We structure our visits to keep your pets on a consistent schedule as close to their normal schedule as possible.
How do we know you were there?
Part of your membership with 4-Legged Kids includes access to our secure, online Customer Portal where you can schedule services, communicate with your Leadership Team and Care Team, and most importantly, receive notifications of our arrival and time at your home. Your visit notification will include GPS check in and out information, notes from our time with your pets, photos, and walk routes if your dog was walked. You can access this information any time in your personal Conversation Feed.
Can you visit my cat every few days?
We do still occasionally get this question. Some people consider cats to be low maintenance and find it appropriate to leave large amounts of food and water and let them go on “auto-pilot”. Our decades of experience have found this to be emotionally and medically unhealthy. We do require a visit at least every 24 hours and during that time we will locate all pets in the home and do at least a visual head-to-tail check to verify health.
My dog is pee-pad trained. Will you come only once a day?
Even if your dog is 100% on-target with pee pads we feel that a dog needs more than once a day visits for their physical and emotional health. We require a minimum of twice a day visits if it is a short trip (weekend 1-2 days) and three visits a day if it is a longer trip.
My dog has a dog door. Will you come only twice a day to feed him?
We do work with pet owners that have dog doors. While we do recommend three visits a day for socialization, we will come twice a day if you have a dog door. We do keep these visits on our usual twice-a-day schedule (every 12 hours) and we recommend the door be closed overnight for safety and security of your home.
How long are dog walks?
We can tailor our walks to your unique needs. Most clients request our Standard Walks which allow for most dogs to get their business done and enjoy a walk that is approximately a mile long. We also have Extended Walks available for the multi-dog household or those dogs that really need the wiggles worked out.
Do you do group walks?
Our services are set up for private walks only. If your dog has a “friend” in the same building or on the same street and they enjoy each other and walk well together we can discuss that when you contact us!
Can you drive my dog to a park?
We are not set up for transporting dogs to another location. If your dog has a favorite area to walk in your neighborhood, you can let us know and we will make sure they get plenty of safe, on-leash playtime!
Can you take my pet to the veterinarian and groomer?
We are available for transportation to our current clients any time needed for appointments.
What kind of walking tools do you use?
Generally speaking, we use the tools that the dogs are most accustomed to, and that work well for them. Should your dog be unable to walk loose-leash with their current walk equipment we will recommend something more appropriate for the safety of your dog and our staff. Some dog owners have experienced training in which a remote trainer is used as a training adjunct. We choose not to use remote trainers within our service.
Will you let my dog out off-leash?
We do not do off-leash walks. We require a snug-fitting, working collar or harness on your dog for a safe walk. We will let them out in a fully secure, fenced back yard. We will also let a completely trained dog out in the backyard on a functional electronic fence with working batteries.
Do you pick up poop?
We pick up any poop that resulted during our visit whether in the yard or on our walk.
What training methods do you use?
We are not certified, professional dog trainers but we do work closely with them and rely on our extensive training in recognizing behavior and modification. We are R+ and positive reinforcement based and utilize Fear Free ® methods. We are dog walkers, not dog trainers. Should your dog need additional training for their safety, or ours, we have excellent recommendations available.
Do you take care of puppies?
Minimizing disease exposure is important for young pups until they are fully vaccinated. 4-Legged Kids can help you do that by keeping them at home with minimal exposure. Your Care Team will maintain our sanitizing protocols between homes and will be mindful to prevent any visible exposure when outside. We have many clients who rely on our Puppy Program when they are at work to ensure their new puppy’s potty training stays on schedule.
Can you take care of special needs pets?
We are in a time of wonderful advancement in the veterinary field. Our ability to care for our pets with special needs has opened challenges for their care when we can’t be there. 4-Legged Kids has encountered many clients who say they have been unable to travel because of their unique circumstances. We have been able to assist in the past with: megaesophagus, surgical recovery, kidney failure, heart conditions, diabetes, cancer treatments, wound care, manual bladder expression, and tube feeds just to name a few. In some cases our trained staff is able to provide care at your home and in other situations your dog might benefit more from special needs private boarding.
What happens if my pet gets sick or hurt?
Our Care Team members are equipped for emergencies with immediate access to our Leadership Team and relationships with local veterinarians and emergency clinics. We will attempt to contact you when your pet is safe .
What do you do in hot weather?
We certainly can see extremes here in Missouri! We have extreme weather policies and during the summer months we are evaluating temperatures during the daytime for the safety of our dogs. We are mindful of age, size, breed, coat, structure (our brachycephalic dogs like bulldogs, pugs, boxers, pekinese, etc), etc and will adjust our visits and walks to ensure their safety in extreme heat. This might include a quick outing to do business then inside playtime before going out again for a brief walk before the end of the visit. Here is an infographic from our friends at PetPlan that we like for its simplicity.
What do you do in cold weather?
We manage cold extremes much as we do the heat here in Missouri! We are happy to don doggo coats and boots if your dog is accustomed to them and the coats still allow for secure leash attachments. Our friends at PetPlan also have a wonderful chart for cold weather considerations.
Do you have an overnight service?
We do have an option for a Care Team member to stay at your home during the night hours. They are there for a continuous 10 hours, generally 8pm to 6am. They provide care to your pets at bedtime and in the morning before they leave for the day. If you have dogs, this service requires one or more additional visits during the daytime. Your overnight Care Team member will not be awake and on duty for the 10 hour duration.
We also have an “almost overnight” service called our Bed & Breakfast. A Care Team member will spend 2 hours at your home in the evening and will come back for breakfast and potty time in the morning.
I need someone here all the time. Will you stay 24 hours?
We do have 24 hour care available on a very limited basis. All our Care Team members visit client homes days, evenings, and weekends. We do have occasional requests for a Care Team member to dedicate all their time to one home. This blocks their schedule for any other clients. They are allowed either (2) 3-hour blocks away from your home or (3) 2-hour blocks away from your home at a time of their choosing. This quickly puts them in overtime so this premium full-time staffing is $500 for each 24-hour period. Please give us as much notice as possible of your needs so we can match one of our Care Team members to your unique situation.
What if I need last minute help or I have an emergency?
We are here! We can even add same-day service for current clients on an as-available basis with an on-demand fee. Current clients with access already established can contact us directly through their customer portal with the details and we will take one more thing off your plate.
Are you licensed, insured, and bonded?
We are licensed for pet sitting from the Missouri Department of Agriculture. We have a comprehensive liability insurance policy to cover your home and pets while you are gone. We have excellent staff who are trained and background checked but we also carry a bonding policy for your peace-of-mind.
Do you background check your employees?
We do a comprehensive background check on our employees along with a behavioral assessment to ensure we have the right people for our Team.
Do you train your caregivers?
Our training program is what makes us stand out as the #1 In-home pet care professionals in St. Louis! Our Team members are taken through an intense training program and tested over policies, animal health and behavior, and security. We provide continuing education to make sure we have the most recent best practices available.
Can I contact my caregiver directly?
You can message a member of your Care Team through your customer portal if you have any additional needs for your home or pets.
Should I tip?
As a personal service, dog walking and pet sitting are considered services where tips are acceptable. We love our employees and know you do too! Tips are never expected but always appreciated. Should you want to tip your Care Team you can leave it separately marked for them at your home. You can also include a tip with your invoice should you choose to pay your invoice early.
Will you job share?
In our type of service “job sharing” is when you want a combination of services between more than one party. Maybe your neighbor wants to do a few convenient visits but doesn’t want to do early mornings or the weekend. Maybe your sister can do the first half of the trip but is going out of town herself and you need someone to do the rest.
We don’t recommend that, but we can, and have done it. We do need to have the contact information of the other parties and request that they leave a note after each time they are there with time and details of care. Additionally we will have you sign a Hold Harmless clause to remove us from liability should anything happen during your service due to our inability to control the care environment.
What if I need to cancel?
Certainly happens! We know that for sure after 2020! We like to be as flexible as possible while ensuring our staff have a predictable work schedule.
You can cancel midday dog walks by 8pm the night before with no penalty.
If you have a trip scheduled you must cancel with more than 24 hours notice prior to the first scheduled visit.
We do have specific cancellation policies in our Terms which include more significant notification during Peak Times for credit.
What if I come home early?
Give us as much advance notice as possible! We don’t want to show up for a scheduled morning visit and catch you getting out of the shower (yep…we’ve done that). Let us know with more than 24 hours notice, and a credit for that visit can be used for future services. Any cancellation made less than 24 hours from the first visit forfeits the visit fee.
How do I pay?
4-Legged Kids takes payments through your secure Customer Portal via ACH (preferred) and credit card. We also take checks mailed into our office and have a business Venmo account if you prefer. Your Care Team does not take payments left on the counter.
When do I have to pay?
Our invoices are due 3 business days before the first date of service. You can log into your account before that time and process your own payment at which time you can also add a tip for your Care Team. Invoices are auto-processed up to 3 business days prior to the first date of service. Checks should be received at our office prior to the 3 day deadline.
Is there a fee for additional pets?
At 4-Legged Kids, we structure our visits according to time. The majority of pet families can be taken care of under our Standard Visit. If you have a family with many pets and/or multiple species your pets might be better served with our Extended Visit. We can assist you in deciding which would be better based on your unique situation and our experience.
Are there extra fees on any days?
We do have Holiday Fees of time-and-a-half on specific days. Your amazing Care Team is giving up their holiday so you can have yours and deserve that extra joy. Our Holidays are: New Years Day (1st), Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve Day (24th), and Christmas Day (25th)
Is there an extra fee to administer medications?
We have staff trained to provide medical care as specified by your veterinarian. We give oral, topical, otic (ear), ophthalmic (eye), and injectable medications. Standard medications are at no charge (unless we have to do some extra tough convincing). Single injectable medications (insulins, etc) are $5 per injection and subcutaneous fluids are $10 per administration.