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Sniff and Go: FRequently asked questions of San Francisco’s Best On-Leash Personal Dog Walkers

What Is Your SFPP Pet Taxi Cancellation Policy?

No fee cancellations are approved when:
AM Pet Taxis: made by 5:30 AM on day of service, or sooner
PM Pet Taxis: made by 12:00 PM on day of service, or sooner

  • If a trip is made to start the puppy taxi service, a 50% charge will be processed for time.
  • If a trip is made to the destination, a full charge will be processed.
  • If a trip is made to the destination and your puppy is sent back home via Sniff and Go, a full charge plus $35 will be processed.

    Why don’t you offer As-Needed schedules?

    The answer to this is twofold:

    1. At the core of our small business is a team of dedicated dog walkers.

    Before the pandemic, we only offered full-time schedules for dog walks – which allowed us to employ our team full time.
    During the pandemic, we pivoted to accommodate as-needed scheduling in an effort to simply keep our doors open.
    The result of this was a team of highly trained dog walkers that were “on call” for a full 40 hour work week, but resulted in approximately 15-25 hours of actual work. Unfortunately a fluctuating work schedule/income has been proven multiple times to not be sustainable long-term.

    Post-pandemic work life has shown that work-from-home and varying in-person schedules are here to stay. We have continued to fine tune our schedules to be the most efficient and beneficial for the dogs (and their persons).

    2. We observed that there is also a shift in the dog’s behavior when varying schedules are in place. A consistent schedule leads the dog to gain trust, the ability to rely on a routine, and the time needed to install and maintain on-leash walking skills.

          Are You Open On Holidays?

          2023 Holiday Schedule

          Sniff and Go is closed on:

          • Monday, January 2, 2023– Observed New Year’s Day
          • Monday, January 16, 2023– Martin Luther King Jr. Day
          • Monday, February 20, 2023 – Presidents’ Day
          • Monday, May 29, 2023 – Memorial Day
          • Monday, June 19, 2023 – Juneteenth
          • Tuesday, July 4, 2023 – Independence Day
          • Monday, September 4, 2023 – Labor Day
          • Thursday, November 23, 2023 – Thanksgiving Day
          • Friday, November 24, 2023 – Day after Thanksgiving
          • Monday, December 25, 2023, to Friday, December 29, 2023 – Winter Holidays

                Do You Offer Pet Sitting Services?

                We do not offer pet sitting services. Please see our Community Page for a list of our favorite pet care companies!

                      Do You Offer Membership Plans For 2 Or 3 Days Per Week?

                      We do not offer Membership Plans for 2 or 3 days a week. Walking dogs post-pandemic has shown how incredibly beneficial enabling full time schedules is, for all parties (the dogs, clients, and our team).

                            Will My Pet Have The Same Walker Every Day?

                            It is important to have consistency when it comes to having your pets be seen by the same walker every day.

                            Our dog walkers aren’t freelancers or independent contractors; they are professional employees who receive a living wage along with a benefits package that includes:

                            • Paid tuition and training time for the comprehensive and thorough Dog Walking Academy. This education covers topics such as:
                              • Learning Theory (operant vs classical conditioning)
                              • Canine Communication
                              • Foundational R+ Dog Training Techniques
                              • Walking Puppies
                              • General Walk Management
                              • and so much more!
                            • Paid course and training time for a veterinarian taught Pet First Aid and Pet CPR Certification
                            • Substantial hourly pay rate that enables local residents the ability to dedicate their time to dog walking as a profession
                            • Health benefits
                            • Company cell phones
                            • Paid travel time
                            • Federal and state tax compliance
                            • Full IRS mileage reimbursement
                            • Paid sick leave
                            • Retirement plan savings
                            • Ongoing training/education
                            • Commercial insurance coverage
                            • Workers compensation coverage
                            • Annual raises
                            • All dog walking supplies provided
                            • Option for client provided tips with Sniff and Go covering processing fees

                            The importance of our team’s structure (Team Lead > Dog Professionals > Dog Walkers > Training Period) is to ensure our employees are well trained and prepared while maintaining the high standards of care that Sniff and Go is known for.

                            We do match up our furry friends with one primary walker based on location and availability. In the instance your primary walker becomes ill, requests personal time off, or decideds to make a change in their career path — the entire team at Sniff and Go is trained equally and are ready to step in at the Team Lead and Dog Professional levels.

                                  Key Return Request

                                  Keys can be returned at anytime by completing this form here (pending).

                                  If keys are not requested back and are not in use for 12 months, they will be removed from our inventory and destroyed.

                                  For Key Returns please email

                                        How Do Payments Work?

                                        Once a client commits to the investment of daily dog walks with our Membership Plan services, the reserved time can be secured up to 7 days in advance of a start date with a non-refundeable deposit of $300.
                                        – An Initial Assessment is scheduled and completed before servcies begin
                                        – The deposit is then used towards the first invoice for services
                                        – Membership Plans that start in the middle of the month are prorated by the remaining dates in the current month, and are invoiced and processed the Friday after the first date of services

                                        A valid credit card is required to reserve time in the schedule.

                                        All services completed in a Monday-Friday time frame are automatically processed each Friday at 5:00pm.
                                        – Ongoing Membership Plans are processed on the 1st of each month

                                        All payments are processed through Stripe.

                                              What Kind Of Training Methods Does Sniff And Go Use?

                                              Sniff and Go will uses R+ training methods and aligns with the following professional organizations found here.

                                                    What Happens If My Primary Walker Is Not Available?

                                                    Our priority is to make sure you have no interruptions in service. We will make any necessary arrangements, within our company, with an experienced and well-qualified team member, should your primary walker be unable to walk, is sick, or out of town.

                                                    The roles of our Team is to make sure there are smooth transitions in place should your primary walker need/request time off. This is done in the form of management accompanying a team member on their visits until they are comfortable and confident in the proper care for your pets.

                                                    Working through the pandemic, we have experienced real-life situations where multiple employees were sick at the same time.

                                                    In the event that we are short staffed, volunteer cancellations or shortened walk durations will be rolled out to get all dogs the time needed for bathroom relief with the healthy staff available.

                                                    If for some reason we have no one available, we will do our very best to give you enough time to make other arrangements.

                                                    Business Requested Cancellations or Modified schedules result in credits to the client’s account.

                                                          Can You teach My Dog To Stop Pulling On Leash?

                                                          Our team is trained as Dog Professionals. This means that we have gone through training in:

                                                          • Animal behavior
                                                          • Walk management
                                                          • Reactivity and triggers
                                                          • Emergency protocols
                                                          • Basic dog training

                                                          Our on-leash dog walks are made up of decompression time, on-leash walking practice, walk games, and more. We are not dog trainers, rather Dog Professionals that focus specifically in on or off-leash dog walking management.

                                                                Are You Insured?

                                                                Yes, we are bonded and insured, and are registered through the City and County of San Francisco #1012621.

                                                                      What are Start Time Windows?

                                                                      Start Time Windows are typically a two hour window of time for when walks will start on a daily basis.

                                                                      They are in place to help our team manage unknown wait times, traffic, parking, animal related delays, and general schedule updates.

                                                                      For example: If your two hour Start Time Window is 8am to 10am; this means the walk will start anytime between 8am and 10am.

                                                                      If there unknown delays that result in a start time outside of your assigned Start Time Window, the SAG office will be in contact to let you know as soon as possible. 

                                                                      We are unable to give exact start times or accommodate smaller Start Time Windows unless a client is looking to reserve more time in the schedule for the same in-servcie time. *For exmaple: A client can reserve one hour of time for a 25 minute walk. This means they are paying for an hour of time, but only receiving a 25 minute walk. We do not prefer this option, but do have clients that have suggested and offered to pay more for the tighter Start Time Window option.

                                                                      Does My Pet Need Anything To Begin Walks?

                                                                      Yes! It is important for the safety of all animals associated with Sniff and Go that the procedures involved with identification, pet licenses, vaccinations, and monthly flea medications be followed. Please make sure your pet is up to date on:

                                                                      DHLPP: Initial puppy shots required, booster thereafter every three years

                                                                      Rabies: At 16 weeks of age, thereafter as required by law

                                                                      Bordetella: Yearly

                                                                      Name tag with the current phone number(s), address, etc…

                                                                      Pet License Resources

                                                                      Monthly flea medication

                                                                            What Should I Have Available?

                                                                            Please have the following supplies available to ensure safe walking and feeding arrangements for your pets:

                                                                            • Home Access option selected and available (see Home Access Notes and Variables in FAQ)
                                                                            • Body harness
                                                                            • Name tag attached to collar with current contact information included
                                                                            • Current SF license tag (also see the SF Animal Care and Control website for more information)
                                                                            • Food
                                                                            • Water
                                                                            • Cleaning supplies and locations of where to find for if your pet has an accident

                                                                                  How Do I Cancel Daily Walks?

                                                                                  Membership Plans: Cancellations can be submitted at any time! If it is past 10am the business day prior, a note can be left on the visit which lets both the Sniff and Go office and your walker know right away that a last minute cancellation has been requested.

                                                                                  • The Membership Plans are in place to reserve your time in the schedule
                                                                                  • Cancellations of daily walks on the Membership Plans do not lower the monthly rate
                                                                                  • Additional walk days in a month does not raise the Membership Plan
                                                                                  • All open days in a full calendar year are calculated to determine the Membership Plan rates

                                                                                  If the walk being canceled is before 10am the business day prior:

                                                                                  1. Select the date(s) in the schedule
                                                                                  2. Select “Cancel”

                                                                                  If the walk is being canceled after 10am the business day prior:

                                                                                  1. Select the date in the schedule

                                                                                  2. Select “Add a Note”

                                                                                  3. The Sniff and Go Office and your walker will see the note as soon as it’s submitted!

                                                                                  Can I Call/Text My Walker?

                                                                                  We do not have the ability for clients to call the team, but texts/notes can be sent right through the scheduling system.

                                                                                  How to send a Note:

                                                                                  1. Scheduling system Menu -> My Schedule

                                                                                  2. Select the date you would like to send the note

                                                                                  3. A green banner pops up -> Select “Note”

                                                                                  4. Enter your note!

                                                                                  *We limit the notifications going through to the team in an effort to lower distractions while out in the field. 95% of our work days include either driving or being in-servcie with a client — both of these instances require the least anount of distractions possible to ensure overall safety while on the job.

                                                                                  Home Access Notes And Variables

                                                                                  Home Access
                                                                                  Safely and securely coming in and out of homes has changed drastically since early 2020. Managing Home Access options for the 11 years prior to the pandemic typically included a reliable primary and secondary Home Access options in addition to detailed notes about alarm systems and how to disarm/arm for secure entry and exit. 

                                                                                  Today, we have expanded to a number of options to best accommodate each client’s preference. Options listed below with an * require In-Service time to be accompanied by the wait times associated with unknown factors. 

                                                                                  Home Access Options
                                                                                  Key on File + Lockbox
                                                                                  Two (2) complete sets of keys for once-a-day schedules**
                                                                                  — Set ONE, held on file, at secure Sniff and Go office
                                                                                  — Set TWO, secured in a lockbox, on location, with code provided

                                                                                  Multiple Key Sets
                                                                                  Two (2) complete sets of keys for once-a-day schedules**

                                                                                  Door Code
                                                                                  Electronic door lock with code provided.
                                                                                  – Door locks that require app usage (for example: August, Schlage, Amazon, etc…) are connected to a private/unlisted Sniff and Go phone line for Home Access.

                                                                                  **Clients with multiple walks scheduled per day, please add one extra set of keys per additional daily walk. For example — If two visits a day are scheduled, three sets of keys are required, etc…

                                                                                  WHEN DO VISITS START AND STOP?
                                                                                  There are a number of different home options available to the residents of San Francisco. From single-family homes with direct access to the home’s front door to multi-building apartment complexes with stops required before getting to the home’s front door

                                                                                  Front Door: The door that opens to get to your dog

                                                                                  Main Entry: The first door that opens to a building before getting to the Front Door

                                                                                  Call Box: Coded entry to access Main Entry or to call a resident for Main Entry access

                                                                                  Front Desk: Buildings with Front Desk staff for loaned keys, elevator access, etc…

                                                                                  DIRECT ACCESS TO FRONT DOOR WITH KEYS or DOOR CODES
                                                                                  In-service time:
                                                                                  – Starts after closing and securing the Front Door
                                                                                  – Ends before opening and securing the Front Door

                                                                                  CALL BOX TO CLIENT FOR MAIN ENTRY VARIABLE*
                                                                                  In-service time:
                                                                                  – Starts after completing the first call to the Client through Call Box
                                                                                  – Ends before opening and securing the Front Door

                                                                                  FRONT DESK REQUIRED FOR MAIN ENTRY VARIABLE*
                                                                                  In-service time:
                                                                                  – Starts after entering Main Entry
                                                                                  – Ends before opening and securing the Front Door

                                                                                  NO KEYS PROVIDED – AKA Street Level Direct Handoff (SLDH)*
                                                                                  Client must always be available for a street level direct handoff at a predetermined location. ETA and Arrival notifications will be sent with 5-30 minutes notice depending on previous location.
                                                                                  In-service time:
                                                                                  If Client is ready outside for Walker at SLDH
                                                                                  – Starts before securing leash
                                                                                  If Client is NOT ready outside for Walker at SLDH
                                                                                  – Starts after sending the first Arrival notification
                                                                                  – After 1 minute has passed, a second Arrival notification will be sent
                                                                                  – After 2 minutes have passed, a phone call to Client will be made
                                                                                  – After 5 minutes have passed, the visit will be closed out and charged for the day. The SAG Office will contact the Client by email to see if an additional walk request is needed at the next earliest available time.

                                                                                  During Walk: Client sets personal timer for walk duration to prepare for end of walk handoff at street level location
                                                                                  – Ends after handoff is complete

                                                                                  Call Box to Client
                                                                                  Your Walker will make three consecutive attempts to gain access through a Call Box to Client type of entry. If it takes more than three consecutive calls to get in, the Walker will contact the SAG Office, wait 5 minutes, and then try three more consecutive calls. If there is still no answer, the visit will be closed out and completed for the day. At this time, the SAG Office will contact the Client to see if an additional walk request is needed at the next earliest available time.

                                                                                  ***To avoid in-service time being used for Call Box to Client, please provide reliable codes or fob access.

                                                                                  Front Desk Stop Required
                                                                                  Your Walker will be prepared with a government issued ID should the Front Desk require to hold or view identification. In the event the Front Desk staff is unavailable at time of arrival, Sniff and Go will wait on the clock for up to 10 minutes for someone to return for entry in addition to trying any phone numbers left at the front desk while updating the Client on the unknown wait time as we try and get assistance as soon as possible. If we are unable to make contact after 10 minutes, the visit will be closed out and completed for the day. At this time, the SAG Office will contact the Client to see if an additional walk request is needed at the next earliest available time.

                                                                                  ***To avoid in-service time being used for Front Desk variables, please provide reliable codes or fob access.

                                                                                  Unknown Wait Times
                                                                                  When a Walker is required to rely on unknown wait times for Home Access (key/fob check-out, elevator retrieval, sign-in sheet, Client unavailable for street level handoff, etc…), unknown wait times exceeding the requested Service time are processed at $1/minute.

                                                                                  Street Level Direct Handoff  (aka SLDH)
                                                                                  We want to get the most time outside possible for each daily visit. Clients can harness and prepare for their Walker’s arrival once the daily ETA has been established. The Client would then be ready and available at a predetermined Street Level Direct Handoff location. This bypasses most unknown wait times, prep time, and is available for all Home Access options.

                                                                                  Key Copies
                                                                                  For your convenience, Sniff and Go can make a copy of approved keys, starting at $30.
                                                                                  – Each additional key is +$5

                                                                                        What is your Membership Plan cancellation policy?

                                                                                        If you need to cancel your Membership Plan:

                                                                                        • May be requested after the full, two-month minimum requirement is met
                                                                                        • Request for cancellation must be made, by email, by the 15th of the month prior
                                                                                        • Please note: Cancellation of your Membership Plan releases your reserved Start Time Window(s)
                                                                                        • Restarting the Membership Plan also restarts the two-month minimum requirement

                                                                                        After 2 month minimum is met, available as-needed walks can be requested.

                                                                                        • As-Needed walks are offered in a 4-7 hour Start Time Window, for 25 Minutes, up to 30 days in advance
                                                                                        • Requested As-Needed walks are approved 24 hours in advance of the requested service date
                                                                                        • 25 Minute As-Needed Walks = $40/walk
                                                                                          • Each additional dog per household = +$5

                                                                                              How Are Membership Plans Calculated?

                                                                                              Membership Plans were built on a yearly calculation of dates. The yearly calculation of open walking days is an average of 20.3 days per month. Some months have more open walking days and some have less. The calculation of open walking days was done based on a whole year vs month to month. 

                                                                                              The way that our Membership Plans work is that once you get started, the rate is in place to hold your time in the schedule. This is similar to a gym or childcare membership in that your time is held regardless of how many days per month you use. We encourage everyone to take advantage of all our open walking days (M-F, excluding 13 holidays per year).

                                                                                              Client requested cancellations do not lower the monthly rate. In the situation(s) where you have personal plans that require cancelling open walking dates, you may cancel as many days as you’d like and your time in the schedule is still held. This way we can all pick right back up when you return!

                                                                                              The time opened up when a client requested cancellations comes through is used for ongoing training for the team. This results in a consistent income for our local team of dog walkers and less concern for employee turnover.

                                                                                                    Can I request a visit at the last minute?

                                                                                                    We do our very best to accommodate clients with changing schedules. This includes last-minute additions. If we have the availability, we would be happy to schedule a visit with short notice. Please keep in mind, it is possible that your primary walker may not be available at the time of your request. Please call 415-570-2200 or email

                                                                                                    +$15 for requests made after 10:00 AM for next-day service

                                                                                                    +$25 for requests made for same-day service