Frequently Asked Questions
Are you Police checked?
Yes I am and I have a basic disclosure certificate. This is available for clients to see at any time and I encourage you to do so.
Full or enhanced DBS checks can only be issued for people working with vulnerable adults and children. This usually equates to medical, legal and youth roles.
As an ex nurse working within the N.H.S I have been used to being in positions of great trust and I am honest and respectful at all times. My personal pledge is that I will care for your pet as I would my own and respect your property, privacy and life style.
Are you insured?
Insurance is essential for any professional to protect both the client and the service provider. My insurance is with “Pet Business Insurance” who specialise in the provision of insurance for the pet care industry.
I encourage you to see the certificate at any time and carry it with me when I meet clients.
Do you need a license to Home Board dogs?
Yes you do now in most areas of the country and further regulation is expected in October 18. I will keep you posted…
Licenses are gained from Swindon Borough Council and are renewed annually after an inspection. They cover the period from the 1stof January to the 31stof December.
The License holder has to prove they are sufficiently experienced, have adequate facilities and that management procedures are in place to guard against loss of dogs, infection control and the risk of fire.
When boarding dogs from different families, we offer familiarisation visits to ensure dogs are compatible. Dogs are never left alone together unattended.
I am currently licensed for up to 3 dogs in addition to my own 2.
Sadly, there are still many businesses boarding without a licence and I urge you to always check for your self, as it is likely to invalidate any insurance held and potentially put your dog at risk.
A licensed Home Boarder will be proud to show you their license.
Do you do training?
No, I am not qualified as a trainer or behaviourist and don’t offer this service.
If your dog has behavioural issues I recommend you consult your vet who will ensure there is nothing physically wrong. He or she is best placed to point you in the right direction of an appropriately qualified professional to help you.
I do however offer individual dog walking (subject to availability) where I can walk your dog in accordance with your dog trainer’s or behaviourist’s training plan. This is focused 1-2-1 walking with defined goals and on going progress reports.
Why use a dog walker?
In modern life, people work increasingly, long hours, and often worry that their dogs may be lonely, bored and unhappy left on their own.
Many dog owners also worry that their dog may bark and annoy neighbours, or amuse themselves, in their owners absence, and become destructive in the house?
I can take the pressure away for you by providing exercise, with mental stimulation which will ensure your dog will return home mentally and physically tired, leaving you a happy satisfied dog for when you return home, and a less stressful life.
Research has shown that exercise is important for physical & mental health and ALL of my clients report that their dogs are calmer & happier after I have walked them.
Do you exercise dogs off the lead?
Yes I do in some circumstances, but only when I know a dog fairly well.
- Dogs must be good with both other dogs and people
- Recall must be established
- Your dog must show he or she is responsive to me
Owners must give permission in writing and accept full liability in the event of straying.
What if my dog gets sick or injured while walking?
This is always a possibility but I am qualified in pet first aid and always carry a kit with me.
In the event of an accident, I would administer first aid and immediately ring the owner. In an emergency situation I would ring the Vet first and arrange transport directly and then the owner.
Phone numbers for all vets are automatically saved on my phone in advance
Authorisation for veterinary care is a contractual obligation for all services in case of emergency. Client’s are directly responsible for all veterinary fees incurred.
What can I expect from a standard walk?
In order to ensure dogs have the best experience possible, group size is strictly limited to 4
Great care is taken to introduce dogs to each other slowly and carefully, matching dogs with comparable needs and temperaments.
Walks take place in a variety of locations including Highworth’s Pentylands Park, Stanton Woods, Hannington and Eaton Hastings.
Dogs are encouraged to follow natural scent trails and sniff to their hearts content.
Throughout the walk mental enrichment is provided by practicing recalls, and games like “find it” using high quality, natural treats that are ethically sourced.
Daily updates with photos are offered as well as progress reports.
What about hot weather?
Special care is taken in hot weather to choose walking areas with natural shade and we generally adopt a slower pace with dogs doing lots of sniffing.
I carry plenty of water and offer frequent drinks throughout.
We have cool mats in the car and have a range of cooling products like Cool Coats, and bandanas to maintain comfort for the dogs.
In exceptional circumstances exercise may be reduced or declined for your pet’s welfare. My primary concern is for your dog and his wellbeing.
How do you transport Dogs?
I do things a little differently to most dog walkers…
I use top of the range estate cars with excellent air conditioning and enhanced comfort instead of a van. In addition I have no public signage.
Dog walker’s vans are increasingly, targeted by thieves, and your dogs security is of the upmost importance to me. That risk is reduced hugely when there is no signage. In addition to this, it also offers you more privacy. Your neighbours won’t know you have employed a dog walker (unless you want them to) and a car attracts little attention from would be thieves.
I am only able to carry a maximum of 3 dogs and all dogs are restrained individually in spacious crates.
I have a “Safe Dog” crash tested crate in the boot, which is able to accommodate 2 large dogs with a solid barrier in between them. These are lockable individually and when picking up or dropping off dogs I can alarm my car whilst leaving the tailgate up for ventilation.
The crates are fully cushioned with Vet Bed synthetic bedding, and are kept scrupulously clean for your dog’s comfort and health.
Do you walk bitches in season?
No, I don’t currently offer this service.
Can dogs be looked after alone at home when I am on holiday?
Although many pet carers do this, I am not comfortable with this practise.
Dog’s, unlike cats don’t usually like being alone for long periods and most don’t cope with this situation well. There are few circumstances where I would be prepared to do this sort of care, and I would insist on a minimum of 4 visits a day.
Home Boarding is a much better alternative and I urge you to reconsider.
However in some circumstances it might be possible on a VERY short, term basis.
This would really apply to the very elderly, blind or frail / infirm dog where other alternatives would cause considerable stress. It is always MUCH cheaper to home board a dog than do 4 visits a day.
What if I have lots of animals?
Multiple animals are not a problem and I am happy to quote you according to your circumstances. Please don’t be put off, the quote will be competitive for the service I provide.
What if I need a service not listed?
Please, just ask. If I can help I will.
I want to provide you with a first class service, your opinion is important to me and excellent customer service is my aim.
What happens after I contact you?
I will talk with you initially to gain some information about your pet, their habits and which services you require.
The next step is for me to come and see you in your home (without obligation) to discuss your needs and meet your pets.
For dog walking services, I will want to go on a short accompanied walk to see your dog’s level of training and how he responds to other dogs and people outside of the house.
For Home Boarding, I will invite you to meet me, and my dogs for an initial walk and brief home visit. If all this goes well, the next stage would be to arrange a 24 hour trial. This is to ensure your dog is happy and manageable in our home, and offers you peace of mind when you go away because you know he has stayed before and been happy in our care.
How do you store information and look after my keys?
At the time of data collection, I will supply you with a privacy notice, which sets out how I collect and use your data. All information recorded on paper about your pets and your home is stored in a locked cabinet in accordance with General Data Protection Regulation 2018
Your keys are identified by the colour of it’s tag and a random word allocated to that tag so that in the event of someone breaking into my house, they cannot pick up your keys and know what property they fit. The allocated word, identifying your keys is stored on a secure, password protected database.
Your privacy and confidentiality is assured at all times.
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