Today dogs are such integral parts of our lives. We want to bring them everywhere we go and share experiences with them. We also want to make sure they are given the best care possible. That is where U&Pet, an organization that offers specialty pet services from certified pet professionals comes into the picture. They offer a suite of unique, premium pet care services from boarding to transportation. The organization is led by a team of pet experts, experienced and professionally certified to deliver premium care for your pet. So to learn more about these services, we chatted with Kate from U&Pet.
1) Can you share the story behind why your organization was formed to help care for pets?
The founder of U&Pet, Claudio had a very large dog and the dog started limping on a walk. With the dog being too big to carry, it led Claudio to wonder what would, he do if he had to take his dog somewhere like to the vet or on a trip. After getting home from the walk and making sure his dog was fine, Claudio did some research and realized that there was a lack of transport services for pet owners and their pets in the Washington, DC area where he lives. U&Pet was formed to fill this void. The company started with a pet taxi service to get pets to their vet visits around the city, especially in the DC area where many people with pets don’t have their own vehicles. Since then, more services have been introduced.
2) Your organization offers some really unique services for pets? Can you tell me a bit about them?
The pet taxi service has led to other services to satisfy pet owner needs. This includes a dog walking, dog sitting and boarding service.There are some very flexible options to suit the needs of their customers. U&Pet staff can come to the pet owners’ home, where your dog would be the most comfortable and take care of them. This is ideal for puppies, dogs with separation anxiety and older dogs that may need some special attention. There is also a twenty four hour in-home care option. The dog can also come to a U&Pet staff member’s home or go to a waterfront retreat in Potomac, MD that is run by U&Pet. At the resort the dogs are in a secure and wooded area and can interact and play with each other. A unique feature about U&Pet is that they don’t put the dogs in crates, unless the owner specifically requests it. This makes for a much more enjoyable experience for your pet. Even during transportation pets are not kept in kennels, they are safely secured in the vehicles. U&Pet also offers shipping services to transport pets to other locations. They understand the requirements and have lots of experience shipping pets safely.
3) Your pet services are provided by people that are certified and trained to handle pets. Can you tell me more about your staff and their skills?
The founder has made training a priority for the U&Pet staff. Anyone can claim to be a pet transport service, but without the knowledge of how to take care of an animal it’s truly a hollow advertisement. That is why U&Pet developed their own training curriculum that is mandatory for their staff to take before they can interact with dogs. The classes cover everything that is critical for pet care from handling dogs, reading their body language, how to handle dog fights to performing K9 CPR in case of an emergency. The purpose of the training is to make sure that the U&Pet staff are prepared and can handle the potential challenges that come with caring for and transporting animals. The training helps U&Pet staff to spot potential issues before they occur and be aware of any potential warning signs. The safety of the pet owners and the pets are of paramount interest to U&Pet.
4) Do you have any interesting or funny stories you can share about a dog that was being boarded or transported?
A client with a blind dog used the pet transport service to take their dog to the vet on multiple trips. The dog developed a strong bond with the driver from U&Pet over time. The owner of the blind hound decided his dog needed some companionship, so he had the U&Pet driver bring his dog over to meet other dogs in different locations to see if they would be compatible and could become buddies. It was like online dating, but to find a friend. They went on this adventure over a couple of months to find the right buddy. It was like a pet matching service. Kate explains “it was a really fun experience to hear about the meetings from the driver, who would explain who the blind hound met on the last date and how it went.”
5) What do customers like most about your services?
Customers are very satisfied with the service with many commenting that they are so happy that U&Pet offers these services, since there isn’t really a comparable option available. The reviews have been very positive. Customers are very grateful for the service and the convenience it provides them. A great example, Kate provides is how they help folks that are flying their dogs from one location to another. Customers tend to be very anxious because they don’t know the process, they are having their loved pet transported and there are a lot of important decisions that have to be made quickly. The U&Pet staff are able to calm the customers down and help them walk through the process. It is a collaborative team effort with the same goal in mind – take the best care of the pet as possible. The U&Pet staff have been through this process many times so they know how to best help customer through the process to ensure a successful experience. U&Pet has played a critical role in helping people transport their pets in today’s very stressful times, especially during the pandemic with people needing to move to different places and wanting to bring their pets with them.
6) What does the future look like? Will you have any new services or expand your geography?
One of the key improvements U&Pet is focusing is improving their website to provide their customers a better experience. They are looking to automate some of the processes to make it easier for their customers to select specific drivers and schedule appointments. Kate describes the website as being more like Airbnb and online dating in terms of the improved experience for users. The website is coming soon, but a date hasn’t been made public yet for the launch. U&Pet is also looking to expand their service offering beyond the VA/MD/DC area to other markets.
U&Pet is also looking to establish more of a platform with service offerings. The plan is to transition U&Pet into a nationwide pet service marketplace that allows pet lovers to grow their very own pet service business. If you’re interested in joining the launch team and becoming a pet sitter, driver or owning your own business you can register here.