Who’s Walking Your Dog?
Did you know that pet care services, such as dog walking and dog training is an unregulated industry in Canada? This means anyone such as your neighbour’s 9 year old child can come to your home and take your German Shepherd out for a walk and it wouldn’t be illegal. Why is it that we as a society, put so little importance towards something that means so much to us, like our beloved pets?
Every year the media reports cases of mistreated pets by those that are entrusted by their pet guardians. As the demand for pet care grows this leaves a vast range of ‘quality of care’ options depending on the integrity of the service provider. As a pet guardian, do you really know who’s walking your dog and what happens during these walks?
What does it mean to be a Certified and Professional dog walker?
As a Certified Pet Care Professional, I maintain a valid local business license, commercial insurance and bonding. In addition to the basic Pet First Aid, I have invested in continuing education from accredited associations to better take care of your pets.
Every year, I set a continuing education goal to further add to my canine and pet care knowledge base. I have gained invaluable knowledge and skills from the below programs which your pets will benefit from thus building an even bigger, better bond.
Dog Walking Academy graduate.
The Dog Walking Academy by dogbiz is founded by two amazing dog professionals Veronica Boutelle and Gina Phairas who put together a comprehensive education program for dog walkers like me who strives to do the very best. The program is backed by positive reinforcement and science based methods and covers 13 topics ranging from understanding dog behaviors to emergency planning to transportation and of course walk management. In order to graduate, I had to complete a Field Test and put the theory into practice!
Karen Pryor Dog Trainer Foundations
I am primarily a dog walker and pet sitter first, but I believe I am much more than just a human at the end of the leash. I want to work with your dog and give him the best time of his life during our precious time together. In March I completed the Karen Pryor Dog Trainer Foundations Course. Through this course I learned to:
- Read and interpret canine body language to help them manage stressful situations
- Train new behaviours using positive reinforcement and science based methods without the use of punishment and force
- Help a puppy navigate through new environments, people and other dogs
- Build a fearful or shy dog’s confidence by working with his limits and comfort level
- Act as an advocate to a dog with leash, dog-dog or human reactivity.
PSI – Certified Professional Pet Sitter
To round it all off, I acquired my CPPS certification in October 2020. This certification fills in the knowledge gaps between a dog walker and trainer. Topics covered include health and sanitation, pet sitter safety, business ethics, insurance and bonding.
So, next time you see a dog walking, pet sitting, dog training or grooming company advertised as certified and professional, I challenge you to be your pet’s advocate and probe the service provider, “What makes you professional and who certified you?”
If you’re interested in having your dog walked by a truly Certified and Professional Dog walker and Pet Sitter, I invite you to contact me for a complimentary meet and greet to learn all about what we do! You and your pet will not regret it.