The Barking Butler is the Jersey Shore's premier pet sitting, dog walking, and pet taxi service. The Barking Butler provides pet sitting, dog walking, and pet taxi services in Wall Township, Belmar, Brielle, Manasquan, Spring Lake, Spring Lake Heights, Sea Girt, Avon-by-the-Sea, Bradley Beach, Ocean Grove, Asbury Park, Neptune and Neptune City.
Frequently Asked Questions
some common questions:
Why should I hire The Barking Butler instead of having my friend or neighbor help?
Sometimes friends or neighbors forget to check in on your 4-legged loved one, or it feels like an obligation and they might not spend quality time with them. At The Barking Butler, pet services are our passion and means of making a living. We want to work with animals and we enjoy spending time with them. Your pet’s needs are our top priority. Additionally, The Barking Butler utilizes an innovative, client management system that maintains your details, allows for service requests and specific instructions, and gives you an update (with a picture) from each visit. The sitters and management have access to each portal and we will never forget your pets! We are insured and bonded and you can rest assured knowing that each of The Barking Butler team members are subjected to background checks, certified in Pet CPR & 1st Aid, and are trained on our pet care standards before they are allowed to care for client animals, without supervision.
How do I get started?
A consultation is required before we can begin services. The first consultation is complimentary. The consultation can be requested from our Contact Form, Facebook page, or directly to our Management phone number 732-392-6330 (call or text). If you would like an additional consultation or have moved to a new address there is a fee of $20.00. It is best to schedule a week in advance for dog walking and two weeks in advance for pet sitting. We do not accept dogs that have a history of biting or aggression.
What happens at a consultation?
The Barking Butler requires an initial client consultation for all services (irrespective of type)! At the consultation, the staff member will come directly to your home, so you can introduce them to your pet and point out the location of any required items (i.e. crate, food, bowls, leashes, cleaning products, waste disposal area, etc.). The staff member will explain any of The Barking Butler Services, client portal, and client registration packet forms. This will be your opportunity to provide any special requirements or instructions for your visits (addittional instructions can always be provided directly to Management or through your client portal, so don’t worry if something slips your mind during your initial visit ☺). We require two keys at the consultation. One key is kept on file, in our office safe (in case your pet sitter is ill or cannot make it to your home), and the other will be held by your assigned sitter. There is a charge of $20.00 if we need to come back and pick-up the keys or drop them off. Please test both sets of keys to make sure they're working properly.
What areas does The Barking Butler LLC cover?
The Barking Butler LLC currently provides dog walking and pet sitting services in the towns of Wall Township, Asbury Park, Neptune Township, Neptune City, Ocean Grove, Bradley Beach, Avon-by-the-Sea, Belmar, Spring Lake, Spring Lake Heights, Sea Girt, Brielle, and Manasquan. We will consider neighboring areas for coverage but do our best to reduce distance from our home, to yours, for safety and to keep our carbon footprint low.
Are you insured and bonded?
Yes, we are insured and bonded through the Mourer-Foster Insurance Agency (Kennel Pro).
How do I request dog walking & cat sitting services?
Requesting services is easy and can be done at any time of day because we use a professional, encrypted, online scheduling system (client portal). Your personal details and schedule will be maintained here. If you need to schedule services just click on The Barking Butler Client Portal, on our website, and you can login with your selected email address and assigned password (can be set to your own after the initial login). From there, you make all of your schedule requests. It is your responsibility to keep your online information current for your dog walker or pet sitter.
Where do I cancel a dog walking visit?
Just login to your online account and select the dates you want to cancel. You will always receive a confirmation email that we received your request. Cancellations must be submitted no later than 5:00 pm the day before the service is scheduled, otherwise you will be charged for the full service amount.
Do you take last minute dog walking or cat sitting requests?
Yes, we do, but we can't guarantee that your dog walker or pet sitter will be available or will be able to come at the time requested. We will make our best effort to fit you in to your requested time slot with a familiar sitter. It is best to book services in advance, though we realize last minute business trips and family emergencies do spring up. There is a last minute fee of $5 that goes directly to your dog walker or pet sitter.
What is your cancellation policy?
For dog walking or pet sitting cancellations, please cancel through your online account or by email. Do not make the request through your regular sitter. Please notify The Barking Butler at least (48) hours prior to the scheduled service date. Holiday bookings are popular and we have limited availability. As such, we request a minimum of (3) days notice for any cancellations. Cancellations received after 5:00pm, the day before service (regular service date), will be charged the full visit amount. Cancellations for holiday visits that are not received at least 48 hours prior, will be charged the full amount. If multiple visits were scheduled and cancelled, you will only be charged for the first visit. Any refunds due will be issued within (30) days. We pride ourselves on being understanding that “life happens,” but we ask that you also understand that we are a business and have policies in place to prevent excessive last-minute cancellations. Our policies also allow us to hire, retain and pay fair wages to our excellent staff.
What is your billing policy?
We accept cash, personal checks, and major credit cards. Regardless of your preferred payment type, we require you to keep a credit card or debit card on file with us. We use a professional gateway system, so your information isn't stored on-site and only the last four digits of your credit card number can be seen. VIP Memberships are billed on the 1st of every month the service is in place and intermittent visits are billed (3) days prior to the date of service (5 days prior for Holidays). Last minute visits will be billed immediately.
How much do your pet services cost?
The cost of pet services is different for each individual pet and their needs. It also depends on the service type and number of pets requiring care. See our Services & Rates page for additional information.
What are your office hours?
Our office hours are 7:00am-11:00pm, 7 days a week. If you call after business hours please leave a message and the call will be returned by the next business day. If it's an emergency we will call you back right away; our phone is always on us. Text messages are the simplest and quickest form of contact for any immediate needs. You can also reach us by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. All messages are monitored within 2 to 4 hours.
What happens during inclement weather or a natural disaster?
We will do whatever we can to make it safely to your home. If there are school closings or federal agencies are closed due to inclement weather, dog walking and pet sitting visits may be canceled or postponed. You will be notified by email if we need to cancel. Please have an emergency backup system in place with a trusted neighbor, in case it is too dangerous for us to drive. We require an inclement weather emergency contact to be listed in your profile who we will call if we cannot make it.
Can I contact my dog walker or cat sitter directly?
If you have a question or want to schedule service, please contact our office or put in your schedule request online. Our liability insurance will not cover visits booked outside of The Barking Butler. Do not contact your dog walker or pet sitter directly. Our employees have all signed a non-solictiation contract prohibiting them from directly taking requests from clients. If you have a question regarding our pet care services or how the visits are going with your pets, please email or call 732-392-6330 or check for updates in your client portal. All your daily pet sitting and dog walking updates can be viewed through your online account. Thank you for respecting our policy.
Is there an extra charge for holidays and weekends?
A surcharge ($5.00 per visit) will be added to last minute visits not scheduled by 5:00 PM on the previous business day. This goes directly to your dog walker/pet sitter. The surcharge is waived if you schedule 3 or more visits per day. There will be an additional payment of $10.00 for the first visit for the following holidays: New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day. This goes directly to your dog walker or pet sitter for taking time away, from their family, on a holiday.
What if I return early from my trip? Will I be given a refund?
No refunds are given. We have reserved your pet sitter's time and have turned down other clients to keep your reservation.
Do you do pack dog walking?
No, we prefer to spoil one dog at a time!
Do you require a minimum amount of visits per day for pet sitting visits?
Yes, for dogs we require two pet sitting visits per day, though we highly recommend at least three visits (if you expect to be away for the entire day). Cats require at least one visit per day. No exceptions. This is for the safety and well-being of your pet.
Can you share pet sitting visits with my friend or neighbor?
No, visits cannot be shared due to our insurance and bonding policy. No other person is allowed in your home. Failure to comply will result in a breach of contract. An exception can be made by signing a release form acknowledging that we will not be held responsible for damaged items or harm to your pet.
Do you hire independent contractors?
No, we only hire employees. The Barking Butler employees are trained to follow our policies and procedures through our Employee Handbook. Our employees are covered under our insurance and bonding, and have passed a national background check. They are also covered by a Worker’s Compensation Policy in case they were to get hurt by your pet or on your property.
Will I have the same dog walker and pet sitter each time?
You will be assigned a primary Barking Butler employee. The Barking Butler LLC strives for continuity for the benefit of both your pet and our pet care specialists, as it is our experience that keeping your animal in the care of the same person/people provides for a more comfortable visit and walking experience for both dog and walker as both learn each other's nuances, tricks, and behaviors. The only time they wouldn't be available is if they scheduled time off or their schedule is already full. If they are not available, we will schedule another qualified employee to fill in. We work as a team at The Barking Butler and follow the same procedures as stated in our Employee Handbook. If you prefer to meet your assigned sitter (regurlar or new), prior them providing service to your pet, a fee of $20.00 will be charged to your account. Also, please make sure your online profile is up-to-date in the event that your primary pet caregiver is unavailable.
How do I know if my dog walker or pet sitter was at my home?
All our dog walkers and pet sitters use a GPS check-in and check-out system through their phone app which is connected to your online account. When they arrive at your home they check-in to your account and when they checkout a note will be left for you online. We also keep a journal, at your home, for more detailed notes. For pet sitting your pet sitter will leave a daily checklist of what was done during the visit and will leave you an online update, and maybe even photos or videos of your pet.
Can I tip my dog walker or pet sitter?
Absolutely! A cash tip is always appreciated (certainly not required) and can be placed on your daily journal with a note letting them know it's for them. 100% of your tip goes to your dog walker or pet sitter. You also have the option of selecting gratuity through your client portal Invoices menu.
What health requirements do you have in order to care for my animal?
The Barking Butler requires all animals be vetted at least annually and to be up to date with legally required vaccinations. Dogs must also be licensed within the town where they reside as many Animal Control Officers keep a tight leash on this law. Walking an unlicensed dog may result in our walkers receiving a fine, which will be passed on to you, the owner.