Guide to Finding the Best Local Service Providers
BUDDY'S BEST CARE
My Buddy's Place
Best Care Research Guide
for Pet Parents

My Buddy's Place allows you to research and find the best in local care for your dog. We have divided the services into seven areas of care:

Veterinarians

Dog Sitting / Boarding

Dog Walking

Grooming

Training

Doggie Spa Services

Unique/Other

When searching for the best care for your buddy, there are many distinguishing elements that can help inform your decision. In many cases, services providers can get certified by leading organizations in their particular fields. These certifications, in combination with community reviews can help and guide you in choosing the best care provider for your buddy. In the following section we break out the important distinctions for each of the services available in your market.

Regardless of service type, all Pet Provider services have basic common elements. At My Buddy's Place, we ask service providers to provide more detailed information when they sign up for the site.

  • How many years have you been working with dogs?
  • What dog sizes do you deal with? (Some providers specialize in a specific size of dog.)
  • Do you have a cancellation policy? If yes what is it?
  • Do you have industry specific certification?
  • Do you have insurance? If yes, Please provide proof of insurance.
  • Please provide a summary of your services.
  • What is the range of prices for your services?
  • Do you do a background check on your employees?

We also provide a basic profile of providers in your area as well.

Veterinary

Choosing the right Vet is one of the most important decisions a Pet Parent can make. From finding your brand new puppy's first Vet to finding a specialist, My Buddy's Place can help.

There are some basic items that can help you find the best medical care for your dog.

The veterinary industry has some accreditation programs that can help you in finding the best care for your dog. The can be broken into following area’s:

American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) accreditation- Practices that accept the challenge of accreditation are evaluated on stringent quality standards that encompass all aspects of pet care - ranging from patient care and pain management to team training and medical record-keeping.

American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) Certification- shows the veterinarian took the time and effort to be certified by the ABVP. It takes a minimum of three years and proven expertise above normal veterinary requirements. Typically specialized in a category of animal treatment.

Breed Specialist- some particular breeds need specialized care so ask if the clinic/vet has a specialist in dealing with your type of dog.

Specialist- a specialist is a veterinarian who has been recognized by the American Board of Veterinary Specialist through additional education and examination for their particular practice. Here is a list of some of the specialist practices that you may need for your dog:

Anesthesia (pain management during procedures)
Behavior
Dentistry (teeth)
Dermatology (skin)
Emergency Care
Internal Medicine
  • Cardiology (heart)
  • Neurology (brain/spinal cord/nervous system)
  • Oncology (tumors/cancer)
Microbiology- virus, bacteria, fungi with dogs
Nutrition
Ophthalmology (eyes)
Pathology (disease)
Radiology
Rehabilitation
Surgery
  • Orthopedics (bones/joints)
  • Soft Tissue (Internal Organs)
Other

It is important to have a choice for veterinary care available to you. This means even before you get your first puppy/dog, do some research and have a care provider chosen before the puppy/dog comes home with you. In addition, if your dog is going to be traveling with you make sure you have an idea where the best care can be found at your vacation spot. Emergencies happen no matter how careful you are with your buddy. Be prepared, it saves a lot of worry in the end.

Dog Sitting / Boarding

Dog Sitting/Boarding

If you are leaving town for vacation or a business trip, you may need to leave your buddy behind. There are three options for care while you are away.

01- Pet Sitting – The service provider comes to your house and stays overnight with your dog. Check to see if they have Pet Sitter International Certification.

02- In-House Boarding – You bring your dog to the service provider’s home. Check to see if they have Pet Sitter International Certification.

03- Traditional Boarding – You place your dog in boarding kennels. Check to make sure they have Pet Care Services Association (PCSA) certification and the licensing of the caretakers.

With any option you select, check if they can provide additional care such as medication administration and emergency services if needed. In addition, some pet sitters use technology that enables them to show they have "checked in" to care for your dog. This is a good additional feature that allows you to know when the sitter has arrived and left.

Dog Walking

Dog Walking

With our busy hectic lives, sometimes Pet Parents do not have the time to walk their dogs on a daily basis. Professional Dog Walkers can be a great way to fill those gaps. Keep in mind additional questions beyond the basics previously mentioned to ask walkers.

01- Do they do walks with just your dog(s) or a group of dogs? I also don’t know what this means. Depending on your dog's personality one of these two choices might better for his or her care.

02- Do they use check-in/check-out technology? This lets you know if they had been to the house, when they were there and when they left. It is a great feature for peace of mind for any Pet Parent.

Dog Grooming

Dog Grooming

When it comes to getting your buddy cleaned up, there have been more care options available to Pet Parents over the past few years. Grooming services can range from:

01- Grooming center location with professional groomers.

02- Mobile grooming brings the grooming center to your home. Typically done with a specialized truck with all the necessary materials contained in it.

03- Doggie wash center (self-service).

Dog Training

Dog Training

Many Pet Parents need some help in the training of their buddy. There are plenty of options for Pet Parents looking for training assistance.

One thing that's important to know when looking for a trainer is that there are many ways that one can become a professional dog trainer. Some trainers have apprenticed for some period of time with an experienced trainer before branching out on their own. Some have special schooling, such as higher degrees from colleges and universities in animal behavior, or schooling at online vocational programs that may be combined with a hands-on mentoring component. Others came into the profession through working in animal shelters or competing in dog sports and competition. It is not unusual to come to the profession through a combination of both experience and education.

There is no required certification or licensing to become a professional dog trainer or behavior counselor. Certification, while not mandatory, does however imply that a trainer takes his or her profession seriously and is dedicated to continuing professional growth and education for the benefit of his or her human and canine clients.

Dog Training and Behavior Certifications and Certificates: What's the Difference?

Certificate Programs are educational programs designed to teach a certain set of skills or knowledge. Upon successful graduation from the program, a trainer receives a certificate, which is also often known as a certification. Examples of certificate programs include the Karen Pryor Academy, Animal Behavior College, San Francisco SPCA, and more. The main focus of a certificate program is education and the educational process begins and ends with the program (from enrollment through graduation.) Some may also require additional Continuing Education Units (CEUs) upon graduation.

A Certification has a different focus – that of assessing skills and/or knowledge. Certifications are run by organizations that are independent of the actual educational process, and their sole goal is determining if someone meets a set of criteria demonstrating the attainment of a level of skill/knowledge. A certification is designed to show that a person has met a set of standard skills/knowledge in your profession. In order to maintain a certification, further education from independent organizations is required, usually in the form of Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Examples of certifications are the CPDT-KA (certification council for professional dog trainers) and the CDBC (international association of animal behavior consultants).
For more information please check https://apdt.com/pet-owners/choosing-a-trainer/certifications/ which was the source for this information.

Doggie Spa Services

Doggie Spa Services

Did your buddy’s ears perk up as you read this one aloud? Dog Day Spas offer the whole nine yards of pampering for your dog in the form of massages, facials, breath treatments, specialized cuts, and holistic treatments.

Choose the services that are right for you. There are, of course, cost considerations in these services versus more traditional grooming services. Groomers have certification programs such as Master Dog Groomers Certification. Check to see if your Pet Providers specialize in your buddy’s breed type if you have something specific in mind.

Unique/Other

Unique/Other

The are many unique options for services for your dog that can include organizing doggie days out, pet parties, acupuncture, animal communicators, pet travel, yoga and holistic treatment for pets. All these options will require your careful consideration of the service provider and what you want for your dog. Research your options under unique pet services on My Buddy’s Place for some of the more creative services available in your area.

End of Life Services

Finally, there comes a time when your buddy will be moving on. Some Veterinary professionals specialize in end of life care. A Pet Parent has the choice of having his or her dog pass in the comfortable surroundings of home. These professionals can also help with arrangements for your buddy. These available services for Pet Parents are designed to provide help and comfort during a very difficult time.