What do we do? Our answers to our Top 5 things to ask blog!
1. What experience do we have?
I (Kate) have been working with dogs since the beginning of 2017 when I started my own dog walking and pet sitting business in Kent, I took many online courses and an in person canine First Aid course and the business was very successful. I have also had family dogs and dogs of my own for as long as I can remember. I have volunteered with Dogs Trust Dogs School to help trainers and behaviourists teach owners positive reinforcement ways of training their dogs.
Amy has had dogs since she was 7 and has done pet sitting since 2018. Before that she volunteered at dog shelters while she lived in Spain and on returning to the UK helped out on a smallholding. She has worked as a dog walker for another company between 2020 and 2021 before joining me on our venture for a local dog walking and pet sitting business in Dereham in March 2021.
2. Do we have full insurance?
Of course! Our insurance obviously covers your dog’s safety, the safety of your home and we also have the keys covered in case anything goes wrong with that and we need a locksmith.
3. How many dogs do we walk at once?
We walk no more than 4 dogs at a time, if they all get on well. We pride ourselves on offering a high quality service, so you know your fur babies are well taken care of. We give them lots of attention and offer games and mental stimulation so we become the best thing on the walk, this makes it more likely for them to stay with us (if they are off lead dogs) and not want to wander off. For just in case, they each have a tag on with mine or Amy’s phone number on so we can be contacted if they did decide to have their own adventure (better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it).
4. How do we transport the dogs we walk?
I personally prefer seat belts for the dogs, so I have done my research and have got the most recommended seat belts I could find (Petzone; bungee seatbelt with lockable clip). Because of this we ask all the pawrents we work for to provide a car safe harness so the dog will be both comfortable and safe.
5. Are we first aid trained?
Of course! We keep up to date as much as we can and we do the in person training as this is a more hands on training (online ones are just theory). They even have a dog CPR dummy to practice resuscitation on. We ask for a signature next to the place on our paperwork that shows we have asked for permission for this. (permission is needed as dogs are classed as property in the eyes of the law and also if resuscitation was needed it will break some ribs of the dog, but save their lives)
Our answers to the extra notes;
- Do we have a DBS check – yes, all up to date and can be seen on request
- Do we have our own dogs? We both have a dog and they join us on walks if safe and happy to do so.
- Where do we take the dogs? As many different places as we can so they get plenty of enrichment through sniffing. Some may be weather dependant, such as woods if its sunny and certain places become really muddy/unwalkable in winter.
- Will we be the people doing the dog walks for your dog? It will always be me or Amy, we always let you know in advance. If we do need to use anyone else we will always clear it with you and offer for you to meet the first if you would like to.
- What contingency plan is there for the days we can’t work? We cover each other and if in the very rare cases of both being unwell/on holiday we would do as above, clear the designated person with you.
- What is our policy on if a dog gets injured while with us? Accidents happen, so what do we do in those circumstances? Depending on the injury, the dog will get seen to there and then (we carry emergency first aid kits on us and have larger ones in the car), if possible we will walk or carry the dog back to the car (the current walk would stop if necessary). We would call the other for support with the other dogs and if needed take the injured dog to the closest vet. I have performed a few emergency bandages on dogs legs, one was a saluki that caught his leg while running on some ruffage (salukis have very fine skin) he had caught a major vein. I bandaged there and then and got the dog to the vets. I was in touch with the owners throughout and after she was able to get to the vets and he had been seen to, I helped her get home and get him settled. The owner later told me that if I hadn’t acted as I did the vet said that could have been fatal! I was shocked but so pleased I had the knowledge to be able to help him.
- Will we update you about the walks? How do we do this? We currently update through WhatsApp sending pics and videos and info on what we’ve been up to. We are waiting on an app called walkies to become available on android so we can do it through that.
- What do we do in bad weather? Does the dog get cleaned up/dried off if necessary? I have a portable shower and many many towels, plus fox poo shampoo (my dog is a roller so I know I need this for certain dogs). They can get cleaned and wiped down before returning home.
- What else do we do on a walk, other than just walking? (Is there mental stimulation and enrichment?) We do games such as ‘fetch’, ‘find it’ (sprinkles), ‘tug’, we also do little bits of training and impulse control work so the dogs get tired mind as well as body.
- If you are wanting a pack walk how do we decide who mixes with who? When a dog joins the Dog’s Tale pack, we do our first walk one to one to be able to assess that individual dogs likes and dislikes, how they respond to us and their general energy. This gives us an indication of who they would get on with and we do our best to match them with those other dogs. If we are not sure how a dog will mix we team up and walk together so if there are any issues we can work with it or go in different directions and rethink who they can mix with.
We hope these answers help you to see that we have your best interests in mind and heart along with your dogs too.
So if you need any help with your dog in the Dereham area and the surrounding area and you would like to book a meet please fill out our Adventure Application form or if you want to ask another question that we haven't covered please feel free to contact us. Thanks
Wags and Woofs from me, Amy and the rest of A Dog's Tale Team (Ash and Freya).