A Client's Best Friend: National Pet Day

Whether you’re a Care Professional whose clients have pets in the home or you look after an animal-loving client, read this blog to get some ideas on how to enjoy Pet Day!

A Client's Best Friend: National Pet Day

April 11th is National Pet Day, so to celebrate we’ve put together a blog with animals in mind. Whether you’re a Care Professional whose clients have pets in the home, or you look after an animal loving senior who would appreciate seeing new life this spring, this article will give you great ideas.

If you’re not an animal person, it’s unlikely you’d be matched with a client who has a furry friend at home. We find that many Care Professionals at Home Instead Wimbledon and Kingston are keen animal-lovers and relish the chance to help clients look after their pets. Here are a few top tips for dealing with pets in a client’s home.

  1. Be respectful. Ultimately, your help has been sought to look after the client, not their pet. You should ask permission before you stroke a pet for the first time and ask a client to be clear about what the boundaries are. Some clients will love having someone else to fuss and take care of their pet, especially if they’ve been finding it a bit overwhelming. However, some clients will still be capable of caring for pets themselves and enabling them to do so grants them dignity and autonomy.
  2. Don’t make presumptions. Just because there are pets in the home or not, doesn’t necessarily tell you much about the client. For example, Mrs Peters might have a twelve-year-old Jack Russell that’s been in the home since it was a pup, but she might not necessarily be a dog person – perhaps the dog belonged to her husband, and she keeps it to honour his memory? Similarly, a home without pets might be the home of a keen animal lover who is no longer able to look after pets in their home – they might find the subject sore, or they might be eager to talk about pets they had in the past.
  3. If your client loves animals but can’t have a pet in the home, see if you could arrange a visit from a therapy pet. There are more than 6,000 dogs in the UK that work with Pets As Therapy, visiting schools, care homes and other establishments. There are other charities and groups which offer this service – is this something available in your local community?

Here are a few ideas for celebrating National Pet Day with your client.

  1. Look at photographs of old pets and talk about favourite pet memories.
  2. On a rainy day, watch an endearing animal movie, such as Homeward Bound, Babe, Chalotte’s Web, Fly Away Home, or Hachi-ko.
  3. Enjoy a craft activity to do with animals, such as pebble painting (these could be varnished and decorate a windowsill, or be put in the garden), make a collage board dedicated to their favourite animal or pet, or decorate a bookmark with an animal theme.

You might have a client who loves animals but is unable to have them in the home. If this is the case, why not arrange something special for them in aid of National Pet Day?

  1. Pet supply shops like Pets at Home Wimbledon, often have animals for sale which you can go and look at. While it mightn’t be possible to hold these animals, many clients will still enjoy the opportunity to go and see them scurrying around in their cages.
  2. Do you know a local petting zoo or similar attraction that your client would enjoy visiting? A hands-on experience with furry friends will be a memorable event that your client will cherish. We mentioned Deen City Farm in a previous blog post. It’s a lovely, small urban farm and a really nice place to visit, particularly mid-week.
  3. Does your client have a friend or neighbour with a pet at home who they like to spend time with? Arranging a visit to see a friendly pet will be the highlight of their day.

At Home Instead Wimbledon and Kingston, we love supporting clients with a pet in the home, and many of our Care Professionals do, too. National Pet Day is a great excuse to think about all things animal related to add variety to your client’s routine. How will you be celebrating this special day?

If this blog has inspired you to consider a position in care, please get in touch.

Become A Care Professional