Choosing a pet carer with confidence
Many people believe that they can just open their home to boarding dogs. When Care 4 Pets began, over 17 years ago, we set our own high standards being the only company of this nature in the area at the time offering this level of pet care.
When the Animal Welfare Act was introduced, we worked with the licencing department at the Vale of Glamorgan Council offering practical information regarding our experience in the pet care industry.
Now it seems many people have jumped on the bandwagon and pet care is offered in many forms by different types of people,
but it is your precious family pet that you are placing in the hands of another person.
How do you know these people are trustworthy? Insured? Appropriately licenced? Reliable? Honest? Responsible? Do they have the best interests of your pet and home at heart or are they just hoping to earn easy money?
This may sound critical and it is meant to be. We are not suggesting you should use Care 4 Pets, we are suggesting that you ensure you employ a professional person or company that meets the high standards required by law.
Firstly, ALL people home boarding your pet must be licensed under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963. It is a criminal offence to offer home boarding for dogs without having undergone rigorous investigation by the proper authorities who will issue a licence if they deem that the person meets the high standards required.
Home boarders are required to meet the same standards as boarding kennels.
When you are choosing the person to care for your pet, ask to see their licence and insurance documentation.
Also, a standard Home Boarding License will stipulate the number of dogs than can be boarded at one time. Always visit the boarder before you book your dog in, ask how many dogs will be boarded at the same time as yours, the answer should be in accorandance with their license.
Home Visiting or Sitting
You need someone to visit your pets while you are away, so do you give someone you have never met before the key to your home and entrust your pets to them? Well, this is how it is sometimes, there are checks that you can make to ensure they are honest and reliable.
Generally if you go to a pet care agency then these checks have already been done, however if you are using an independent person ask for a copy of their insurance document, this will provide you with evidence of the validity of the business, ask whether you can see a reference from other clients, ask to see a copy of their CRB report criminal record check) you don’t want someone who has received a conviction for animal abuse or burglary to be looking after your home and pet! As we say, a pet care agency such as Care 4 Pets will already have carried out these checks.
A professional dog walker will have insurance which will stipulate how many dogs are to be walked together, and whether off or on lead. Local Council license can demand that the walker has written permission from owners as to whether or not they want their dogs walked with others and whether or not to be kept on lead.
Choose your walker carefully, if your dog needs plenty of exercise, loves being with other dogs then a walker who is happy to walk a number of dogs at one time may be right for you and your dog. If however your dog is timid or not good around other dogs, then a walker who is prepared to walk a single dog is more appropriate.
Back Up Plan?
Always ask your potential pet sitter what plans they have in the event that they are unable to care for your pet.
What if, when they are house-sitting or home visiting they have an accident and are admitted to hospital? Who would take over and are they qualified?
The pet care industry is regulated with many excellent professional pet carers but there are also many people who do not follow the rules, please choose carefully.