Serving Vancouver Island
In service since 2004 Fully Insured & Bonded
Mick Howland KPA CTP BCSPCA AnimalKind Accredited
Fear Free™ Certified Professional Member of
VIATA (Vancouver Island
Animal Trainers Assocation)
Fear Free™ Certified
IAABC Assoc Certified Dog
ABC Certified Dog Trainer Certified Prof Pet
TTouch Practitioner 1
CASI Cert CBST
have a contract?
A contract defines expectations for both parties.
The contract is written up before the service begins and it gives an opportunity
to discuss what is needed. It helps prevent misunderstandings. For example, if
you want certain areas of the home closed off to pets, special feeding
instructions, visit times, etc. then ensure that is all written into the
contract. Make sure you define what your pet's needs are, and of course, know
what the full cost of the service will be prior to signing off on the agreement.
Basically, define who will do what. Cover all the bases and make informed decisions.
is pet sitting? Pet sitting, according to Pet Sitters
International, is typically defined as
pet care in a client's home. Your pet is in the comfort of their own
home with their usual meals, sights, sounds and routine. These visits also
provide an important measure
of crime deterrence as your home is checked regularly.
should we look for when hiring a pet sitter? On the business
side: insurance and bonding, and a business license.
The insurance must be insurance created specifically for pet sitters /
dog walkers. This provides Care, Custody and Control of pets in the care of the
sitter or dog walker, and for damage in your home. ASK for PROOF of this
insurance. The insurance companies will provide multiple certified copies
of the policy to the business owner, and either the original or a certified copy
should be available for you to see at the meet and greet.
The business license isn't an option in the city of Parksville. It is
On the practical side: Pet First Aid, an emergency
plan and a backup plan.
There are a number of other things to look for too that we didn't mention in the
interview - memberships in professional organizations, what records the service
maintains on your pets, references.
should we look for when hiring a dog trainer?
There are many things to check when hiring a dog
trainer. What training does the trainer have? If the trainer has taken a course,
is that all they have as knowledge? Owning dogs helps but it really doesn't
provide the depth of knowledge that trainers need. Watching TV trainers doesn't
provide much except techniques that should not be used. Don't believe everything
you read on the web. Embellished credentials abound on the web. What experience
does the trainer have? How long has the trainer been training? What methods does
the trainer use?
a Pet Sitter need insurance and bonding? Pet sitter insurance covers your pet and
home while in the care of the pet sitter - the care, custody and control.
Policies include lost key coverage as well.
As professional pet sitting has been around for more than 25 years,
insurance policies are available specifically for this type of business. Pet
sitter insurance provides protection in many different areas to the client's
home and the pet. Liability coverage is “negligence insurance” and covers expenses
should the caregiver have an accident and damage the client’s property or do
something that results in harm to the pets. Bonding is a part of the insurance and of course it protects the you, the
pet owner, for the stranger coming into your home.
Pets Stay Home Training & Care is fully insured and bonded. This policy
will be available for you to see at the introductory meeting along with other
relevant business-related identification.
Does Pets Stay Home abide by standards?
Pets Stay Home Training & Care is committed to providing exceptional care that will exceed
your expectations. We are committed to professionalism. We maintain
memberships with professional organizations and abide by the standards and
ethics of organizations such as the Pet Professional Guild, Karen Pryor Academy,
and the TTouch Guild.
experience and training does Pets Stay Home have in training & pet care? 1. We have over
40 years of experience in pet parenting. We have owned many dogs, cats,
birds and smaller animals.
2. We participated in obedience training (over 20 years) and
in CKC competitive obedience
3. We attend conferences, workshops, complete certifications so that we
have a well rounded educational background and to remain current.
4. Karin has completed many training courses. She is an ABC Certified Dog
Trainer, an Assoc Certified Dog Behaviour Consultant, TTouch Practitioner 1, and
continues to learn more.
5. Mick is a graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy. He is a Karen Pryor
Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP) in good standing.
6. We completed training in pet first aide through the Red Cross in
7. Finally, we have practical experience working with clients and their
pets. We will work with difficult cases and strive to find solutions.
for a full list of experience and training.
Will Pets Stay Home share pet care?
Yes. There are times when you may want a family
member to check in on your pets or have partial care by someone else. We respect
those choices and will work with the other provider of care to your pet.
However, we do expect that person to communicate with us. There are certain
sharing options we will not accept - every-other-day sharing will be declined.
What is Pet Sitting as provided by Pets Stay Home Training & Care?
pet sitting service provides care
for your pets in your own home when you are away either for the day or for longer periods. Your pets will continue
to have their regular pampering, brushing, medicine, gourmet meals or whatever your
usually provide. In your absence, the only thing that your pets will miss
is you, and your pet will happily greet you when you return home.
Are there benefits to hiring
Pets Stay Home?
Absolutely! There are a number of benefits. Here are
just a few. 1.You save time. You only need to make one call to let us know that you need our services.
our Services section for other services we provide. 2. Your pets stay in their own
familiar, comfortable environment. 3. If you are a dog owner, your pet
will be exercised. Arrangements can be made for multiple walks during
the day and evening. 4. Your home appears
lived in - a crime deterrent. 5. It's convenient. You won't need to impose on neighbours, family and friends who may not be available or worse, may
forget. 6. Your pets receive
unhurried love and attention. A comment we frequently hear is how relaxed the
pets are when the family returns home. 7. We engage the pets in play so that they are mentally and
physically challenged. Okay, so we spoil them a bit too, but that's part of
it, isn't it?
is required to use the Pets Stay Home pet sitter services?
Call us or send an email. We will then arrange an introductory meeting to meet you and your
pet(s). This no-obligation introductory meeting is to ensure that your requirements are
recorded, mutual agreement has been reached, and that we have had an opportunity
to meet you and your pet(s).
is required to use the Pets Stay Home dog training services? We ask that you pre-fill a History
Questionnaire and email back to us. We then schedule a visit to meet you and
What is the
The optional "ready-key program" ensures that with one phone call
prior to your departure, whether on a business trip or other reasons, your pets
and home will be looked after. The ready-key program is especially
convenient for those who need to travel on business on short notice. We keep a key on file of your home.
The ready-key program is free, and you only pay when our services are needed -
whether once a week or once every couple of months. For
your security, your keys will never be stored or have an identifying
label with your address. We will discuss our privacy and security measures with
Pets Stay Home shovel snow in winter/mow the lawn in the summer? NO. We will sweep the
steps, however we do recommend that you hire a snow removal service. We
have a snow removal service for our own home and recognize that the work that
they do is a separate service. Our goal is to provide care for your pets and to
ensure your home looks lived in.
In the summer we will water your plants
outside (gardens and greenhouses extra), but again, one of the yard services will
ensure your lawn is mowed and your yard is beautiful. They bring their own
equipment so that yours remains unused.
pets has Pets Stay Home personally owned? Currently our family
includes Polly, a rescue from Hull's Haven Border Collie Rescue. She is a Border
Collie/Am Bulldog X. Scout, a Golden, passed away from cancer in 2013. Deke, a Golden, passed away in 2007. Prior to Deke, we had Tuke,
also a Golden. Tuke was trained in hand signals to work out in the field
to do what he loved to do - retrieving. Also, Joey, a cockatiel, was a
member of the family for over 22 years. We had Mika - a rescued cat,
Prince - a rescued dog, Koko - a chocolate lab, and many other large and small pets over
Our goal from the time we started in 2004 to
today was, and still is, to remain small and personal, always providing the best that we
can give. For that reason, and for your peace of mind, we limit the number of
services we will do in a day so that we can provide the time and attention to
detail that pets in our care need. When we are unable to accept new clients we
are pleased to provide you with names of other service providers that we network
It is important, for many reasons, to teach your dog to be home alone. Start
teaching them when they are still young to spend time without you.
My own dogs recognize the
signals of when I am going out and they know they won't be going too. When
they see these signs they go to their beds and they know that they will have an
opportunity for some quiet rest.
Pets Stay Home listed in the Yellow Pages? We sure are!
We are listed in the Parksville, BC telephone directory yellow
pages under Pet Sitting Services. On the online yellow pages you will
find us under a couple of categories: Dog Training and Pet Sitting Services.
vs pet sitting - please explain. The dogs that are better off being boarded
are the ones that become bored quickly, those that cause damage by chewing, or
those that need to be kept in crates because they haven't been trained yet. Keeping
a dog in a crate for 20 or more hours a day is not fair to that pet and we
discourage it, however if the safety of the dog is compromised when it is left
loose then crating is necessary. Reasonable use of crating is encouraged,
however, with plenty of exercise breaks.
Other pets do very well at home. Most cats do
very well in their own home environment. Dogs that don't need to be confined
also do very well. But even better, is when there is more than one pet in the
home and they keep each other company.
Dogs and cats need mental stimulation and that is
accomplished through exercise, play and interaction with humans. It is important
to ensure that your pets receive enough stimulation each day.
much exercise does a dog need? There are a number
of articles on the web regarding the required/suggested exercise for adult dogs. Some
say a minimum of 20 minutes a day of some activity that provides either aerobic
or anaerobic activity for the muscles. As it is actually possible to over-exercise dogs they need to be monitored
and, of course, follow the advice of your vet and breeder. However,
one exception is exercising puppies. Puppies need short bursts of exercise
rather than sustained walking. Their needs are different. Also, their resistance
to disease is lower until they have had their 3rd set of shots. Disease such as
Parvovirus is present in the soil and unfortunately, it is very contagious.
I still need to have my pets vaccinated if I use Pets Stay Home?
There are many diseases and
using a pet sitter will not ensure that your pet will not be exposed. We
ask that all cats and dogs be regularly examined by a vet, and we suggest that
you follow your veterinarian's recommendations on vaccinations. There are
always exceptions to the rule such as elderly pets and indoor cats.