How to Safely Work With Dog Walkers During COVID-19

How to Safely Work With Dog Walkers During COVID-19

dog on leash

By Danit ZIvan, Co-Founder & COO at Bark Buildings


Now, more than ever, it’s important to make certain that the pet care providers coming in and out of your building are following guidelines to ensure the safety of your residents and building teams. Allowing your dog walkers to operate will not only support residents and essential workers, it will help limit the number of different people leaving their home and ultimately ensure a safer environment for your residents. But there are measures you should take to ensure your supplier partners are operating responsibly during these times.


At Bark Buildings, we partner with residential buildings to create pet amenity programs that build community amongst residents. We specialize in residential building pet care and we’ve been proactive in adapting to the circumstances forced by COVID-19. After surveying customers and working with our partners we’ve come up with best practices that you can also implement for your own community.

By Danit Zivan, Co-Founder & COO at Bark Buildings


Now, more than ever, it’s important to make certain that the pet care providers coming in and out of your building are following guidelines to ensure the safety of your residents and building teams. Allowing your dog walkers to operate will not only support residents and essential workers, it will help limit the number of different people leaving their home and ultimately ensure a safer environment for your residents. But there are measures you should take to ensure your supplier partners are operating responsibly during these times.

Implement Contactless Dog Pick Ups and Drop Offs

The safest way to allow dog walkers to operate within your property is to require contactless pick ups and drop offs - Check out our simple video tutorial here.  This increases safety for both our dog walkers and residents by limiting the amount of human-to-human contact. As the video demonstrates, the dog walker notifies the resident (via text or app) when they are a few minutes away and gives the resident an opportunity to harness the dog and tether them outside the apartment door with their leash. Upon pick up, the dog walker switches off to using a leash they bring with them, which allows them to pick up the dog without ever entering the unit. We have made this mandatory in all of our partnered Bark Buildings communities and it has been very well received by both the residents and employees

Mandatory Sanitization Before/After Service

As a general rule, the same procedures that apply for your in-house maintenance & service teams should be communicated and enforced for supplier partners  who operate within the property. Maintenance teams  should try  to disinfect before and after each dog walking service performed in the building. This goes beyond hand sanitizing and should include proper wiping down of door handles, as well as keys/fobs that are lent out by concierge. While common area bathrooms may be closed off to residents and visitors, consider  allowing access to pet partners access so they can properly wash their hands upon arrival and before departure from the building. This is especially important if the same dog walker is taking out multiple dogs and accessing more than one unit during their visit.


Of course, pet care partners operating within your building should also be required to comply with all local government regulations when it comes to personal protective equipment.


At Bark Buildings, we partner with residential buildings to create pet amenity programs that build community amongst residents. We specialize in residential building pet care and we’ve been proactive in adapting to the circumstances forced by COVID-19. After surveying customers and working with our partners we’ve come up with best practices that you can also implement for your own community.


Implement Contactless Dog Pick Ups and Drop Offs

The safest way to allow dog walkers to operate within your property is to require contactless pick ups and drop offs - Check out our simple video tutorial here.  This increases safety for both our dog walkers and residents by limiting the amount of human-to-human contact. As the video demonstrates, the dog walker notifies the resident (via text or app) when they are a few minutes away and gives the resident an opportunity to harness the dog and tether them outside the apartment door with their leash. Upon pick up, the dog walker switches off to using a leash they bring with them, which allows them to pick up the dog without ever entering the unit. We have made this mandatory in all of our partnered Bark Buildings communities and it has been very well received by both the residents and employees.


Mandatory Sanitization Before/After Service
As a general rule, the same procedures that apply for your in-house maintenance & service teams should be communicated and enforced for supplier partners who operate within the property. Maintenance teams should try to disinfect before and after each dog walking service performed in the building. This goes beyond hand sanitizing and should include proper wiping down of door handles, as well as keys/fobs that are lent out by concierge. While common area bathrooms may be closed off to residents and visitors, consider allowing access to pet partners access so they can properly wash their hands upon arrival and before departure from the building. This is especially important if the same dog walker is taking out multiple dogs and accessing more than one unit during their visit.

Of course, pet care partners operating within your building should also be required to comply with all local government regulations when it comes to personal protective equipment.


Elevator Usage Limitations

To allow safe social distancing, many building operators are limiting the number of residents, or families, allowed to ride an elevator together. These rules should be communicated accordingly to any pet care vendor operating on the property. To avoid risk and put residents at ease, we recommend holding dog walkers to an even higher standard and asking that they try to avoid riding an elevator alongside any residents.

Limit Number of Dog Walkers Servicing the Building

If you are working with a dog walking company that employs multiple people, contact their management team to request that they limit the number of people assigned to your community. . Most companies should be able to accommodate this, and it will be in the best interest of their employees and your residents to have less people in/out of the property.


We are all looking forward to the days when we can go back to hosting community events and seeing dogs making friends with one another! But until then, our collective goal should be to keep each other safe by limiting trips outdoors and practicing social distancing! If done responsibly, allowing pet care providers to continue operating within your property can potentially allow for an even safer and more socially distant living environment for your residents.


To learn more about partnering with Bark Buildings and bringing a pet amenity program to your building(s), complete this short form or email danit@barkbuildings.com. 

Elevator Usage Limitations

 To allow safe social distancing, many building operators are limiting the number of residents, or families, allowed to ride an elevator together. These rules should be communicated accordingly to any pet care vendor operating on the property. To avoid risk and put residents at ease, we recommend holding dog walkers to an even higher standard and asking that they try to avoid riding an elevator alongside any residents.


Limit Number of Dog Walkers Servicing the Building

 If you are working with a dog walking company that employs multiple people, contact their management team to request that they limit the number of people assigned to your community. . Most companies should be able to accommodate this, and it will be in the best interest of their employees and your residents to have less people in/out of the property.


We are all looking forward to the days when we can go back to hosting community events and seeing dogs making friends with one another! But until then, our collective goal should be to keep each other safe by limiting trips outdoors and practicing social distancing! If done responsibly, allowing pet care providers to continue operating within your property can potentially allow for an even safer and more socially distant living environment for your residents.


To learn more about partnering with Bark Buildings and bringing a pet amenity program to your building(s), complete this short form or email danit@barkbuildings.com.


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