Tag Archives: pet sitter

Twenty Years of Travel Across The Pet Industry Landscape!

Written by Niki Tudge. Copyright 2011

Dip, ABT, Diploma. Animal Behavior Technology, Dip, CBST. Diploma Canine Behavior Science and Technology Certification Council for Pet Dog Trainers -CPDT-KA, APDT – Professional Member, NADOI-Certified,The Canine Behavior College. Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Association of Animal Behavior Professionals – Professional Dog Trainer, American Kennel Club “Canine Good Citizen”™ Evaluator, The International  Training Board, TS1, TS2,TS3

How My Journey Began

I began my journey into the pet industry over twelve years ago. The industry had a very different landscape then. A dog trainer was somebody you called for advice on how to attain the leadership role in your home. The belief was that each and every day you awoke and got up from your bed you had to fend off a hostile leadership takeover spearheaded by your pet dog. The professional advice dispensed was all about how to make your dog OBEY!

Many of the readily available methods were far from humane and in many cases extremely ineffective or dangerous to the well-being of your beloved pet. Searching the internet for dog training books was another challenge. They were hard to find and when they could be located it was not unusual to read advice like “if your dog does not sit, then pull up strongly on the leash while pushing down hard on the dog’s back end.” This is actually a very tempered example.


Much of the professional emphasis was placed around punishing your dog and teaching them who is the boss. These methods and dispensed advice led to many misguided pet owners. Even in the year 2000, I could not comprehend these methods nor was I about to embark on a dog training journey with my first pet dog using such an unpleasant approach. An approach that appeared to be physically and mentally intimidating to my dog and proved to be highly aversive to me and I was at the more preferable end of the leash.

Training wasn’t the only challenge back then.  If you needed professional care for your pet while you vacationed and you were insightful enough to recognize that a commercial boarding kennel may not be a wise choice for your little ‘fluffy’ then you probably tried in-home pet care. This pet care would normally have been negotiated with your neighbor over the garden fence on a warm Saturday afternoon. This contracted labor agreement left some poor press-ganged teenager, who had other ideas about how to spend their summer vacation, caring for the family pet.  I know this all too well. Yes, I was once that begrudging and often belligerent pet-sitting teenager set loose into the homes of our neighbors to feed and water precious pets. I fondly remember a regular client of mine, Hercules. Hercey, as he was fondly called, was a large Ginger Tom who headed up the pet coalition in our neighborhood. Hercules intimidated all and any dogs that crossed his path. He certainly kept me on a tight feeding schedule with his insistent body rubs and shrill meows.

In my earlier years I don’t ever recall the need for dog walkers. Our neighborhood dogs took themselves off for their daily romps. It was a very usual sight to see Scruffy, our neighborhood’s resident canine, happily wandering around while his family members were at work and school.

So here we are at the end of 2011. Oh how things have changed. The marketplace is now saturated with dog trainers, pet-sitters and dog walkers.  Pet care books and the latest training fads are published at a fast rate. Because of the growth of the pet industry it can be difficult determining what works and what doesn’t.  The methods, philosophies and techniques of many  ‘experts’ on dog training and pet care  can be buried in the marketing message and industry jargon often hiding  obsolete techniques, questionable methods, regressive philosophies or damaging equipment choices.  As in any industry, Pet care professionals range from the highly professional to the 21st century version of the reluctant and now more technologically savvy teenager left to care for a beloved pet.

The DogSmith was created to provide a place where like-minded professionals can be more easily found by clients looking for highly effective, force-free, pet care and dog training professionals. The DogSmith provides a one-stop resource for clients who want highly professional pet care providers and dog training professionals who are honest in their marketing, force-free in their methods and highly ethical in their business practices. So if you have found yourself agreeing with my take on the industry then learn more about The DogSmith here



In Home Pet Care Services – 9 Questions You Must Ask Your Pet Sitter

The DogSmith having opened its newest franchise in Oxford Ms will now be offering in-home pet care to the Oxford MS community.

Yes! You Can Leave Home Without Them – We Offer Unrivaled Professional Pet Care Services In Your Pet’s Home

Pet Sitting, Dog Walking, Dog Day Care Services, In Home Pet Care, Dog Romps, Pet Shuttle, Pet Waste Cleanup, Canine Slumber Parties and DogSmith Sleepover Services
Voted #1 Pets’ Favorite Caretaker by Dogs & Cats

The DogSmith Pet Care Program gives you the flexibility to care for your pet and reclaim your freedom. All our pet care providers are certified Pet Care Technicians and are fully insured and bonded.

Before you consider hiring an in-home pet care service provider, read the following:

9 Things You Should Know Before Hiring a Pet Sitter or Dog Walker

The world of dog walking and pet sitting is unregulated in most areas so anyone can potentially call themselves a professional Dog Walker or Pet Sitter. But, much like choosing the best care-givers for your children, it is essential that you make every effort to ensure you find a qualified, trustworthy and professional pet sitter and dog walker. You are entrusting the health and well-being of your pet family members to their care so ask the following 9 questions about Pet Sitting/Dog Walking professionals before you hire them.

1. What are their Qualifications? Make sure your Pet Sitter/Dog Walker is certified to care for your pet. Pet Sitting/Dog Walking is generally an unregulated industry but there are nationally recognized standards and professional organizations that set the standards and certify qualified professionals. Check with the Pet Care Services Association for their 3 levels of certification; 1) Certified Pet Care Technician (CPCT); 2) Certified Advanced Pet Care Technician (CAPCT); Certified Kennel Operator (CKO).Make sure your Pet Sitter/Dog Walker is certified with a nationally recognized organization. Ask to see their certificate and make sure it is current. You are paying for a trained professional and that’s what you should be getting.

2. What is their Work Ethic / Professional reputation in your community? Does your Pet Sitter/Dog Walker look, dress, and act professional? If you can, observe your Pet Sitter/Dog Walker on the job with other clients. Watch how they handle the pets in their care. Are they on their cell phone or “texting” while they are supposed to be watching their clients at the Dog Park?

3. What are the company’s mission, values and ethics: Check the company’s website and marketing literature. What is their vision and do they explicitly state their ethics? If they do, what they say will tell you a lot about how they view their profession and it is something you can compare their performance against. If they do not explicitly state their values and ethics why not?

4. What is their philosophy on animal handling and care and what kind and type of equipment to they provide and use? Know what type of equipment your Pet Sitter/Dog Walker use and what they provide. Do they use chock chains? How many dogs are they willing to walk at once. Many Pet Sitters/Dog Walkers will not use certain types of collars and leashes and they limit the number of dogs they will walk at one time. This assures the safety and well-being of the animals they are responsible for.

5. Can they provide references? Ask the Pet Sitter/Dog Walker for references from past and current clients. Customers are usually happy to share their opinion . They will be happy to tell you their experience. Many of my clients have been approached by others in the gym. It’s very common practice. If you are not in that sort of environment, tell the trainer you would like to be able to contact or be contacted by his current clients.

6. Do you and your pets have chemistry with the Pet Sitter/Dog Walker? You want to feel good about your Pet Sitter/Dog Walker and be able to trust them to look after your pets so personal chemistry is important. It is also important between your pets and the pet Sitter/Dog Walker. Pet Sitting/Dog Walking is a personal relationship so you must hire someone you can have confidence in. Make sure you are happy with the person who will actually be caring for your pets. They should be patient during the initial consultation answer all of your questions

7. Can you check their background and do they do background checks on all of their employees? Some Pet Sitters/Dog Walkers my seem great when you meet them and say all of the right things but you are entrusting them with your pets and sometimes access to your home. You should confirm that the Pet Sitting/Dog Walking company does background checks on their workers and you should look into the background of the company. You can use the internet or get more detailed information by using a background check service. The company should be happy to have your check their background.

8. What is their knowledge base? Does your Pet Sitting/Dog Walking company understand animal behavior, first aid, nutrition, emergency procedures? Ask some hard questions that will reveal their knowledge or lack of knowledge. And how do they handle questions they don’t know, do they try to “snow” you are do they simply admit that they don’t’ know.

9. Do they have Liability Insurance and Bonding? Hopefully, if you gone through the previous 9 steps this last step will never matter. However, accidents to happen and you should make sure that your Pet Sitter/Dog Walker carries the appropriate Liability Insurance and that they are fully bonded.

If you make an effort to learn about your pet sitting/dog walking professional you will enjoy a long term relationship based on trust and confidence that your beloved pets are taken care of while your away as well as you care for them.

Call The DogSmith and schedule a FREE in-home consultation. We offer the Oxford MS community pet sitting, dog walking, pet waste cleanup services. Through our sister company Pampered Paws Pet Resort & Spa we also offer deluxe boarding and doggy day care services. AND don’t forget to ask about our new Lapdog boarding services.