The pet care industry is booming! The UK is a country mad about pets. In 2015 the UK pet population is estimated at 7.4 million cats and 8.5 million dogs with 1 in 2 households owning a pet (fish not included). This equates to approximately 20 million pets owned in the UK. So it’s no wonder pet business after pet business seem to be springing up.

It’s important to understand, however, the difference between “a love of pets” and a knowledge of feline and canine behaviour, an appreciation for animal welfare, customer service and business acumen. This is the cornerstone that makes a true professional pet care business stand out from all the other run of the mill operations out there, be they one man bands or those with 15+ sitters.

Anyone can pick up a lead and head out for a walk. 9 times out of 10 nothing out of the ordinary happens. A walk is a walk is a walk. Dogs usually get on. They usually come back when called. They usually behave normally and don’t present with symptoms of illness or stress. However, what happens if they do? Does your pet lover know what to do in all of these scenarios? Have they thought of what to do if your dog runs away when out on a walk? Can they spot the signs of stress? Are they equipped to break up a fight?

Many people start up pet care businesses with genuine intentions: they love pets and believe that walking a few dogs or feeding some cats would not only give them a supplemental income but allow them to play with all those lovely animals they adore. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with this concept, indeed it works for many a household across the UK, it fails to consider the disastrous consequences that can occur when something goes wrong.

What should you look for in a pet care professional?

  • The “Reason” – I put this as point number one because to me it is the most important. Ask your pet care professional WHY they are doing what they are doing. Are they looking to fill a few hours in the day? Are they walking dogs till something better comes along? This will help you decide on whether the company is the one for you. Often businesses, or individuals, who don’t have a “meaty” answer will be the same ones who let you down a few days before your holiday, having cancelled because something else has come along. If they don’t take their own businesses seriously then there’s a good chance they won’t take the care of your pet seriously
  • Business Values – What values do your pet sitters stand by? What’s the ethos of the business? What are they passionate about? It could be anything from rescues to training to behaviour to nutrition. But I think it should be something. Pets are family to so many of us and I don’t know about you but if I’m going to have someone looking after my pets then I want to know what makes them PASSIONATE about it – what makes them tick, why are they doing what they are doing. If they cannot display a drive and enthusiasm for pet care then think again. This job is more about passion than money: it’s a dirty job, a tiring job, a thankless job (yup, those dogs and cats can’t talk yet!) so your pet care professional needs to be doing it for something else – you, the client, should find out what that is
  • Systems – What systems are in place to deal with situations that occur. This could be a dog getting lost, fights breaking out, illnesses, cancellations and scheduling. A professional pet care company will have considered all these scenarios and have plans in place to deal with them. Systems are what ensure your pet is visited on time every time, they are what gives you peace of mind, they are how we communicate effectively with you … so don’t be afraid to ask what your pet care business has in the way of systems and if you are not comfortable with the answers then move on

Jog My Dog have a directory on file of all the professional pet carers in Milton Keynes. Drop us an email to learn more.

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Jog My Dog is a small, friendly and professional company offering home boarding, puppy visits, doggy day care, cat visits and dog walking services in Milton Keynes and the surrounding villages of Bow Brickhill, Brickhill Sands, Little Brickhill, Great Brickhill, Aspley Guise, Woburn, Woburn Sands, Brogborough, Linslade, Stoke Hammond and Soulbury.

Registered, Insured, Knowledgeable and Experienced, we take the job of pet care seriously. So whether you’re looking for a cat sitter for your weekend away or regular runs for your dog while you’re at work, we can help! Get in touch to book your pet sitter and dog walker in Milton Keynes today.