Importance of Staff Training

Scott Feldstein | CC-BY
Scott Feldstein | CC-BY

We all understand and talk about the importance of training our staff. But do we truly make the time and investment to ensure that this is done properly and consistently for each and every staff member?

The following is a true story. You never know when that little bit of knowledge or training that you provide to your employees can set your company apart from others.

It was late on a weeknight evening. The busy day of dog and cat activities was starting to wind down. There was a 4 year old Newfoundland mix that was scheduled to go out for the last walk of the evening. The dog was slow to get up so the staff took their time going out to the yard. It was obvious that the dog was a little wobbly standing, but everything else appeared to be ok. Just to be sure, the handler went to get someone else to take a look at the dog. They assessed the dog as they had been trained to do. Its stomach didn’t seem distended and there had been no reports of loose stool or vomiting during the day. The dog had eaten and drunk what was offered to him earlier in the day. As they were making their final determination whether to contact the vet, the dog started to vomit a foam like substance.


There was now no question. They were taking this dog to the vet. The on-call vet was alerted and the staff headed out in minutes with the dog. It turned out that the dog was in the early stages of bloat and the vet was able to perform surgery and save the dog’s life. Over the next few days we had countless calls from the owner thanking us for our outstanding response to this. They are forever grateful, especially because they’d had a prior experience with bloat so really understanding and appreciating how exceptional the response and care was.


The vet that attended to the dog personally spoke to me to tell me how well trained our staff had been in order to catch something like this. I started to think about how many endless hours of developing training processes, online certifications, and workshops that we had made available or provided to our staff. It had all paid off; we never had a doubt that training and employee development was importan,t and these situations confirm it.  We had the right staff with the right tools to respond quickly and the end result was lifesaving. What is saving a life worth?

We share this story to help raise the appropriate questions to take your staff, training and business to the next level.

Ask these questions:

  1. Do we have a structured training program in place?
  2. Are employees empowered to act in the event of a medical emergency?
  3. Is your staffing and pet care hours conducive to providing exceptional care?
  4. Do you have relationships in place to get medical attention to a pet in an emergency situation?
  5. If you are not there are you confident that your staff would catch a medical issue and act on it accordingly?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions there is opportunity for your company to start to develop a consistent training program. One of the many resources available for our industry and a quick easy way to get staff training started is Outstanding Pet Care Learning Center. Your customers will thank you!


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