Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Well, what a year it has been! A year like no other (and hopefully not to be repeated again!) which has seen our personal and work lives affected like never before. Our thoughts are with all of those who have suffered family and friend losses due to this hideous virus, especially at this time of year. A HUGE thank you to all of our front line key worker clients, who have looked after us and put themselves at risk to care for us during this past year especially.

I wanted to say a personal thank you to our incredible franchise partners and their creme de la creme teams of pet carers, as well as our marvellous clients and their gorgeous pets who have embraced and adapted to the changes to our operations this year in a bid to keep everyone as safe as possible while we continue to operate.

We hope you have a restful and safe Christmas and New Year.

Love
Becca and the rest of the Friends for Pets team x

Our pet care services

This year we have launched a couple of new exciting COVID-secure services. Availability of each service may vary between franchise areas so please contact your local branch for more details on a specific service.

  • Dog Walking – Our usual group dog walks are for one hour. However, we do offer 30 minute solo walks for those who, for some reason, cannot do an hour’s walk. We will also try our very best to tailor a dog walking service especially for you by arranging a dog walk for any length of time that your dog requires at any time of the day to suit your dog. If we can accommodate we will! We can either walk your dog individually or in a small, social group to ensure their safety and welfare during the walk. We also believe we can build better relationships this way, our walks are not just walks – they are an enriched experience from start to end.
  • **NEW** Pawsome Tours! – An extension to our dog walking service, this is where we take our doggy clients on a longer walk in an exciting, safe location! We have a variety of beach, forest, mountain walks and other beautiful locations in all of our teams. This will give your dog longer out of your house and is a great alternative to our doggy day care service.
  • Doggy Day Care – In our pet carer’s homes, living as part of the family whilst you are out for the day.
  • Overnight home from home dog boarding – In our pet carer’s homes, living as part of the family whilst you are away overnight for one night or a few weeks.
  • In home cat or small pet visits – So your pet can stay at home whilst you are away as an alternative to a cattery environment. We cater for all types of small pets, from rabbits to lizards, frogs to tortoises and everything in between!
  • Horse or small holding care – Some of our teams offer Horse Care services. Our Horse and small holding services include turning out and bringing in, medication administration, grooming, feeding and watering.
  • Puppy or veteran dog visits – Our visiting services are tailored to the age and needs of your dog and are flexible to be able to change as your dog’s needs change.
  • **NEW** Dog Poo clearing service – Some of our teams are now offering a poo collection service for your garden. Using a socially distanced procedure, let our poo fairies take the job of clearing your garden of dog waste. We offer one-offs, weekly, fortnightly or monthly services.

A Sad goodbye

Many of you will know already with the devastating effect that the initial COVID lockdown in March had on the pet care industry and with very little guidance on how to continue working, Amanda, our amazing Potters Bar manager, sadly made the decision to leave us to a new career in the human care industry. We would like to publicly thank Amanda for all of her hard work and time that she has given us and our lovely Potters Bar clients since 2013 and wish her the very best of luck with her new career. We shall miss you and you are always welcome back into our FFP family! For any client in the area that needs pet care in the future, a list of licensed and insured pet care companies covering Potters Bar and the surrounding area can be found here https://www.hertsmere.gov.uk/Documents/02-Business/Licensing/Animal-Licensing/New-Star-Rating-Scheme-for-Animal-Licensing-nov-doc.pdf. We hope to be able to recruit a new manager for this area during 2021.

COVID-19 precautions

At Friends for Pets we have received specific advice for the pet care industry from the Canine and Feline Sector Group (CFSG) which has been approved by DEFRA helping us to develop ways to continue to operate during the pandemic whilst keeping our clients, their pets and our team members safe. We are able to offer support and dog walking if you are self-isolating or poorly with COVID.

A link to our social distance dog handover videos can be found here https://cloud.friendsforpets.co.uk/index.php/s/c2Sn5gqrz2XaG4b

A link to our client COVID-19 policy can be found here https://cloud.friendsforpets.co.uk/index.php/s/mjbj4TEeTRi6iNm

In addition all of our pet carers who are operating during the pandemic have undergone specific training (which we keep updated and under review) on how to minimise the risk of transmission specifically for our pet care services. We are preparing risk assessments and tailored procedures for each of our clients who need our services during this time or in the near future. If you think you need us again please can you let us know as soon as you know so we are able to tailor a safety plan specifically for you and your pet.

Poo Patrol

We have continued our dog poo plight, to help clean up some of the local communities in which we operate when national restrictions have allowed and in a COVID safe manner. Our first Wells poo patrol even gained the interest of Radio Somerset and we were interviewed on the radio about our little campaign. We hope to be able to do more patrols over more areas in 2021.

Christmas Social Media Competitions

We are currently running some Christmas photo competitions on a few of our area pages, they are free to enter to all and the prizes are amazing so please check them out.

Our Awards

After a really tricky year for the Pet Care Industry, we were so so proud to be crowned finalists in the prestigious Pet Industry Federation Awards for Pet Service Business of the Year. After over 100 entries from the best Pet Care Companies in the UK we were proud to be shortlisted to the final 6! Our incredible Cardiff Franchise manager, Catherine, and her super pet care team, were crowned the Best rated Dog Walking Company in Cardiff for the second year running! Julia, our Bath Franchise manager, and her amazing team of pet carers were crowned Best rated Dog Walking Company in Bath yet again! Both are very well-deserved accolades. It means the world to our little teams of pet carers to receive such esteemed nominations and awards and is something we treasure. We are so grateful to all of our clients for making these recognitions of how hard we work possible. Thank you!

The Pet Academy

Our sister company, The Pet Academy, which we formed in 2019 to organise all of our pet care training and CPD, as well as offer training to third party pet professionals and pet owners, has also amended its courses this year moving all courses online! Over this year The Pet Academy has started running monthly evening CPD sessions for our pet carers including topics like Pet First Aid recap, Dog Walking Safety etc. These sessions ensure our team are up to scratch with current training and procedures and that they are able to offer the highest standard of pet care to our clients. To third parties we can now offer:-

  • Virtual Classroom Level 2 and Level 3 Pet First Aid Courses
  • Online course Canine Psychology course
  • Online Animal Health & Disease course.
  • Online Introduction to Pet First Aid

We are also hosting online classrooms for our mini Pet First Aid evenings. Only £5pp and the next one is on 21st January 2021. Bookings for all courses (apart from our Level 3 courses) can be made online here https://www.thepetacademy.co.uk/online_pet_courses/but please email us on learn@thepetacademy.co.uk if you want to know any specific information about any course or have trouble with online bookings and we will be more than happy to help.

Christmas Office Hours

Although all of our teams will be providing pre-booked pet care everyday over the Christmas period, our offices will be shut for us to have a break from the admin side of our job between 5pm on Tuesday 22nd December and Monday 4th January at 9am. We will be sporadically checking emails and phones over this period so if you do need any urgent pet care that is not pre-booked please do get in touch and leave us a message/email and we will come back to you. We might just be a bit slower than normal but we will try our best to help you.

Our Franchise Opportunities

As many of you know I (Becca) franchised Friends for Pets in 2011 because we were covering such a wide area that it was starting to run me rather than me run it! Since then we have grown slowly and quite organically, recruiting the most incredible team of franchisees (this year has proved it!!). In early November this year I received a phone call letting me know that Friends for Pets was going to be listed as one of the Top 100 Elite Franchise companies in the UK!!!!! This is still sinking in that a little dog walking and pet care company that started in a little village in Somerset is now going to be listed as one of the Top 100 franchise companies in the UK amongst some very big brands. We could not have got anywhere close to being listed if it wasn’t for our amazing franchisees, their pet carer teams and our wonderful clients! Between us all we have built the brand that is Friends for Pets and I want to say the biggest thank you to you all. Those who know me personally will know it is, always has been and always will be all about the brand and trying to offer the best pet care services in the areas that we operate and using a franchise model allowed us to do this. If you are interested in finding out more about our franchise opportunities you can have a look at our dedicated franchise website https://pet-franchise.com/ or feel free to get in touch with me on becca@friendsforpets.co.uk.

Please look after yourself, your pets, your family and your friends over the coming few months. Keep safe and please get in touch if you need any help with anything.www.friendsforpets.co.uk

Team Contact Details

Bath – Julia  07766 968397 or bathoffice@friendsforpets.co.uk
Bradford–on–Avon – Julia  07766 968397 or bradfordonavon@friendsforpets.co.uk
Bridgwater – Kim 07802 254012 or bridgwater@friendsforpets.co.uk
Bristol and South Gloucestershire – Lucy  07585 504867 or bristol@friendsforpets.co.uk
Cardiff – Catherine 07502 316670 or cardiff@friendsforpets.co.uk
Cheddar – Amy 07584 050544 or cheddar@friendsforpets.co.uk
Chew Valley & North Somerset – Vicki 07895 507189 or chewvalley@friendsforpets.co.uk
Cwmbran & Newport – Samantha 07734 955340 or newport@friendsforpets.co.uk
Frome – Julia  07766 968397 or frome@friendsforpets.co.uk
Penarth and the Vale of Glamorgan – Tasmin  07500 876397 or penarth@friendsforpets.co.uk
Taunton – Kim 07802 254012 or taunton@friendsforpets.co.uk
Wells – Charlotte 07584 050544 or wells@friendsforpets.co.uk
Canine first aid – Tash – learn@thepetacademy.co.uk
Franchise Enquiries – becca@friendsforpets.co.uk
Everything Else! – headoffice@friendsforpets.co.uk

All the Best from
Friends for Pets