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The house was sparkling and the kittens seemed really contented & happy!

Kamala, Spooky & Jelly's Mum

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you walk dogs in a group?

No, we do not. We only walk multiple dogs if they are from the same household.

We feel that your dog or dogs deserve 100% of our attention for the time that you are paying us for, whether it be 30 minutes or an hour. Our solo walks are often the same price or even cheaper than group walks by other walkers.

The more dogs you walk, the less attention each dog gets and it is easy to lose track of dogs when they are off lead and tend to wander off. We've seen it happen with other dog walkers who turn up with a van full and just unload them and let them get on with it! Once not even realising that one of their dogs is missing for over 15 minutes until fortunately, it returns on it's own! Is it really worth the risk?

Your dog(s) are far more important to us than a van-full of money! Obviously, we make a lot less money walking 1 dog at a time rather than 10; but we feel that this way we can offer a far better and more customised service to suit your needs and your dog's. We can offer 3 types of walk (30, 45 and 60 minutes), we can cater for dogs with behavioural issues who cannot be walked with others or need 100% of our attention around distractions such as cars, bikes and people; and we get to not just walk your dog, but we can play too! Does your dog like the water or to play ball? 100% of our attention means that we can play ball with them or they can go for a swim in the river (if permitted) and our concentration will be on them alone.

What hours/days do you walk/feed?

We can, and often do, walk and feed 7 days a week, 365 days a year! We can walk your dog anytime of the day providing we have vacant slots. If you need a walk at 6am or 12.30am, that's absolutely fine. The same goes for feeding. We try and keep to your regular feeding times (when possible) to maintain your pet(s) normal routine.

We do charge a little extra on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day; but otherwise there are no extra charges over public holidays, evenings or weekends.

We work irregular hours which can change at short notice?

We have several nurses and careworkers as clients whose shifts often change at short notice. Providing you can give us a minimum of a couple of hours notice or be fairly flexible with the time you want your dog(s) walked, it's rarely a problem. Because there are two of us we can usually re-organise our days to accomodate your needs.

Can you provide an occasional dog walking service?

Yes, we can walk your dog occasionally for you when you need a bit of extra help. We have several clients that ring up a few days before and book a walk for their dog.

As with our regular clients, we need to meet you and your dog prior to walking them for the first time to get to know the dog and complete the required paperwork.

After that you can give us a call when you need us and, providing we have room in our day, we can walk your dog for you. The more notice you can give us the better but most days we would be able to fit your dog in providing you can be fairly flexible about the time.

We are worried about strangers in our home. Who exactly will be looking after our pet(s) & home?

We never allow anyone else access to your home. The people you meet at the introductory meeting (Paul & Helen) where you complete all the paperwork; are the only people that will be in your home. This is part of why we insist on a meeting with you and your pet(s) so that you can get to know us and feel happy that we will take good care of your pet(s) and your home.

If you have further concerns, we are happy for you to speak to our existing and previous clients if that would put your mind to rest and we also can provide numerous wriiten references for you to see.

Do you have advertising on the side of your car/van?

You might think that this is a strange question to ask, but think about it - if a car/van is parked in your driveway or outside your home advertising a Dog Walking/Pet Sitting business, it's obvious no-one is at home!

The answer is 'No' we don't have advertising on the side of our car (no van either!). We used to, but decided the risk of our clients being burgled outweighed the benefits of advertising, so we no longer have advertising on our car or wear anything with our business name on. To anyone watching, we could just be friends or family visiting your home. This is especially important for our pet feeding clients who are away on holiday for an extended period.

Do you provide a pet sitting/day care service?

'If you wish to board dogs in a domestic premises - referred to as home boarding, then you will also require a licence. It is only permitted to board dogs from the same family and the maximum number of dogs the premises is allowed to board at any one time (never more than three) will be specified on the licence.' Dorset For You website.

'Home Boarding' now requires a licence and even then only take up to 3 dogs at one time and from the same family. Please see the Dorset For You website for details on these new rules. This applies to home boarding in the Borough of Christchurch, you'd have to check regarding other boroughs. If a pet care business in Christchurch is offering this service they are required to have a licence to do so otherwise it is illegal!

We can offer multiple visits to feed and/or walk your pet in its own home and the cost usually works out to be around the same or cheaper than boarding at a kennels. Please see our Dog@Home section.

For Dogs

Two half-hour visits/walks costs the same or less than dedicated doggy day care but your pet gets to stay in familiar surroundings, isn't bothered by other dogs and gets 100% of our attention. The dog can be let out in the garden and played with or taken out for a walk - it's your choice. What would you prefer? Please see our Dog@Home section for more details.

For Cats

In our considerable experience with both our own and the many cats we have looked after, cats do not need 24 hour in-house care unless they are very elderly, ill or both. In fact, most cats would prefer you left them alone until they need you to feed them or require some love!

With this in mind, usually two visits to feed and play/fuss them is adequate per day. There are exceptions with all animals but for most cats, this is plenty. For the rest of the time they sleep, potter around, wash or hunt as they would if you were at work during the day.

Our dog doesn't like other dogs etc...

We specialise in dogs with behavioural problems. We ONLY offer solo (dogs from the same household are fine) or 1-to-1 walks, so your dog will have 100% of our attention and won't feel threatened by a pack.

We have several doggy clients who do not like the company of other dogs and we walk them in a quieter area where there are less dogs. We will not let these dogs off lead unless they are in a fenced-off area where they cannot harm other dogs. As we do not walk dogs in a 'pack' or group (unless from the same household), we rarely have any confrontations as we are completely focused on your dog alone and not several.

We do not avoid other dogs because we feel that dogs should be socialised and avoidance tends to make the situation worse. We will try to reduce the fear in the dog by reacting calmly to any situation and therefore not increasing the dog's fear of the encounter. They will be introduced to dogs that are already known to us.

The only dogs we cannot walk are females in heat.

We have a puppy - would you be able to socialise him/her?

Providing your puppy has had all of his/her puppy vaccinations we can gradually introduce your puppy to other dogs. We do this very slowly and with a select few dogs that we know would be happy to socialise. It is best to start socialisation as soon as possible with a new puppy so that they learn from other dogs what is acceptable behaviour and what isn't.

Do you have any vacancies for dog walkers?

We are not currently looking to employ any staff.

Do you accept schoolchildren/school leavers on work experience?

No, I'm afraid we do not have adequate insurance to cover additional walkers and to do so would prove too costly.

For further information, please download the Pet Guardians Portfolio in Adobe Acrobat format.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us. You can e-mail us at info@pet-guardians.co.uk or telephone 07963 023593 to discuss your requirements.

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Pet Guardians, All Rights Reserved
  E-mail: info@pet-guardians.co.uk Telephone: 07963 023593