Jerry Sunday

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Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Care

Here are a few of our most frequently asked questions.

What is the Pet Care Services Association?

Pet Care Services Association members offer a variety of services to pet owners including boarding, dog daycare, grooming, animal training, pet supply sales and shipping.

Why should a pet care facility or business join PCSA?

The Pet Care Services Association provides publications, regional meetings, a national convention, an education program, an ethics program, an accreditation program, an insurance program, information and networking.

Basically, the association provides members with all the information and tools they need to ensure that their businesses offer the most professional, skilled pet-care available and provides pet owners with the information they need to select a satisfactory pet-care provider.

Who should attend the PCSA Intro to Pet Care Services Meeting?

The PCSA Intro to Pet Care Services Meeting is designed to provide individuals who are not a part of the industry with complete information about entering the pet care facility industry and to provide current pet care facility operators with an overview of good boarding facility management practices.

With a wide range of speakers with different levels expertise, PCSA is able to offer attendees over 30 years worth of experience in the pet care industry.

Does the Pet Care Services Association publish a standard business plan?

Yes. Guidelines for Creating a Business Plan can be purchased on line at our General Store or over the phone by calling 800-218-9123.

How do I register a complaint about a pet care facility and how does the Pet Care Services Association handle the complaint?

The Pet Care Services Association has no jurisdiction over non-member facilities, and so cannot pursue complaints received involving facilities which are not members of the association.

If a complaint is received that involves a Pet Care Services Association member, the complaint is forwarded to the Pet Care Services Association Ethics Committee, which investigates every complaint.

Trade association ethics programs are monitored by the Federal Trade Commission, which requires that: Only signed complaints may be pursued.

The party against whom the complaint is lodged must be made aware of the name of the complaining party, and must be given a copy of the complaint.

The accused facility must be given the opportunity to respond to the charges.

The entire process must be confidential. If it is determined that an ethics violation has taken place, the association may assess penalties ranging from a reprimand to expulsion.

Some factors that should be kept in mind are: No ethics investigation will take place while legal action against the offending facility is pending or in progress.

The association may not impose any financial penalties. To obtain an ethics complaint form please call or write the Pet Care Services Association. Be sure to include your name, address and phone number.

Where can I find information about zoning for a pet care facility?

Zoning regulations may be established at any of several levels (County, City, Township, etc.). Therefore, information about appropriate zoning regulations must be obtained from the zoning office of whichever government agency has jurisdiction over the site involved.

Does the Pet Care Services Association have building specifications, suggestions or designs available to purchase?

The Pet Care Services Association Voluntary Facilities Accreditation (VFA) Program contains over 200 standards of operation that many find helpful when planning their pet care facilities. These VFA Evaluation Standards, as well as A Collection of Kennel Floor Plans are available for sale through PCSA’s General Store. We can also provide a list of architects who specialize in pet care facility design.

How can I find a pet care facility in a town I will be visiting? How can I find a pet care facility overseas?

You can access our on-line membership listing by clicking here Find a a Pet Care Facility

What are the restrictions on airline travel with my pet?

The association that specializes in pet shipping is IPATA. Their telephone number is (903) 769-2267.

What Is The Certified Pet Care Technician Course?

LEVEL I: Certified Pet Care Technician (CPCT) course is a self-paced, home-study course designed to teach the basic principles of animal care, facility management, and customer service.

The course will help facility operators, managers, supervisors, and staff develop professional animal care and customer service skills.

LEVEL II: Certified Advanced Pet Care Technician (CAPCT) course is an intermediate continuation of Level I and provides a more in-depth, self-paced study of animal care and customer service.

The principles of management, staff supervision, as well as business and personal development are introduced. 

Prerequisite:  Successful completion of the Level I: Certified Pet Care Technician (CPCT) course and at least one year’s professional experience in pet care.

LEVEL III: Certified Pet Facility Operator (CPFO) course is for pet service facility operators, managers, and supervisors.

The course is aimed at raising the professional standards and improving the practice of animal care and business management.

The focus is on the management and professional skills that are needed to achieve greater success in today’s pet care business environment. 

Prerequisite: Successful completion of the Level II: Certified Advanced Pet Care Technician (CAPCT) course, three years experience working in a pet care service facility, and be currently employed as a pet care service facility operator/manager. 

Level I: CPCT course is designed to teach the basic principles of animal care, facilities management and customer relations.

This course can be used by pet care facility managers for self-education and as a supplement to train staff.

This is a self-study course and can be completed at the convenience of the participant.

The course exam is open book and can be completed with a written hard copy exam or taken online at our testing website.

Benefits

As a Pet Care Provider:  You may reduce time spent training new employees, upgrade pet care in your business, improve customer service, create more motivated and involved personnel, reward superior employees with employer-provided training, use the program as a prerequisite for advancement, identify areas which need further improvement, give public recognition to graduates, and identify employees with career potential.

As a Pet Care Assistant:  You will improve your animal-handling skills, gain better understanding of animal behavior, develop better customer-relations skills, make yourself more valuable to your employer, increase opportunities for promotion, and gain the respect of co-workers and supervisors.

Eligibility

The Level I: CPCT course is available to anyone interested in pet care.

WHAT IS THE CERTIFIED ADVANCED PET CARE TECHNICIAN COURSE?

Level II: CAPCT course is an in-depth continuation of the material from the Level I: CPCT course. It is a self paced study course and introduces the principles of personnel management and business development. Successful completion of the course requires passing an open book online timed (60 minutes) exam.

Benefits

The CAPCT course offers the opportunity to continue to upgrade the level of care and customer service at your pet care facility. It provides a benchmark for personal and professional rewards by offering: advanced insights into pet care, successful personnel management, and business development.

Eligibility

Applicants must have successfully completed the Level I: CPCT course and have a minimum of one year professional experience working at a pet care facility.

WHAT IS THE CERTIFIED PET FACILITY OPERATOR PROGRAM?

Level III: CPFO program is designed to raise professional standards and improve the practice of animal care and business management within the pet care industry.

It provides special recognition to those candidates who demonstrate a high level of competence and commitment to ethical standards within the industry.

Certification is based upon submission of all required documentation and successful completion of both a timed closed book is written exam and oral exam conducted by three current CKO’s or CPFO’s. 

Benefits

CPFO certification provides public credibility and special recognition as a leading facility operator in the pet care industry.

It demonstrates your commitment to a program of continuing professional improvement that adds to your knowledge of animal care and business expertise. 

Eligibility

At this time the written and oral exams are administered, CPFO candidates must:

  • Have at least three years of experience working in a pet boarding facility
  • Be currently employed as a boarding facility operator/manager
  • Be of acceptable character, ability, and reputation
  • Pledge adherence to the PCSA Code of Ethics and Pet Owners’ Bill of Rights
  • Have successfully completed both the Level I: CPCT and Level II: CAPCT courses

Pet Education

Intro to Pet Care Services

Save the date to attend the foremost event in the pet care industry for entrepreneurs seeking to establish a pet care services business: Intro to Pet Care Services, presented by the Pet Care Services Association (PCSA), to be held in April 2011 in Houston, Texas! 

Intro to Pet Care Services will feature a number of industry thought leaders who will provide you with key insights into industry issues, such as successfully managing your facility; avoiding mistakes in design and material selection; learning how to best provide high-quality services, and other industry tips and trends for effective business planning to achieve growth in the future.

The pet care services industry is expected to grow from a $53 billion industry in 2009 to more than $70 billion by 2014.

Intro to Pet Care Services will equip you with a deeper understanding of this exciting and growing business sector to turn your business vision into a reality.

PCSA is proud to serve more than 2,100 active pet care service facilities throughout the world.

With more than 30 years of experience, we are thrilled to provide you with the education and tools you need to achieve your business goals.

Look for more detailed information about Intro to Pet Care Services coming soon!

PCSA is happy to bring you the Level I and Level II study material in electronic form. Instead of waiting for your book in the mail, you can now receive it via email.

You must have Adobe Reader to access the study material. For Adobe Reader click here.

To enroll call the Education Department at 800-218-9123

Pet Care Services Association’s Education Program offers the industry’s premier learning experience which will prepare you for today’s competitive pet services market.

Learn the basic principles of animal care and customer service. Develop the management and professional skills needed to operate a pet service facility in today’s environment.

Pet Care Services Association’s Education Program promotes the professional development of each member of the pet care service industry through courses that provide the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure the most responsible pet care.

The courses are offered at three different levels to fit your needs.

Each level is a prerequisite for the next.

Your Pet’s Health

Boarding Facilities

A primary concern of many pet parents is ensuring their kitty receives excellent care when they are out of town.

A good pet guardian helps relieve vacation stress by guaranteeing your cat is safe and happy while you are away.

Take the time to find out what kind of guardian is best for your cat. Should you choose a boarding facility, the choice can be difficult – particularly because there are more than 9,000 in the U.S. and Canada!

Cats and Poisonous Plants

When your garden starts to turn green, beware of toxic holiday plants like lilies.

The veterinary school at Purdue University rates the toxicity of the Easter lily as high, however, the toxicity is only reported in cats. Cat owners should be particularly conscious of the leaves but the flower and stem may also be dangerous.

Look for signs such as vomiting, legality, and lack of appetite, and contact your veterinarian immediately if they occur. It’s not just the Easter lily.

Decorative lilies can also be a problem during the winter holidays. Also, the leaves of rhododendrons and poinsettias can irritate gums, and mistletoe and Christmas rose may cause intestinal upset.

Chow Down

Cats are carnivorous by nature, which means they need plenty of fat and protein in their diets. Their nutrients should come primarily from animal-source ingredients such as meat, poultry or fish, rather than plant sources.

Without animal-source ingredients in their diet, cats will become deficient in certain nutrients.

Overall, cats have unique nutritional needs that require they eat diets specifically formulated for cats. The type of food, dry or canned, is up to you. Talk to your veterinarian about the pros and cons of each.

Health at Home

Proper exercise, a stimulating environment and good nutrition are important to good health and a long life.

Without them, your cat may get sluggish and gain weight that could lead to diabetes. Regular playtime provides bonding time and calorie burning. Pet stores have an endless variety of kitty toys to try.

You may also want to look into videos that will entertain your cat while you are away from home.

Health at the Veterinarian

Cats are prone to infections — the good news is that most are treatable. One common ailment is obstruction or inflammation of the urinary tract.

Cats who have trouble urinating or appear to have pain need veterinary attention because an obstruction is fatal if it’s not removed.

Special diets may help cats prone to urinary infection. Another common health problem is upper respiratory infection, which is easily transmitted between cats.

Cats with this type of infection usually sneeze and have runny noses.

These infections can be viral or bacterial so antibiotics may be necessary.

Maintaining Pearly Whites

Many pet owners aren’t aware of how important dental care is to their pet’s overall health.

Tartar buildup can lead to gum infection, which in turn can lead to more serious infections and diseases of the heart, lungs and kidneys.

Bad breath is a good indicator of an oral problem that needs attention.

Routine cleaning at home and more rigorous cleanings by the veterinarian are critical to stopping periodontal disease before it causes your pet serious health problems and pain.

Take the opportunity during routine cleanings to look for any suspicious sores or bumps in your kitty’s mouth, as many cancers and infectious diseases begin in the mouth.

Dr. Thomas J. Rosol, a cancer expert, is leading a study that focuses on treatment for feline oral cancer, specifically oral squamous cell carcinoma. Affected cats experience difficulty eating, excess salivation, and weight loss.

The disease eventually causes death. Dr. Rosol says that while no treatment exists for cats with oral squamous cell carcinoma, with Foundation funding, he hopes to learn more about the disease and make life more comfortable for affected cats.

Maintaining Your Cat’s Health

Maintaining your cat’s health is as important to us as it is to you.

That is why Morris Animal Foundation is currently funding several feline health studies that are helping provide the best health care for your cat.

Safety First

You may not think about needing first aid for your cat, but accidents happen and it’s good to be prepared.

Cat-proofing your home is a good idea. This includes making sure strings, electrical cords and chemicals are out of reach or locked away.

It’s also a good idea to know basic first aid for animals and to have a first aid kit and emergency numbers on hand. In an emergency, it’s best to call your veterinarian or emergency hospital immediately.

Types of Memberships

The Pet Care Services Association offers three types of memberships: ActiveAuxiliary, and Associate.

Active Membership

Qualifications: An individual or legally operating business that is actively engaged in the non-veterinary care of pets as a primary service, for a fee. An Active Member must agree to abide by the Pet Care Services Association Code of Ethics, Bill of Rights, and Standard and Practices.

Benefits: An Active Member has voting privileges at each year’s national convention or whenever votes are called for.

Active Members also have access to Pet Care Services Association publications, discussion groups, industry information, and networking.

Active Members qualify for significant discounts on regional meetings, the national convention, education programs, accreditation programs, insurance programs, and various Pet Care Services Association products.

They are also listed in the Pet Care Services Association’s Annual Membership Directory.

Additionally, all members’ websites are linked to the Pet Care Services Association Web site with a locater map, thus allowing and encouraging pet owners to utilize the Pet Care Services Association members’ facilities.

Auxiliary Membership

Qualifications: An individual who is interested in the pet care industry, but who does not presently operate a non-veterinary pet care business and who, therefore, does not qualify for Active Membership.

An Auxiliary Member must agree to abide by the Pet Care Services Association Code of Ethics, Bill of Rights, and Standard and Practices.

Benefits: Auxiliary Members enjoy all rights and privileges of Active Membership, except for the right to vote on Association issues.

Associate Memberships

Qualifications: This type of membership is for industry suppliers and for businesses allied with the pet boarding industry such as manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, etc.

Benefits: Pet Care Services Association Associate members enjoy discounts on advertising in all Pet Care Services Association publications, including Pet Services Journal and the E-Borderline Newsletter.

Associate members are also offered discounted exhibit fees and/or literature distribution at the national and regional meetings.

Associate Members are also included in the Pet Care Services Association’s Membership Directory.

Additionally, Associate Members’ Web pages are linked to the Pet Care Services Association site, under the “Industry Suppliers” link.

There is also a one-time benefit of a business card style advertisement in the Pet Service Journal magazine (New Members Only).

Associate members are also encouraged to write articles and send in press releases for the Pet Service Journal magazine.

Institutions

Qualifications: Non-Profit educational organizations and correctional facilities are eligible for this type of membership. They too must agree to abide by Pet Care Services Association’s Code of Ethics, Bill of Rights, and Standards and Practices.

Benefits: Institutional members may enroll in all levels of the Pet Care Services Association’s three-tiered education program and receive certifications just as the other members. Receiving the Pet Services Journal is an added benefit for these members.