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“I’m interested in becoming a new client. Can you walk me through how this process works?”


You can contact Take the Lead by clicking the "contact tab" on the website and submitting an inquiry. Please include information such as what services you are looking for, what types of pets you have, etc. when contacting us. You can also reach out via e-mail, text message or phone to set-up the initial Meet & Greet. The Meet & Greet is scheduled per the availability and preference of the client and typically lasts 30 minutes. A client intake form will be provided for you to fill out in full about your pet(s). Then you are ready to schedule!

Please note that if you require a second meet & greet for any reason (some common reasons may be that the Meet & Greet is done far in advance as to when the services will be performed and a refresher is requested, or if you have a quirky pet that needs to meet us more than once to feel comfortable) it will cost $15.

“How do I schedule appointments?”


You simply contact Take the Lead with the requested dates you’d like the specific services to occur via e-mail, text message or phone. Some clients prefer to book on a continuous basis, others book one service at a time or anywhere in between. If you decide to book on a continuous basis we simply ask that you notify us as far in advance as possible if you do not require the service on a typical day(s). As for timing of the service, we request that you provide a minimum of a one-hour window in which you’d like for us to arrive. Once you send the request to schedule we will respond letting you know that your pet(s) have been added to our schedule.

“In the service descriptions I noticed you send updates. What does this entail?


We send updates after each appointment via text message or e-mail based upon the client’s preference. This report is specialized for each client depending on the information you'd like to receive. You can choose to receive information such as whether your pet went to the bathroom, notes about how the service went in general, photograph(s) of the pet taken during the service, where mail/packages were safely secured inside your home, tracking information that shows the route, mileage, and time for walks & hikes, etc. 

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“Is Take the Lead insured?”

Yes! Take the Lead has an active and complete policy provided by Pet Care Insurance to protect us, you, and your pet(s) in the rare event an accident occurs.


“What is Take the Lead’s cancellation policy?”


Take the Lead has a flexible cancellation policy as we understand plans change and emergencies happen. However if cancellations occur on a continuous basis a friendly warning notification will be sent (determined at the discretion of Take the Lead). If there are continued repeat offenses a $25 cancellation fee may be applied to the client’s account for each cancelled service and the client is responsible for paying any applied cancellation fees.

“How does the payment process work?”


Take the Lead will submit an invoice of scheduled services via e-mail on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis (determined by the preference of the client). Payment is required within 30 days upon receipt of the invoice. If payment is not received within 30 days a fee of $25 will be applied to the client’s account and the client is responsible for paying any applied late payment fees.


Acceptable payment methods include cash, check or credit card. To pay via credit card simply follow the link provided in the e-mailed invoice. Cash or check can be left at the home to be picked up during the next scheduled service (just be sure to let us know where to find it).

“What happens if an emergency occurs while Take the Lead is caring for my pet(s)?”


In the event of an emergency involving your pet(s), Take the Lead will attempt to notify you immediately. In the event we cannot get ahold of you in a timely manner, we will use our best judgement and act to resolve the emergency as safely and efficiently as possible. This includes the possibility of transporting the pet(s) to their regular care veterinarian or emergency veterinary facility.

“What kind of pets does Take the Lead care for?”


Not only does Take the Lead care for dogs and cats, but we offer care for additional pets such as small mammals, reptiles, fish, birds, amphibians, horses, cows, pigs, goats, chickens, etc.! If you have any of these pets and are interested in our services please contact us to learn more.

“I may not be home when I schedule a service for my pet. Do I need to provide you with a key?”


Many clients choose to provide Take the Lead with a spare key so we can enter your home and provide the service for your pet(s). Other clients choose to provide us with a garage code or code to a lock box where we can access a spare key to your home. Others leave the door unlocked or let us know where they keep a spare key. We are flexible and are willing to work with whatever works best for you!

If you provide us with a key, garage remote, etc. to use for a specific time frame (for example if you're only utilizing our services while on vacation), you are responsible for picking up the key following the services. Additional fees may be applied if you request that we return the key to your home.

“Do you have limitations about how far you’re willing to travel to care for my pets?”

Take the Lead has a service radius of 8 miles from our home base in Westminster, MD for new clients. This means we service of Carroll County, but you can reference the map below to see if you’re within the service area.


The only exception to the 8-mile radius rule are special event packages, in which we provide services within a 20-mile radius of our home base. (Click map to magnify).


“My dog is aggressive/reactive with other dogs. Are you still willing to take him on walks?”


Take the Lead understands that every pet is different, and most have specific personality quirks that make them special. We attempt to learn as much as we can about each pet and adapt to what works best for them. Aggression against other dogs is one of the many quirks that we see and have no issue at all providing services for a dog aggressive dog (or any other pet with any other quirks). As a rule, we don’t allow pets in our care to interact with pets or strangers they don’t know to ensure that everyone remains safe!

“Do you offer services on holidays and weekends? Are there particular office hours?”


We are available to take care of your pets twenty-four hours a day seven days a week all year long including holidays! However please note that there is a $5 surcharge for all services performed on federally reserved holidays. Additionally there is a $5 surcharge for any late night visits scheduled for after 8:00pm.


Our office hours are Monday-Friday from 8:00-6:00pm.

“What happens if there is inclement weather or extreme temperatures?”


A lot of times during inclement weather our client’s plans change last minute and they no longer require our services. We understand this happens and have a flexible cancellation policy especially under these circumstances. Some clients still require our services during inclement weather and Take the Lead does our best to honor those appointments, however we ask for flexibility in the timeframe of our arrival as we want to make sure everyone stays safe by allowing extra time for travel. As for extreme temperatures, we use our best judgement about whether the conditions are safe for both your pets and our Pet Caretakers. Sometimes appointments are modified slightly to ensure the safety of everyone, and in these cases we are sure to communicate any changes to the client.

“How do I communicate any changes to my pet’s routine, feeding schedule, health issues, etc.?


Although we have clients fill out an initial intake form with detailed information about their pet(s), over time there are inevitably going to be changes to your pet’s plan. We encourage clients to continuously update us with any changes via e-mail, text message or phone no matter how small of a change.

“Are there particular locations designated for the dog hike service?”


Yes. Our different hiking locations include Morgan Run Environmental Area, Wakefield Valley, Hashawa Environmental Center, Union Mills Homestead Park, Leister Park, Liberty Reservoir, etc. The location of the hike is typically determined by the closest hiking location to the client’s home.

“I’m planning a wedding that is going to last longer than 5 hours. Do you offer special events packages for over 5 hours? Also is there any way you could attend the rehearsal the evening prior so I’m confident you’re prepared for the big event?”


Yes! We are flexible with requests for events lasting over 5 hours and/or for events that require us to attend a rehearsal beforehand. We also are willing to travel to distances within a 20-mile radius for special events packages. Just ask us for a personalized quote and be sure to include the location!

“I’m going on vacation for a week. What is the best way to book services for my pet?”


Some clients choose to have us check-in or walk their pet a few times each day while they are on vacation. Others elect for the sleepover service which includes a Pet Caretaker staying overnight with their pet(s) from 7:00pm to 7:00am. There are also clients that choose a combination of the sleepover service and check-in services so that we stay overnight with their pet(s), but also check-in during the day.


Please note the sleepover services are in high demand so book as far in advance as possible to ensure availability. At this point in time we are only offering the sleepover services for current clients.


Additionally we require at least three check in visits a day if you are going away for an extended period of time to ensure your pet's safety and adhere to insurance requirements.

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