We have put a lot of specific information into the specific tour pages so please check these pages for the tour you are thinking of coming on. This is general information which applies to most tour types.
Q: Why do all dogs need to be desexed?
A:. Yes. Entire (not desexed) dogs have different pheromones to desexed dogs. Pheromones are chemical secretions that can affect behaviour. It is not uncommon for desexed dogs to feel 'threatened' by the scent of entire dogs, particularly in a closed in environment such as the bus or walking groups. As Veterinarians differ as to the age a dog needs to be desexed, we have this policy for all dogs regardless of age.
Q: Can you pick up at different locations besides Port Melbourne?
A: Sorry this is not possible. Before boarding Bella the Dog Bus, we have some essential socialising as a group to allow the dogs to safely meet and greet before getting on board. We know from experience that our socialising activity reduces any stress of meeting new dogs for the first time and makes for a happy day. if we pick up along the way, we need to do this socialising again, make sure the alternative locations are bus friendly and safe. This adds time and expense to the day. We also provide important information about the day when we head off and includes some fun games, trivia, prizes and doggo chats.
Q: Where do the dogs sit on Bella the Dog Bus?
A: On the seats of course! Depending on the size of the dog, there will either be 1 or 2 seats allocated. So you will either be next to your dog or across the aisle. We have a dedicated seating plan for each tour which takes into account seating preferences and provides for sufficient space between dogs so they are comfortable. We also know that some dogs prefer the spacious backseat where they can stretch out or lie on the floor below. If you have a seating preference for say motion sickness please let us know when you complete the Guest Details Form (emailed after you booked and paid) and we will endeavour to accommodate all requests.
Q: What if my dog gets unwell during a tour?
A: All Gourmet Pawprints' team members are Dog and Human First Aid qualified. We have Vet local contact details on lanyards and maps to their locations on us at all times. We also ask that you tell us about any medical conditions your dog may have which will help us prepare and be informed. You can provide this information in the Guest Details Form (sent after you have booked and paid). The more we know the better we can prepare.
Q: Does Gourmet Pawprints do private tours?
A: Yes. Select the tour type and email us with your preferred date. Private tours require at minimum of 10 adults and depending on the tour type, a maximum of between 10-15 dogs. A non-refundable $250 deposit is required to secure the date, venues and team. The balance is paid by 14 days from the tour date. All dogs must be desexed and have a current Canine Cough vaccination. We will send you a link to our Guest Details Form, so we can get each adult and dog details. If you require an alternative pick up location, an additional $150 is payable for us to conduct the necessary safety checks for Bella and the dogs at the location. We do not recommend changing the itinerary as this can be expensive and cause long delays as we have already selected pawfect venues. We cannot accommodate multiple pick up points as this affects the dog socialising before getting on board, the information provided at the beginning and the itinerary for the whole day.
Q: When will you tell guests about what to bring, parking and times to meet?
A: We send a "Getting Ready For Your Tour" email approximately 3 days prior to the tour. This email has all the information about what to bring, parking, times and being ready to have fun. It is sent to everyone who have provided an email address, so please ensure if you are booking for multiple people we have their specific email address.
Q: Can I change the date of my tour?
A: Yes with 2 week notice, we can transfer you to an alternative date. If you request this with less than 2 weeks notice, we charge a $50 administration fee per booking. Sorry there are no refunds once the booking has been made. We value the relationship with our venue partners and as such changing numbers with less than 2 weeks notice creates issues for them and us. If the numbers due to a transfer fall below the minimum, it puts the whole tour in jeopardy and is unfair to others who have booked. Please note we need to receive an email advising of the transfer and date you request.
Q: When do bookings close?
A: Bookings close at 2pm the day before the tour. However, if this is a weekend day, then we must be able to verify your dog's vaccination and desex status with your Vet. So if you are a first timer, then please call before booking as we will need to get your certificates prior to the tour. If you are a returning guest within 12months, we will have this information already on your profile.
Q: What happens if the weather is extreme?
A: We monitor the weather in the week leading up to the tour. If it will be above 30degrees, thunderstorms, floods or similar, we will advise you 3 days prior the tour is being postponed to an alternative date. As we know, Victorian weather can be finicky, so we offer transfer only, no refunds.
Q: Can I find out the wineries we will visit before booking?
A: Sorry we cannot provide this information as we need the flexibility to change venues depending on their bookings. We do not want to promise a winery then have to change if they have a closure for a special event.
In the spirit of reconciliation Gourmet Pawprints acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.