Professional Pet Care requires knowledge, skills, individual competency and a high level of responsibility.
I recently had the pleasure of attending and presenting at a 4-day workshop designed to do just that. In this blog post, I am going to give you a brief overview of the topics covered and some of the assessment exercises required to qualify as a Certified Pet Care Technician. Don’t worry, I will also share more information about the workshop and all the fun and learning which took place, along with my personal ‘take-home’ points, but I will do that via a series of short blog posts. In those upcoming posts I will recount many of the highlights of the four days. I will try not to keep you in suspense for too long!
The four-day workshop in Wesley Chapel, Florida, covered all the necessary skills you will need to become a Certified Pet Care Technician (CPCT) and much more. The best news of all, for those of you who couldn’t attend live, Tawzer Dog filmed the event and it will soon be released as a DVD! That means you will be able to watch the entire workshop from the comfort of your living room and submit your application to become a Certified Pet Care Technician online. Here’s a sneak peek at the presentations:
- How Pets Learn – This module provides students an overview of how pets live and learn and how this is important to you, the pet care provider. We give an overview of respondent and operant conditioning and cover key skills such as leash walking, crate training, safe handling skills, and how to maneuver pets without force or fear for examinations and during care services. Presented by Louise Stapleton-Frappell.
- Canine Behavior & Social Communication – Learn the language of dogs. Understand the canine social behavior and communication system. Recognize distance increasing and distance decreasing behaviors. Recognize stress signals and learn how to develop a communication system with your charges. Presented by Angelica Steinker.
- Canine & Feline Anatomy and Physiology – Understand dog and cat anatomy and important components of their physiology including all their sensory abilities so you can better and more effectively offer professional care services to all breeds and ages. Presented by Rebekah King.
- Canine & Feline Health and Handling – Learn about canine and feline common health issues, vaccination protocols and important daily and emergency handling skills. This module also covers the basics of bathing, grooming and caring for pets. Presented by Rebekah King.
- Pet First Aid and Emergency Protocols. With this module you will get so much more than your normal Pet First Aid program. This is a very detailed workshop and covers in depth the many potential emergency situations you may, through first aid, need to manage prior to a pet in your care being attended to by a veterinarian. Presented by Rebekah King.
- Pet Care Tools, Equipment, Toys & Supplies – A study of pet care tools, equipment, supplies and toys that are available in today’s marketplace. Learn how to identify appropriate equipment and how to use it safely. Understand how to practically use this equipment including desensitization protocols. Learn some fun games to play with your canine clients! Presented by Louise Stapleton-Frappell.
- Consent and Preference Testing. Anyone can talk to dogs, learn to read dog body language to effectively communicate with them. Using consent and preference testing you can create an effective nonverbal communication system which empowers dogs to say yes or no to simple questions. Using these methods you can positively engage with pets you are caring for in a fun and interactive manner. Presented by Angelica Steinker.
- Pet Care Policies and Protocols – Learn about pet care service standards, operating protocols and procedures to support a high quality and ethical pet care business. Presented by Niki Tudge.
What about the assessments? Well there were lots of hands-on components to the workshop where attendees got the chance to demonstrate their new skills and there were also online, open book, multiple choice tests. Once the certification video is released you will all be able to attend the course from the comfort of your living-room. You will be able to do all the required online tests and you will be able to demonstrate your ‘hands-on’ skills via video evidence! Here’s a list of those very skills: How to safely approach a dog. How to use food to distract a pet. How to safely pick up a leash or item from the floor. How to safely attach a leash. Safe crate exits. How to lure forwards, backwards, onto a mat, under an object and into a crate. Association of equipment – creating a positive conditioned emotional response. Applying a harness, muzzle, leash, head halter… How to carry out a consent test and a preference test. Describing distance decreasing signals, distance increasing signals, aggressive signals, conflicted body language – signs of joy and signs of stress. Playing tug safely. Using a target stick to move a pet. Using a hand target to move a pet. Checking a dog’s skin, ears, nails and teeth. Checking respiratory rate. How to make and fit an emergency muzzle. How to lift a small dog and a medium to large dog. Lifting a cat. Administering eye medication. Administering pills. Administering liquid medication. Body condition check. CRT time check. Bandaging. Checking the femoral pulse. CPR demonstration. As you can see it is a comprehensive list of practical skills, all of which were taught during the workshop and which you will be able to learn via the upcoming DVD!
Here are two workshop testimonials: “This Pet Care Technician Workshop far exceeded my highest expectations…organized to perfection and completely comprehensive. The DogNostics teaching faculty was comprised of extremely knowledgeable, experienced veterans with exceptional standards in their chosen fields of pet care. For me the hallmark of every presentation was the precision and clarity with which each topic was covered. The wealth of material to which you are exposed is not for the faint of heart…from canine communication to successful business protocols and dress etiquette; anatomy of a dog’s ear to luring technique; and the anal gland debate to just say “tug!” The DogNostics team is there for your learning and success. From the get-go you are in a supportive environment that utilizes the query system wherein attendees at all levels and the coaches engage openly to share ideas, explore options and realize possibilities for improving themselves. It is a stellar workshop that leaves you inspired and motivated to learn more. I would repeat my attendance if I lived closer.” Carol Brown.
“Whether you are a pet care professional or are simply passionate about your own furkids, this course enlightens the learner on every aspect of caring for, and raising, healthy, happy family pets.” Emily Conde
Now, if I have whet your appetite, why don’t you get a head start and sign up for The Pet Professional Guild’s Virtual Pet Care Summit? This online educational event is taking place on Thursday, August 11 and Friday, August 12, 2016. It’s a summit you can attend from the comfort of your own home and even wearing your PJ’s! There will be more than 25 hours of educational webinars across a variety of topics geared towards the pet care professional. For more information and online registration, please go to: http://petprofessionalguild.com/Virtual-Pet-Care-Summit
Don’t delay – whether you are a Pet Care Provider, Kennel Technician, Groomer, Pet Sitter, Dog Walker, Day Care Operator, Veterinary Assistant, Shelter employees, Breeders, Pet Dog Owner, Student Dog Trainer or even a Certified Dog Trainer, this is an opportunity not to be missed!