Best Practices For Dog Trainers

If you offer dog training, private lessons, group classes, seminars, or workshops, we have several features that you can utilize to make scheduling and booking easier for admins, office managers, staff, and clients.


Custom Client and Pet Fields

Client and Pet Fields in Time To Pet are completely customizable. You can opt to show them to clients or hide them for internal notes on behavior, training, or progress. It's also possible to set them as required, so a client will need to fill them out before scheduling services. 

Administrators can set fields as required on their dashboard:

screenshot of client field edit mode with red arrow pointing to required toggle

Marking fields as required will make it necessary to complete them before the client is able to schedule services:

screenshot of client view of required field

Administrators can also create notes that are not viewable by clients by unchecking the "Client Editable", "Client Visible", and "Required" options:

screenshot of client field edit mode with red box around client editable client visible and required toggles

Custom New Client Intake Form

The Allow Clients To Create New Accounts feature can save precious time. You can create a direct link to allow clients to sign up for an account with your company and fill out a custom new client intake form. From there, accounts can be auto-approved, or they can be manually approved. This cuts down on emailing back and forth by capturing the information you need right away to move forward with scheduling.

View of custom new client intake form

Setting Up Services 

Time To Pet allows customers to create unlimited types of Services. If your company offers Private Lessons, Group Classes, Board and Trains, In-Home Dog Training, or Workshops, you can create a service for each!

screenshot of services list screen

It's also possible to make services not selectable by clients if you would prefer to schedule them yourself:

Screenshot of edit service screen with red box around selectable by client setting with checkbox unchecked

If clients will be responsible for scheduling their training, set up a time window/schedule block specifically for the group classes in your Schedule Block Settings. This helps with scheduling and allows for training events to show on the schedule at the same time.

Sceheudle blocks settings with blocks for training services outlined

If the pet care company has other service offerings, your company may want to consider placing the training schedule blocks time frames outside of the normal pet-sitting/dog walking schedule. When viewing the schedule, this can allow for training classes to be viewed more easily.

View of scheduler with training events grouped together near the top of calendar

If you would like training services to be booked in specific time blocks, assign the services to the appropriate schedule block(s) in the Scheduling tab.

Configuring a service - scheduling  tab listing blocks the service is limited to

A client can then go to the portal and select the training service, and then they’ll be prompted to choose the class for the blocks you have set for the service.

Client request form showing the available schedule blocks for a training service

Blocking Service Order Requests

If your company offers private sessions, group classes, or workshops for training that have a limited capacity, there may be times when you wish you could prevent other clients from submitting a request for a particular time slot or date through their Client Apps/Portals. Whether you have a class that is at full capacity and certain time slots are no longer available, or you aren’t offering services on a certain day, with Time To Pet’s Block Requests feature, you’ll have the opportunity to block out specific time periods or black out entire days, which will make those times and dates un-selectable to your clients when they go to input a request.

Note: Even though your clients will not be able to submit requests on their ends through their Client App/Portals, you can still schedule services for them on your end. Events previously scheduled during the dates or times you are blocking will also not be affected.

To block service requests from being made by your clients, you will first want to navigate to your company’s Scheduler. In the right-hand corner, just above the calendar, you should see a red “Block Requests” button nestled between the Bulk Update tool and the Schedule Client button.

screenshot of block requests button on scheduler page

Click the “Block Requests” button to open up a new window. Here, you will be asked to pick a date you would like to block. Choose a date you would like block service requests:

screenshot of block service requests window

Once you choose a date, you will have the option to decide whether you want to block out the entire date you have chosen, or if you only want to block out a certain part of the day. The time blocks you have to choose from will be based on your available Schedule Blocks (which you can set for your company in Settings > Client Settings > Schedule Blocks).

Note: You can only block one time period or one date at a time. If you have multiple blocks of time or multiple dates that you would like to block out, you will need to set up a separate Block Request for each additional Schedule Block or date. 

screenshot of date to block and what time options in block service requests popup window

Once you have chosen whether you would like to block off a Schedule Block or an entire day, you’re ready to click the “Block Requests” button. This will set the block, which is visible on your calendar as a red-colored event. If you are blocking off a certain Schedule Block, the block will appear as a normal event: 

screenshot of blocked time slot on scheduler

If you choose to block off an entire day, on the other hand, the block will appear as a header for that date at top of that calendar day:

screenshot of service day blocked on scheduler

By making use of the Block Requests feature, you can better streamline scheduling for your clients and minimize the amount of requests you receive for times or dates that are fully booked or when you aren’t offering services.

You might also consider using the Portal Notification (more information on this feature can be found in the Additional Tools section of this document) in conjunction with the Block Requests feature to ensure your clients know when and why certain dates or times are unavailable. 


The Flags feature in Time To Pet is limitless. Flags are never seen by clients, only by Admins, Office Managers, or Staff. They can be easily set on a client's profile and are completely customizable. Some companies will add a flag for equipment that is out on loan to clients, clients who pay by cash, behavior warnings, class levels, and much more. 

screenshot of top of client profile with red box around flags

Global Documents And Client Documents

Time To Pet offers two Documents features. Documents that are Global, and can be seen by all clients, or Client Documents, which can be added to a specific client's profile for them to view. Adding homework printouts, class syllabi, contracts, liability forms, important facility instructions, rules, or instructional worksheets are just some of the ways these two features can be utilized. 

An example of a Global Document that can be viewed by all clients: 

screenshot of global documents screen

An example of what a client will see on their profile if they have a client document and a global document in their account:

Screenshot of client portal my info screen with red arrow pointing to documents section

Note: Clients can also view documents in their Time To Pet app for easy viewing on the go.

Collecting Payments

Collecting credit card payments for classes or lessons can all be done online and even right from the Time To Pet app. As soon as a client is scheduled for a service, an invoice is generated that can be sent directly to the client. If payment is required at the start of class or before a seminar or workshop takes place, an invoice can be emailed, and the client can pay through the Time To Pet client portal or app to secure their spot. If you prefer to have clients pay by cash or check, you can manually enter and track payments as well.

Mass Email Feature 

Having all of your clients in Time To Pet allows for easy segmenting of mailing lists using the Mass Email feature. This feature is useful for sending class homework assignments, newsletters, upcoming class information, weather announcements, and much more. 

screenshot of message center

It's also possible to see if a client has received and opened any mass email by using the Actions -> Statistics button:

screenshot of actions menu with red box around statistics button

Time To Pet offers over twenty-five different filters to customize your mailing list for mass emails.

screenshot of add filter screen


Tasks in Time To Pet are a versatile way to create assignable reminders directly in your Dashboard. A task has a description, an optional due date, an optional assignee, and an optional client or staff member linked. Tasks help with organization and can be useful if a client is missing information, needs a follow-up call, has equipment on loan, or needs a general reminder.

View of sample task on a specific client

View of sample task on a client's account

Tasks will show in your dashboard notifications as well as on a client's profile: 

screenshot of staff dashboard with bell icon selected and task list on display

screenshot of client profile with arrow pointing to task

Additional Tools

Portal Notification

The Portal Notification feature for general announcements. When activated, you can add a custom message that will show at the top of every page in their client portal. You can change those settings here: Client Settings > Portal Settings

Portal - Service Request Form Message

The "Portal - Service Request Form" in Company Settings > Messaging. This message will only show when the client is requesting services. For example, "If you are scheduling a pack walk, please use the "Pack Walk" selection". Or "Pack Walks Available Monday-Friday, between 11 am and 2 pm"

Messaging in Time To Pet

Messaging in Time To Pet allows for quick and responsive communication with clients and is a keystone of every successful pet service business. Communication is a fully integrated piece of Time To Pet, which you will likely use frequently. This article is an overview of the different methods of communication possible with Time To Pet. Follow the links in each section for more in-depth instructions on a particular method.

Pet Vaccination Tool

For many dog trainers, it is required that their clients keep their pets up-to-date on all of their vaccinations. Time To Pet can help you track vaccinations, and their due dates and run vaccination reports to see what pets are missing vaccinations, are past due, or have upcoming due dates using the Pet Vaccinations tool. You can also allow pet parent clients to manage their own vaccinations using this tool.

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