Good, Better, Best: Defining Best Practices For Your Pet Services Facility
By Khris Berry
Best Practices for your pet services facility are defined as a set of guidelines that you practice to complete your services in the highest manner for your clients and their pets.
For many pet professionals, they are already in place, yet not written or defined. You may have a certain way you greet your client, a particular way you like to exercise a client’s pet, or even a preferred method of feeding so that animals in your care thrive. These are called Best Practices and pet professionals should seek to identify their own guidelines to help elevate the professionalism in their Boarding or Daycare establishment.
Whether you work alone or in a busy environment surrounded by employees, defining Best Practices for your facility will help you have a basic standard on which to build a Pet Service business. Your clients will appreciate the consistency and uniformity in their pet’s experience, visit after visit. Additionally, when they recommend friends to your business, they can be assured that their friends will enjoy a similar experience. Identifying Best Practices helps reduce both client turnover and increase client/service provider conversation.
If your facility offers Grooming as well, one such example is the hot topic of ear-plucking during the grooming process. In recent years, many veterinarians are beginning to suggest that ear hair should be left in a natural state in the ear canal. On the other side, many veterinarians still counsel the hair should be removed and instruct their clients to ask their groomer to complete the service during each grooming appointment. We, as pet service professionals stand between these opinions.
This is an excellent opportunity to define a Best Practice guideline for your facility. You can use it to educate clients, instruct them to have a conversation with their vet, and proceed as necessary based upon their wishes. In our own facilities, we advise clients that the veterinarian community is divided on their recommendation and we do not pluck ears unless instructed by the client or their vet. Therefore, we are meeting the needs of the client, their medical professional, and ultimately the pet. This is how a Best Practices statement works to protect you and offers the opportunity for client education.
In the Boarding and Daycare field, you may craft a Best Practices statement regarding dogs being on-leash and under control when entering your facility. Many pet facilities extend this policy even further by advising owners against the use of retractable leashes for the safety of the pet and other guests.
Defining and discussing your Best Practices offers you an opportunity to provide your client with a professional and educated approach when selecting their pet service provider. You can gather your information and begin to formulate your own Best Practices by discussing your offerings and policies with veterinarians, daycare attendants, attending educational seminars, your own experiences, and speaking with other pet service providers.
Your individual Best Practices will be as unique as your business and should reflect your desire to offer the client and their pet the best experience you can provide.