Posts Tagged ‘animal smart pet sitters’

Animal Smart Founder Rachael McCooey Veterinary Physiotherapist and Veterinary Nurse

Tuesday, February 4th, 2020

Having recently launched the Animal Smart Pet Franchise, Rachael McCooey founded Animal Smart Pet Care following her vast experience in the animal and veterinary industry. Passionate to enhance the pet sitting sector through education, Rachael is on a mission to for Animal Smart to become the most trusted pet care provider in the UK.

Rachael started her veterinary career in 2005 and graduated as a small animal RVN in 2008 and has now been registered with the RCVS for around 12 years.

Since qualifying as a veterinary nurse, Rachael went on to study further qualifications, becoming an assessor of student veterinary nurses and an internal verifier for Veterinary Nursing. In 2015, Rachael was awarded the ESVPS Certificate in Anaesthesia, and now appears on the ESVPS register of certificate holders.

Going on to study and gain the Diploma in Animal Physiotherapy Rachael spent time with various local physiotherapists, as well as with animal physiotherapy pioneer Sherry Scott MBE at The College Of Animal Physiotherapy.

Twelve years of veterinary nursing, rehabilitating patients, and further academic study have given Rachael a huge amount of experience, as well as a unique and in-depth understanding of common conditions gained by having spent so much time in theatre assisting with orthopaedic and soft tissue surgery.

Rachael has developed a particular passion for using Class IV laser therapy as part of the physiotherapy and rehabilitation of patients, and can occasionally be found guest lecturing at Warwickshire College, teaching students about the benefits of Physio and Laser therapy.

As an animal owner herself, Rachael realises how much we all love our horses, dogs and small animals – she is passionate about providing the best care for animals and is brings enthusiasm for imparting her experience and knowledge onto Animal Smart pet sitters and dog walkers so that they can provide the highest standards of pet care to clients.

Animal Smart New Puppy New Pet Owner Guide

Tuesday, January 28th, 2020
animal smart pet care

New puppies are arguably the most adorable creature on the planet, we certainly think so here at Animal Smart. With their big eyes and teddy bear appearance whose heart doesn’t melt.?!

However with owning a puppy comes a dogs lifetime of responsibility. The cuteness quickly becomes mischievousness and what used to be cradled comfortably in your arms grows into a rather large and sometime boisterous lump.

To be an Animal Smart pet owner we have put together some useful information that every new owner should consider before falling in love!

It’s not just about the practical factors of owning a dog and providing it food, water, exercise and care, but being a dog owner also brings some legal obligations. 

Legal requirements for dog owners:

Dog Tags

Every dog that goes in a public place or highway must wear a collar with some identification on it. This isn’t the dogs name and a phone number.

The legal information is the name and address of the owner, but having a phone number on there is a good idea too. Big pet shops such as Pets at Home offer a quick tag engraving service.


Your new puppy might not have visited the vets yet, but when they do make sure you get them microchipped, if the breeder didn’t do that already. If the breeder did, they should have given you some paper work relating to the microchip and details of how to up date your owner information. Make sure you update the owner information with the company or if lost your dog will be returned to the current registered owner (possible the breeder).

If your not sure, don’t worry as the vets will be able to scan your puppy to check.

Since April 2006 it has been a legal requirement for all dog owners to have their dogs microchipped.

Having a microchip implanted enables local authorities or vets locate lost, stray or stolen dogs with their rightful owners.

However for that to happen you must keep your contact details up to date on the database. So if you move house or change your phone number, remember to up date the tracking database with your new details. Or little Scamp might be taken back to your old address!

Cost considerations for dog owners:

Dog Insurance

Your new puppy may have come with 4 weeks free insurance from the breeder. This gives you a bit of time to look at options of insurance. Bear in mind that if your puppy does become ill and you allow the free insurance to expire before taking out permanent insurance, the condition your puppy was ill with may not be covered by a new policy.

There are different options for the level of dog insurance. Some only cover the payment of conditions for 12 months, after which they will no longer cover that condition meaning all future vets bills relating to that condition will be down to you.  Make sure you fully understand what you are covered for.

If your dog is unfortunate to get a condition and you decide you are not happy with the current insurance provider, changing insurance companies becomes difficult, as a new company is unlikely to cover that pre existing condition.

Animal Smart Puppy Safety

Your new puppy will quickly start to find their feet and become increasingly confident and inquisitive. Their little noses and mouths get everywhere. Dishwasher, washing machine, under cars, under feet…being extra aware of where your puppy is and what they are up to during time of adjustment will help to keep your puppy safe.

If you have young children with small toys or dummies, puppies will thing these make great chewing toys…Unfortunately they make even better foreign bodies and expensive vets bills!

Get your puppy their own toys so they don’t need to share those of your children. Up to around 7 months, they will be teething and will appreciate a good toy to chew on too.

You might want to invest in a stair gate. Getting up might be a challenge for some smaller breeds but getting down tricky for most young puppies, and it’s a long way to fall.

Chasing up and down the stairs also puts quite a lot of additional strain on larger breeds joints, which is to be avoided during the growing phase.

Puppy Socialization and bonding

Between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks are crucial times for socialization and bonding. Having you puppy exposed to as many different things as possible during this time will help to set strong foundations for your puppy to become a happy and well behaved family dog.

Before your puppy is fully vaccinated they won’t be able to go to a puppy class and meet other dogs, however as soon as you can, get your puppy enrolled in a puppy class. You might be confident in your ability to train your puppy yourself without the help of a class, but these classes are not just for teaching sit and stay. They are invaluable at teaching your puppy how to interact and behave around other dogs. If you are planning on taking your dos for walks in public places, to the park or on family trips out, you will want your puppy to learn this crucial social skills.

While your waiting for the vaccinations, expose your puppy to things within the home environment.

Phones ringing, door bells, doors banging, the washing machine spinning, the hoover, dropping of things, rolling of balls and objects, the hairdryer…

People socialization: when you have guests to your home, allow your puppy to meet as many of them as possible, including the postman. Don’t allow your puppy to jump up, explain to guests to only acknowledge and reward him when all his four feet are on the ground.

Outside socializations: busses, trains, people on bikes, cows, sheep, horses…

Rewarding your puppy for your desired behavior and distracting or ignoring unwanted behaviors.

Grooming is a great way for you to establish a bond with your puppy. Getting a brush or 2 from your local pet shop is plenty for you to spend some quality 1 on 1 time with your puppy.

This is also a great time to teach your puppy to be touched all over, including ears and paws. Start to open your puppies mouth and check inside. This starts them getting used to being examined and also will make introducing teeth brushing easier too.


New Animal Smart Pet Sitting Service In Wrexham

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020
animal smart wrexham

It’s about time you stopped putting off that dream holiday and postponing that quick weekend getaway! At Animal Smart Wrexham, we understand that most pet parents don’t like to leave their furry friends alone at home when they go out of town. Whether your concern is the possibility of getting quality services related to dog walking in Wrexham or pet sitting in Wrexham, Animal Smart Wrexham has got you covered! Here are some of the benefits of using the new pet sitting service in Wrexham

·      Reduced risk of getting sick

One of the reasons most pet owners opt for pet sitting services over the option of driving their pet to a boarding facility is that there’s less risk of their furry bestie getting infected. Since a boarding facility usually houses different pets, there’s a good chance that you will return to pick a sick pet since quite a number of animal diseases are highly contagious. But when you hire a pet sitter, your pet will be taken care of alone without coming into contact with other sick dogs, greatly reducing the risk of illness. 

·      Less stress for your pet

Many pets tend to get anxious and stressed when they’re taken out of an environment they’re familiar with, and this could make them restless, attempt to escape, lose appetite and even exhibit destructive behaviors. If your pet is afraid of traveling, it makes perfect sense to use Animal Smart petting sitting Wrexham. Your pet will feel safe and secure because the look and feel of the environment are the same. 

·      Maintain a routine 

Pets are typically creatures of routine and may become stressed, confused, and sick if there’s a change in the routine they’re accustomed to. This is another excellent reason to use pet sitting service in Wrexham since a pet sitter allows your pets to maintain a routine with which they’re most comfortable and secure. Whether your pet’s routine includes dog walking Wrexham or being fed or given medication at a specific time, a professional pet sitter from Animal Smart Wrexham will ensure that your furry friend sticks to the routine as closely as possible. 

·      Get pampered

Sure, you will find great people at boarding facilities that will promise quality playtime with your pet, but there’s a limit to the attention they can give your pet since they have several other pets to look after. In contrast, consider how comfortable your pet will be at home in the care of a professional pet sitter, giving him undivided attention. Your pet will be spoiled with plenty of TLC that he deserves and to the high standards you expect.

·      Enjoy yourself

Leaving a pet behind for quick weekend getaway is never easy as most pet owners continually worry about whether their four-legged friends are excited or scared, relaxed or stressed, happy, or sad. This can make it hard to enjoy yourself while you’re away since you’re unsure about the state of your pet. However, a pet sitter from Animal Smart Pet Care can give you the assurance that your pet is in safe hands, and even provide you with updates in the form of emails, text messages and video calls. With this, you can kick back and relax, knowing that your pet is being well taken care of by a professional pet sitter. 


If you’re looking to travel out of town for the weekend or take a long holiday and you need a reputable pet sitting service Wrexham, Animal Smart Pet Care, can help look after your pets. You can expect the peace of mind that comes from hiring a professional, loving pet sitter. 

Dog Walking By Animal Smart Pet Care

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020
animal smart dog walking

According to a recent study, only half of dog parents walk their dogs at least once a day while a shocking 33% even admitted they rarely walk their dogs. While many dog owners have genuine reasons why they’re unable to walk their pets regularly, the simple truth is that something can still be done about it. At Animal Smart Pet Care, we offer dog walking services to keep your pet happy and healthy. 

Benefits of dog walking by Animal Smart Pet Care

Wondering why your dog needs regular walking? Here are 7 benefits you and your furry friend stand to gain when we take them for walks. 

  • Frees up time to do other things: You love your dog, but you don’t have enough time on your hands to walk him. By using our dog walking services, you can rest assured that your dog will get the exercise he needs for good health while you get to attend to other pressing issues. It’s a win-win situation for you and your best friend.
  • Helps with weight control: Obesity is one of the leading causes of illnesses in dogs as it may lead to respiratory problems, diabetes, liver disease, increased cancer risks, and more. Hiring a dog walker for a nice, long walk can help your dog stay in shape since he’s burning calories and excess body fat with each excited step he takes.  
  • Promote digestive/urinary health: Regular walks can help keep your dog’s digestive tract moving as well as relieve constipation. Most dogs tend to do their business while outdoors on routine walks, which means they get to empty their bladder regularly, and this can go a long way in preventing bladder infection.
  • Joint health: Immobility is a common health issue in dogs, and dog walking by Animal smart pet care can help a great deal as your pooch gets to exercise his muscles pooch and joints, making them stronger. 
  • Mental health: Dogs are smart little creatures, and walking is an excellent way to keep their mental health in good shape. The reason is not farfetched: during walks, their senses get stimulated, and this is evidenced by the way they excitedly sniff, dig and explore new areas outside. If they don’t get mental stimulation, they may develop problems like chewing on items in the house, licking themselves, and more. Dog walking by Animal Smart Pet Care provides a vast amount of mental stimulation, which will lead to improved behaviors around the house. 
  • Prevents anxiety: Anxiety is a condition that’s common among pets, especially dogs that don’t go out often. If you notice that your dog is always restless, anxious, or downright destructive, frequent dog walks by Animal Smart Pet Care can help your dog release emotional stress and tension. By the time the walk is over, the chances are good that your canine would be worn out and would want just to take a nap. 
  • Socialization for your dog: Dog walking by Animal Smart Pet Care can help your pooch get used to being around other dogs, people, and anything else they’re bound to experience at some point in their lives. Contrary to assumptions, your dog won’t be socialized by himself; you have to take him for walks to experience the world so he can be a well-rounded canine citizen.  


Walking your dog is a simple task that has a positive impact on many aspects of his wellbeing, but we understand that you may not be able to do this regularly. So, let’s help you with that task so you can attend to other pressing issues. 

Animal Smart Tips To Find Your Perfect Pet Sitter

Monday, January 6th, 2020
animal smart pet sitter

Here at Animal Smart, we know that most dog owners would take their canine companion with them everywhere they go if they could, but that isn’t always feasible. You want to know that your best friend is being taken care of properly when you travel out of town, and a loving pet sitter can help you in such situations. Once you settle for the option of a pet sitter, the next decision to make is appointing the right sitter for your pet. Choosing the right pet sitter can be a difficult choice, but these five tips can help you find your perfect pet sitter. 

1. Decide what kind of care your pet needs

The first thing to consider when it comes to choosing the right pet sitter for your pet is to decide what services you need from the sitter. Of course, the services should depend on the needs of your pet. For example, some pets need more attention than others. If your pet needs frequent human company and socialization with other dogs, services such as companionship sessions and overnight care are a safe bet compared to just a few hour’s visits. Also, it’s important to take note of the health condition of your pet so you can add medical expertise to the list of things to look out for in a pet sitter. 

2. Pick up the right price for what your pet needs 

The saying, “you get what you pay for,” is true when it comes to pet sitting services. Good quality pet sitters are not cheap, but that doesn’t mean they’re unaffordable either. Many pet owners make the mistake of putting price over the quality of services delivered, but it’s usually their furry friend that bears the brunt of such decisions. The goal should be to choose a pet sitting service that offers the best care for the price that’s affordable to you. 

3. Find reputable pet sitters 

The next step is to find reputable pet sitters that can show your pet TLC while you’re away. There are two primary ways of getting the right pet sitter, and both are quite effective. The first is via referrals from your family or friends who have experienced a good service already from a pet sitter. The second option is to check out pet sitting associations like Pet Sitters International as you can be sure of finding certified pet sitters that have studied for and taken tests to show that they can take care of pets. 

4. Arrange for an interview

Whether the prospective pet sitter was recommended or you found one from a pet sitting association, it is crucial to get to know the sitter with an interview. That way, you can look out for certain traits that every professional pet sitter should have such as 

  • A desire to know your pet 
  • Should be knowledgeable 
  • Experience 
  • Punctuality
  • Kindness etc 


There might be many pet sitters out there, but be sure to take your time to get the perfect pet sitter for your furry friend. At Animal Smart Pet Care, we are genuine animal lovers, and our goal is to make our customer’s pets happy and healthy when they’re out of town. 

Animal Smart Dog Walker Could Reduce Pet Anxiety

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019
animal smart dog walking

Dogs are very social animals, and being alone can be quite stressful for many dog breeds. Unlike cats, they don’t know how to enjoy their own company as they look up to their owners for affection, attention, protection, and everything in between. Most dog owners are familiar with the sight of their dog being sad as they leave the house for work or to go on a vacation. The most common reason for such canine behavior is pet anxiety, which is one of the top reasons Animal Smart Pet Care offers pet sitting and dog walking services. 

What is anxiety in dogs?

Anxiety is a prevalent mental disorder found in people, but we are now seeing it in our pets. There are many different types of pet anxiety, but one of the most common kinds is separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is triggered when dogs get nervous because of the separation from their human owners. Some dogs even try to stop their owners from leaving while others become anxious or depressed prior to the departure of their pet parent.

Other causes of anxiety include: 

  • Traumatic experience/abandonment
  • Illness or disease 
  • Pain 
  • Loud noises (fireworks, thunderstorms, vacuums)
  • Side effects of prescribed drugs 

Symptoms of anxiety in dogs

Much like humans, the autonomic nervous system of dogs produces the stress hormone called cortisol, and this could trigger a wide range of reactions, including: 

  • Excessive barking 
  • Trembling 
  • Panting 
  • Hiding 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Destructive behavior 
  • Attempts at escape
  • Tail tucking 
  • Aggressive behavior (biting, nipping, snapping)
  • Urinating indoors 
  • Excessive energy 

How to help your dog manage anxiety

1. Dog walking 

Hiring a dog walker for your dog is a wonderful way to ease anxiety and stress. Dog walking helps relieve excess pent up energy and tension, providing a natural, safe outlet for your pup. A tired dog is a well-behaved dog. He’s worn out and just wants to take a nap. At Animal Smart, we provide one-on-one walks, playtime, and spending quality time with your dog while you’re away at work or when you’re on vacation. 

2. Pet sitting 

One reliable way to help your pet cope with anxiety is to keep him company by spending plenty of time with him. If spending time is not an option for you because of the nature of your job, consider finding a loving pet sitter for your canine companion. That way, your pet will be in a familiar environment while enjoying the undivided attention of a human. 

3. Change the way you leave 

An excellent way to help your dog is to change the way you leave. Rather than walk back and forth to pick an item you forgot, make a mental list of everything you would need while away and take them with you at a go. It also helps to keep greetings and departures calm without drama, so your dog doesn’t get stressed when you leave. Similarly, you might want to change your “leaving ritual,” so your dog doesn’t recognize signs that you’re about to leave.


Quite a number of dogs suffer from one form of anxiety or the other. The above tips are effective ways to calm an anxious dog, especially for those who have to leave home for work daily or part company with your furry friend for some days. At Animal Smart Pet Care, we offer pet sitting and dog walking services to help ease your dog’s anxiety and stress while you’re away.

How Do I Prepare for an Animal Smart Pet Sitting Initial Visit?

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019
animal smart dog sitter

Deciding on who to entrust your furry best friend with is so important and here at Animal Smart our teams are dedicated to helping you find the right pet sitters for your pets. We know that when you are away you don’t want to be worrying about the decision you made, so we do everything we can before hand to give you complete peace of mind.

Before you book to use us, we will come out to your house and meet you and your family of pets. It’s important that we get to know you and them just as much as you getting to know us.

For us to provide the best possible care for your pets while you are away we want to make sure that we have and know everything there is to know and the best way to do that is face to face.

Our Animal Smart pet sitter will arrange to come and meet you at a mutually convenient time, this is called an Initial Meet.

During the initial meeting you can ask lots of questions about us, anything you need to satisfy yourself that we are right for your pet.

Our pet sitter will also ask you some questions about your requirements and the needs of your pets. Depending on the pet care service you require, they may want to know things like, how many times your pet gets fed, how long each walk should be, if you pet has any specific health or medical needs.

If you wanted to carry on with the booking, this is also a good opportunity for you to show the Animal Smart pet sitter around. Its useful for us to know where things like light switches, feeding bowls, bedding, toys etc are. Don’t worry you are not expected to know exactly what to tell us, your pet sitter will guide you through the things they need to know in order to provide your individual services.

The most important thing during your initial meeting is that your pets like us too! So please have them around for us to meet J

To arrange your initial meeting contact your local branch via our postcode search on our website

Animal Smart Guide to the Benefits of Using a Professional Pet Sitter

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019
animal smart pet care

If you don’t really like to leave your pet at home when you go out of town, be reassured that you’re not alone. Many pet owners are uncomfortable with the idea of leaving their furry friend alone at home. Whether you need to go out of town urgently or you need to take a long vacation, opting for Animal Smart pet sitting is a great choice as it offers a lot of benefits. Let’s take a look at how a pet sitter may be the best choice for your furry friend.

  • Reduced risk of getting sick

One of the options many pet owners consider when they need to leave home is driving their pet to a boarding kennels but may put your four-footed companion at risk of getting ill or stress. Many dogs find traditional boarding kennels highly stressful and for dogs with weakened immune systems the risk of infections are increased. By hiring a professional pet sitter, your pet won’t have to come in contact with sick dogs, greatly reducing any risk of illness.  

  • Less stress for your pet

Many pets tend to get anxious once they’re taken out of an environment they’re familiar with while others get traumatized when they’re taken on a trip. Choosing Animal Smart pet sitting means your pet won’t be stressed during your trip because they will be at home. Also, there will be no changes in the environment when you hire a pet as the look and feel will remain the same, helping your feel safe and secure.

  • Minimal changes

Your pet’s anxiety may become worse when there’s a change in schedule and professional pet sitters know how important it is to have the routine of your pet uninterrupted. In contrast, boarding facilities will feed and care for your pet on their schedule, and the more your pet’s routine is changed the more stressed out he’s likely to become. Before taking your pet to a boarding facility, think about how he will feel.

  • Undivided attention

Although most boarding facilities promise quality playtime, there’s a limit to the attention they can give to your pet since they have many pets to look after. But when you go for Animal Smart pet sitting, your pet will be pampered with the undivided attention he deserves so he doesn’t feel stressed out.

  • Peace of mind

While you’re gone, only a professional pet sitter can give you the reassurance that your furry friend is in good hands. To provide you with peace of mind, you can ask your pet sitter to furnish you with updates in the form of emails, text messages, video calls etc. All these will make you feel more relaxed since you will know how your pet is faring in your absence.


Hiring a pet sitter when you next you plan to travel or take a long vacation, consider getting in touch with us at Animal Smart Pet Care to enjoy a stress-free experience that comes with knowing your pet is getting the best care possible.