Does it matter for your dog walker/ pet sitter to be qualified?
Everyone in the UK can become a professional dog walker, or even professional (sic!) animal trainer without ANY formal training. I mean they can call themselves professional, whenever they fancy.
Both Jess and I spent countless hours over the years studying animals, both in formal and less formal ways.
I don't mention qualifications because I think you can only be good with animals if you're qualified. Far from it.
Although the amount of effort, time (and money) that went into deepening our knowledge, the stresses of it, the sleepless weeks that led to achieving qualifications, were all part of the journey I am proud to have been through. The theoretical training we`ve gone through gave us a broad knowledge of animal world, it`s implications, and practical application. And the truth is, the training is never ending. Ask me what I`m working on now, and I`m sure to reply with yet another course, yet another workshop, or more practical training. Working with animals requires keeping up to date with the latest practices. You can spend the lifetime learning, and you will never know it all.
The years spent doing unpaid voluntary placements and internships, in order to one day become a paid animal professional, are sign of our commitment.
The years of paid work in the industry have given us experience in dealing with various animals, under different circumstances, and often in very stressful or emergency situations. Many times I had to deal with escaped animals, injured animals, animals that required often complex health care and medications, or ones that reached the end of their lives. Thanks to my career I am confident in situations that require immediate reaction, and I know, that if an emergency arises, I will most likely, deal with it in a calm and professional manner.
Anyone can walk a dog or scoop a litter tray. But being an animal carer is much more than that.