New Wraparound Pet Care Service For Hawke’s Bay

What Tess Williams doesn’t know about animals probably isn’t worth knowing. The show-jumping champion (30), originally from rural Gisborne has long had an affinity with all creatures – now she’s made it her full-time business. Growing up on a large farm, she says she was that kid who’d “bring orphaned lambs inside to lie by the fire and at one stage I may have snuck one into my bed.” There was an array of pets – possums, calves, cats, dogs, and a magpie called Larry – and of course, horses. During her career, the New Zealand representative equestrian has competed in Europe, Canada and Australia. She has her heart set on making an Olympic team in the future – “I just need to win Lotto so I can afford the right horse!” she laughs. After her schooling, Tess decided to make a career out of her love for animals. She says she didn’t fancy spending years in vet training so took a different route, gaining qualifications instead in Equine Tactile Therapy and Canine Myofascial Therapy. “It’s animal massage,” she explains, of the somewhat longwinded certifications. Tess says equine and canine massage give her untold satisfaction – the power of the right touch can transform an animal, relieving it from pain, loosening and relaxing its muscles. “Just like a human benefits, so too do our four legged friends,” she says. Most recently, Tess has completed a certificate in animal first aid. She is perfectly serious when she says not only can she administer potentially lifesaving CPR to a cat or dog, she can also revive a mouse, or a bird. “I have all the bases covered,” she says with a smile. Now that she’s launched her new business, Bay Pet Co, Tess says she’s able to transfer all of her skills to helping others manage their pet care. Bay Pet Co offers a number of services to people and their cherished pets. “My dog walking service is proving popular – I take a maximum of four dogs at one time and there’s a lot of attention given to each pup. I pick the dogs up and deliver them home afterwards and I get a real buzz when I turn up and see how excited they are to see me. I also love the responses I get  from the pet’s owner when I send through pictures or videos of their dogs on our walk.” Bay Pet Co also offers drop-in home visits – a surprising hit. “People are so busy these days and because pets are like our family, I think it’s natural to feel bad leaving them at home while we are out working or socialising. I love my drop-in visits because I get to cuddle and feed animals and let them enjoy a little bit of extra attention in their day.” In the future Tess hopes to expand the business and offer pet sitting services. She says she’s never met a pet she doesn’t like – “and I honestly don’t understand people who don’t love animals! I’m lucky to have been born with such a natural empathy for them. I think life would be very dull without pets.” TESS’ TOP TIPS FOR A HAPPY PET 1. Feed your animal the highest quality ‘complete’ food you can afford. Don’t skimp on the cheap stuff – it will only cost you more in the long run with increased vet visits. 2. Regular vet check-ups are like insurance for your pet. Make sure your animal’s health is up to scratch. Keep external and internal parasites (fleas, ticks, worms) at bay with regular vaccinations suitable for your pet and as recommended by your vet. 3. Give them loads of love and attention. Dogs and cats make lovely bed mates however I don’t recommend welcoming pet lambs into your bed – the one time I did, the lamb wet the bed. 4. Make sure your pets get enough exercise. Overweight animals won’t live as long and their quality of life will be compromised. 5. Talk to them like they’re human – they pretty much are and they love the sound of your voice. 6. Keep up to date with adequate coat care where needed – bathing and grooming etc. 7. Pets need dental care too – no-one likes bad breath or plaque. 8. If you are away taking time out, or busy with work and family, banish the guilt. It’s easy to feel overloaded and there are services like Bay Pet Co who can help with walking, feeding, or dropping in to your home to cuddle and play with your animals. [email protected] Posted: 27 June 2019