FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here are the most frequently asked questions from our customers – please don’t hesitate in contacting us if you have any other questions, you would like further information or you would just like to chat about your pet care needs.
In the unlikely event of an emergency, we will immediately call and notify you, using the details provided in our initial meeting. If veterinary assistance is needed, we will take your pet to your named vet or, depending on the urgency of the situation, to the nearest possible surgery.
We take security very seriously and use a range of good practices to protect you and your dog. All of our clients’ keys are safely secured in designated key cupboards in our own homes, identified only by a photo of your pet. In the unlikely event of a break in, there are no details to connect the key to your address. Dogs who are in our care through the home sitting service wear identity tags with our company name and contact details.
HOUSE & PET SITTING
With over seven years’ experience with Homes & Hounds walking and boarding dogs in her own home, Mary Allen is now offering the house and dog sitting service.
Mary has owned five different homes in the UK and has lived in everything from a reed hut in South Africa to a very large house set in 32 acres in New Zealand. This has given her the wonderful experience of living in a wide variety of houses, with many different features and equipment.
Before working with animals, Mary worked with young children, running nursery schools, both large and small. As such, she is experienced in caring for people’s most precious treasures. Mary has a practical nature with a lot of common sense, and can offer you a competent, safe and reliable service. In addition, she holds a BTEC qualification in Animal management at Distinction level. The subjects covered included nursing and first aid, nutrition, behaviour and welfare.
Mary is fully insured as a house sitter, and also holds vehicle and public liability insurance to cover all aspects of the house and pet sitting service offered.
After breakfast, Mary and the dogs set off for their morning walk. This is tailored to your dog’s needs and is a minimum of one hour, very often longer. Mary has researched many dog-friendly walks in a great variety of surroundings, so from woodland tracks, country parks, hill tops and open fields to riverside and harbour walks, each of Mary’s boarders gets to enjoy a range of new and stimulating experiences. After morning exercise they return home for play and a rest.
Your dog’s afternoon walk will always be in a different location to the morning’s, and the time that the walk takes place may also vary. On hot summer days, an early evening walk works well, but in mid-winter, they are more likely to be walking by 2.30pm.
After supper, the dogs settle down for an evening of rest.
Once Mary has assessed each dog’s recall skills – initially rewarding them with small treats to reinforce continued good recall – dogs are usually off the lead. Visiting dogs also wear a tag containing Mary’s Homes & Hounds contact details for the duration of their stay.
Mary is able to look after as many pets as you have!
In your initial meeting, Mary will record full details of your pet’s medical history. Should any of your pets require veterinary attention whilst in Mary’s care, she will take them to your own veterinary practice.
Most pets will be very happy in the safety of their familiar environment, but as further peace of mind, Mary is happy to send text messages to let you know how your pets are doing and what they’ve been up to.
Your dog will only be walked by your regular walker.
However, should unforseen circumstances arise, we will contact you to ask permission for another member of the team to walk your pet.
We believe in walking in small groups of up to three dogs. This ensures a safe, happy walk for everyone. In addition, we will try and ‘match’ dogs in a group so bigger and more bouncy dogs are walked separately from smaller, more ‘reserved’ dogs.
We organise our walk to minimise the amount of time your dog spends being transported in our vans – particularly during periods of warm weather. We carry water and bowls as a matter of course to ensure that the dogs are comfortable.
Dogs are pack animals, and like the comfort of knowing that the pack is close by. However, if your dog is out of sight for longer than usual, we have a protocol in place which ensures that all available Homes & Hounds walkers make their way to the location. One member of the team stays with the van – as most dogs will make their way back there – whilst the others comb the area and find the missing dog.
Homes & Hounds only accept sociable dogs to ensure that they are happy in one another’s company. Usually the dogs become comfortable with and enjoy the socialisation, and sharing their walk is not a problem. We can, of course offer one to one walks if this is more suitable for your dog.
Your dog will be welcomed to live in our home as part of our home boarding service. Your dog will not be penned or caged and your dog is welcomed as part of the family.
Rest assured, your dog will be taken care of as if it’s one of our own. Our intention is to ensure that your dog’s holiday experience is as good as yours, and this is very obvious seeing how excited returning dogs are when arriving for their next holiday.
We encourage new customers to come and visit us prior to your dog’s first stay; please contact us to arrange an appointment.
Dogs need to arrive with their own food, which maintains dietary continuity, and any current medication with clear dosage instructions. We also ask you to bring your dog’s own bedding – whilst we have plenty of spare beds, sleeping in their own will help them settle more quickly.
We will ask you to complete a Homes & Hounds information form and need a copy of your dog’s vaccination card (we can copy here if you don’t have a copier). We’d prefer your dog to have kennel cough vaccination, but it’s not essential.
After breakfast, we will all set off for our morning walk which is tailored to your dog’s needs and is a minimum of one hour, very often longer. We have researched many dog-friendly walks in a great variety of surroundings. From woodland tracks, country parks, hill tops and open fields to riverside and harbour walks, each of the boarders gets to enjoy a range of new and stimulating experiences.
After morning exercise they return home for play and a rest. Your dog’s afternoon walk will always be in a different location to the morning’s, and the time that the walk takes place may also vary. On hot summer days, an early evening walk works well, but in mid-winter, they are more likely to be walking by 2.30pm.
After supper, the dogs settle down for an evening of rest and, if you allow your dog on the sofa, space is freely available.
We firmly believe in the importance of providing a safe home boarding environment and are licensed and inspected by those local authorities that provide this service.
Each of our homes is suited to a different number of dogs under the terms of our boarding licenses. It is important to us that your dog is comfortable and secure during their stay.