Setting the Gold Standard: Inside our Training Program

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Every pet owner knows that entrusting the care of the beloved furry family members to someone else is no small decision. It’s not just about ensuring their basic needs are met; it’s about finding someone who truly understands and cherishes the unique personalities, quirks, and requirements of each pet. 

At Away Home & Pet Care, we recognize this profound responsibility. But how do we consistently deliver the top-tier service are clients have come to expect? The answer lies in our exception training program. Our rigorous three-week intensive training is designed to mold our team into the best pet sitters and dog walkers in the industry.

Cat peeking above a table in Ogden Utah

Week 1: Laying the Foundation

The first week is all about establishing a strong foundal understanding of what it means to be a part of Away Home & Pet Care. We believe that before our trainees can excel in the hands-on pet care, they need a thorough grounding in our company’s philsopy, ethics, and standards. 

Introduction to Company Values

Before diving into the specifics, trainees immerse themselves in our company’s core values. We emphasize the importance of compassion, reliability, professionalism, and integrity, helping our new members align with our missong of providing unparalleled pet care.

Reviewing Policies and Procedures

A significant portion of the week is dedicated to an in-depth review of our policies and procedures. Trainees learn about the guidelines that ensure the safety, comfort and well-being of the pets we care for. From understanding the specifics of key handling to learning about scheduling and communication protocols with clients, every aspect is covered. 

On-the-Job Training

With the guidance of a senior members from our management team, trainees visit 10-20 homes during this week. This hands-on exposure allows them to witness and understand various home setups, pet personalities, and specific client preferences. It’s a vital step in preparing them for the diverse scenarios they. might encounter.

Shadowing Experienced Members

As trainees visit homes, they are not alone. They shadow our seasoned pet sitters and dog walkers, gaining insights from their experinces and learning the nuances of the job. This mentorship ensures they grasp the subtleties of pet care, from feeding routines to understanding pet behaviors. 

Assessment and Feedback

Throughout the week, they’re evaluated on over 50 points of importance. After each visit, feedback sessions are held, allowing trainees to understand their areas of strength and where they can improve. These criteria ensure they’re attentive, observant, and ever-evolving in their approach.

Classes and Certifications

To round off the week, trainees enroll in specially curated classes. They delve into:

Pet First-Aid

Equipping our team with the knowledge to handle emergencies, from minor injuries to urgent situations, ensuring the pet’s safety at all times. 

CPR for Pets

A critical skill that every pet sitter and dog walker should possess, enabling them to act swiftly in life-threatening situations.

Customer Service

Understanding the importance of clear communication, empathetic interactions, and exceeding client expectations.

Week 2: Deepening Expertise and Hands-On Mastery

After laying a robust foundation in Week 1, the second week focuses on refining skills, emphasizing specialization, and enhancing hands-on experiences. The journey of turning our trainees into exceptional pet sitters and dog walkers continues with a blend of practical exposure and targeted coursework.

Continued Field Experience

Week 2 sees trainees stepping up their game in the field. Each trainee is required to perform at least 20 visits and dog walks. These sessions are not just about quantity but quality. With the close supervision of our seasoned management team, trainees delve deeper into understanding the individual needs and quirks of different pets. They learn to anticipate potential issues, handle challenging situations, and ensure each pet’s absolute comfort and well-being.

Mentorship and Feedback Loop

As they continue their hands-on work, trainees are paired with different senior members to gain varied perspectives and insights. After each session, constructive feedback discussions take place, reinforcing best practices and addressing areas of improvement. This mentorship phase ensures that our trainees are well-rounded and adaptable.

Specialized Coursework

This week’s curriculum dives into the nitty-gritty of pet care:

Dog Walking Skills

This course goes beyond just a walk in the park. Trainees learn about pacing, recognizing signs of distress or fatigue in dogs, understanding leash behaviors, and ensuring a stimulating yet safe environment for our canine friends during walks.

Equipment 101

Here, trainees are introduced to the wide range of equipment used in pet care. From various types of leashes, harnesses, and collars to understanding the specific tools for different breeds and sizes, this course ensures our team is always equipped with the right gear for the job.

Introduction to Safe Dog Handling

This crucial module trains our team to handle dogs with care and confidence. Topics include understanding dog body language, managing reactive dogs, and techniques to calm anxious or excited pups.

Bite Prevention

Safety first! This essential course teaches trainees how to recognize warning signs and employ strategies to prevent bites, ensuring the safety of both the pet and the handler.

By the end of Week 2, our trainees are not just familiarized with the practical aspects of pet sitting and dog walking but are also equipped with a deeper understanding of the intricacies involved. Their expertise is honed to ensure they can handle a wide range of scenarios and challenges, always putting the pets’ well-being at the forefront.

Week 3: Specialization and Mastery in Pet Understanding

The third and final week of our intensive training program is dedicated to specialization and a deep dive into understanding the intricate world of our furry clients. While the first two weeks lay the groundwork and build on hands-on skills, Week 3 focuses on ensuring that our team can cater to the unique needs of various pets with expertise and compassion.

In-Depth Canine and Feline Studies

The third and final week of our intensive training program is dedicated to specialization and a deep dive into understanding the intricate world of our furry clients. While the first two weeks lay the groundwork and build on hands-on skills, Week 3 focuses on ensuring that our team can cater to the unique needs of various pets with expertise and compassion.

Canine Behavior & Communication

This class teaches trainees to truly “speak dog.” They learn about the myriad ways dogs communicate, from vocalizations to body language, ensuring that our team can understand and cater to a dog’s emotional state during visits.

Feline Fundamentals

Cats, with their mysterious and enigmatic personalities, require a different approach. This course delves into feline behavior, understanding their likes and dislikes, and the best ways to interact with them, ensuring our cat clients are always at ease.

Dog Breeds 101

With countless dog breeds, each comes with its unique set of requirements and characteristics. Our trainees learn about the different breeds, their history, typical behaviors, and special needs. This ensures personalized care tailored to each dog’s inherent nature.

Canine Health & Wellness

A healthy pet is a happy pet. This course equips our trainees with knowledge about common canine health issues, signs of distress or illness, and the basics of canine nutrition. This way, our team is always vigilant, ensuring our furry clients are in their best health.

Scenario-based Training and Role-playing

To ensure that our trainees are prepared for real-world challenges, they participate in role-playing exercises that mimic potential challenges, from managing an anxious pet to dealing with emergencies. These sessions, guided by our senior team, help trainees apply their knowledge practically and prepare them for unexpected situations.

Final Assessments

As the week comes to an end, our trainees undergo a comprehensive assessment, ensuring they’ve mastered all areas of pet care covered during the training. Their skills, knowledge, and adaptability are tested, ensuring they’re ready to join our esteemed team of pet sitters and dog walkers.

By the conclusion of Week 3, our trainees have transformed into skilled, knowledgeable, and compassionate pet care professionals, ready to provide the highest quality service to our valued clients and their beloved pets.

Conclusion: Commitment to Excellence in Every Step

The journey through our three-week training program at Away Home & Pet Care isn’t just about mastering the skills of pet sitting and dog walking; it’s about embracing a philosophy of care, understanding, and dedication. We believe that every pet, with its unique personality and needs, deserves the utmost attention and love. And to ensure this, we’ve crafted a training regimen that is second to none, focusing on both practical expertise and emotional connectivity.

When you choose Away Home & Pet Care, you’re not just selecting a service; you’re entrusting your beloved pets to individuals who’ve been trained to see them as family. Our rigorous training ensures that each member of our team embodies the values, knowledge, and passion we stand for. So, whether you’re away for a day or an extended period, you can have peace of mind knowing that your pets are in the hands of true professionals, trained to provide the best care possible.

This is such a fantastic and professional service! My husband and I were out of town for a week. Our dogs were staying with elderly relative. Robert came daily and walked our dogs. By day 3, the dogs started getting very excited in anticipation of their time with Robert. I especially loved the daily report card, updates and pictures of their time together. Robert loves animals and it shows! I’m so glad I had access to Away Home & Pet Care. I’ll definitely be making arrangements again.


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