FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
So, are you a vet tech, a dog trainer, a pet sitter, or what?
I'm an animal professional that has a special interest in animal behavior. I am pleased to offer pet owners in the bay area services including In-Home Consultation and Pet Care, Day Training, Owner Coaching/Training sessions, and the Bay Area's only Board and Train services based in Positive-Reinforcement. I am not a dog walker or a pet sitter – I provide in-home and in facility behavior-focused pet care.
What are your credentials?
I am a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) licensed by the California Veterinary Medical Board under license #12322.
“The mission of the Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) is to protect consumers and animals through development and maintenance of professional standards, licensing of veterinarians, registered veterinary technicians, and premises, and diligent enforcement of the California Veterinary Medicine Practice Act.” —Veterinary Medical Board of California
I am also a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA).
“The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), established in 2001, is the leading independent certifying organization for the dog training profession. The CCPDT is the leader in the development of rigorous exams to demonstrate mastery of humane, science-based dog training practices. Thousands of dog training professionals worldwide maintain the CCPDT’s certifications as a mark of high professional distinction.” —Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers
What is your education?
I attended a private school named the Minnesota School of Business and received an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology. I then started working in the veterinary field at a general practice veterinary hospital mostly doing laundry, cleaning, and helping hold animals for treatments or procedures. During this time, I also began studying toward a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. Finally, in 2011 I moved to California and began working in a veterinary hospital splitting my time between surgery assisting and emergency medicine.
What is your experience?
I worked at my first veterinary hospital in 2008 while in technical school. I worked as a technician first in general practice, then found my medical niche in emergency and critical care nursing, which I was extremely dedicated to caring for these patients on the overnight shift for just over 5 years. In 2014, I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to work with a leader in the field of force-free, positive-reinforcement training and behavior modification, Dr. Sophia Yin. I worked directly with Dr. Yin full time and took a large part in creating and implementing the Low-Stress Handling® certification curriculum as well as producing the first draft, and completing the accompanying workbook. With Dr. Yin as well as with my own company, I have experience teaching doctors, nurses, and other animal handling staff topics and techniques on animal behavior and kind handling. In May 2016, I joined the behavior team at the San Francisco SPCA and now balance my time between working for this reputable organization and growing my own business.
What is your philosophy on behavior and training?
I am primarily a scientist and strive to apply evidence-based, humane methods always. Like many animal professionals, I have been passionate about creatures since I have memories. I’m lucky enough to also have a knack for understanding their behavior and caring for their needs. I endeavor to create a positive experience for all the beings that train with me and my team. I combine my field experience with my knowledge of the science of animal behavior to give pet owners and professionals the tools to successfully handle animals, along with the ability to observe, understand, interpret, and shape their behavior.
When are you available for consultations?
Availability for hospital and behavioral consultations is Friday through Sunday throughout the Bay Area. I will travel to your home or veterinary hospital from Discovery Bay to San Jose, at the federal mileage rate after the first 20 miles from our location in Antioch, CA. If you’re interested in a consultation, please send an email with your address and you’ll receive a response with an estimate of the cost of your consultation.
When are you available for workshops or lectures?
My availability for workshops and lectures is open throughout the week and the weekend, although they must be booked at least 3 months in advance to ensure availability.
Who is your team?
The team consists of very few, highly-skilled animal and behavior specialists, and/or veterinary professionals who are qualified and dedicated to helping me provide these services to pet owners. Team members handling your pet or providing any other type of care have been fully vetted and trained, instructed, and supervised by me; Jenna. I evaluate all persons to be qualified and safe in providing this type of specialty care.
What are the hours for pick-up and drop-off of Boarding or Stay + Train pets?
Availability for pick-up and drop-off is seven days a week from 9 am to 9 pm. Before your pet’s stay, we’ll agree on scheduled pick-up and drop-off times within these hours.
What vaccinations does my dog need to stay with your team?
Your dog needs to be current on the following vaccinations:
Bordetella (the vaccine for kennel cough).
If the Bordetella vaccine has never been given, or if it has expired, we strongly recommend a seven-day waiting period after the administration, as this may provide your dog with extra protection.
We also request that all dogs be on some type of flea preventative.
What if my dog is not a good fit to play with other pets?
Many pets that we work with have behavior needs, so we practice safe separation and comfortable confinement*. Your dog will spend the day in his or her own space with a focus on enrichment when there is a situation they’re not ready for yet. We have crates, barriers, tethers, bedrooms, and kennel runs in order to provide exactly the level of exposure your dog is comfortable with so they are able to be involved in the home happenings, yet also keep them protected from any sources of stress or anxiety.
If your pet is comfortable with other pets and they would like to interact and/or play, they will have access to do so.
*We are not a kennel, although, we will use a safe separation and comfortable confinement approach taking advantage of tools like crates, tethers, and other safety barriers to ensure all pets are not exposed to any triggers during their stay.
Can I see or check in on my pet?
We do our best to send updates and pictures of your pets daily. We're in communication via text, phone and email frequently.
Does my dog need to be on a leash when arriving or leaving?
Yes! Pets are required to be on a leash, carried, or in a carrier always when coming or going. This is for the safety of your dog, and everyone else. This also helps keep the environment calm and predictable. Since our service specializes in dogs with behavior needs, we ask that clients remember that it’s our responsibility to utilize preventative tools like leashes, muzzles, harnesses, and treats to set our pets up for success by creating an environment in which the undesired behavior is difficult to impossible and the desired behavior has obvious and immediate rewards.
What should I bring?
Tools, medications, bed(s), bowl(s), toys, flea/tick/heartworm treatment if due during a stay.
That said, these items are provided if needed—do not bring anything you can’t part with, as sometimes the nature of the business means that sometimes things may get lost or broken. We are not responsible if an item is lost or destroyed. We encourage you to bring treats, especially if your pet has a sensitive stomach or allergies.
What if my pet becomes ill or requires medical attention during their stay?
In the event your pet requires medical attention during care, we will make every attempt to reach you and/or your designated veterinarian or veterinary hospital on your boarding agreement. If we are unable to contact you, your emergency contact, or your veterinarian, and feel your dog needs medical attention, your pet will be transported to their veterinarian to ensure the care and well-being of your pet. If we believe that the situation is urgent or if your dog needs care after regular hours, we will take your pet to the closest veterinary emergency clinic.
It is highly recommended to call your regular veterinarian prior to your pet’s scheduled service to inform them of the date(s), my contact information, and place a payment method on file as this will ensure your pet’s health is addressed promptly.
If you see a behaviorist, it is also recommended that you contact them prior to the scheduled service to give them the above-mentioned information. Lastly, ensure that you have enough medications to provide your pet with the recommended treatments while you’re away from your pet.
Please feel free to reach out via email with any other questions. Be sure to include your preferred contact information and the signalment* of your pet.
*Signalment includes the pet’s species, breed, age, and sex (including neuter status).