Welsh Enterprise Awards 2020

14 | Welsh Enterprise Awards 2020 Best Puppy & Dog Home Boarding Specialists - South Wales Based near Newport , Pooch on a Pedestal is a family-run puppy and dog walking, home boarding and training company that was established by Victoria Duke and Tom Menyena in 2019. With the support of their own three beloved cockapoos, Victoria and Tom began the canine company from their own home upon realising that most kennels and day care centres were lacking in certain areas and often over stimulating and stressful for many dogs. Most other companies often take care of large groups of dogs at the same time, resulting in overstimulation which leads to behavioural problems or nervousness in many dogs. For those dogs staying in over-populated kennels or who are left at home alone for long periods of the day, there is a substantial risk of separation anxiety and distress as well as frustration. Seeing it happen time and time again, and being unable to find anyone suitable to care of their own dogs, Victoria and Tom decided to leave their positions as headteachers and begin their own canine enterprise. They began by achieving the Level 3 Ofqual- recognised diplomas in dog behaviour, welfare and care, before progressing onto their degrees. Both trained in canine First Aid, Tom has achieved his British College of Canine Studies Professional Dog Walker Certificate, whilst Victoria is currently completing her qualifying degree as a Certified Canine Behaviourist. The pair share more than fifty years of experience of working with dogs and a lifetime love of man’s best friend. They began Pooch on a Pedestal with a vision to transform the perceptions around canine care. For a start, Victoria and Tom care for a maximum of three small dogs at one time: “We feel that solo or appropriate pairing or trios are the best method so each dog gets the most out of the experience,” says Victoria. “We do not agree with forceful, old fashioned dominance style training and believe in gentle training through games.” Through a holistic programme of learning that is personalised to each dog and incorporates sensory, developmental and physical experiences, Victoria and Tom are able to shape happy and healthy dogs. The same applies to those dogs who stay with the couple whilst their owners go on holiday: “Every puppy and dog is an individual and has his or her own favourite games, toys and foods, certain fears and areas to develop and specific routines and health needs, so we believe in providing carefully planned holidays for up to three small dogs within our own home,” says Victoria. To do this, Tom and Victoria draw up detailed ‘sleepover plans’ for each dog, to ensure they each get lots of vital enrichment, one-to-one attention, consistency with their routines at home and plenty of games and walks. Puppy parents are able to enjoy their time away, thanks to regular updates from Tom and Victoria letting them know that their beloved pooch is well cared for. As Covid-19 put a halt to most people’s plans to travel abroad in 2020, Tom and Victoria’s services for dog boarding have seen less demand although they have continued to play a major role in the care and training of dogs in and around Newport. The publication of their first e-book, ‘Crazy Canine Capers’ was a great success with people training their dogs throughout lockdown, thanks to the thirty videos of activities that could be used to keep pooches entertained at home. Pooch on a Pedestal has also taken its personal training services online thanks to Zoom, continuing to provide enrichment for their canine pals if they cannot come to them due to owners isolating. Victoria and Tom’s fresh approach to dog training and care has seen the company achieve four awards in its first year alone, including the Prestige Awards Best Pet Care Business in South Wales 2020 and the UK Enterprise Awards Excellence Award for Personalised Dog Sleepovers 2020. They are also the only dogwalkers in Newport accredited by the Pet Professionals Guild. Propelled by this success, Tom and Victoria are looking to develop Pooch on a Pedestal even further, beginning with the acquisition of further qualifications, books and the recruitment of an apprentice. Consequently, Pooch on a Pedestal will be able to continue delivering even more fantastic care forNewport’s beloved, tail-wagging pals. Company: Pooch on a Pedestal Ltd Contact: Victoria Duke Website: poochonapedestal.co.uk Pooch on a Pedestal is an award-winning team committed to providing a fresh approach to training and care for dogs. Run by long-term and qualified dog lovers, Victoria Duke and Tom Menyena, Pooch on a Pedestal is a family business that operates from their home in Newport. Taking a maximum of 2 or 3 small dogs at a time, Victoria and Tom are able to provide personal, one-to-one care for dogs and carry out successful, force free training. Victoria tells us more.

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