Note: AVS imposed tighter rules on commercial daycare boarding from April 1st, 2022. At least 5 major and popular daycare boarding have ceased operation due to these rules, or Covid or both. Read further if you are concerned.
Note II: Many enquiries for June/July/August summer holidays are coming in and my slots are getting limited, so please book early.
Note III: My dog walking services are unavailable for now as I am shifting my focus to doggy daycare/boarding and cat/rabbit sitting.
CAUTION: Hire me at your own risk! Many stop by my house gate daily to have their dogs socialized and these dogs refuse to leave. Dogs pull their owners towards me or my van, some drag their feet and are unwilling to go home after spending time at my place, some follow me closely or refuse to alight my van when I send them home. Dogs living up to 3km away from me, pulled their owners all the way to my place, another dog ran out of his house to look for my place.
CAUTION II: Some clients entrust their dogs to friends/neighbors for part of the dogs' stay to save money. Dogs seem comfortable with them but that's only the surface. I discovered lack of cleanliness, integrity, courtesy, communication, knowledge, safety, discipline, etc from these "trusted" friends/neighbors during the handover. The dogs came to me with bad habits and behavioral issues (pulling, jumping, aggression, barking, whining, etc), unclean dogs' stuff, and friends who cancelled dates without informing us. Many regular clients have rejected friends' offer to dog sit because even their trusted friends do the very minimal, and their dogs end up bored and depressed.
I had a few clients who continually expressed interest in having their dogs board with me but always ended up boarding them with their friends'/neighbors', until I wasn't keen anymore. One of the client's friends told me that the client's dog's behavioral issue got so shockingly bad after continually staying at many friends' place.
Skittish/reactive pets: note that animals read body language - they don't choose pet sitters based on scent or looks. When they sense fear, it activates their hunting mode and they chase after the fearful human. Many locally experienced pet sitters got injured, resulting fear in entering the pets' homes. Skittish pets look up to those who exhibit calm confidence and strong leadership (of the pack or pride).
PRIORITY, and the importance of sticking to one pet sitter/boarder:
Rates/Hours (managed only by me and my husband, we are not super humans):
Misconception: "pets will die of hunger if they don't eat at strict timings like 7am". Timings are dictated by humans, and sometimes pets purposely delay breakfast for hours or even skip it because they don't need the energy in the morning to hunt unlike wildlife, and food is always there, served by anxious human slaves.
Passion involves long term (several years), persevering despite hard times like Covid, being physically exhausted and not paid well, but found love and joy through it all. ALL regular clients and visitors feedback that I work the hardest among all pet sitters/boarders/hotels they had used previously, to the point that they pay me up to double/triple, and encourage me to take breaks and go for a holiday.
Many pet owners come across my profile but move on to look for cheaper options, would rather go through the hassle of searching from a cheap one to another every few months. You actually spend much more time (looking and stressing yourself) than money. Cheap services don't last beyond a year - even if it's so-called not doing it for the money - because they will leave for a BETTER paying job in order to survive financially.
I cannot waive cost for transport, paid parking, ERP in CBD areas and Sentosa residents since such expenses are high in Singapore. I have new clients who want to bargain with me - petrol is not free! Sentosa pet sitters and dog walkers/boarders usually move out of there within a year due to high living expenses.
Our style: I am a strict handler towards dogs, my husband is on the softer side. We feel disturbed when we see dogs exhibit bad habits or behavioral issues. It's just 2 of us handling several pets a day, thus consistency and discipline are needed to produce well behaved dogs in order to reduce risks. Simple stuffs like meal times, boarding/alighting my van, entering/exiting a certain place, need to be in orderly manner, thus dogs should already have good recall training from their owners. We are educators so we believe in discipline and reinforcement, not overly positive because different dogs respond through different methods - one method doesn't fit all, some don't respond to positive reinforcement even after several months/years (then expect me to resolve it? I am not a dog trainer!), some take other kinds of reinforcements better. We received well rounded education, we excel in sports, we have a thirst for knowledge esp in wildlife - naturally we want the pets to be well rounded too thus we train cats and dogs (only if they are willing!) to be agile and quick in reflexes as these are survival skills in the wild. We believe in dog socialization and pack walking because dogs learn, increase their confidence and get exposed to other dog behaviors too.
Mandatory requirements for daycare/boarding:
1. Dogs must be fully house trained, potty trained, have no separation anxiety (they will be left alone for up to 2-3 hours), no excessive barking, no chewing, non-aggressive (I have elderly parents who fall easily) - strict rules because it's my parents' house. Do not send them to my place to be trained - I am not a dog trainer
2. Clients must show proof of dogs' latest vaccinations against flu/viruses, anti flea/tick prevention and Bordetella vaccination. There were 2 incidents where dogs caught flu or kennel cough from the groomers and commercial daycare (as long as there's 24/7 aircon within 4 walls) and came over to my place. Fortunately, most of the dogs at my place were not infected due to my home's strong wind and natural breeze
3. Come, stay (or wait), heel, out (or move), up, down, gentle - these words are very important to me esp when I am an organized person. Many clients tell me that their dogs know these commands, but are not able to fully demonstrate them
4. I do not accept non neutered/non spayed adults that are 15/18 months and older. I have 3 clients who refused to get their dogs neutered for certain reasons. These dogs gradually got aggressive as they got older and nearly attacked my other clients' dogs. Fortunately I anticipated it and was quick to prevent it, and I have training aids that stop them
IMPORTANT: I drive, so I expect a dedicated pickup/drop off point or free visitors parking if you need my services. Some old shophouse areas like Tiong Bahru do not have such zones and I often risk getting fined, and some condos do not have free parking.
Latest news on commercial daycare/boarding:
Dog owners called out for stricter rules because many bad incidents arise in both private and commercial daycare/boarding in the recent years, which resulted in AVS imposing requirements from April 1, 2022 that brought down a massive number of dog boarders. Don't rush into buying huge packages from another commercial daycare/boarding because more may close down without warning. Have backup plans, go for pay per daycare/overnight at commercial ones even though it may be more expensive, look for established full time private boarders who have been around for several years and will be for the next 5 to 10 years.
It's only those with GENUINE PASSION and TIRELESS DEDICATION - survive. So cherish your surviving dog boarder, esp if he/she has been diligent, consistent and accomodating. New clients - do not judge us based on our rates alone without looking at our place and what we do - it shows that you are more concerned over your budget than your dog's welfare, whom you claim that your dog is part of your family. Don't stinge - you will lose out esp during peak periods.
Many dog owners who moved from using commercial to private boarding said that my place is so much more affordable, esp with the space, garden and discipline reinforcement. I already have pet relocaters visited my place and have immediately asked me to consider their clients because they couldn't find a better private boarding landed house than mine. They recognized the experience and effort. Many owners who stay far away or have moved further away from me refused to look for alternatives no matter how I told them to because the ones they have tried are often inconsistent.
I have 4 Pawshake friends from different parts of Singapore who are full time pet sitters/boarders for several years and whose profile links I used to post here, but I had to remove them due to other pet sitters/boarders who complained about it because they are afraid to lose out. We often meetup to discuss, and we all have strong based clients. Let me know if you don't stay near me and need one.
Dog boarding (rates are meant for medium and big dogs such as Labs, Goldies, Doodles, Collies, Shepherds, Pointers, Mongrels, as they are my main clients. Rate for smaller dogs such as Shibas, Bulls, Spaniels, Poodle mix, Terriers, etc is lower. Look through my pictures for dogs' hangout area and living room sleeping area) at a NON luxurious landed property with a big semi indoor/outdoor area which has been assessed by relatives, visitors, groomers and dog trainers. Some dog trainers/boarders have even copied my profile and boarding style (so you are actually looking at the original ONE!):
Match your dog with the boarder's personality (indoor/outdoor, introvert/extrovert?) AND place. If your dog needs only 1-2 walks/day and 24 hours of pampering indoor play with AC, 99% of the boarders who stay at condos/apartments offer these at cheap rates. If you have a medium to large active dog with physical potentials or loves ball/frisbee training, we have already taught German Shepherds, Labradors, Poodles, Terriers to be quick, agile and sharp through their constant stays at our place. We also use balls and toys to reinforce their basic commands and teach new vocabulary. Many active dogs who were rejected by other doggy daycare came to me and they actually match one another's energy. I have also tried and tested, some dogs tend to misbehave more at landed property due to freedom, space and passing movements. But in a flat/condo, they can't see the outside world, bark less and focus more on staying disciplined.
Usually your dog's personality follows yours. Passive owner, passive dog. Active owner, active dog. I had a gun/sporting pup came to my place for daycare once, but the owner, a very much indoor and very very fair skinned person, ultimately prefers him to be mostly indoors with aircon. What a waste of potential! It's a mismatch between the owner and the dog. Some shy indoor dogs couldn't take the energetic dogs at my place, but most learnt to and became versatile and confident ultimately.
Adhoc or at most twice a week please, and STRICTLY only for regulars during peak periods as it's already VERY VERY popular due to many clients' recommendation. I learnt that I am one of the very rare ones who offer daycare up to late hours. My advice when choosing a daycare:
1. Go to one that's nearby. Long journey rides with much starting and stopping, poor driving skills by outsourced drivers can cause dogs to feel unwell and fearful
2. Go for strong physique boarders. Many dog owners reported that their active dogs are rejected by many doggy daycare because boarders find that it's too much work, thus these dogs got bored and depressed, videos show that little was done
3. When there is lack of discipline due to overcrowding of dogs, due to high turnover rate of part time and inexperienced pet sitters since most of them are outsourced, lowly paid, not trained, no knowledge of handling fights or treating wounds, AVOID. Dogs may be tired at the end of the day, but clients noticed that they picked up bad behaviors from other dogs
4. Go for one that alternates between aircon and strong fans/natural breeze. Sick dogs infected others easily at enclosed rooms that promote 24 hours aircon where bacteria thrive and spread easily at cold temperatures. Too much aircon discourages your dogs from getting out of their comfort zone, because cold air stiffens your dog's joints, especially those that are slim, and thus they lose less heat and energy
Please include $10-$20 per trip if you need me for transport. I will only accept those who live at most 10 mins drive away from me and those who do their own drop off and pickup. I do not wish to spend too much time on the roads and away from clients' dogs at my home.
If you own shy/skittish dogs or Singapore Specials: do not bring them to socialize at the last minute just before peak periods. They are stressed under new environment esp with many new dog faces. Some of my wise clients took advantage of the quiet Covid period to have their dogs socialize at my place.
I look a lot at matching dogs' personalities. I believe in building bonds and relationships, so I pass on this energy to the regular dogs at my place who also form strong bonds and deep friendships one another. They often look forward to meeting one another, they remember one another fondly even if they haven't met for months or even 1-2 years due to Covid. Their owners also fondly remember their doggy's buddies, and admit that they don't find this kind of special and consistent friendships in other doggy daycare/boarding
Nov 27, 2021: I had an awesome full time pet sitter friend helped me and my husband with many dogs due to Thanksgiving weekend. Her words about my place: "Too much cleaning, how do you maintain the cleanliness?", "Can I turn off one of the fans (4 fans were running at that time)? The fans are strong, my eyes and contact lens are dry."
March 12, 2022: A new client and his big dog dropped by, and his words are, "You have a really big sheltered porch, oh my I cannot imagine how much you have to clean up the place!", "You really make the effort to do up this place for the dogs. I have never been to a landed house with so many fans!", "You don't earn much from doing this, you obviously do it just for the passion."
Dogs with separation anxiety, barking issues, lunging, aggression:
If your dog has the above issue, please hire a dog trainer/behaviorist to resolve this first before you engage my services. Some dog boarders are burdened by these and terminated their boarding business after neighbors' complaints due to the dogs' unresolved behavioral issues and they are given a very short period to evict the dogs. Note that positive reinforcement is an extremely long process (can be months or years), security guards shared with me dogs' unchanging behavioral issues despite owners hiring several dog trainers/walkers. Some popular dog boarders/dog trainers leave all the walking and training to their maids/helpers.
Many dog owners reject training for their dogs with behavioral issues, and go silent when I ask about crate/playpen/obedience training. I once had an obnoxious client who rejected training for her neglected dog (passed away at only 5 years old, overweight health issues, unkempt and too much pills) whose behavior disrupted my family and my neighbors till I had to send him home. When the ordeal was over, she revealed that she expected me to resolve her dog's behavioral issues OVERNIGHT (if I can, then I am an overqualified dog trainer/behaviorist), which I must emphasize that my place is meant purely for daycare/boarding, not training.
The dog's progress depends largely on the owner. Some dog owners are too busy to follow up the dog trainer's or my advice/instructions, or just want to use their own way/method, or choose to miss opportunities presented to them, or left the dog entirely to the MANY maids/helpers who do little. Thus I will not accept any dogs having above issues. Commercial daycare/boarding would be more suitable if above issues are not yet resolved, as they have 24/7 supervision and soundproof rooms.
Pics/Videos for dog boarding/daycare:
I usually send a set of quality pics/video clips once at the beginning/end of the day. I am not the kind who spams every few hours. Being a perfectionist and a wildlife photographer, I won't send much if I am dissatisfied with my pictures. I don't take pics of all walks, because I need to correct their bad habits and look out for sudden dog confrontations. I don't wish to be distracted by phone messages, so dog owners who hire me ought to trust me. If your pet sitter is over responsive, you know that he/she is often looking at the phone and not focusing on her job. I once had a new client who expected me to respond immediately every time she texted me, otherwise she considers me unresponsive. During peak periods, I am extremely busy with all clients' pets and constant cleaning, I would need a few hours to respond occasionally.
My face is an access pass to about 40 condos due to my excellent PR. I have forged strong friendships with cleaners and security guards (some greet me in pet languages, some lunch with me). I have brought pets to the vet, reached homes not easily accessible, handled homes' water leakage and ant/roach problem. We have cared for pets' ill health and heartbreaking last moments while owners are away. As a cat sitter, I have easily tackled shy/skittish cats. Such cats will not be bribed. They look for certain character qualities in cat sitters. I studied big cats and their hunting skills/instincts from lion rehabilitation camps, and have (unexpectedly) turned some outdoor cats, Bengal, Turkish Van, Maine Coon, Persians, Ragdolls, Siberian etc into panting ninjas! Please note that I cannot do long hours of dog sitting as my priority goes to dog boarding/daycare, dog walking, cat/rabbit sitting. If you really need me to do so, text me as I have a couple of solutions.
Pet taxi/transportation (registered pet care service business since mid 2018):
I used to ferry dogs in my Honda Civic for several years but since 4 years ago I own a van which dogs prefer due to bigger space. Dog trainers and regular clients have been using my services for emergencies, grooming, beach/park outings since it's easier to get hold of me as compared to other pet transport. I love driving (and motorcycling), and have clocked at least 40,000km in total on the roads of the above countries that I have self driven.
I have assisted in cat hoarding cases, I volunteer in food collection and transport for animal shelters and communities, forge friendships with staff volunteers and rescuers. I coordinate with pet food suppliers who either donate or sell me bulks of food at extremely low prices. I store the food at my place, organize and send them to the stray animals communities and pet shelters (Mercylight, Mdm Wong's shelter, SOSD, Causes for Animals). If you have any unwanted food, cage, cat litter, newspapers, old towels, old blankets, and wish to donate, please don't hesitate to contact me and I will come pick them up.
Nice lady who helped me look after my dog when I have to attend a wedding dinner. Even though I had to end quite late, Ruby was kind to accommodate to my timing. She also has a large landed home for the dog to move around in the yard and grassy area, which makes the dog happy when he’s there.
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