About Heather’s Pet Care Services – Established in 2006
Heather’s Pet Care Services established in 2006 has evolved from Heather Thomas (Director) walking dogs on an ad-hoc basis to a fully-fledged company that is now the largest dog walking and pet sitting in Bristol and Bath. Heather’s Pet Care Services began when Heather used to work in a kennels part time after completing her animal care NVQ upon leaving school. Heather started to walk the dogs at lunchtimes that were in the kennels and then offered the service to many other friends and owners that she met at the local park. The word quickly spread and within a few months Heather had to leave her kennel work to focus on her own small business. Heather Got licensed to home board dogs by Bristol city council too so she had a variety of pooches coming to stay for their holidays. Heather was kept very busy in Fishponds Bristol with many dogs for walking as well as many pet visits including cats and dogs. Heather had to get her first van to cope with the demand and her first member of the team emerged in 2010 based in Paulton, Bristol. Heather having a wealth of experience in the animal care industry decided to open her company up to allow jobs for people that share her passion for animals, so in 2011 Heather started to build her team in Bristol. There are now 2 team leaders that work for the company that look after the Bristol and Bath Dog walking teams on a day to day basis as well as completing inductions for new customers. The two team leaders help cope with the demand of behind the scenes work, team training and activities and problem solving on a daily basis. Heather is now living in Bath and is licensed with Bath and North East Somerset council to home board dogs. We currently have a team of 17 walkers across Bristol, Bath and Radstock and 15 fully Kitted out vans.
Our Fleet Of Vans
Our dog walking vans are fully crated and have electric fans fitted, to ensure that they are temperature controlled; even when the temperature is lower 6 dogs in one van can be dangerous. Our experience of using wind powered ventilation led us to remove these and replace with electric fans. All of our vans are owned by Heather’s Pet Services Ltd and they are all sign written. Our walkers carry an array of equiptment with them including longlines, shock absorbers, harnesses, a doggie shower, towels, treats, water bowls and cooling mats. So you can have peace of mind that we have evrything covered and welfare of your dog is priority. All of our vans are fully crated with standing room for larger dogs and have lovely soft bedding in for your dog to chill out before and after their dog walk.
You are welcome to look inside our vans at the time of induction so you can see your dog is transported in safety and comfort. We run a Pet Of The Quarter competition and have done since the company started in 2006, each quarter a member of the team nominates their favourite, most improved or just because pet of the quarter. Our Facebook page determines the winner and each winner of these competitions are naming our vans! Your pet could be on our vans if they are nominated!
Our Dog Walkers And Pet Sitters
All of our dog walkers and pet sitters are trained in pet first aid within the first few months of starting work with us. All of our team have to have a clear police check as a basic before they start to work for us; this is done whilst they are in training with us. We have established a comprehensive training programme with Heather and the team leaders in Bath and in Bristol and a period of shadowing our other dog walkers. Our team learn how to handle dogs properly, where to walk and where to avoid. What to do in an emergency situation and exactly how we like your dog cared for. Continuous personal development for all the team is actively encouraged by the company. Many of our dog walkers and pet carers have completed Dog Behavioural Courses, Nutrition Courses, Dog Law Certificates, Holistic Diplomas, Zoopharmacognosy, TTouch, Dog Agility workshops and also dog law seminars.
- Animal Behaviour and welfare courses, these are important when choosing a pet carer, simple behaviour and welfare courses are a must so that the pet sitter can understand animal behaviours. Heather is a qualified dog trainer and a member of the Institute of Modern dog trainers (IMDT), Heather is also a qualified behaviourist and a member of the INTO dogs Association and the Pet Professional Guild.
- Nutrition courses, Heather is undergoing nutrition courses to give a better understanding about health and nutrition in animals. This is particularly helpful when you have a dog that has a specific medical condition or a specific dietary requirement, when can asset and guide you to what would work best.
- Dog Law Certificates, Heather has attended Trevor Cooper’s dog law seminar and have also completed and passed a Dog Law Certificate course. With the latest changes in Dog law it was best for us as professionals to know all about it. Heather is a member of Dog Law SOS.
- Holistic Diplomas, Our team in 2015 will ALL be undergoing a holistic therapy diploma. Heather wants the staff to learn the holistic side of treatments for dogs as well as getting trained with Dorwest herbs basic product knowledge. This will help us to help you and your animals. Heather is qualified in Holistic Health for dogs.
- TTouch, the Tellington TTouch is modern and respectful way of working with animals to help them overcome a variety of health and behavioural issues. Heather is currently studying towards her P1 certificate in Ttouch.
Team Agility Day 2015
Heather asked her team what they would like to do for a team building day in 2014, they were offered a day out without dogs or a full on day learning agility with dogs. Every member of the team wanted to spend the day with the dogs. Heather got hold of Active Agility based near Clutton, Bristol to provide us with a full day worth of training in May 2014. Stephen and Karen were fantastic to learn from and all of the dogs really enjoyed themselves. It was a fabulous day and we all had lots of fun learning the ropes of agility the team thoroughly enjoyed working with not only our own dogs but many of our customers were invited along so that we could use them for the day! Here’s our video!
If you would like to know more about agility or think your dog would enjoy it please get in touch with us. Agility can be particularly good for dogs that need to work; you will be satisfying one of their instinctual needs as well as creating a bond with your dog and of course having a lot of fun with it too!
Team Exotics Day 2016
Heather surpised the team in 2016 with a Ttouch exotics day. Stepehen from Tropical Inc brought an array of exotics to meet us at Tilley farm in Farmborough. We were able to handle a variety of species including, owls, skunks, tortoise, meerkats and snakes. It was a fantastic day and everyone thouroughly enjoyed themselves. After the exotic time we had a mini seminar about Ttouch and the groun work involved with TTouch. Many thanks to Sarah Fisher and Stephen for allowing the day to go ahead!
Team Vale Wildlife Rescue 2017
In 2017 the team had their team day at the vale wildlife rescue centre, after a tour of the new building and animals in their care Caroline (founder) put together a presentation for the team before allowing the team to get hands on and help the volunteers carry out their cleaning schedules. The Vale wildlife rescue centre is close to Heather’s heart as her Gran lived nearby and they often visited together to help out throughout Heather’s childhood. Here is one of the photos that we got during this day.
Team Day at DogFest 2018
As dog fest was on our doorstep in Ashton court in Bristol this year, we decided to have our team day helping out. We were split into 2 teams for the day and manned the hay bale races and temptation alley have a go stands. It was a very warm day but lovely to be a part of it and gets to talk to and see so many dogs and owners. Temptation alley was a hit with many and we had ques of people a doggies waiting to have a go and practice their dogs’ recalls. Hay bale races were great fun and the fastest dog was 2 seconds to complete to run. Of course The Super vet himself was there and it was lovely to be able to spend some time listening to him and his team. We attended dog fest for both the Saturday and the Sunday and we were able to see quite a few of our customers enjoying the fun with their pooches!
It was the first year that dog fest has been to Bristol and we hope they will return again next year and that we are able to help out again. There were many stalls on the day including many charities that are local and national. The displays were very educational and the atmosphere was brilliant! Well done to all the organisers we had a lovely day!