HouseBroken

Serving NYC Pets Since 2001

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HouseBroken has been taking care of Brooklyn pets since 2001. With our flexible scheduling and broad range of service offerings, we can tailor our dog walks and cat sitting to meet your pet’s individual needs.

Why HouseBroken?

  • We are an established, locally-owned business with more than 19 years of experience.
  • We offer a comprehensive range of services, including: dog walking, overnight pet sitting, cat sitting, puppy visits, and small animal care.
  • No pack walks. For the safety of your pet, we use backup safety collars and either walk your dog individually or with 1 – 2 other dogs.
  • We offer flexible scheduling and can accommodate last minute requests.
  • We offer a broad range of walk and visit durations to meet both your budget and your pet’s needs.
  • We are open 365 days a year.
  • We are fully insured and bonded by CNA Insurance.
  • We utilize the latest technologies and provide an online interface between HouseBroken and its clients.
  • Our employees are trained professionals who are committed to providing excellent service.
  • We provide excellent compensation to our employees (we do not use independent contractors) including a competitive hourly wage, paid vacation and 401(k).
  • We comply with all labor laws and regulations by providing workers’ compensation, disability, paid sick leave and pre-tax commuter benefits.

Service Areas

Bedford-Stuyvesant, Boreum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Clinton Hill, Cobble Hill, Crown Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Prospect Park South, and South Slope.

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Services & Rates

*All services and surcharges are subject to 8.875% for New York sales tax.

Dog Walks leash

We want your dog’s walk to be safe and personalized. Your dog is only walked with 1 or 2 additional dogs, and we will never let your dog off-leash or tie your dog outside unattended. We cannot guarantee a precise walk time, so for scheduling walks, we require a 2-hour window.  Solo walks and same day requests may not be available during peak walking times (i.e., between 12pm and 3pm) and may require a 3-hour window.

Standard rates for one dog on a non-repeating walk schedule (i.e., only scheduling walks on an as-needed basis) or on a limited repeating walk schedule consisting of 1-2 walks per week:

  • 15-minute relief walk $14*
  • 30-minute walk $18*
  • 45-minute walk $26*
  • 1-hour walk $30*

Preferred rates for one dog on a repeating walk schedule (i.e., a set schedule consisting of 3 or more walks per week):

  • 15-minute relief walk $13*
  • 30-minute walk $17*
  • 45-minute walk $23*
  • 1-hour walk $28*

Households with more than one dog:

  • 15-minute and 30-minute walks – add $5 for each additional dog.
  • 45-minute and 1-hour walks – add $6 for each additional dog.

Walks performed on weekends:

  • Add $6 to all rates.

Walks performed on holidays:

  • Add $5 or $10 to all rates depending upon the specific holiday.

Solo walks:

  • Add $4 to all rates. If you do not request solo walks but your dog’s behavior prevents pairing with other dogs, or your dog has an illness and cannot be paired with another dog, you will be charged for solo walks.

Monthly pre-pay discounts:

  • If your dog is on a repeating walk schedule of 3 or more walks per week, you can receive 5% off of the preferred rate.

Puppy Visits ball

Our puppy visits are only available for dogs under 6 months of age. Each puppy visit includes a potty break, fresh water, feeding, and lots of playtime. We can also help you reinforce basic obedience training and housebreaking. If your puppy does not have all of his/her vaccinations, the visit will be solo. Otherwise we can try to pair your puppy with another playful pup to help develop socialization skills. Of course, cleaning up puppy accidents is always included during the visit.

Standard rate for one 20-minute puppy visit:

  • 20-minute visit $15*

Households with more than one puppy:

  • Add $4 for each additional puppy.

Visits performed on weekends:

  • Add $6 to all rates.

Visits performed on holidays:

  • Add $5 or $10 to all rates depending upon the specific holiday.

Pet Sitting bone

HouseBroken’s pet sitting services can be provided within your home or at one of our employee’s homes, depending on availability. While staying with your dog, we will try our best to maintain his/her daily walk and feeding routines.

Standard rate for pet sitting 1 dog (applies to clients with non-repeating dog walking schedules):

  • $90* (per 24-hour period)

Preferred rate for pet sitting 1 dog (applies to clients who have repeating dog walking schedules of any duration):

  • $75* (per 24-hour period)
  • $70* (per 24-hour period) if the length of sitting is 5 or more days.

An entire 24-hour period will be the minimum charge for one day of pet sitting. If the final day of sitting is less than 24 hours, it will only be prorated to a half day if the sitting was less than 12 hours (a half day of sitting is billed at $45*). If the sitting was 12 hours or more, a full day of sitting will be charged. No day of sitting will be prorated on an hourly basis.

Please note that we require a non-refundable 1-day deposit in order to reserve and book your requested pet sitting services.

Households with more than one pet that require care:

  • Add $10 to the rate for each additional pet.

Sitting performed during holidays (i.e., one of your sitting days includes one of our listed holidays):

  • Add $50 to the total pet sitting bill.

Pet transportation (subject to availability):

  • Pet transportation may be available for your convenience. An additional $25 will be added to the total pet sitting bill for each one-way transport. Contact us for specific rates if you need transportation outside of HouseBroken’s service coverage area.


Cat Visits bowl

Our typical cat visit includes feeding, fresh water, scooping the litter box, and lots of playtime and affection. For the safety of your cat, HouseBroken requires daily visits while you are away and will not perform visits on a less frequent basis (e.g., every other day). Unless special medication is required, cat visits are typically not available to be performed before 11am or after 6pm.  In addition, cat visits may not be available during peak dog walking times (i.e., Monday – Friday, between 12pm and 3pm).

Standard rate for visiting up to 3 household cats:

  • 15-minute visit – $17*
  • 30-minute visit – $21*

Households with more than three cats:

  • Add $3 to all rates.

Visits performed on weekends:

  • Add $2 to all rates.

Visits performed on holidays:

  • Add $5 to all rates.

Small Animal Care mouse

Our small animal care visit will include feeding, fresh water, changing bedding, and interaction with your pet.

Standard rate for visiting up to 2 household animals:

  • 15-minute visit – $17*
  • 30-minute visit – $21*

Households with more than two animals:

  • Add $3 to all rates.

Visits performed on weekends:

  • Add $2 to all rates.

Visits performed on holidays:

  • Add $5 to all rates.

Surcharges

Scheduling and cancelling walks and visits:

  • If you request or cancel a service after 8:00am the day of the requested service – $5 will be billed to your account.
  • If we arrive at your home for a scheduled walk or visit and you cancel upon our arrival, your pet is not home, or we cannot access your home because your door/lock/key is not working properly – the cost of your scheduled service will be billed to your account.

Keys:

  • Please provide HouseBroken with two complete sets of keys to your apartment/building during your initial “meet and greet.” If HouseBroken is asked to pick-up or drop-off a set of your keys at a later date, a $10 fee will be billed to your account. To avoid being charged for subsequent pick-ups/drop-offs, we recommend keeping at least one set of your keys on file at HouseBroken for scheduling future services.
  • If HouseBroken is asked to make copies of your keys, a $5 fee will be billed to your account plus the cost of the keys.

“Meet and Greets”:

  • Initial “meet and greets” with new clients are always free of charge. However, if you require an additional “meet and greet” to meet specific dog walkers or pet sitters, a $10 fee will be billed to your account.

About Us

about

Vivian & Toby (Owners)

Vivian’s and Toby’s love for animals led them to establish HouseBroken in 2001. Vivian has always had a soft spot for homeless dogs, and has been actively rescuing and placing unwanted animals her entire life. Originally from Colombia, Vivian grew up in Westchester and is a graduate of Tufts University and CUNY School of Law. She spent a few years as a hi-tech public relations executive during the dot-com boom, and has successfully practiced as an insurance coverage attorney for over 13 years. Toby, an Idaho native and outdoor enthusiast, grew up surrounded by animals his whole life. Toby is also a graduate of Tufts University, and has been an environmental consultant specializing in hazardous waste management for over 21 years. Together, Vivian and Toby have shared their life with two whippets (Barley and Dylan – RIP) and a rescued pitbull (Zeli – RIP). They now live in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with a rescued pitbull named Ketchum.

Our Team

kim

Kim (Manager)

Kim grew up in Nashville and moved to NYC in 2012, and within a month was working for HouseBroken. Kim studied English literature at Middle Tennessee State University, where she developed a passion for children’s literature. She is now expanding on her other interests in film and stop motion, and has become an avid cyclist. A huge lover of animals, Kim has always had a dog or cat close to her bed at night. Kim adopted Marlow, a former HouseBroken client, that needed a new home.

Our Clients

Frequently Asked Questions

What workplace procedures do you have in place for COVID-19?

Currently, we are taking several precautions to ensure that our employees and clients continue to be safe. We utilize a non-contact thermometer to take employees’ temperatures and require our employees to wear face coverings. We also require our employees to wash their hands frequently, and we provide them with hand sanitizer, gloves and extra leashes. Our staff will not leave physical notes in your home, and instead will leave a note electronically via LeashTime. We will try our best to limit the number of different walkers/sitters that enter your home on a regular basis.


How do I schedule your services?

If you are already a HouseBroken client, we encourage you to login to your LeashTime account and schedule your own services. You can also email us at Pets@HouseBrokenNY.com, or call our office at 718.622.0600. Regardless of which method you use, you must receive an email confirmation that we have received your request and that your pet has been scheduled for the walk or visit. If you have not received a confirmation, do not assume that your pet will receive a walk or visit.


Why am I being charged sales tax?

Pet care services in New York are subject to 8.875% sales tax.


What days will accrue a “holiday” surcharge?

The following holidays have a $10 surcharge: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The following holidays have a $5 surcharge: Martin Luther King Day, Presidents’ Day, Easter Sunday, Columbus Day and Veterans Day.


How do I make a payment, and what forms of payment do you accept?

Although we can accept checks, Zelle and Venmo, all clients must provide a valid credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover), and be enrolled in our weekly or bi-weekly automatic debit plan before we will begin performing services. You can always view your current account balance and update or change your credit card information on file by logging into your LeashTime account.

The critical pieces of information associated with your credit card (i.e., the credit card number and the security code) are encrypted before being stored in Leash Time.  These numbers are only decrypted when a credit card transaction is performed.  Credit card numbers and security codes are never revealed to HouseBroken or LeashTime staff, and are never even stored in LeashTime’s database.  Instead, a three-step process is used to pass the credit card information directly to the gateway/credit card processing company so that LeashTime’s server never sees it.

Unfortunately, we are unable to maintain account balances of more that two weeks worth of services at a time, and your services may be suspended if we cannot debit your credit card.


Can my dog be walked at a specific time?

For all dog walks, we require a  2-hour window around your preferred walk time. Solo walks and same day requests may not be available during peak walking times (i.e., between 12pm and 3pm) and may require a 3-hour window. Walks on weekends and holidays, and walks performed for clients who only provide HouseBroken with one complete set of their keys, may also be subject to restrictions on walk times. For puppy visits and dogs with special medical needs, we will attempt to narrow the window to approximately one hour around your preferred walk time.


Will the same person walk my dog each day?

We generally assign one primary dog walker per route, and two secondary dog walkers per route. However, we cannot guarantee that the same dog walker will be walking your dog each day. It should also be noted that for clients without a repeating dog walking schedule and for clients with same day requests, we may not be able to accommodate your preference for a specific dog walker. Also, please note that it is not feasible for us to guarantee you are only assigned gender-specific dog walkers (e.g., you only want female walkers). We do understand that some dogs may react in a more positive manner for certain genders and we will try our best to accommodate your requests when we can.


How much time will my dog be outside during a walk?

Our walks begin as soon as we enter your apartment and end when we leave your apartment. If we have to obtain keys from a doorman, the walk will begin when we ask the doorman for your keys. Please note that any time spent putting on coats/booties, feeding, medicating, trying to open a problematic door/lock, trying to leash a timid dog, cleaning up accidents, etc. becomes part of the walk duration.


How is my dog walk affected during inclement weather?

Walks during inclement weather may be shortened in duration at the discretion of the dog walker and or a HouseBroken manager. Shortening could be due to safety concerns (e.g., high winds, thunderstorms, extreme hot or cold temperatures) or other reasons (e.g., your dog won’t walk when it is raining). We will do our best to get you dog to go potty before taking him/her back inside, and of course all changes in duration will be reflected in your final bill.

In addition, during impending storm events, HouseBroken will stay open and operational as long as New York City keeps public schools open. If the City determines it is necessary to close schools, HouseBroken will also close.


 

Can you let my dog off-leash in a park or a dog run?

Even with your permission, we will not let your dog off-leash for safety reasons.


 

What types of small animals have you cared for in the past?

We have cared for rabbits, fish, iguanas, guinea pigs, rats, snakes, tortoises, and birds.


Why do you need two sets of keys to my home?

We require two complete sets of keys (i.e., all building keys and apartment keys necessary to enter your home) to ensure that we can efficiently mobilize to walk or visit your pet outside of our normal office hours if necessary, perform multiple walks/visits in a single day if requested, and be able to perform a last minute request for a walk/visit. Without two complete sets of keys available, the services and timeframes available to you may be limited.


I no longer need HouseBroken’s services. How can I get my keys back?

If you would like to permanently close your LeashTime account, and you do not have an outstanding balance, you can arrange to pick up your keys at our office. We also may be able to drop your keys off at your home, depending upon your location and our availability (a $10 fee may apply). If your account has remained “inactive” (i.e., you have not ordered services within the past year), and you have not contacted us to collect your keys, your keys will be disposed of by HouseBroken.

Contact Us

To schedule a free “meet and greet” with you and your pet, or to learn more about our services, please contact us at:

Info@HouseBrokenNY.com or 718.622.0600

Alternatively, feel free to fill out our Information Request Form and we will get back to you shortly.

Our office hours are the following:

Monday – Friday: 9am – 6pm

Saturday – Sunday: 11am – 5pm

Holidays: 11am – 5pm