Frequently Asked Questions
Below are F.A.Q's we often receive about our services. Questions are broken down into categories so you can easily find the answers you need.
If you still have questions that are not addressed below. Please get in touch through the form on our Contact page
Dog Walking & Pet Sitting
1How long has Hounds on the Hudson been around?
We were founded in 2008 and have been in the pet care industry since 1999.
2What are the advantages of having a dog walker vs. doggie daycare?
Doggie daycare can reinforce undesirable behavior in your dog and may cause anxiety from a new and ever-changing environment. Many common dog illnesses can also be contracted in the daycare environment, making it unsafe for puppies and some older dogs. A dog walker allows your dog to maintain their regular schedule in their familiar environment, while providing you both with the best possible personal attention and care.
3 How do I set up service?
Click on the "Get Started" button on our website to begin the registration process. If you are located within our service area, we'll get in touch right away to schedule a free consultation in your home. During this time we'll meet you and your pet(s), discuss your pets individual needs and the type of service requested, make sure they have proper ID tags and collars, and get a copy of a key from you. We'll also answer any questions you may have about us or the services we provide. You will receive proof of our insurance as well as a copy of our service policies.
4What areas do you cover?
Currently we provide dog walking services in Albany, Delmar, Glenmont and Slingerlands. Pet sitting services are available in Albany only. We are accepting boarding and training anywhere in the Capital Region, though pick up and drop off for boarding is limited to Albany only. Other areas may be covered upon request and for an additional charge. Please inquire about our rates for areas outside of our regular service area.
5Do you only accept well-trained dogs?
We accept dogs at whatever stage of learning they are at, provided they are friendly and accepting to the dog walker. We like to know and use whatever commands and behaviors you and your pet are practicing so that we can reinforce the behaviors you want to see with your dog. We use basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” “heel,” "off ", “lay down,” and “leave it,” and welcome your suggestions. In cases where a dog is unable to be easily controlled on a walk, we may ask that a different leash, collar, or harness be purchased to continue services.
6Can you walk my dog at 12:35pm every day?
We'll try our best. In order to make scheduling many clients every day possible, we require a two hour time window for every scheduled walk. Also be aware that 12pm-2pm M-F is our busiest time and regularly scheduled clients will be given priority over occasional clients or last minute requests. We will, however, work with a one hour time window in exceptional cases such as: young puppies, dogs with specific medical conditions, and dogs that we walk more than once a day.
7Do you offer discounts? Have a referral program?
We offer a 10% discount for all Monday-Friday clients. For each referral you give Hounds on the Hudson that results in a regular client, we will credit your account for a free 30 minute walk or pet-sitting visit.
8What is your cancellation policy?
To be fair to other clients, we appreciate cancellations as soon as you know you won't need our services. We ask that at the latest walks be canceled with 24 hours notice for the walk to be credited to your next statement.
9How do you bill for your services?
Payment is due at the beginning of each month for all regularly scheduled walks. This reserves your space in the regular schedule and gives you priority for your chosen days and times. Payment is due at the time of service for all one-time or occasional visits. Please note that priority is given to our regularly scheduled clients, and we may not be able to accept additional service requests during busy periods.
10What types of payment do you accept?
We accept checks, all major credit cards, and Paypal for payment.
11How do you ensure my pet's safety?
Your pet's safety is a top concern of ours. All dogs are walked on-leash and never left unattended. Dog temperaments and dispositions are matched to ensure they are a good fit with one another. During our initial consultation, please go over any health or safety concerns you may have with your pet.
12Where do we meet for the new client meeting?
We come to your home for the new client meeting so that we can meet your dog in his or her familiar environment, learn where you keep food, treats, bowls, leashes, etc. and test your key. Please have a copy of your dog's vaccination records available if you are interested in boarding or the dog park playgroup.
13What's the difference between a dog walk and a pet-sitting visit?
A dog walk includes up to two dogs and basic feeding during our regular business hours of 9am-5pm Monday-Friday. If you need an early morning, evening or weekend walk, have more than two pets, a more involved feeding routine, need pee pads changed and/or need a little more time spent at the house taking care of mail, plants, the pool, etc, you will need to schedule a pet-sitting visit.
14Why is it hard to reach you on the phone?
While we love speaking with you, the phone isn't always the easiest way to communicate with us. We are usually busy attending to the pups or helping one of our dog walkers or clients on the other line. For the fastest response, please text us at 518-291-WALK or email firstname.lastname@example.org
1Do you offer group classes?
We offer results based training and over the years have found the best way to achieve your desired results is through private training. We do offer clinics, classes and social groups from time to time. Be sure to sign up for our mailing list for updates on our offerings.
2What is a behavior consultation?
At this meeting we conduct an in depth interview and analysis of your dog's behavior. We teach you about our training approaches and offer recommendations, tips and tools for management and behavior modification that you can apply immediately. The behavior assessment is typically a prerequisite to our Private Training Package.
3What can I expect from private training?
4What training methods do you use?
5Do you offer a board and train program?
6Who are your trainers?
1Why does my dog need a trial board?
We require a trial stay for new boarders because every dog is a unique and complex individual with a distinct personality, play style, likes and dislikes, etc. Our style of boarding is different than a traditional kennel and isn't right for every dog. The trial allows us to spend extra one-on-one time with your dog to get to know him or her better and helps determine whether or not we're a good match.
2What are the requirements to pass the trial board?
We require that your dog be well-socialized and that he or she gets along well with all other dogs of different sizes, breeds and dispositions. We need for them to be house broken and to be able to sleep quietly with the other dogs at night. Because we are a home-like environment and not a traditional kennel, we also have house rules (no incessant barking, jumping, destructiveness, etc) that they need to be able to follow.
3Where does my dog sleep?
We have several options for accommodations and this depends whether your dog stays on one of the farms or in the city. At the farm, dogs either sleep in the farm house or in the "bunk house"--a fully renovated and climate controlled building next to the main house. The camp-like accommodations are simple yet modern and provide all of the comforts of home. Each guest gets their own cot and bed, and may either sleep in an individual suite or in one of the two main bunk rooms with their friends.
4Will my dog be left alone overnight?
No, dogs are never left alone overnight! We live on the farm and someone is always here 24/7. Dogs are tucked in between 10-11pm and are up at sunrise with the humans and the roosters.
5What should I bring for my dog?
The only thing we will need for your dog is their food (we prefer to keep dogs on their regular diet to avoid any possible digestion issues). We have beds, bowls, toys, treats, leashes and everything else your dog will need during his or her stay. Please make sure your dog has a properly fitting collar with ID tags while they are boarding.
6How many dogs do you board at one time?
While many kennels and boarding facilities keep dozens of dogs at a time, we have a maximum overnight capacity of 14 dogs. We also keep a low staff to dog ratio (one staff member per every 7 dogs) to ensure the best possible care for your pooch. Keep in mind that the farms are working farms and family homes, so there are other non-staff humans (aka our kids, other family members, and friends) who frequently like to give attention to our overnight guests.
7Do you take dogs that are not spayed or neutered?
We are able to accommodate intact dogs on a case-by-case basis at some of our locations. For the best chance of us accommodating your pooch at any of our locations, we strongly suggest that they are spayed or neutered.
8What vaccines do you require?
We require dogs to be current on rabies, parvo/distemper and bordetella vaccines to board. Dogs also must be up to date on flea and tick prevention--we recommend Seresto collars. If you use topical medication, please administer 48 hours before boarding. Please upload vaccine documentation to your online account or have your vet fax or email records prior to boarding.
9What is the minimum age a dog must be to board?
We board dogs from 8 weeks old through their golden years. Puppies are usually boarded with trainers, as they require more special care and attention than older dogs. Please inquire about rates for dogs under 6 months or those with special medical needs.
10What is your cancellation policy?
To be fair to other clients, we appreciate cancellations as soon as you know you won’t need our services. We ask for a minimum of 48 hours notice for regular cancellations and 72 hours notice for holiday cancellations in order to not be billed. Thank you in advance for your understanding regarding this policy.
11Are you insured?
Yes, Hounds on the Hudson is fully insured through Mourer Foster Insurance & Bonds.
12Do you offer any discounts for boarding more than one dog?
Yes! We offer a 20% discount for each additional dog in the same household boarding.
13What products do you use for bathing dogs?
We use natural, sulfate-free and pH balanced dog bathing products such Burt's Bees and Earthbath shampoos, conditioners and sprays. We have a variety of products for different skin types and conditions--please let us know if you have any preferences when making your reservation.
14What cleaning products do you use?
We exclusively use pet-friendly Seventh Generation botanical disinfectant and cleaner.
15Is the property fenced in?
The entire 30 acres is not completely fenced, though there are several 1-3 acre fully fenced play yards for dogs on the property. Dogs that have a reliable, established recall and history of boarding with us may have access to the entire property, including apple orchards and pond, with your permission and under direct supervision.
16Is there a place for my dog to swim?
Yes! Our one acre spring-fed swimming pond is a wonderful place for dogs to swim and cool off. Dogs must have a reliable recall to have access to the swimming pond.
17How much does trial boarding cost?
Trial boarding is billed at the regular boarding rate–$50/night.
18Can I visit the farm before my dog's stay?
Yes, absolutely! Farm hours are by appointment only. Because the farms are working farms, we ask that you schedule in advance and that you visit without your dog the first time.
19My dog has never slept away from home before! Can I check to see how he is doing while he’s with you?
Of course! We’ll text you when we pick your dog up and at least once during his or her stay. You can always feel free to text the office to get an update if you haven’t heard from us and are curious!
20I don't live locally and can't arrange a trial board. Can my dog still board with you?
We make limited exceptions for trial boarding for non local guests. In order for a trial board to be waived, we need to conduct a thorough phone interview and have several boarding and vet references for your dog. Please inquire about the procedure if you live more than one hour from the farm.