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The Countryside Code

With the summer months fast approaching, hopefully more people will be able to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Here is a copy of the countryside code to help keep people visiting, land owners, visiting dogs and livestock safe on their walks.

1. Respect the people whose lives and livelihoods depend on the countryside ie. don’t park across gateways or footpaths.

2. When riding a bike or driving a vehicle, slow down or stop for horses, walkers and farm animals. They have right of way over cyclists on bridleways.

3. Co-operate with farmers working in the countryside.

4. Go Green! If possible leave your car at home and use public transport or a bike to visit the countryside.

5. Leave gates and property as you find them.

6. Keep to the marked footpaths. Let the local authority know if you think a sign has been placed illegally.

7. Don’t touch livestock or farm machinery.

8. Use gates or stiles rather than climbing over walls etc incase you cause damage to them.

9. Do not disturb the birds, rocks, plants, trees or pick wild flowers.

10. Take all litter and leftover food home.

11. Do not start fires.

12. Keep dogs under control at all times especially around livestock and horses. Some local authorities ban dogs from certain areas and also restrict the number of dogs walked by one person at any one time so check with the local authority of the place that you are visiting first.

13. Remember to bin or take home any dog mess from your dog.

14. Ensure you check the weather forecast and your route so help prevent any problems whilst out walking.countryside code

Charity Collection Bins

As part of our community work this year we have recently launched our charity collection bins project. We have collection bins located in a couple of locations around the Cheddar and North Somerset areas (hoping to bring this project into a couple more areas soon). Lovely donators can then drop their pet related donations off in these locations and Friends for Pets will collect and deliver the donations to the local pet related charity. Friends for Pets will also match any donations given with a monetary donation. Our first charity we are collecting for is Dogs Friends . They are particularly looking for:-

* Collars and leads (second hand are just great)

* Sardines in sunflower oil

* Lots of toys for puppies and adult foods – all sizes

* Treats, chews, etc for all dogs and pups – (out here now for fosters)

* Tins of dog meat, especially for puppies

* Soft dogs beds

* Duvets – getting through lots

* Cleaning products – for washing bedding, floors, hands, etc.

* Used stamps

* Wicker baskets to make up hampers for our stall.

We currently have a bin in the Pet Shop in Cheddar but hoping to place them in some other places shortly. If you or you know of anyone that spare anything the lovely homeless doggies will appreciate greatly xxBin

Dog and your Home Security whilst in the care of a dog walker or pet sitter.

It takes a lot of trust as a pet owner to give someone that you might not know a key to your home, let them know when you will be out of your house and let them have access to your four legged pride and joy! So how do you know what you are opening yourself up to and how can you minimise the risks?

With the large array of dog walkers and pet sitters available the choice is vast and can be a bit of a minefield as to who to choose. Top priorities in choosing a dog walker or pet sitter that you don’t know might include:-

1. They should always have insurance. This should include for all pet services that they are offering, insurance to cover the loss or injury to your pet in their care, key and lock insurance and third party insurance. Most insurance companies only cover for six dogs to be walked at any one time, ensure your dog walker sticks to this number for your dogs welfare as well as the insurance risk.

2. They should have a DBS check. This is the new form of CRB check to prove that they do not have any criminal records or burglary.

3. They should be able to provide references from other clients.

4. If they are visiting your home when you are not there you should ensure they are providing a discrete visiting service. You should consider carefully if choosing a pet siting service which arrives at your home in a liveried vehicle. There are many many horror stories of homes being broken into if the vehicle is being followed, your dog may also be at risk from theft if travelling in a marked sign-written van. It is a well known fact that more often than not dog walkers are usually visiting house which are unoccupied. They even remove the guard dog for an hour or so!

5. You should ensure that your dog is not left unattended in a vehicle for any period of time. If your dog is walked in a big group what is happening to your dog whilst the pet sitter is collecting and delivering all of the other dogs on the walk? I the summer they may get overheated within minutes if left in a non- temperature controlled vehicle. If they are not securely separated then this could lead to unsupervised, confined conflict between dogs.

Our most disgusting blog entry!

Dog Poo! An ongoing problem affecting public spaces in the UK, it is horrible to see it lying on the ground but even worse to step in. It is estimated that dogs in the UK produce around 1000 tonnes of dog poo per day, equivalent of roughly half an olympic sized swimming pool. That is A LOT of poo. Imagine the environment in which we would live if no one picked up dogs in their care’s waste! If dog faeces is not picked up and disposed of appropriately it can be harmful to people and the environment. Dog poo contains numerous different parasites and harmful bacteria including:-

  • Hookworms – these can cause respiratory symptoms in human once the hookworm larvae have reached the lungs, diarrhoea, fatigue and blood loss.
  • Ringworms – symptoms of infection in humans include  vary between a red, irritated ring on the skin to blisters and pus-filled sores around the rings.
  • Tapeworms – symptoms of infection in humans include abdomen pain, vomitting, diarrhoea, dizziness, malnutrition and jaundice.
  • Salmonella – symptoms of infection in humans include Vomitting, diarrhoea, fever and headache
  • E.coli – common symptoms in humans include sever stomach cramps, diarrhoea, vomiting. It can cause serious blood and kidney problems which can lead to kidney failure, long-term disability or death in some children and older adults.
  • Fecal coliform bacterial – symptoms in humans include diarroah, vomitting and sever dehydration.

Local authorities are estimated to spend £22 million per year on trying to combat the problem of dog waste. In many areas it does not seem to be working so if more funding is available in local authorities does dog waste collection need to be a priority or is investing in local health services, housing and education more important? Imagine if dog waste was not an issue, everyone collected it and disposed of it appropriately and an extra £22 million could be redirected somewhere else within the local communities.  

Dog Poo and the Law!

You can now be given an on the spot fine between £50 and £80 (depending on the local authority) if you do not clean up after your dog. Refusal to pay the fine can lead to you being taken to court and fined up to £1000. Some local authorities are striker and now fine if you are not carrying a poo bag if you are out walking your dog.

What has been tried to combat the problem?pink poo

Increasing the number of dog poo bins available is one way which has had success but some local authorities have tried more radical solutions to the problem including:-

  • Spraying the poo and bright colour to highlight it all to inconsiderate dog owners and walkers.
  • Little flags have been placed on top of piles of poo. 
  • A tree was decorated with all of the poo-filled plastic bags that had been flung into the hedges and grass.
  • Volunteers identified dog owners and they were named and shamed.
  • The Bis Scoop! A campaign run by the Dogs Trust to get public support to help combat the problem.
  • A Poover – a hoover developed to suck up the dog poo.
  • A dog warden stake out! Where they catch irresponsible owners in the act.
  • DNA testing to identify the owners of the dogs.
  • Banning dogs from public places.

Friends for Pets 2015 Christmas Newsletter

Wow, what a year! It’s been a busy old year here at Friends for Pets with growth and expansion in all of our teams enabling us to care for lots more of our furry, feathery and scaly friends! We have focused a lot on staff training this year and have developed some new training schemes for pet carers and managers to enable us to improve our services to you and keep pet care standards as high as possible.

We have recently said good bye to our manager of the South Bristol team, Jim, who has retired from the manager role but staying on to help us with pet care duties. We would like to thank him for all his hard work over the past few years. You have been invaluable Jim! The South Bristol team is now being run by Meryl Fogg who also runs the North Bristol team. We would also like to wish Chantelle, our Chew Valley and Wells manager all the best as she finishes her area manager role with us to go on maternity leave. Amy Wall, Cheddar team manager, will now be managing her teams. We also welcome Alison to the role of the Bath manager since Sarah has moved to Sweden and she is doing a fantastic job!

Friends for Pets wish you and your pets a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year xx.

Pet Carer Award

As of 2016 we are introducing the Friends for Pets pet carer award scheme. The award covers training and awards in areas of pet care work at Friends for Pets including animal behaviour and communication, basic first aid and basic training in behavioural issues. The award will be rewarded to all pet carers who meet the required criteria. We hope that all pet carers will achieve the award. The award aims to keep our standards exceptionally high and for your pets to be extra happy in their care.

Charity Donation

Rather than sending out ‘real’ Christmas cards we prefer to send an electronic card to our lovely clients (You can view your card here) and give a donation to a pet related charity. This year our chosen charity donation will be made to Medical Detection Dogs. This is an amazing charity works with dogs that are trained to assist individuals who manage complex medical conditions on a day to day basis and help with cancer detection. For more information please see

Find us on Social Media at:

If you have any social media accounts we have lots of extra info, pictures of our clients and lots of news through out social media pages. If you would like to follow us our details are:- See you on Facebook at:

See you on LinkedIn at:

Follow and Tweet us on Twitter at:

A few Tips to help keep your Pet Safe at Christmas

  • Keep your tinsel out of your pet’s reach to stop it being ingested and potentially causing a blockage in their digestive system.
  • Keep any wires safely out of your pet’s reach particularly if they are fond of chewing things!
  • Keep ornaments out of reach particularly if they can break into sharp pieces easily.
  • Keep pine needles cleaned up from floors to stop them injuring little paws or being ingested.
  • Holly, Mistletoe and Poinsettia plants are poisonous to dogs and cats so keep them out of reach.
  • Chocolate tree decorations and any extra chocolate treats should be kept out of reach of our doggy friends.
  • Keep candles at a safe distance from lovely wagging tails.
  • Mince pies, Christmas pudding or cake containing raisins (and alcohol!) can cause serious illness and be potentially fatal so keep them out of reach of pets.

Christmas Office Hours

As usual we will be busy caring for pets throughout the Christmas and New Years break but will be shutting our offices for a short break between 5pm on Monday 21st December and 9am on 4th January. We will of course be checking our phones and emails sporadically in this time for any urgent messages for your pets in our care over Christmas.

Pet Care over Christmas

If you do require any pet care from Friends For Pets please contact us as soon as possible as spaces are being filled very quickly especially for our overnight home from home dog boarding.

Team Contact Details

Bath – Alison 07474 066361 or

Bradford–on–Avon – Julia 07766 968397 or

Bristol – Meryl 07585 504867 or

Cardiff – Tania 07502 316670 or

Cheddar – Amy 07584 050544 or

Chew Valley & North Somerset – Amy 07584 050544 or

Frome – Julia 07766 968397 or

Hertfordshire – Amanda 07825 777176 or

Wells – Amy 07584 050544

Other Enquiries or Franchise Enquires –

All the Best from

Friends for Pets

Big ‘pack’ dog walks vs. Small or individual dog walks.

The stereotype of a professional dog walker usually involves one to two people holding the leads of a large ‘pack’ of dogs. Here at Friends for Pets we avoid this at all costs! Why would we do this? Well here are our reasons:-

1) The Personal Touch – Your dog probably does not live with a large changeable pack if dogs so will be used to having plenty of 1-1 time with you. We aim to replicate this.

2) Insurance – The majority of dog walking insurance companies will only insure for up to six dogs to be walked together at one time with many insuring for less than this. Although we have insurance for six, we will tend to stick to a maximum of a few dogs at a time.

3) Safety – However well trained our doggy clients they are still animals with minds of their owns. Picking up scents, coming across third party less well trained dogs, unforeseen veterinary emergencies can all lead to problematic situations very easily. With just a couple of dogs this situation can be controlled much easier than having to scramble to get a large ‘pack’ of dogs under control. 

4) Stress on your dog – Our doggy clients tend to build up very close relationships due to the 1-1 nature of our set up. If dogs are walked in large ‘packs’ then these are likely to change each day causing stress in sorting out a new hierarchy each time or more passive dogs may become more insular. ‘Pack’ is also a term regularly used by professional dog walkers, a dog walk usually refers to a stable group of dogs rather than an unbalanced group which changes each day.

5) For the love of the dogs – Financially it makes more sense to walk multiple dogs at a time as its more money for less work. Here at friends for pets our pet carers are true animal lovers and would prefer to spend more time with each pet than rushing lots of dogs through each walk. Most would do if for free!

6) Controlled Socialisation- Smaller groups mean a higher input from the dog walker therefore we can oversee any dog interactions more closely keeping dogs safe as well as socialising. This is very important for very young or elderly pets or other vulnerable dogs.

7) Transport – Due to not having to collect lots of dogs up our doggy clients are not spending long periods of time in our vehicles. Especially important in the hot summer months, if your dog gets stressed when travelling or gets car sick.

For more info on our local dog walkers please see your local team page

A tired dog will miss you more than a bored dog

Let’s be honest, when a dog is happy and content, and also worn out, they will sleep for hours, oblivious to anything that is going on around them. Burglars could come in and empty the house around them and they wouldn’t know. However to get your dog into that state means plenty of exercise and long walks, both good for physical and mental stimulation. So what happens when you can’t be there for your dog and give them the time, attention and exercise the need? Well one of two things. Either you put the dog in kennels which is usually distressing for both dog and owner, or you give us a call at Friends for Pets and ask for our help. If it is a question that your days just got much longer for a brief period of time, meaning you have to leave home earlier in the day and arrive back much later, then our dog walking services are ideal for you as we can deal with the day’s domestic necessities (dog wise) allowing you to return to a friendly but tired wagging tail.

Of course if you have to go away for a few days, then again you have some options. We can send one of our dog walkers to your home morning and evening to give your dog a good and tiring walk, or alternatively you could consider boarding your dog with one of our team. Instead of being cooped up in a strange kennel your dog will stay indoors with the company that they deserve and will help them while you are away. We all believe that while we are away all our beloved dogs do is sit and pine, waiting for our return, when the brutal truth is that they will be happy to play with anyone who wants to show them some attention and give them a biscuit! So if you’d like to know more about us, do get in touch – you’ll find we all have one thing in common very quickly, we love dogs!

Who’s going to play ball with your four-legged friend while you can’t?

This is the time of year for Wimbledon and so we thought you would appreciate the video we have included with the post, though of course we are not promoting the bank…… We liked this video as it is clear the dogs, as well as the two tennis stars, are having a great time. However it does raise the serious point of what to do if you are unable to look after your dog for a while. After all while we can cope with staving off boredom by reading a book or watching a film, a dog can’t, instead relying on mental stimulation from a good walk with plenty of nice interesting smells, and a good run around to promote long snoozes with plenty of paw twitching and imaginary rabbit chasing. However if you live alone, there is no guarantee you will always be able to look after your dog. So what is the solution for short-term problems?

Well here at Friends for Pets we have been offering an established dog walking service as a result of a number of varying circumstances, and for varying lengths of time. We understand that unless it is a pre-booked hospital appointment, you can’t plan ahead for being ill, and often you can’t plan for a change in work commitments. As a consequence we often advise our clients get to know us in advance and, more importantly, your dog gets to know us as well. What we have found is a great idea is for potential clients to book a one-off dog walking session and that allows everyone to get introduced and for us to learn all about your dog’s (dogs’) foibles and character. That way if you are unfortunately taken unwell, you know your dog will be in safe hands with someone they know and like. So if that makes sense to you, why not give us a call at Friends for Pets and let’s meet – we might even bring a ball or two with us too….

5 top reasons for needing dog walkers or dog boarding services


It takes a dog lover to understand why we are prepared to invest so much in our dogs. By that we don’t mean just financially, but emotionally and for their well-being. Because we are given so much unconditional love by our dogs, we want to know that whatever the event, they will be perfectly well looked after and you can avoid any unnecessary stress. Here at Friends for Pets we have compiled a list of the five most common times when our services have been called into action:

  • Illness – whether it is planned surgery or you have an accident and break your leg, your dog won’t understand the difference, but if they don’t get their usual daily exercise, then they will likely begin to get distressed at being cooped up all day. As we all know, dogs need both mental and physical stimulation or else they get bored. There is a well-known expression and that is ‘a happy dog is a tired dog’, and that is difficult to argue against. Here at Friends for Pets we are just a phonecall away whether it is an emergency, or you want to plan ahead.
  • Work commitments – sometimes work demands you attend a conference or meeting at the other end of the country. It makes no sense to upset the dog by putting them in kennels just for one night when they can relax more in familiar surroundings. Here at friends for pets, we can offer you our dog walking service for an evening walk and a morning walk to take the pressure off you. Of course if you don’t like the thought of your dog being alone at night, we can also offer you our boarding services where your dog would stay in the home of one of our dog walkers, not in a cold strange kennel.
  • Family occasions – let’s be honest, not everyone loves a dog and if you have a family celebration to attend, sometimes taking the dog with you isn’t on the cards. Instead of causing disharmony among relatives (it doesn’t usually take much for many of us!), why not arrange for one of our dog walkers to pop round and do the daily duties in your absence? Your dog gets to stay in familiar surroundings and you get to go off safe in the knowledge your dog will be well cared for in your absence.
  • We all need a holiday sometimes and often we also want guaranteed sun with that holiday. Well that can only mean going abroad and leaving your ‘best friend’ behind. Some we know will opt for kennels, but many of our clients at Friends for Pets opt for one of two options – wither using our dog walking service twice daily until your return, or our home dog boarding service where your dog will stay with one of our dog walkers in their own home. Either way it is a win-win situation for your dog as they avoid the stress of being cooped up in a kennel surrounded by other strange dogs, while your home still keeps the trusty guard dog in situ if so desired!
  • Moving home isn’t just stressful for us humans. No. It is also a stressful time for dogs as they can sense that something is changing, but they don’t know what. Some dogs get so stressed that they actually run away, which is not what you need while you are moving. To avoid this situation arising, you can ask us at Friends for Pets if one of our dog walkers could look after your dog in their home while the move takes place. That way there is an element of consistency for the dog and you don’t have to worry about keeping the front door closed all the time while you are trying to load up the removal van.

    Of course there are other reasons for needing someone to come and carry out dog walking services, so why not give us a call at Friends for Pets and introduce yourself to one of our dog walkers, so that your dog won’t have to meet a complete stranger if you ever find yourself in need of our services.

Friends for Pets Christmas 2014 newsletter

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you! We have had a very busy year here at Friends for Pets with lots of pets being cared for by established and new franchises. This year we have seen Meryl take over the North Bristol franchise, Chantelle take over the Chew Valley and North Somerset franchise and Amanda take on the Hertfordshire area! We would also like to congratulate Tania, our Cardiff manager, on her marriage to her new husband Matt and Julia, our Bath and & Bradford-on-Avon team franchise owner on the birth of baby Martha. With growth of the company it means that we are able to cater for more and more pets needs but still keeping it confined to local areas using local pet carers and managers.

From all of us here at Friends for Pets we wish you a Happy Christmas and New Year, please accept a Chrismas card from us all available by clicking here.

Thanks to you for your continued custom and support we couldn’t do it without you!

The Friends for Pets team! X

We have a new website!

After a long overdue overhaul we have updated our website. It is still a work in progress with new bits and pieces being added frequently. But we are very pleased with the result. If you haven’t seen it already then please have a look at any constructive criticism or any bits you would like to see added to help us improve it is also welcome.

Find us on Social Media at:

If you have any social media accounts we have lots of extra info, pictures of our clients and lots of news through out social media pages. If you would like to follow us our details are:- See you on Facebook at:

See you on LinkedIn at:

Follow and Tweet us on Twitter at:

Christmas Office Hours

We are shutting our offices from Friday 19th December at 5pm until Monday 5th January at 9am. We will be working all through Christmas though providing pet care but have very limited spaces left now particularly for overnight dog boarding. If you need any help with your pets during this time then please get in touch with your local office as soon as possible. Phones and emails will be checked during this time for anything urgent if your pet is booked in with us over the Christmas period but for non-urgent matters we will get back to you on 5th January.

Focus on Chew Valley

The Friends for pets North Somerset & Chew Valley team is rapidly expanding and we are now able to cover a wide area including but not limited to Weston super mare, Congresbury, Yatton, Clevedon and all the areas in between, we also have pet carers in Weston-super-Mare, Congresbury, Felton, Wrington, Ubley and other areas in the Chew Valley and North Somerset.

We are always looking for new Team members so if you or anyone you know would like a flexible, fun job working with wonderful animals then please get in touch.

We have some wonderful areas to walk and are very lucky to be surrounded by beaches, lovely wooded areas, big open fields and loads of other great locations that are a dogs dream. We do a lot of lovely walks in the area but we also have a wide range of other services for all animals, including home from home boarding, doggy day care, pet visiting in clients homes, House/pet sitting and also small animal boarding.

If you choose home from home boarding with Friends For Pets be assured your pets are having a great time, weather they are getting to play with a pet carers dog (like my lively Doberman Bow) or prefer to spend there time without other dogs but getting lots of fuss from us we will make sure they having a lovely holiday too.

Charity Calendar

As some of you who follow us on facebook may already know we have just finished running our annual charity calendar competition. Our facebook ‘likers’ submit a picture of their pet and then the pictures with the most likes are included in our calendar. This year all profits raised from the calendar sales will be donated to Four paws Animal Rescue in South Wales ( so we can help some unluckier pets have a great Christmas. If you would like to order a calendar please email Amy on for more information.


We are desperately looking for pet carers in the Wells, Chew Valley, Cardiff and Cheddar areas who are able to offer dog boarding either day or overnight in their own homes. For more information please contact your local branch or have a look at

Team Contact Details

Bath – Sarah 07474 066361 or

Bradford–on–Avon – Michele 07964 850452 or

Cardiff – Tania 07502 316670 or

Cheddar – Amy 07584 050544 or

Chew Valley & North Somerset – Chantelle 07780 707542 or

Frome – Michele 07964 850452 or

Hertfordshire – Amanda 07825 777176 or

North Bristol – Tania 07502 316670 or

North London – Amanda 07825 777176 or

South Bristol – Jim 07780 446434 or

Wells – Chantelle 07780 707542

Other Enquiries or Franchise Enquires – logo

All the Best from

Friends for Pets